So, another weekend has arrived and with it, another question:
Redemption or Revenge?
Astute followers may recall that last weekend the question being posed after two dreadful days of MTB failure was whether or not it was a curse or a sign?
Well, I was dumb enough to try and find out again this weekend, heading back to Butterfly trail with a couple of heavies in the form of Das Wolfenstein and the Welsh Assassin to see if we couldn’t finally bring a bone dry butterfly to heel, and in doing so be on the right side of the “Make it your bitch” process. Last weekend was quite the reverse, so there is nothing quite like a relaxing revenge ride to kick off your weekend.
Clearly the Welsh Assassin was super excited about his first Dirty Nomad appearance, it only marginally kept him awake:
Call me juvenile (its a regular occurrence), but yes it does seem a bit strange that I would ride slowly all the way out to one trail just to try and smash a time on a virtual leaderboard. But, you know what its like, it just had to be done… Iconic track, perfect “once in a fucking decade” conditions and a strong dose of revenge that needed to be dished out all combined into a motivational melting pot that would power me through my nemesis. It was Nomad V Butterfly.
You may see in the above picture, I went totally crazy on it and ran two Garmin GPS units, SO OCD, but I was fucked if I was going to be shafted again by wayward satellite action and deploying the 800 meant that I was hopefully safe. However, as the below video will soon show, I wasn’t safe from losing my shit and riding full retard, so much so I had to stop to have an emergency tantrum and start all over again, apologies to my riding companions for making them wait (again – Possible I may have fucked up the meet point this morning), but I was fuelled by the most irrational of trail vendetta’s I can ever recall having.
Rather than throw words at you, here is a summary of how it rolled. The target? Get a sub 14 minute lap in on a bike rather ill suited to the terrain, but, as it turns out, the Carbon Nomad once again showing just what a weapon it is (watch to the end to catch some double reverse wolf action, sounds freaky huh):
Fuck, if that music doesn’t make you want to throw on a mesh top, crack open a glow stick and start swearing in German then nothing will… I may need to update the library.
Sure, almost vomited, finished panting like I was in labour and essentially cross eyed, but Mission accomplished! Let’s forget for a moment that I was a minute slower than last week at the halfway point, or it was the 11th day of riding in a row (AKA – Self loathing beat down reasons why I should have been quicker), by some miracle I managed to hold it all together for that #justbytheskinofyourfuckingteeth sub 14 min lap we so badly craved:
I’m still not sure if I was redeemed or got revenge, I guess perhaps a bit of both, but, what did we learn from this exercise? Well… Its simple really: IMO, Having a disturbingly irrational focus on getting a Strava segment time on a mountain bike can significantly decrease your fun factor. Don’t just take my word for it, this was the conclusion from a summit held between the three of us at the end of a lap. Now its on the internet in colour it therefore must be true and accurate. Beware the segment fever that can take away the essence of why we ride MTB’s.
For me, my riding went to shit style wise… In theory it was quick, but it wasn’t smooth, it didn’t feel fun… I started to resemble a coyote tearing at the flesh of road kill in a rabid manner, trying to get my dinner before other coyotes turned up. It didn’t give that sweet sensation and satisfaction when you feel like you’ve nailed it bang on. In essence, it even felt mildly corporate. Looking at the numbers, it was like doing a road TT even, but with roots. I suspect that today was therefor my last “Lets go for a time!!!” mission, its time to chill and focus on getting that relaxed and effortless carving feeling back again.
Enjoy the weekend riding and keep an eye on that fever… I’ll be losing sleep wondering if I could have gone quicker AND, if I can finish Crazies tomorrow in the lead group…