I am not the same rider I was back in November. Now I can use my clips, I no longer wear running shorts while riding, I have learned to use my gears efficiently, my pedal stroke has evolved and yesterday I learned how to change a flat. I would say I am ready for the next level. With a little over 3 months of training I can ride with some power, turn corners and my death grip on the handlebars has lessened. I am ready to enter my first MTB race. This Saturday I am riding the solo MTB race at Old Pueblo 24hr in AZ. I am completely void of nervousness which is a reflection of low expectations. It's been a really long time since I have been in this space and it's man it's cake! Just pack your stuff and see what comes. It takes me back to my first long trail race where anything can happen and you don't care whether it's good or bad. I have a few ideas of what obstacles I might face but really no idea how to prevent or handle them. It will be learning as we go. I am curious to see what's going to happen to my back, my butt and where my head might go while pedaling away in the desert darkness. The only base line desire I have it to ride 100M and see how long that takes me. If I can still move after that then great. Oh and I really don't want to launch myself onto some cactus. I am planning on laying my bike out in the back of the pack. With a half a mile sprint to the bike pit I don't want to get caught up in the crazy fast bike mount. I plan to stroll over to my bike and start cautiously. Mostly to spare the other riders of my inexperience.
This is going to be a fun trip. Susan, Micheal, Kris and Chester will all be there. The course is a 17 mile loop so easily aided. The start and exchange area is called tent city as most everyone camps from Thurs. through Sun. It's not just a race but more like a party with Mountain Bikes and a clock. The terrain is not technical but that's all relative! This is perfect for my first endurance MTB event. You can follow the race online at the Old Pueblo 24 Hr Ride Webcast. The start is noon on Saturday finishing at noon on Sunday. Wish me luck and hopefully I will come home a better mountain biker, with all my limbs in place and will live to tell a fabulous story J!