Well, it means I get to ride my bike all day. To say I am stoked for the Spotted Horse Gravel Ultra would be an understatement.
This will be my third 200 mile ride this year and like all rides it will be different. Sarah Cooper, the race director, is someone who intimidates me. Not many people can honestly do that. Getting the chance to ride a 200 mile route that the 2017 RAAM winner crafted is terrifying. Also exciting.
The first 200 mile ride this year was my own route, from Des Moines to Davenport. We left at night, around 9pm, arriving the next day in Davenport around 5pm. Such a trip, my favorite from this year so far.
Second 200 mile ride was Dirty Kanza, in which I wandered about the Flint Hills with my head in the clouds. I don’t know how many other ways to say I was not present for that ride. I felt physically strong, mentally lost. Surrounded by bad-ass ladies all day and just ignoring myself. I am pretty good at ignoring myself.
That is what the third 200 mile ride is for. ME.
That is more terrifying than the idea of riding Sarah’s route. It has always been just lil ole me showing up to do these events, why is this one so different? Because I care? Over the last couple of years I have slowly let myself drift away. Not staying true to me, spending more time dating, working, sitting, wallowing, being sad and sorry. It’s totally fine to do all of those things, but my life has felt consumed by those things. Yesterday I wrote out all the races I have done over the last 5 years, because that matters, and it was a shit ton of races.
This 200 mile ride represents my pride. This is me teaching myself how to find that satisfaction, the selfish joy that only I can produce for myself.
I have always been hard on myself. People always tell me to let up. I am sure if you went back through this blog it might be in every post, something trying to remind me to chill the fuck out. That mindset can only lead to fear. The kind of fear that produces anxiety, despair, concern, all the sad things. Fear can be good too. It’s necessary.
Recently I took that fear and signed up for school. I am also newly single for the first time in years. Being in a relationship had been a safe place for me, easy, but all that love I was trying to create for others should be for me. Figuring out how to be my own person is really hard.
I am still figuring shit out. It would appear that the long bike rides are helping though. This ride tomorrow will by my first day off of work/school in like a million days or something.
And now it’s time to go. Time to leave for St. Charles, IA and see what these Rippy Dumps are all about.
I will let you guys know once I try it out.