It took a trip to California in March to confirm what I was missing out on.
A crucial component of my training for mountain bike racing season is getting through the winter, and with this year's brutally low temperatures and record snowfalls in the greater Boston area, I've been relegated to the trainer for the better part of two months. This type of training has been hard in two ways. The first, is it can be very difficult to perform effective long base training workouts on the trainer due to boredom, fatigue, lack of motivation, and so on, and so the lower ends of my training suffered this winter while I knocked out intervals over the course of 90 minutes most days. The second way this training has been hard for me is mentally. I'm one of those people that needs to get outside and get fresh air to support my mental and emotional well-being, and while I've gotten out to ski most weekends, the indoor training hours have been hard on my head.
Bring on the Cali training camp.
Don and I are lucky enough to have friends all over the country, and the world for that matter, and some of those friends happen to live in desirable climates for year-round training. Thanks to Greg Black, Don and I got on a plane and headed to San Jose for the week to punch out as many hours as our bodies could handle on the bike- which was humbling, but thrilling all the same.
The bay area of California encompasses more ecosystems than I could count. In the passing of a single trail, we would ride through grasslands, desert and forest, and witness the varying flora and fauna of each. It is truly similar yet entirely different to almost every other place I've been, which sounds confusing, but every trail I took had me thinking, "this reminds me of 'x' place," yet the area as a whole was entirely foreign to me.
In six days, Don and I rode six different trail systems: Santa Teresa in San Jose, Henry Coe in Morgan Hill, Campus and Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz, Tamarancho in Fairfax, and Fort Ord in Monteray. We covered 126 miles of single track in 16 hours 45 minutes, climbed 17,300 vertical feet, and never stopped smiling.
Flying back home to the high winds, bitter cold, and still far too tall snowbanks in Boston was sobering, but Spring, while supposedly already here is bound to show up at some point, and hopefully soon. Until then, I'll be remembering clear blue skies, mountain ridges, the Pacific Ocean, and miles of smiles while I'm California Dreamin'.