Yesterday's Rider
Sierra Century - May, 1998

(Posted to the touring group)

It occurs to me that I've been focused a lot on *my* problems when riding lately. :-(( Rather self-centered. I'm surprised no one has pointed this out to me. :-)

Yesterday's Sierra Century in the California Sierra foothills (the Gold Rush country) brought me up short about this...but only in some morning-after contemplation.

Last night I wrote, privately, to a friend... "It was cool for the ride...never got about about 55F. Mostly it was cloudy and threatening looking, but by 2 p.m., there was sun (still chilly though). I did the 85 mile option rather than the 95 (century) route. The final ten miles (loop) involved up a mt. with "signifant chunks of 18% grades" as we were informed by the club volunteer. No thank you. I didn't need that today.

As it was, I got 6,000' of climbing in my 85 miles. My legs are wasted. :-( I wish I could figure out what's wrong...I don't know if I'm getting too many long rides without sufficient time to recover, or am just plain in crummy shape and not getting "trained up" fast enough. It's depressing. :-(( You'll smile at this...I finished the ride at 3:45p.m. During the last hour or so, we could see a black wall of rain way down in the valley. It didn't look like it would be moving into the foothills. At 4:15, as I was sitting outside on a bench, stuffing my face with the end-of-the-ride pasta & salad & fruit, the skies let loose. IF I had taken the longer loop, guess who would have been riding in that downpour...."

But in my own wallowing in "discouragement" I neglected to mention the Most Incrediblel Rider that I met and talked with yesterday. At one point I passed him as we were all slogging up one of the steeper morning climbs out of Volcano (I love this little town!). And at the next rest stop, he rolled in as I was leaving, so I chatted with him for a bit, and had a good look at his bike... It was a trike - two wheels in the back, one in front. And he was paralized from the waist down. And planning to complete the 95 mile ride.

It does put things into perspective....


Judy & Rufus