Monday, September 7, 2009

a bike is a bike is a bike . . . well, maybe not

I have a new neighbor, and she rides a bike.
she rides quite a few bikes, actually.
and she rides them hard and for a long time.
this brings a smile to my lips.

I'll call her H, to protect her identity. H races mountain bikes, for fun. eeek.
last saturday she participated in a race called the Park City Point 2 Point. this was a mountain biking endurance race, and she was one of 7 women who started it, one of 6 who finished it. this was a 75 mile single track course, with an elevation gain of about 14,000 feet.
I have a burning question here: how do you pass someone on a single track race like this?
H rode this thing in 11:42, which is just slightly less than my lotoja time. I cannot imagine being on a mountain bike on a grueling ride like that for almost 12 hours.
she spent yesterday in bed.
big grin.
but today she was walking and talking about it, and even dared to venture that some day she'll look back on it and say it was fun.
that came up because she rode lotoja last year, and commented, that was fun.
I didn't ask her what her lotoja time was, because I didn't want to feel bad for being so slow.
then she went on to tell me that she's only been biking about 3 years (ooh, some sense of deja vu kicked in), and that she has attended the same power camp I have.

she told me she noticed, when she was first in the process of selecting and buying the house across the street from me, that I had bikes in my garage. it's that kinship thing I've written about before, the me-too internal grin that starts growing when you see someone else who owns the toys you own.

H has one more big race for the season, coming up in 2 weeks. it's in Durango, and her description of this race gave me some insight into just how crazy the mountain biking community is. it's called the Single Speed World Championships, and each year this thing is hosted in the community from which the previous year's winner hails.
so if the winner is from Germany, you gear up from a trip to Germany the next year. if he's from Canada, everyone heads to Canada the following year. okay . . .
and you can only ride a single speed bike.
and they don't reveal the course until you're there and ready to go.
and they do things like make you stop along the route, dismount, and perform some kind of dance or song in front of a panel of judges. your score matters and is factored into the tabulations which determine the winners.
and this is, of course, a multi-day event, with bands like The Soft Hands and The Tunnel and Black Market Electric performing in the evenings.
oh, and there's a coloring contest, too.
okay . . .
and you thought us roadies were an odd bunch.

I am thinking that my new neighbor is just a tad bit more adventurous than I.

but who knows . . . maybe she'll sway me and next thing you know, I might be writing about how much I love my mountain bike . . . and my new eyebrow piercing . . . and a band called The Tunnel . . .

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