"All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy" Well, it makes Sasha very grumpy, unhappy and I feel fat. Not a good combination.
Unless you live under a rock without internet you know about the OT100 MtB and that is set to take flight this coming weekend. It is quite an amazing feat to have 76 solo riders and 8 teams sign up for this fundraiser. An incredible 60 plus volunteers signed up to help man check points, shuttle riders, and various other duties to help bring this logistical nightmare to fruition. Point to point races are rare, that is what makes them special. If you get an opportunity to do one I suggest you take it.
As you know, I enjoy long bike rides. I have a cross bike and a mountain bike and am happy to take either on crazy, long/difficult terrain for many miles, many hours. The Dirty Kanza 200 is my favorite gravel grinder but I have yet to find a favorite long distance mountain bike race. My husband is the master of maps and race ideas. I can't tell you how many stories I have heard about potential races. I have heard endless start points and finishes over the years. This year he started to figure out a logistical nightmare of 100 miles point to point on the Ozark Trail. I really didn't think too much about it and listened to his ramblings like usual. As the event started to come together I was very excited to be a part of this, it would be very challenging on my Kona single speed but I felt incredibly confident since my DK went so well this year. Knocking 2 hours and 33 minutes off last years time will do that. I felt strong and my mind was definitely in a good place. I could do this, the only questions were... " how long was it going to take and which gear do I pick"
I started to fantasize my attack. I would break down the race into FIVE separate races. Basically, start to CP1, CP1 to CP2, CP2 to CP3, CP3 to CP4, and CP4 to the finish. The first race was 28 miles but also the hardest section with the most hike a bike. All I had to do was get through that with a good attitude and feeling strong and tackle the next race. It would be that easy. Right?
My training plan was to get back in the gym for a month, HARD, and add in some trail riding. I was stoked! Know which gear do I need? I thought 32x20 would suffice, but would check with my fellow singlespeeders to see what they thought. After hitting the gym I would gradually add more trail miles... I had plenty of time to get my shit right. Plenty of time, Sept 6th was several months away. Wooohoooo.
Then came the day when I found out/realized that I would be a huge part in the race but it would not require my bike. Confused? It seems my help was needed elsewhere. You see... I am the person who signs up for the race, trains for the race and pedals race day. I am not a race promoter/organizer and really have no hopes of ever being one BUT... just this once I made an exception. I would volunteer to make this happen.
My bike is mad and I am sad but we will get over it. It will be very hard to stand by and watch others achieve greatness and conquer this trail. I will use this to my advantage though. I can watch and learn from all the riders. I will see what works, what doesn't, what could be done better. Before I started biking I volunteered at several races to watch and learn. Those were well spent hours. I was able to learn from others mistakes and see what types of gear they use.
As the day of the event draws closer I don't have to tell you how jealous I am of the riders that are participating. I am surprised I have not turned a shade of green yet. I want so badly to throw on a helmet and toss a leg over my bike but it's not going to happen. I am fortunate that I will not be at the start of the race or see it. I won't get to feel the energy or be a part of last minute nervous chats. I won't see the excited wild eyed looks before they set off and that is fine by me.
Next year I will pay my $$ and pedal to the finish. I have plenty of time to fine tune my nutrition and get my legs, core, and arms in order. I have another year to work on superior attitude and superior state of mind.
Having put a tremendous amount of time and energy into this event I can only hope it is a crazy success and I can retire on top. Is that too much to ask?