On Friday, I walked over to the MUB and bought exactly one postcard. So what?
There are two underground races in May in my neighborhood (for extremely generous definitions of “neighborhood”). One is the Chequamegon 100, winding around the excellent CAMBA trails of the Chequamegon National Forest. The other is the Almanzo 100, navigating the beautiful yellow rock roads of the Midwest. The registration for both of these free races is the same: Send in your postcard with all the appropriate information on it.
I had tweeted:
Decisions… Chequamegon 100 or @Almanzo100???
To which the Almanzo organizer replied:
I replied in a very political way:
@Almanzo100 While they are a week apart, I think that might kill me.
That’s not to say what I wrote isn’t true… just not the whole story. I love bringing my family with me to my races and trying to turn each of the races we travel to into a mini-vacation. Taking four hours out of one day to be a bike racer and letting the rest be family time seems pretty fair to me. But these races aren’t four hour commitments.
The Almanzo is likely to be 6-7 hours for me. The Cheq100 is probably 11-12 hours. That’s a long time to ask someone to spectate or to find random things to do while I am riding. So how to decide?
The Almanzo is more my speed in terms of duration. I’ve also continued to find that I ride better on the road than on the trails. I can also let the family head up to Rochester and do all sorts of stuff. I know I can finish an Almanzo; I don’t have that kind of assurance for the Cheq100. Last (but certainly least), my corporate masters at Twin Six usually do the Almanzo, and it would be good to represent that team too.
So why not just do the Almanzo? Mountain biking is still my first love and my Red Jacket team is looking to make a big event of it. It’s also not 100% singletrack, so I would still be able to make use of my strength on dirt roads. I also have a bit of the “been there, done that” feeling for the Almanzo and I’ve never ridden my mountain bike 100 miles in one shot. It’s also about 30% of the drive time to get down to Seely, Wisconsin as opposed to Spring Valley, Minnesota.
I need to decide soon, since registration for the Almanzo closes in a few days. And in the end, I have exactly one postcard.