I am really lucky in my riding options that are close to me. In addition to the many, many miles of trails I have at my wheel tips within minutes, we also are fortunate enough to have a few beautiful greenways, and a fantastic 7 mile fire road which surrounds a lake. It is the ideal place to do laps when the trails are closed due to wet conditions and is perfectly suited terrain for riding a cross bike.
My plan for today was to do 5 laps. The first lap was going well and I even stopped to take a couple photos. The second lap, was relaxing and fun as I took in the scenery.
I came upon a flock of male cardinals all hanging out together like some sort of a bird stag party. I also saw a crane walking across the more shallow part of the lake. Very cool wildlife day but unfortunately, I could not get my phone out fast enough to photograph them.
Then came my third lap....oh my third lap.
That's about the time when it all started going to hell. I was maintaining a nice comfortable endurance pace when some guy decided he had to pass me. Really? I mean I am out here minding my own business and you see a female rider and find the idea that she may be riding ahead of you is an absolute horror. So this guy passes me and I see that he is really pushing the pedals hard when he goes by. Like race pace hard. But, he is riding on a mountain bike. And it has some old style rear suspension where the thing is bobbing like a kid for apples on Halloween with every pedal stroke he makes. Clearly, not the most efficient bike for this hard packed terrain. So I let him pass me and keep my steady pace wondering where the fire was that he must be heading to. I didn't smell any smoke. Slowly, I am gaining on him. However, I didn't want to pass him because I had nothing to prove so I hung back a little. I felt silly passing a mountain bike on a cross bike especially on this type of trail. Then finally, it was evident that the inefficiency of the rear shock on his bike was no match for the rigid cross bike so I reluctantly passed him feeling apologetic. But for some reason, right after that pass, I decided to pick up my own pace. I hate when people pass me for no good reason....no actually for the "gender" reason. It bugs me something wicked. And that's when my competitive nature that I really didn't think I had reared its ugly head. Whoah!
Before I knew it, my nice endurance pace was much higher than it should be and I was breathing hard. Too hard. Dammit! This lap was ruined because now I was riding race pace when I should have been riding endurance. Sucked in!! By the time I got back around from lap 3, I was feeling the extra effort I just put forth. I had at most, one more lap in me, but there was no way I could do two so my 5 lap goal was not happening . All because of some random individual who I should not have let get to me, but I did. Why, I don't understand. I am learning about myself though regarding my "non competitive nature". See while I will never put forth a challenge to someone because that is stupid and petty, I will never back down from one either. Because that is neither stupid nor petty right? That's just brave now isn't it. :-)
My last lap was way slower than the average of the three before and I could feel the lactic acid now building in my legs. I rode back to my car and felt so foolish for getting sucked in and ruining my own ride.
Next time I should ride with blinders on rather than sunglasses. I've seen them work on horses and my pack mentality is somewhat animalistic when it comes to the "chase", so it seems fitting. Just call me Mister Ed.