Met up with Lou, Pete, and about 8 other people for a couple of hours out at the Center Trails this morning. Lou sent me a text message at 6:00 AM. I didn't wake up to look at it until 6:45 and the ride started at 7:30. Threw some clothes on after looking at the temp, grabbed a water bottle, choked down a clif bar and left about 7:05. No coffee and not meeting for pre-ride breakfast banter sucked. Rick Blackford mistimed a curb hop and took a hard endo into the concrete with his head and shoulder before we even hit any dirt. Cracked the top of his helmet pretty good. He decided to keep riding with us rather than head home. He's pretty stiff and sore as of this evening. Hopefully nothing too serious comes up when he sees the doc tomorrow. Interesting trail conditions today for sure. They were either covered in ice, or they were in a semi-frozen sponge state. You could feel the dirt sucking at your rear wheel, but when you looked back, you were hardly leaving any marks in the trail. We made a pass through Denmans, Rhythm, Squirrels Nest, Hilliside and about 1/2 of J11. I'm going to have to go back and hit up hillside consistantly over the next few weeks before the IORCA series starts. The first climb up the hill and I was gasping for breath. I'm sure the 32 degree temps had something to do with it, but I also know my cardio needs a better workout than I've been giving it lately on these metric and standard centuries. Need to get in better shape for sure.
My USAC license showed up in the mail this weekend too. I guess I'm all official now. Time to go out, race and have some fun.
Speaking of fun, The GRAID is still on for the end of the month. Not sure where we're leaving from, but there's at least five of us taking this on. I still need to figure out if I'm going to try and go light, or if I'm going to throw a rack and some panniers on the back so I have spare clothes and stuff in case we run into issues. I don't want to be carrying too much weight with me, but I also don't want to be stuck without something in time of need. A lot can change over a couple of days, especially in spring, and especially in Iowa. Better safe than sorry when it comes to the weather. I can't wait to meet the other guys in person. I also can't wait to take on the challenge. This would be potentially easier later in the year, but some people are using this as a Trans-Iowa warm up, and others are doing this instead of Trans-Iowa. Some of us are doing it just for the challenge and to say we did it.