okay soooo…I did my first ride of 2009. Oh my gosh I thought I was going to DIE. It was only a single loop of GCT. Previously I have been able to do multiple loops of the same trail without leaving the middle ring. This first ride of 09 really showed me how far off track and lazy I have become. First off, there aren’t any real -climbs- on this whole trail. But to me there are. You have to remember that I weigh like twice what most folks do, so as the grade ramps up my effort needs to increase exponentially compared to the fit folks.
At the top of the first big “non-climb” climb I stopped. My breaths were coming really short, and I was cursing all the years I spent djing in smokey nightclubs for polluting my lungs…cursing my parents for all those years they hotboxed ciggies with me in the car. But deep down I knew that the problem wasn’t second hand smoke…it was just my lack of activity all winter and never ending struggle with teh fatness. Soon enough I recovered enough to push on, so I did.
I had thought since we hadn’t had rain for a few days that the trail would be reasonably dry, but I had no such luck. It was mushy and in some places still had a bunch of standing water. Also, I didn’t bother to pump up my tires before the ride. The combination of those two made for a huge amount of rolling resistance. Ugh, it was just fucking WORK the whole way.
The second so called climb is the one that really beat me. I got off and walked to the top. My theory was that I shouldn’t kill myself this early on. I have cleared that hill a zillion times before, but today it just wasn’t going to happen. Last year when I started doing the whole trail in the middle ring, I noticed that this same hill seemed even easier than grinding up it in the granny…but today, even granned out I only made it about half way. I don’t even want to get into what my rear hub is doing when I am in the granny. Lets just say it isn’t good and a plan is in the works to fix it.
The rest of the ride was just kind of bleh. Just work. Spent most of the time hanging with grandma opting for torque over power. The one good moment was on the very last climb…you grind half of the way up this thing, and then there is a ditch you have to go through, and on the far side of the ditch when you are climbing back to the trail level there are a bunch of obnoxious roots. I have no doubt that they cousins of the bastards over at “Devils Backbone” at Chicopee. Even on good days it is always a crap shoot on this particular section for me. Today I cleared it with no problems though…no problems except the huge amount of huffing an puffing I was doing. But a dab free technical section is always a good stoke.
I can’t remember a ride when I was so happy to get back to the car. Maybe I also have a bit of a cold, which is interfering with my breathing as well, but mainly I just need to get back in the routine of riding multiple times each week.
All in all though, I am glad I went because now the first step has been taken. I’m going to shop for a proper pump so I never have the -low tires- issue again, and hopefully get some other issues with the bike worked out as well. I hate to say it, but if I really want to get back on top of it, I think I am going to have to do some good ol pathelete style bizness over at Suwanee Greenway just to build up a so called base.
On the upside, when you are as out of shape as I am EVERY ride is an epic ride.