Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On the sharp end

In climbing, they say you're on the sharp end when you're on lead - for you non-climbers out there, it means you're taking the rope up with you and placing anchors every so often in case you fall.  It's totally different than top-roping, where the rope is already up there.  Mainly, if you fall on lead, you fall twice as far as the distance you are above your last piece of protection (assuming that piece holds).

Last night I was out at the Tuesday night time trial busting my legs and lungs on some good old Baltimore County hills.  I've decided that time trialing, while not my favorite, is cool in that it has the same solo effort aspects as most XC mountain bike races.  A little like being on the sharp end of a rope - success or failure is measurable and true success requires constant attention and effort.  Well, and there's no drafting, so technically you're on the sharp end the whole time. So I guess you've gotta learn to enjoy the burn.

I still like it more when there's dirt under my tires, but it was a good training ride.  I beat my personal best from last year by 3:51 - made the 14.2 mile trek in 48:18.  Some of that is new wheels, new bike, no wind, but perhaps having a coach and a structured training plan is working too.

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