Monday, August 07, 2006

Sundays with "The Punisher"

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." - Benjamin Franklin.

Well I am officially insane. Last Sunday, John "The Punisher" Perry called me up and said he was going out for "an easy, laid back road ride". So I decided, against better judgement and Jill's warnings, that I was going to go out for an "easy" ride with John. The late start, temps over 100 degrees and not eating anything on the ride all added up to me cracking badly on the way back home of the 60 mile ride. After getting some food in my body, I recovered quickly but I was still cooked when I got done.

So yesterday I'm sitting around the house, being a lazy slug watching the X-Games when the phone rings. The phone says "John Perry - Home".

Uh oh.

I answer, and John again tells me he is going for an "easy ride" but this time on the mountain bike. Well this is exactly the kick I need to get off my rear and do something, so I hop to it and head towards John's place for a spin around Hall Ranch. Upon arrival John tells me he's already done a 50+ mile route with over 4k feet of climbing that morning, but he needs some mountain bike miles. Surely I can keep pace with him on his "easy" ride after he's put in a big effort already today, right? Yeah just like last week....

John is always strong, but he's 6 days away from the Leadville Trail 100 race (a 100 mile race at over 9k feet elevation and having somewhere around 15k feet of climbing) and is in ridiculous form right now, but for some reason I keep thinking its a good idea to ride with him. He does take it easy on me and I enjoy riding with John, so I guess that is why I keep showing up.

As I am standing in John's garage while we are loading up, I am looking around at his various bikes hanging neatly in his garage. I start to notice a common theme, they are all in the big ring. I don't even have a big ring, literally and figuratively. "The Punisher" is all about the big ring.

So we head to Lyons, where we park in town, and head towards Hall Ranch from town. The first real climb it was evident that I am clearly insane. Somehow I thought my form would have magically transformed in the cou
Add Imagerse of the week and I'd be able to hang on to The Punisher's rear wheel on a climb. No such luck. And Ben Franklin might as well just put my picture next to his definition.

John left me standing still as he rocketed up the climb. I settled into a comfortable pace (i.e. I was suffereing like crazy but was out of gears), and kept climbing. We regrouped at the first junction, and again The Punisher rode me right off his wheel. We hit the loop, and repeated that process again where John quickly disappeared into the distance in front of my sweat drenched eyes.

The one highlight of the day was the fact that I was able to absolutely close in or reel out John on the downhill sections. So at least if nothing else, I've got the gravity aspect on my side. I felt great on the downhill portions, really never riding the edge but just flowing and having a good time. I did have one section where I tried to double uphill (clear two jumps at once going uphill), and cased it pretty good using up about 95% of my 5.75 inches of travel. The good part was that will all that travel, it was a pretty cushy landing regardless. I think I can make that double with a little more speed and pop off the jump. Of course, I also thought I could hang on to The Punisher's speedy wheel for 2 straight Sunday rides and that didn't exactly work out either...

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