Interesting Solo Ride

zipped spokeLast night I went for a ride. It was the most interesting ride I have had in a long time. Originally I was going to ride with Shane, but his plans involved heading to the Juan de Fuca BMX track, and I really needed to get Yoshi some exercise. What to do? I bailed on Shane, and decided to go to the dump. Problem was that it was starting to rain, and with me riding solo, I had no real push to get me out there.

That is when it dawned on me. What has happened here? I used to always want to get out riding. I remember times when I was riding 4 times a week, and now I am lucky if I hit dirt once a week. I began thinking about how my my drive to ride has slowed a lot. I still have lots of passion for the sport (I almost always enjoy myself when I get out), but my drive is certainly lower. In an effort to improve my physical fitness I recently bought a road bike. This decision was mainly to help get me in shape for off road riding this summer.

But I digress. I was waffling on going riding. I never used to do this. In a fit of disgust at myself I got changed, loaded my truck, and set off for the dump. When I arrived Yoshi was chomping at the bit to get out and run. I reluctantly got my shoes on, stashed my change of clothes, readied my bike, release the hound from his backseat confinement, then took off.

Already I felt good about deciding to get out.

The first trail I took was a tight (really overgrown from Victoria’s last couple weeks of sunshine), twisty, swoopy, and fun. I love this trail. The freshly fallen rain helped make the trail really tacky, but also provided some refreshment. Slicing through the grass wet my legs, and brushing the trees soaked the sleeves of my jersey. It was good to be out there.

Rounding one uphill corner, I nearly had a collision with another rider who was coming the opposite direction. It turned out to be Claire (she use to go by gnarly on MTBR). We stopped and gabbed for a bit, then parted. It was nice to catch up with here for a bit. As we parted I fondly remembered a road trip, myself, Claire, and another friend Mike did. It was a spur of the moment decision. We drove up Island from Victoria, and set up shop at my moms place in Nanaimo. From there we hit 4 trail systems in 3 days (or something silly like that). A great memory from my past. I have since grown apart from Mike and Claire, but I don’t think I will ever forget them or that road trip.

Hmm, the back tire was feeling a little squishy. I stopped and put a few PSI more back into the tire, then continued on my way. Yoshi love going mountain biking, and he is learning to be a better trail dog every single time I take him out. As I slowly make my way up the steepest trail, he takes off sending stones rolling back down into my wheels. A couple minutes later he comes roaring back down towards me to see what is taking me so long. Like I said, he is quite a character.

I realized (right before a stream crossing) that my rear is still too low on air pressure. I stopped to put more air in, and as I am doing so, I noticed the nipple to one of my spokes has sunk pretty far into the rim. In a confused state I tested the spoke for tension, only to find that I had a broken spoke. One quick zip tie, and a couple minutes of pumping later I am ready for the stream crossing.

I climb up the other side, and notice more cheater lines all the time. I know that SIMBS closes as many as they can (and I do what I can to block some of them), but with the parks ever increasing use, it might likely be impossible. I decided to do a long climb that I have not done in a long time. I need to work on my climbing legs so that when I do jump back on my bullit, I can feel comfortable like days gone by.

Part way up the climb I find a shortcut to the trail that was my destination. As I follow the shortcut I realized that this one would make my loop too short. Turning around I took off out of the shortcut, and continued the climb. I got to the top, headed down fun trail, then made my way back to the other side of the park, back to my truck. Yoshi was tired, yet I was feeling. Not long enough to tire me out too much, but still lots of fun. In the end (like so many other times), I was glad I got out. Why don’t I go more?

Part of it is now that I am in a relationship, I am generally more busy. We go and visit friends, spend time together, clean the house, etc. Life is more full now. I think also part of the reason I don’t ride as much any more is because I am in a relationship. While that may be confusing, what I mean is that I now have responsibilities to more than myself. Riding is dangerous, and I have had my share of close calls. I don’t want to strand my girlfriend. Does that make any sense? I also think part of it is that I am aging. I am still 28, but my outlook on life is certainly a lot different now than when I was 25.

In all it doesn’t really matter. I have bikes. I ride bikes. I enjoy riding bikes. I think I will always ride bikes, even if it is not in the same way as when I was younger.

Last night was a very interesting ride indeed. I travelled a lot further mentally than I did physically.