Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bandit Cross...where have you been all my life?!

Although a week has passed and the scabs on me knees have already fallen off....I am still floating on a post Bandit Cross high!! What a freaken riot!

Bandit Cross....where have you been all my life?!!  

Photo Credit: Chris Le ("The Radavist")
The ever famous All-City Cycles puts on a grassroots event called Bandit Cross at least every few months or so. I like to call this "junkyard cross." Which means pretty much anything goes as far as course layout is concerned. It's  a tribute to the early cross days in Europe before things got super fancy and commercialized.  It's a very informal free event in which you just kind of show up and race whatever bike you got (yes - we did sign waivers....this is America after all). 

Photo Credit: Chris Le ("The Radavist")
Last week's Bandit Cross was a part of the All-City Championships and started at Hobo Camp in Bryn Mawr Meadows. The race course consisted of grass, dirt, puddles, concrete, overpass helix ups and downs and traversed it's way across railroad tracks, some pumpstyle singletrack and even included one of the gnarliest dirt pile climbs.  This pile was full of dirt and concrete chunks and at times it felt like you were trying to walk your way up quick sand.  I found out the hard way that the knee technique doesn't work so hot! Luckily a fellow competitor grabbed my bike at the top and helped me...thanks dude!

Photo Credit: Chris Le("The Radavist")
All in all it was bucket of fun!  On the 3rd lap we had to wait for a train to pass,.  As a result the group got bunched together and my gal pal Cori snapped this sweet photo of a bunch of us making our way over the tracks all at once! 


Photo Credit: Cori Pepelnjak
This photo below pretty much sums up my happiness about the evening. Leave it to the "Party Brand" to deliver the coolest post race award eva!


Photo Credit: Chris Le ("The Radavist")
If you are still reading my blog I'm guessing it's because you love bikes, you love adventure, or maybe you don't care much about bikes but you love me anyways (Thanks Mom!!).  Regardless, I've missed my blog too.  I haven't shared much lately because for the most part I haven't been able to figure out where to start. Let's just say that a lot of "life" has happened in the past month or so.  Sadly, Tom's mom suffered a massive stroke and as a result we have been slowly adapting to a massive change in her life as well as ours. It's been pretty painful and a harsh reminder that there are no guarantees.Philippians  4:13.

I'm also shipped off to New Orleans for two weeks for work. I managed to bring my bike, but let's face it - it's far from ideal in terms of my upcoming bike races. Oh well that's life.


Photo Credit: Yours Truly
Life.

It's wierd how life can make u stop and think. How it can suddenly shift your priorities, and decide that there is no time like the present.  Lately I've been really missing long rides and riding with other people. I've been spending a ton of time pounding out solo intervals and forgetting what I really love about being an endurance athlete...racing and suffering.  I've missed the tired feeling after a long workout.  I've missed the anxious feeling of waking up wondering if I'll be able to accomplish the task ahead.  Long story short I've got some awesome adventures on the horizon that are a bit different from the norm for me. 

First up is Pikes Peak Ascent on August 16th.   Yes, I'm going to climb up a mountain ON FOOT!  And the reason I want to do it....is simply because it's there.  It's 13.1 miles to the Summit at 14,000+ feet.  I'll admit that I'm slightly concerned  I might not make it and that in an of itself I find exhilarating!!   Since it's a month away, coach and I figured I had better start doing some "footwork."  I tried to explain to my coach that "footwork" means something entirely different to a gym rat.  


Photo Credit: Anonymous
Stay tuned - I'm back on the train.

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