Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Facing My Fear

I've always believed that you need to face your fear and conquer it. I had a small incident 8 months ago. It took me until June to even get back on my mountain bike. I'm finally back in pretty reasonable shape, although nowhere near what I've been at this time in other years. I've done one century, the Holstein Hundred in Marin County, and done a number of 60-70 mile rides by myself. I've done two hour rides on St. Joseph's Hill just outside Los Gatos, and sprinted up tough hills (a great aerobic workout - a mountain bike interval training).

But there is one place I would not go back to, which was the Kennedy Trail where I went down in January. Today was the day to tackle that again. Ann knew it was trouble when I walked into the house at 5:30 and proclaimed "This is face your fear day." She knew that she wasn't going to talk me out of this, so she only insisted that I check in with her. To make a long story short, I rode up the trail, back down, and sustained no injuries. The surprising parts were that I remembered exactly where I rode on the day of the crash, including how far I went up the trail before coming back. I took the turns that I wiped out on very gently and had no problems; I do think I wiped out at a drainage cut about 50 feet earlier on the trail than when I thought I had gone down.

I had promised Ann that I'd call her as soon as I got off the trail. I'm sure I sounded quite excited when I called and said "I made it." One interesting thing was that my neck was very sore; I'd been building up tension in my neck as I rode through those last turns.

I've made my rite of passage, conquered my demons, faced my fears, or pick your favorite trite statement. But I now feel ready to do the MS ride in eleven days. And ready to conquer some of my other favorite mountain and road rides.