Chequamegon 100

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"Dude, how'd it go?"  

I don't know.  

It was really hard, I guess.   

But I finished.   

Definitely the hardest thing I've ever done on a bicycle.   

And now that it's behind me I'm sort of lost and without a goal to shoot for.   

I started this bike racing thing almost exactly four years ago. I signed up for the 16 mile Chain Drive.  I honestly wasn't sure if I'd even finish, let alone beat anybody.  And sure enough, I did finish- even beat a few people too.   

Some people are sore losers, I'm a sore winner.  This was merely an indication I needed to try something much harder next time.  So I've been doing progressively harder and harder races ever since.  This past April and May were the culmination of that- 2 hundred mile plus gravel grinders, a 100 mile mountain bike race, and a 75+ mile road race with the local big dogs that I decided to do on a mountain bike.  After spending a lot of time and money preparing for these, I successfully completed them all.  

So now it's time to pick an even harder event- right?  There's no shortage of events to choose from. The Trans Wisconsin, Tour Divide, Arrowhead 135.  All big challenges.  However, all will take a significant amount of time and money to prepare for.  In some cases, life altering amounts of time and money.  And here's the problem- lately, I just haven't been getting out of cycling what I've been putting into it.  

Four years ago, my enthusiasm would positively nauseate you.  And why not? I dropped over 100 lbs with the help of cycling, got myself in the best shape of my life, met some cool new people, and had some fun new adventures.  It goes to reason then that if I cycle more, I'll get more of these things- right?  

Well, maybe not.  

I know what's going on here. I've seen this pattern in me enough. I've done it with all sorts of things. Motorcycles, rally, ham radio, the list goes on and on...   This is the phase where I go from being completely gonzo about something to quietly integrating it into my lifestyle.   Focusing on the things I enjoy most about the sport and committing to them.

I've got a pretty empty calendar for the rest of this season.  I'm teaming up with my dad for the 12 hours of Potluck. I'm looking forward to Miner's Revenge and the Copper Harbor Fat Tire Fest- albeit maybe more for the parties than the races themselves.  I certainly won't miss the Official Unofficial UP State Single Speed Championships at the Great Deer Chase. And of course there's my favorite form of bike racing ever- cyclocross in the fall again.  In between I'm hoping to get some touring in and of course the best kind of riding ever- just getting lost all day on a bike.   

Things might be kind of quiet around here for the rest of the summer, but rest assured- I'll be out pedaling.  Gotta justify that beer drinking somehow.  :)      

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