October? Maybe by date but like everyone noticed that weather was spectacular feeling more like a mid summer day than the one of the big steps sloth season. All week I was cringing with the inability to ride, well there wasn't a chance in hell that I was going to spend this weekend sulking on the sidelines. My ribs were feeling better each day as the swelling went down but I was still very aware of them. This is probably a good thing for a guy with that can't sit still for more than a minute mentality. If it hurts you stop, in most cases.
Saturday came around and I opted for a chill paced solo ride along the rail trail. No motors, no power, just feel and the feeling at times went from pleasure to pain. Regardless I was just happy to be out and that hour on the road bike was glorious One hour, yes just one hour, the pace was pretty lame also. It is what it is.
Then came Sunday, I needed more, I had to do more. With predictions of yet another amazing family meal that I try to eat way more than I should I knew something pre dinner had to be done. With the company of my brother in law we headed by way of the rail trail yet again. Glorious conditions and great company with a hair bit of family rivalry. Rick was one of those culprits that helped me grow as a rider with many 24 hour battles. The plan was for a semi chill ride again so I opted to make peace with my hardtail with Rick on his road bike. It wasn't long before Rick began half wheeling me and driving the pace up. Chill was out of the vocabulary for the first part of the ride. It was great for me though, my chest opened up a bit more, I was able to breath a little easier, I was seeing hope. We also doubled my time from the previous day with 2 hours and somewhere in the mid 50 km range. Perfect, then I reloaded those spent calories with some amazing food.
On came Monday and the annual Brewery to Brewery ride. 2 days earlier I was feeling I'd be sidelined for it, I woke up finally feeling pretty good. Chest was only a little irritable, minimal compared to the previous week. Screw it, just ride. It didn't take long for me to get caught up in the excitement of a large group wide with way to many sign sprints to keep track off. Sun shining, great company again, beer at the mid and finish points. How else would you want to spend your long weekend Monday? The ride was far from perfect though with a blown up pedal, a blown rear tire, a slow speed collision into a wall that lead to a broken shifter. Interesting part of this was that two of the three incidents involved the same rider.
Adding another hour to the previous days ride but with a much higher pace had me feeling good for a bit, then it happened. That notorious result of feeling good and pushing well beyond what I should have. Common sense would have told me to just ride chill in the pack, of course I ignored that with the random sprints and sitting at the front longer than I should have. My chest and side are far from impressed with me right now, some swelling has returned, yes it hurts and it's not that good hurt. I won't have changed my decision though, it helped me reality check a few things. I question the thought of still being able to race this fall, even potentially this weekend at the 50 km. I had my answer gently handed to me. If I'm this sore riding a road bike with some random blasts how will the mountain bike feel at race pace for close to the same time. The race season is officially over, the riding on the other hand has returned, at a sane pace.
An amazing weekend, some great riding with some great friends. Add in fantastic food, beer destinations and a slight tan leads this to one of the best Thanksgiving long weekends in many years. I did forget to mention that the drive home on the 400 north bound was spectacular at 120 while the southbound people were at a standstill.