The masters and Cat 3 - 5 races are tomorrow at the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Since I don't feel up to that level physically, I felt I owed myself the oportunity to ride the course or at least part of it. One of my favorite loops is to take a right to Prairie Grove at about 14 miles from town before what is called the "Hogeye Mall" a small gas station, but at that particular intersection, you take a left for the race course which soon hits what is affectionally called the wall which is a very steep but short hill. Later, the course takes a right at West Fork and travels towards Devil's Den State Park. The first section is up hill. After taking the first part of the wall, I took the second hill and took a right, with more climbing. After a while I changed my mind on my planned ride, so I decided to turn around and enjoy the extreme down hill section towards West Fork and onto the major highway back to Fayetteville. The hill is so steep that I feathered my brakes to keep it under control. The total miles back to my house was 30.38. The wind is always going one direction it seems on highway 71 B going back to town and a cyclist can really hall some major ass and a person can often see cyclist blasting down that section of highway because of the wind. It was a wonderful ride as yesterday's clouds and morning rain gave me the blues. I tired my new trainer, but I didn't like the way it caused flex in my steel italian frame, so I figure I will find an old used bike to use on the trainer. Rollers would eliminate this problem, but I have already put out for the fluid trainer.
I read constantly where bikers are hit by motorist, and on the way up the first steep curved hill, just going out of Fayetteville, there are two crosses that remind me of the two cyclist killed there. That particular section always scares me as there is no shoulder and the hill winds around with a blind side to it. One day I was riding this section and a truck drove by in the wrong lane with a guy hanging out of the open passenger door screaming, get the #@$%$#@ off the road you crazy bastard, and I'm thinking to myself, who is crazy here, me or this maniac hanging out of a truck in the wrong lane traveling 50 miles an hour.
Though I had a really good ride and realized my condition is much better than I thought, I feel kind of down. It was really nice just riding and not having to push so hard. I enjoyed the peaceful site of beauty, the birds, the wild flowers, the clouds, and that big dog that got my attention right before dazing off before the big climb.... thanks dog for not biting my leg. You sure got my adrenaline pumping. But still, sometimes I get a little depressed after the adrenaline wears off. I'm eating and everything, but after putting so much into my ride, I feel a little empty. Perhaps it was the crosses on the side of the road.