Here We Go Again

What have I gotten myself into?

I grew up riding a bicycle as a child. I vividly remember the first day I got my own 10-speed mountain bike for my birthday: it didn't go well. I ran into a big dog and went over the bars into the ditch on the side of the road. From that point, however, things improved.

I frequently rode my bike to school, and in the summer I would ride all over to meet up with my friends. We would take family day trips to some local rail trails to spend the day riding down by the ocean. But after high school, I stopped riding regularly.

Fast forward 17 years: last June my wife and I decided to take up mountain biking. Living in Grand Junction, Colorado, there are many trails nearby, so it was pretty easy to get out a few times a week and work up a sweat. Of course, summers are really hot, so I didn't start riding regularly until late September.

Looking ahead down the trail

By now, both my fitness level and bike handling have improved a lot—easy when you start from zero—and I figured it was time to set a goal. So on May 9th, 2020, I'll be competing in the Desert RATS Classic mountain bike race.

The Desert RATS Classic is a 50 kilometer (31-mile) course run on some local roads and trails (primarily the Edge Loop and Sarlacc) that involves a lot of climbing. There's a 5-hour time limit, so I'll need to average about 6.2 mph in order to be an official finisher.

I've never been a particularly athletic person, so I have a lot of work to do. Over the next few months, I'll be posting about my bike setup, my training and fitness, and fun rides.

Bike standing at trail intersection