A bit of a break from the regular fare. Instead a very short story.
I can feel heat as it starts at the top of my quad and moves down toward my knee. I’m not sure if it’s my legs burning or if I just peed my pants, but I don’t have the time to look. It’s getting darker and I need all the concentration I can muster to focus on the trail. The sun has already sunk below the horizon and I’m racing against time and myself as I speed through the rocks and dirt.
I lean into the turn, shift and then petal hard as I try and use the momentum to power up a small incline before the next part of the downhill. A quick turn and then I find the line through two small rocks. I shift again and I’m speeding down the trail again. I can’t believe somebody did this thing in under 6 minutes. They must have been really flying. I’ll be lucky to get 10 minutes.
My feet bounce on the petals as I speed along the trail. My son told me weeks ago that he pushes down into the petals to keep his feet from coming off them. I’m off the seat, “pushing” as hard as I can into them, but my feet still bounce as I’m jostled on the washboard trail at the speed I’m going. I absorb the bumps with my legs and arms, pushing for more speed. I really want to get that PR. But I also want to survive it. If I crash out here nobody would be around for hours. If I crash it better be a minor one then.
But that’s not going to happen.
I petal harder, and then stand in the petals again as the trail races below my tires. There’s still a fair amount of light out and the trail is packed harder than it was a couple months ago. All the dust is down and the ground has soaked in all that rain like a thirsty man. You can’t even tell it has rained the last couple days out here. Not a puddle in sight. Soon I’m into the s-curve and from there it’s a straight shot to the end. I hit the almost-gravel dirt and turn into the next trail, across the dry river bed and up onto the utility road that will take me back to the truck. It was a great ride. I petal up the road and feel a tiny pick on my leg. Was that sweat or rain? I can’t tell, but soon there are a few more and I realize I need to pick up the pace. The next mile is going to be a doozy. Uphill with the possibility of rain? What’s not to like? If I make it to the truck muddy and wet, it’s a success. And if I don’t, it’s still a success.
Any time it’s me against the mountain and myself it’s a success.
Later, as I’m looking at the logs I see I did get a PR. Just not on deadwood.
Maybe next time.
The images in this post were taken by me on my ride down Deadwood.