IT'S BEEN ABOUT TWO YEARS SINCE I RACED MY MOUNTAIN BIKE SERIOUSLY.  Today, I wonder why I ever left.  It was just perfect, and it wasn't a "race" - but it was.  As a sponsor of the Ride 4 Rwanda, my plan was to show up early and raise the canopy then putt around and make it a social ride.  But, when I rolled up to the start all that changed.

Surrounded by lions, I was ready to go hunting.
The police escort to the trail head just made the urge to kill it that much stronger.

Some get antsy in a tight pack of mountain bikers racing hard for the double track, and clean trail lines.  I don't.  I find top level XC racers to be far better bike handlers with far greater spacial awareness than roadies and crit specialists. Relatively relaxed, I slipped up to the top 10.

Staying up front and out of the dust is worth the effort.

Did I peak a week late? I asked.  Last weekend's Sea Otter Classic was my target race of the year.  I was somewhat disappointed.  This was a "ride".  I felt great and was right with some of the fastest guys around..  Rested.  Smooth.  Easy.

You know what else was smooth and easy?... that new drive train.  The XX Eagle 10-50 cassette and 32 up front, the new chain and the new GripShifter was buttah.  That upgrade along with the dropper-post I added a few weeks made for some very fast riding.

How fast?
This fast.
For me, that's amazing.  So yeah, probably peaked a week late.  Can't really say I'm sad about that because I'm so happy to be back in love with the dirt.
Looking back, I should have expected a good day:  I had put in back to back days of racing last weekend; taken it easy all week on the bike; Surfergirl is outta town and it's a been a few days of all about me, and... AND... I had zero expectations.  That's a pretty solid formula for a good day on the bike.
What am I going to do with my renewed love of dirt?  I think I'll flip-flop between road and dirt on Saturdays. 
I had forgotten how great it is to be so close to nature,
to climb so high and see so far,
to be dirty,
with friends.
Set your sights on next year's Ride 4 Rwanda...
it's a magical event,
raising hundreds of thousands of dollars so kids can ride their bikes to school and work...
maybe the magic will visit you like it did me.


Save the dates:  HUNKR 9/29, 11/10 – TMWC 7/10
(Update on the kooky intermittent fasting diet.  If anything, I've gained weight.  I'm not sure it matters.  One thing I've noticed is I can get up and easily go till Noon without food.  On the bike, that means I can go the first hour without any kind of nutrition.  It made this morning very simple:  get up, get to event, start riding.  My second bottle bounced out as I ripped the first single track.  I didn't even think of stopping.  My energy was great.  Shred on! Made it no problem through the first 90 minutes on 1/2 a bottle, topped it off and made it another hour, filled it one more time and felt strong the entire 3 hours.)