Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Today started well for our trio - Steve, Stu and myself - as the rain was little more than a mist at 10am. We even rolled through periods of dryness as we progressed through the Cantley surrounds. Damp yes, but also warm and happy to be out.  

Today was our first time through Chamonix, the neighborhood between Downhill Cascades Massif and the ski hill itself. Upon cresting the climb after DCF, you turn right up another two steep but short pitches. This section is home to one of the best dirt downhills we've encountered thus-far, and this sector's conditions were great today (other dirt sectors were sloggy). This one will necessarily be included in a 200k route we'll put together mid-summer for all to enjoy. 

The Woodsmoke climb figured today, contributing to other kinds of smoke, namely that of the armular and legular varieties. About 20k further on the rain picked up and we started to get considerably wetter. While stopping at Pipolinka was nice, we were bitten by the other edge of the sword as we were pelted with rain on our return leg along River Rd. No longer producing heat as we had earlier, we had to grin and bare the cold water collecting in our gloves as it ran off our sleeves. I think we were all suffering a fair bit in that department. I ran over what seemed to be a smashed pumpkin and flatted. I felt the its glassy nature as I rolled over it. Ooops. Great timing. CO2. It was difficult to think of much aside from a warm shower from that point on. Hands were more club-like than anything else for a while at home. Too wet for photos today.

So, while I would not consider the whole ride today a character-building event, I would say the latter third qualifies. This sort of riding makes the beautiful days in the saddle feel so good. When we are down on how things are unfolding, we can draw from days like today and remind ourselves that it can always be worse, that we've been through worse and we can prevail; we have before. That is character. When race day comes, or the big ride you've been looking forward to all year, bad weather need not take the wind from your sails. Prepare for it. Embrace it. Revel in your ability to resist the temptation to fight it. Work with it instead. Weather isn't good or bad. It is. Today it was ugly; our task is to find the latent beauty in that ugliness.


Pascii said...

We had a similar experience: the first half was amazing, the second half was pure suffering (for me anyways). Of course Rodd seemed to be comfortable the whole way. I was never cold but boy was I hurting at the end.
The felting ladies upstairs at Pipolinka's did nothing for my comfort either and made me want to return to the helishness ASAP. That big ol' Miyata certainly smoothed out the roads nicely.

I certaily don't regret that ride either despite the few moments of misery.

glacialridn said...

f-k that had to of really sucked big fat c-ks!

I went out Saturday - 105 to 366 to 307... fantastic!

I took Sunday off. Just too damn wet and cold... The kind of cold that makes your ass look like a prune when complete.
Not for me.

That had to of sucked big time.

Rodd Heino said...

Umm not quite that bad
I wouldn't CHOOSE to relive the last 35 km if I had a choice, but it really wasn't that bad.
Wool to the skin etc.
I am blessed with good circulation it seems.
I sure did enjoy getting home though,
and as Matt says, you remember days like this when things are tough
5 hours and 110 km in the rain at 5c is doable.
The first bit was lovely.
Legsmoke hurt