Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hawk Mountain 200K - Digging the well

 "We dig the well of our personal reserve to the depth
and breadth of our experience"

My uncle Frank used to call it digging the well. Back in the 80's, when I was a teenager, uncle Frank introduced me to long distance cycling. He used the phrase to describe hard training, pushing back limits, the process of building of a deep reserve of strength and will to draw upon when things get tough, when you needed to go to the well.

The image stuck with me. I picture shoveling dirt, doing the hard work, again and again, to create a space to store that something extra to call upon in times of need. The well must be dug deep enough and big enough to meet the needs of the event. I also knew that an empty well is just a hole. To make it useful, you have to dig it far enough in advance so that, while you rest and recover, it can fill with the reserves that you may one day need. With the 768 mile Paris-Brest-Paris ride just over six weeks away, now is the time to dig the well.

Friday Writing for Randos: Keeping it real

{First Friday Writings for Randos - A monthly post that features pieces from other writers that touch some facet of the Randonneuring experience, even if that was not the author's intent. It's stuff that's best read out loud - slowly.} This month it's an excerpt from the blog Gypsy by Trade

Keeping it Real

The HLC 2015 was Lael’s first bikepacking race and only her fourth bike race, after the Fireweed 400 road race across Alaska, a local hill climb up Hatcher’s Pass, and a fifty mile fatbike race in Anchorage called the Frosty Bottom. The Tour Divide is her fifth.

In the entire distance and duration of the Tour Divide, Lael never showered, never slept indoors, and only sat down to one meal, in Pie Town. Even at the Brush Mountain Lodge where she got wrapped up in an almost hour long conversation with the hospitable staff, she asked to take her blueberry pancakes to go. “Are you in a hurry”, asked the woman.