16 September 2011

Some B-Day Gloating

I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been crashed into by a double-decker bus.

Yesterday was my birthday, and while it seems a bit fatuous to go into breathless details about that sort of thing, this is in the end my public internet diary and I will on occasion get silly like that.

Because, really? It was effing amazing.

9/15 came bright and early with a (non-obligatory) 7am ab workout with the BC kids, who shouted a chorus of "Happy birthday!" to me as I entered. Joh greeted me with a mason jar of flowers and a home-baked tray of brownies...yeah, she's over-the-top wonderful like that. After crunching my core for a while I went to (obligatory) work, where my lovely bosses gave me some vino rosso. My roomie convinced me to join her for a quick birthday fat tire ride, which is never a bad idea.

During a drive through town I was tickled to see Miz Dickson, huge grin spreading over her face, mouth "HBD" to me through car windows while turning left, talking on the phone. Multi-tasker. Although the current state of affairs makes one question the quality of human nature, every time a birthday rolls around I am astounded by the pure unselfish joy people express to each other for such a mundane occurrence. And this is self-aggrandizement at its finest, but if so many people are so incredibly nice on this arbitrary day of me-celebration, surely I must be doing something right (right?).

The awesome train kept rolling. After my ride I headed to A-ville for the first game of the season. Soccer was my first love and it's nice to know that a: I haven't forgotten everything, and b: that shit is glorious. I've fallen off the wagon; intense, jubilant addiction. My teammates, none of whom I knew, surprised me by singing to me after the game. And then we went to the bar. A good crew. I had to duck out early to attend an 80s dance party, where I joined up with some finely bedecked friends, forgot about my innumerable bruises and sweaty grossness, and danced my ass off until two.

Hence my extreme soreness and malaise today. Yesterday I worked easy and played hard, all day, and have the scrapes and aches to show for it. And there is no better way to celebrate a birthday.

13 September 2011

Mole Hill...to Mountain...to Mole Hill

Yesterday sort of out of the blue Wes offered me a shot at the Pisgah Stage Race, the insanity of which I had scoffed at for years.

Appalled, frightened, titillated, I retreated to the internet, studying maps, elevation profiles, and race reports. I realized what all stage racers surely know: life would take a backseat. I'd have to play soccer with kid gloves, ease up on the beer consumption, carefully tend to my bike, lose days of work.

In the end my decision was clinched by my job--the boss-lady will be out of town that week, leaving me "in charge", and that, combined with my utter lack of prep and questionable mental fortitude, makes it one helluva long shot.

It's crazy how even the suggestion of such great heights has galvanized me. All right, I won't do it this year, but instead of surviving the Swank I want to race it and own it, I want to kick ass at every cyclocross race I enter, and I want to entertain the notion of the stage race, not in the distant imaginary future, but in the next couple of years.

Now that (finally, wonderfully) Asheville has its own cx series, I can enjoy that stupid, awesome discipline without the usual caveats--no long drives, no missed work shifts, no uninspiring grass courses in the Piedmont. Along with an unusually large Brevard contingent I attended an evening practice race and the Bent Creek throwdown last Saturday and surprised myself with a: a threshold intensity I could've sworn had evaporated, and b: an uncharacteristic bloodthirstiness. My favorite part was clawing my way through the ranks of women in front of me, piloting the deutschbike around their sketchy singletrack maneuverings and "sprinting" away in slow motion.

Da posse

It's not just cx that's got me wickedly stoked on riding right now. Joh and I rode Farlow on Sunday and while I embarrassed myself with my timidity, it was still a grand time. Best of all, four of us ladies partook of a Dupont night ride, which was beyond fun. Clattering down Rocky Ridge at dusk, skirting huge toads and piles of manure, listening to the coyotes, we could not stop exclaiming, "This...is...awesome!"

Da gurls