Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week #8: The Girl with the Black Cat Tattoo

I kind of wanted to save the tale of #callahannightride for my regular weekly update post, which I normally worry about being too boring and picture-free. However, this week has been more of the opposite problem. There was so much awesome that I wanted to put in all it one mind-blowing post, but frankly, it's probably better that I split it up into two.

So here's the deal. When I typed up my #callahannightride post on Thursday evening, I knew it wouldn't be the last cool story of the week. I had a little ace up my sleeve that I'd revealed to only a couple of close friends ahead of time. That was the fact that, by Friday afternoon, I would have something else up my sleeve, and it was definitely not a playing card. After months of courage-building and trying to come up with the perfect design, I finally got my first tattoo. What can I say? It's perfect, and I'm totally in love with it. Too bad it's the middle of winter and I won't get to show it off for a while.

This photo is supposed to show the "The Mud" of bike shop legend, but Adam says that it's misdiagnosed.

Even though I got a bonus legit ride on Wednesday night instead of my usual one-hour spin on the road bike, I still needed to get in my weekly ass-kicking on Saturday. I'd been wanting to ride with one of the guys from Adam's shop and his girlfriend for a while, since I'd found out that they are really into gravel racing this season and are training for the Dirty Kanza (big time serious gravel race that frankly scares the crap out of me).

So we drove to a undisclosed location in Green County and set out on a 50 mile ride of gnarly grinding gravel through open farmland. It was surprisingly hard, and I was in kind of in stare-at-the-ground-and-suffer mode, but I figured it was good for me. I also think my "weekly ass-kicking" training plan is beneficial for me, because I'm more willing to suffer when it's time to suffer if I haven't had all my willpower drained from dragging through a training plan I hate during the rest of the week. Basically, it's like I've finally found a method for training for endurance racing that mixes enough fun in that I don't mind the pain, which also seems to be making me faster. Win win.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all fun, as me and my permanently-emblazoned symbol of bad luck seem to inadvertently bring a little drama to every ride. About two hours in, Corinna's derailleur snapped completely off, and rigging it as a singlespeed didn't work. We were able to cover some of the distance back to the car with her coasting while Dustin rode alongside pushing her. It was pretty funny riding with what appeared to be two people riding bikes while hugging. Then we hit a super muddy road with some rolling hills, and the pushing didn't work anymore, so Corinna and I had to walk to acceptable pick-up point while Dustin got the car. My bike was still fine, but I thought I should walk for moral support.

Anyway, the my first attempt with riding with them definitely did not turn out as planned, but as always, it was fun in its own way and also made for a good story. I just hope that people don't decide that I have a few too many good stories and start refusing to ride with me for their own safety.

I don't think it's ever looked like this even after a 'cross race.

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