Over The Hump. 3rd Time’s a Charm…or Not

Irvine Lake, Orange County CA.  Tuesday evening mid-summer.  My third visit to the Over The Hump Mountain Bike race series.  Certainly the idea of a mid week early evening mountain bike race series spanning 12 weeks during the summer is a very alluring thought.  What better way to sweat off the trials and tribulations of a tough day in the office?

My third race of the series was the sweet spot, where I had built enough confidence on the course to push the bike hard enough to exceed my technical ability.  Unfortunately, my earlier cautious outings had given me a false sense of security.

Lap 1.  Off to a strong start in the second pack just behind the hard-core leaders who blaze away fast.  Through the first climb I’m feeling strong, hanging with the pack, steep descent, hard right, fast single track, now get ready for a hard right onto the next climb. Just when I thought “I can do this!” BAM!   Front wheel hits the deep sand on the outside of the turn, handlebars twist and down I go.   And right there and then I watch most of my fellow competitors in my age group pass me.  All the hard work to gap them on the climb lost.  Fortunately the only injuries are to my pride and confidence.   Time to put the head down and pedal hard to get back in the race.

Lap 2.  The euphoria and excitement of the start is beginning to be replaced by the nagging thoughts of “how many laps”, “how much further to go? “ Wow my legs seem to be tiring fast today”.  Clearly in my adrenaline rush to overcome the fall I have overcooked myself and I am already starting to suffer.

Lap 3.  I chose to do this, right?  No one forced me?  Hmm!  In fact I paid money for the privilege of suffering like this.  Why?  Wouldn’t I be better off putting in some late nights at work?  Surely that wouldn’t hurt like this?

65 mins later I am done.  68 mins later I am already planning my week around getting back here for the next race.  Clearly I am not smart enough to learn from my pain.  Though hopefully I am smart enough to stay on my bike next week.

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About markturner3501
Chief Strategy Officer SaatchiLA

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