Burns and Steinbeck Got It
The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Of this, I can assure. I had every intention of racing the Lion of Fairfax last weekend, so sure was I that I had even pre-registered for the event in anticipation. Pre-reg’ing for me is a luxury that I should entertain with caution. As is often the case with a gaggle of kids and a loving and understanding wife; plans change – often. Case in point. The boy, 12, who usually attends and races cyclocross with me, had a Bar Mitzvah to attend that was indeed a full day affair. Let’s pair that with my daughter’s softball practice and my wife’s study time for her nursing degree and that leaves precious little time for me to hit the races. Now despite the fact that I was unable to attend the Lion of Fairfax … in Vallejo … I am actually sort of glad that I could not attend. My first race back offered me a glimpse into the world that is my fitness and what I saw was indeed ‘ok’ but in no means ‘there’. I am cool with that, as the weekends to come are chock full of softball tournaments, water polo tournaments, family outings, and a plethora of other shit dotting the tighty-whities of my life. This, my friends, presents the perfect opportunity get in some serious weekday training and get up to snuff for the next race on my calendar which falls on November 10-11 approximately. That’s almost a month. Not ideal I assure you but better than nothing. I will take it. Of course one never knows how the schedule will actually shape up. We shall see.
The local NorCal race schedule is chock full of racing goodness over the next couple of weeks. Next weekend we have the opener of the Santa Rosa Cup. Then on Sunday we kick off the Surf City Series. Both of those series offer good, dirty fun for the cyclocross racer in all of us. The weekend of November 3rd and 4th one can indulge in a double dip, full weekend of racing in Sacramento with the aptly named Sacramento Series. And then there is a local race, for yours truly, in Novato with the 2nd annual Stafford Lake Cyclocross. I hope I can squeeze some racing in there but as of now it looks unlikely. So what does that mean for me? Weekday riding, and with the predicted rain I will certainly be out on the mountain bike shredding on Mount Tam getting soaked with tears from the heavens, the muddy doo of the Sleeping Maiden. Have I mentioned that I love mountain biking and mud? If not, I do.
The coming time away from racing should do me some good. Why? There is also the case of my mystery foot ailment. It really is weird. It started on my right foot right behind the little toe. The pain was and is excruciating. It then blossomed onto my left big toe. Those spots of deep pain lasted for about 10 months. Then one day the pain was gone. Well, almost. You see it had moved from my right foot to my left foot and into the exact same spot. Actually, I was not that lucky as it had spread to my left heel and the ball of my left foot. My right foot is fine now. I have been to a half dozen doctors, had MRIs, blood work, you name it and everything came back clean as a whistle. Outside of the visible swelling those fine practicers of medicine cannot determine a cause. So what do they do? Decide to treat the symptoms. I love western medicine. I do like and trust my rheumatologist but when she suggested an arthritis drug that would require monthly testing of my blood to determine if my liver and kidneys are functioning properly I decided that this is the kind of pain I must live with. There is no way I am going to start on some super pharma that can turn my skin orange, cause rectal bleeding, incontinence, and a grab bag of other disgusting side effects. But enough about this. Unless one of you knows something that might help me determine the cause of my mystery ailment? Suggestions in the comments field are welcome.
As I pen this the patter of rain can be heard on the roof. The faint smell of freshly wetted pavement touches my nose. Ah, yes. The rain is here and with it comes Hero Dirt. There is something so pleasing about tacky terrain, the security it projects upon the rider, false or not. The tack almost like Velcro under the knobby tires makes railing corners at speed feel akin to the simplest and safest of tasks. Usually after my first encounter of the season with the aforementioned phenomena the smile muscles in my face hurt from the perma-grin that is plastered across my mud specked mug. So if you are out there on Tam today or at all this week look for me. I will be the blue and yellow kitted fool smiling the smile of a thousand suns with a sweaty rooster tail in my wake.