Exam time

5 09 2010

I’ll have to admit, Friday’s massive ride that included ascents of Burnaby Mountain and the 12 km ride up Seymour beat me up pretty bad.

Not physically so much, although I was a bit stiff and achey on Friday evening and into Saturday.

Mentally, though, I really didn’t want anything to do with my road bike through Sunday, which would be my last opportunity for a big road ride prior to the Gran Fondo. I was weary, my desire to rack up kilometers was depleted.

So much so, in fact, I forewarned my newfound riding buddy, Rich, I likely would pass on our plan to ride together Sunday morning.

Which sucked, because Katie was doing one of her rare city runs on Sunday, and we like to meet afterwards at Granville Island for a little lunch, or maybe a post-run-midway-ride beer on a patio. I told her I’d still meet her, but I’d likely just drive in.

But a funny thing happened when I got up this morning. I was feeling guilty about my decision to blow off riding for the day. The road bike still repelled me, like the thought of drinking another beer after a hangover; but my legs felt fresh, ready for some exercise.

So I compromised; I loaded the Kona onto the roof rack and headed to UBC for a tapering trail ride.

Getting my spin on at the Endowment Lands.

I spent an hour in the woods, riding the same route through the Endowment Lands and down to Jericho Beach that is our evening ride with mountain bike buddies Dan and Shanksman. It’s a 15 km loop with 180 meters of elevation gain, including a 10 per cent climb up 2nd Ave and Tolmie St., just enough to burn the fatigue out of my leg muscles and get my head back on a bike.

The ease with which I conquered the climb back up from the beach was also a much-needed confidence boost. I hadn’t expected to feel so mentally exhausted from my Seymour adventure and little rivulets of self-doubt were trickling into my thoughts; maybe I was underestimating the Fondo and overestimating my fitness?

But as Rich told me Saturday when we met him, his wife and younger son, Lee, for sorbetto in the evening; it’s like cramming in the days before an exam, if I don’t know the material now, I’ll never be ready.

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