Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Flip The Switch

Not too much riding of late except for errands around town or an occasional ride to prison. Did I say prison, I meant work. I have been bringing bikes to my basement one at a time for inspection/parts swaps, so I am using my time wisely I hope. Also, I scoured freecycle for new skis for my snowbike, but came up empty handed, so I cut out the broken section on the rear ski and grafted it back together. Should hold for a few runs if I don't grab air! But now I have goggles (Smiths - Thanks Mike & Amy!!!) so I have to get rad and sick on the slopes!
I was driving to Ogden today on "Old 30" and right when I got to the top of the big hill going down to the river I caught a look at the slopes of 7 Oaks, framed in the "V" of the river valley, and realized that it moved something in me. Like a flash point. It triggered that little voice in me that says' "Go time!" when I am driving there for a race. That little jump you get in your manparts, the rush of energy throughout your body! Palms sweating and pulse climbing. Wear your HRM TO the race some time and check it out. It made me think of all of the places that I have raced over the years and what other flash points there are out there. Some of these include:
Decorah - I always come in from the West on Hwy 9, and I'm fine the whole trip until I get to the top of the hill that drops down to the four way stop. Then it hits me, and a surge just shoots up my spine! Go Time!
Iowa City - The long white fences around the horse pasture, North Liberty I believe, and BAM! Go Time!
Fort Dodge - Top of the hill by the hospital, Go Time!
DSM - Top of Euclid, westbound down the hill, Go Time! Probably not a lot of races to run there in the future, but always will be a flash point.
Webster City - Going to Kendall Young and you drive under that first railroad bridge. Go time!
Galena - Going back a few years here, but having raced the Cactus Cup twice and Chestnut Mountain Classic, I made enough trips there to know that every time I saw the sign for Fried Green Tomatoes Restaurant it was Go Time!
Millville Minnesota - Coors Light Classic. Another old race that I ran 3 or 4 times back in the day. Always a quiet ride up, but once the road started to drop out from under you in Wabasha County, it was all over but the crying! Go Time! 4+1/2 hour mud race!
There are probably more that I could name but you get the point. Welch Village, raced it twice but was lost both times so no real landmarks. Volga's Vengeance, awesome but only raced it twice (one of which was my first race ever!) Also, there are races I have never done that would surely have a flash point. Sylvan Island, Sockum Ridge, Trans-Iowa! There are many miles to go before I can rest.
I don't know much about sports psychology, but I would wager that this has something to do with the fight/flight thing. Some guys are pumped up for a week before a race, I wait until 3 miles out to get psyched?! Maybe it's the procrastinator in me( I put the "pro" in procrastinator), or denial, who knows. If you have a similar flash point please leave a comment, however long. I would be interested to hear from others. Later!


Squirrel said...

Jan. 26th a good day too play hookie:)


Paul said...

I seriously think about Trans Iowa for 364 days until the next one. It has possessed me and I sometimes hate it with a passion. I would probably finish the damn thing if I didn't even think about it until race day, but no, I have to waste a year's worth of energy thinking and obsessing about it. So, did you do TI?

Travel Gravel said...

No TI for me as of yet, but I would never say never. Don't know if I could put off thinking about it for that long:) Later!

Thaddeus S. Neil said...

Give me a call on Friday afternoon/evening about the shock pump. I'll be heading south on Saturday and could drop it off. (515)291-2995

john said...

Millville mud - that was some race.
I think some of us are going to Volga this year for some long non - single track training - Brother MIke is dragging his feet, but we'll see.

Paul Varnum said...

I got an old pair of downhill skis that you can have. Will that work for you, or would they be to wide? You could really carve some turns with them. Let me know.

We're doing some gravel tomorrow if you are interested. Check my blog for details.

Travel Gravel said...

John, a return to Volga would be so much fun! Really. I would like to try going up Vertical Beach without puking at the top! Later!

Paul said...


Thanks for coming to Ames today! What a great ride!


Paul Varnum said...

Greg, I'll just leave the skis out in the snow (they like it out there). You can pick them up any time.