I am still riding pretty high on the stoke from
a few weeks ago and looking towards what is next. Initially I had planned on heading to Arizona in April to ride the
as a training ride to prep for the 750 mile version of the route next year. But alas, I was a little slow to recover from SC400 and I do actually have a day job required to feed my family and fund these adventures.
Endless ribbons of gravel
My legs came back pretty quickly after Stagecoach but I did get this weird little bit of tendonitis in my right ankle/shin nearly identical to the same injury I had on my left leg after
last year. A week before the race I rolled my right ankle in the gym and my best guess is this was the root cause. It didn't really bother me during the race but I knew it was there. For about a week after getting back from SoCal it hurt pretty bad walking on it, localized swelling was noticeable and range of motion sucked big time. Writing this today it is 90% healed and really only bugs me on longer rides. I recall it taking 6 weeks or so for the injury to completely heal after TNGA. After talking to Wendi and Lynda we decided that it would be best to scratch Arizona and get 100% rather than trying to carry an injury through a season of long, tough races. The only puzzle to figure out now is how to get some Arizona Trail time in before next year's grand depart. Right now we are thinking that we'll try to find a long weekend in October to do a casual bikepacking trip from Oracle to Superior based on Lynda's suggestion.
So.....as Wendi and I sit here at JavaCat Coffeehouse in Emporia, all sights are set on
. We came up here this weekend for her to attend a
in preparation for the 100 mile version and I am getting a few big gravel rides in working with my awesome coach to bend the plan around this weekend to take full advantage of being in the environment. We both went for warm-up rides today on a beautiful blue sky day with only a 20mph southeasterly wind to dampen the spirits. It seems so simple but the endless rolling bands of gravel and chunky dirt b-roads that stretch across the flint hills make the miles go by so quick and are truly a joy to ride. Every human you pass in a car gives you a warm smile and waves. The treeless horizon is truly expansive. This place is simple beauty. No epic mountains, green pitches of meadow or stands of timber.......just farmland as far as you can see.
Tomorrow and Sunday have some long rides in store for both of us. Time to get some sleep.