As usual, I went for a mountain bike ride on Saturday in Ringwood, NJ with my usual group of friends. We rode for about 2+ hours and just had a fantastic time. Ringwood is quite a playground for us 40 somethings. We're all decent riders and can ride 95% of the technical trails out there. But when it comes to Ringwood, we are always discovering something new. And when we do, we giggle like kids about our new playground. This past ride wasn't anything different. Two weeks ago we discovered this single track trail with many rocks, narrow sections, steep descents & ascents and just plain challenging terrain. It was awesome!
During the ride, I kept thinking about the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. (http://sports.yahoo.com/sc/news?slug=ap-leadville100&prov=ap&type=lgns) I read a recent article about it in Mountain Bike magazine and it just seemed like an incredible race. 100 miles all above 9000 feet climbing to a height well over 12,000 feet above sea level. Lance Armstrong came out of retirement for it and finished second. Unreal!! I would love to challenge myself someday and do it but it's quite a feat. if you finish, you get a belt buckle that says you finish. If you finish under 9 hours, you get a "bigger" belt buckle and the pride that no one can take away. Lance finished in 6 hours 45 minutes plus. He was about 2 minutes behind the winner Dave Wiens.
This is what is great about this sport, as well as triathlon, that we can aspire to compete in the same races the pro's do. Where else can you do this? I can't put the pads on, make my way to Giants Stadium and expect to get in the game on Sunday. But I could line up at the start of The Leadville 100, glance to my right and see the great lance Armstrong or I could wave to Desiree Ficker as she is coming in from the run at Lake Placid Ironman (http://www.desireeficker.com/).
What a great World!