My IT band finally had enough, and threw in the towel for me by stabbing me with "ice pick" pain as I crawled out of bed on Sunday morning. After some RICE, it should be good to go for my next progressive ride on the slow, methodical ramp up to a series of very long rides this summer and fall.
I'm not complaining though; I got some great rides in this week with nary a peep out of my knee until the end....which is the way I plan these things. Keep ratcheting up the miles and vertical feet per week to the point of pain....back away from the ledge with a heavy dose of ibuprofen, stretching, ice and rest....then do it all over again, only add another 10 miles and 1,000vf to the previous benchmark. I then repeat the cycle until I reach my goal, or have a setback by damaging something....then I have to start all over again.....hence my ultra-sensitive need to back away from rides if I feel I've crossed the threshold of pain into damage territory.
Still, on Friday morning when I woke; my knee was making some weird indications to me that I possibly should not ride with tRoy that afternoon....however I outguessed it as some psychosomatic pain....and as soon as I had arrived at the base of Eldon, it was gone. I guess that after my Wednesday ride; it tried to trick my brain into more rest and less ride.
Friday saw us rolling ~20 miles with ~2k of vert on a spin up shultz-meadow-secret-orion-gnarly-jedi-shultz---->which then led me to PnT as per Friday procedures dictate.
With all of the snow still in sight, our conversations still centered around next weekends planned snowplay on the north side....it's getting harder to stay in snow mode with the riding getting so good.
Drinking in the cool snowmelt fed spring, I was reminded of not needing a full 3-liters of water with me everywhere I go....a hard habit to break when your daily ride lasts only an hour and you HAVE to drink 1.5 liters just to stay lucid.
Climbing up little gnarly, a few snow banks were spotted, but were not an issue. Cresting gnarly, the Dry Lake came into view....not so dry right now. We tried catching a frog or two which were busy calling out in the tussles of grass...but they were smarter than us.
Transitioning to Jedi and expecting snow carnage, we were surprised to find the trail clear of trees and snow....I made some log rolls that surprised me with grace, others I made that clumsily reminded me I needed to remove my big ring, and some that I walked in humility....only to watch tRoy make it look easy...kodak courage....
Just as soon as I marveled at how clear the trail was, I jinxed myself.....Jedi clearly needs some yoda's to come out here with a few lightsabers and clear this mess.....
After a night of fine dining and drinking at PnT and later Flag Brew, I told another friend, J-Money, that I wanted a mellower ride later in the day on Saturday. Clearly, I was under the influence of the brew.....J-Money does not do mellow. I wanted to check out Fay Canyon....J said it was one of his favorites, so he suggested we ride out through Fay Canyon and then to Marshall Lake via the AZ Trail and back.
Aside from the 50 mph winds which threatened to blow us over on a few switchbacks and in the clearings, we were mostly protected by the trees. Fay Canyon was a blast with some serious flow, but was still horse banged and I was told....was in the worst condition seen so far....I was still impressed.
At first I was able to keep up with J, but as soon as we hit the climbs on loose, cherty limestone cobbles....he took off and I had no choice to HAB it, gasping for air as I foolishly reminded myself not to try and keep pace with the man. All of the climbs were gettable....but less so when I was already red-lining at the bottom of the climb. I usually keep an average pace of 8mph and can pretty much keep this until I have to sleep.....we were holding just shy of 10mph.
All in all, I rolled 31 miles with 4,200vf on the day....I got destroyed by the millionaire. Just as I rolled the last mile to home after a tasty beer at J-Money's house...I got the familiar twinge in my right knee, knowing full well what this meant.....I would cancel the Sunday ride in Sedona....but not before I shoved a pork roll down my gullet which is now lodged in my colon 2 days later. Thanks goes to Mr. Handlebarsandwich and his birthday feast on Saturday for which his family sent him two, giant, Taylor Pork Rolls (think giant spam....now think bigger). These were sliced and grilled...and then consumed...which then put me in a pork coma. I still feel that coma........