The Quest for Singletrack
I tend to swim against the current, always have and likely always will. Sure, I get tired fighting the natural order, the cosmos, gravity, what have you. But I imagine getting jostled along with the herd, trusting the front of the group to guide you safely to wherever it is they might be taking you, can be just as tiring as my method. I suppose. Well, for the first time in my life I have given in to the tide. I am the flotsam and jetsam of the world in which I reside. Simply put, cyclocross racing is on hold this season – for now at least – as my life has become cumbersome in a good, family kind of way.
In a nutshell: wife’s back in nursing school, I am on my 6th of 10 months coaching travel select softball, I am Mr. Mom-ing my son to water polo practice and all that leaves me generally lacking time. I do get to ride. Oh, there is always a little time to ride; I mean I am a bike rider. It is just that my focus has gone from 60 minutes of suffer to 60 minutes of shred. Instead of pyramid intervals and Tabatas I have been on a quest for singletrack. The road bike is gathering dust in the cave. The ‘cross bike gets love once a week. The mountain bike, well, she and I are super tight right now, and we get out 3 or 4 days a week with the aim of riding as much of the narrow as possible, making use of any tiny window of time available. At least I get to ride. As we all know any ride is better than no ride at all.
Living in Marin County, California is pretty cool. Yup, that’s no lie. And one of my best friends in the world and riding comrade just moved back into the hood, so I have that going for me which is nice. We can hit a plethora of different single track in a mere 15 minutes riding time from either of our homes, Holmes. The spots? You want to know where? Okay, here are a couple, the rest I am keeping under cover: China Camp and Camp Tamarancho.
Yesterday was China Camp. Two-thirty in the afternoon and there is no one around. China Camp on the weekends is a disaster and we tend to avoid it then. That’s when we ride the local secret type stuff. Back to yesterday. It’s hot, sunny, sweaty. The climb is spotted with shade and the horse flies are hungry. We are both a little tired and make our way up the serpentine singletrack with, well, maybe some aplomb. We are not about the climb. We are about the descent. The top. Water and some deep inhalations. Down we go.
Chalky dust galore. We could use some rain. Roots. Rocks. A mouth full of dirt. Switchback after switchback we wind our way down, knowing full well that our date with singletrack destiny is a short one, to be savored for sure. A little air here. A little air there. Here some air. There some air. I think the point is made. We thoroughly enjoy our 30 minute roller coaster ride, savor the sweetness that is singletrack. And the trail has come to an end. Dang it!
Back to the homestead. Back to reality, family, responsibility. Back to school, lunches, shuttling, coaching, fathering and husbanding. Back to my life away from riding, a life I love and would not trade for anything. But this I must admit, that riding sure makes all the rest that much sweeter.