Finally. It’s been a ridiculous year, absolutely off the hook. And I really wanted to race cross this year, but there was no way that was going to happen after we started the Hüdz-Subaru team. Basically I traded my riding time for working on sponsorship and team stuff. It’s been a good trade so far, but I have been loosing my mind to get out on the bike.

Well, I finally did it Friday. Finally.

Chuck Coyle (who owns the team with me and races on it, he also won his first race this weekend and I take credit for it) called and asked if I wanted to ride. I was in a crappy mood, so the obvious answer was yes. The past week was a rather rough one, and I need to spin some pedals and clear my head.

Chuck knows the paths, trails, and other unmarked bike-able routes around Boulder like a foot-fetishist knows toe webbing. He took me out an hammered me for about 2 hours on trails that I had trouble staying-on on a mountain bike 10 years ago, much less a cross bike. The upshot of the whole adventure is that I didn’t die, and that I am building a Chuck-specific cross bike to ride with him in the future. It’s going to be the only cross bike I have with sissy brakes.

Saturday when my son went down for a nap I was out again. This time doing my best impression of a 16″ vandal (affectionate term for bmxers). I don’t have a lot of technical skill on a bike – just an ability to suffer a lot which made me a good roadie. But since I have dedicated myself to cross for the foreseeable future, I figured that I’d better pick up some of the hop, skip, and jump stuff that the guys who know what they are really doing are so good at. Over an hour and a half I got a bit better, but the only thing that I was really bale to pick up was an industrial staple in the back tire. Thank you tiny 6-pound, 8-ounce baby Jesus for Stan’s tire sealant.

Sunday it was back to riding with a friend, and so I dragged Jawad out on the gravel roads for about 2 hours. I think he hates me now. For whatever reason he wouldn’t just put it in the big ring and try to lightly power over the bumpy sections – I tried to explain to he that it would make the riding a lot smoother and easier, but like many his instinct was to go slower and thus really take a beating. I’d better get a road bike built up soon if I want to ride with him anytime in the near future, because if I have the cross bike I’m pretty sure he’ll frame-pump me in the front wheel the first time I look down a section of gravel…

In all I got in about 5.5 hours in the saddle and I feel like a real person again. It’s so easy to get carried away with work and to blow off riding, but when I do I’m the only one that suffers (well, the people around me do a bit too, but work doesn’t get any better or worse either way).

No cross bike at the office today, I’ll have to take the roadie. Just a little recovery spin. Gotta stay in the groove…