Finding the fun
With all the pressure lately with getting ready for Vapor, it's been easy to forget about the fun of riding. There's a lot of stuff that I still need to do in the next three weeks. I need to hem my rain pants to knicker length so they fit better and don't get caught in my chain. I have to figure out which arm and leg warmers I want to wear and then make sure they are comfortable for the long haul. I also need to make sure I'm not over loading my backpack. I don't need two sets of everything in my pack - there is a drop bag available so I can get dry stuff at Monarch Pass if I need too. I do need to double check the rain coat and wool layer I'm planning on taking with me - the past weekend affirmed my concern that the alpine darkness will be bone chilling. And lights - we haven't had the chance to sit down and look at the lights for the eight hours of darkness we will be facing.
Then there's food. How much, when and what? All big questions - I know the aid stations will have a smorgasbord of offering, but I also need to have things I've ridden with and tested. My rice bars are go to snacks on the bike and I just made up a fresh batch (YUM - a curry flavor in addition to my chocolate ones.) But just rice bars are the beginning. I'll need more then just them so my palate doesn't rebel over having the same thing all the time. Two flavors will help, but not completely solve the puzzle. So I've been trying some other snacks - with the baked pasta cakes seeming to be the best. They were filling and easy to eat. I just need to use different noodles. Fluids are another concern. I always carry way too much liquid on some of these epic days. Not something I want to do for 125 miles. The aid stations are pretty close in the back half, but a huge distance between one and two. So I have to sit down and evaluate how much and what. When will I need higher electrolyte concentrations compared to just water? Ugh. Too much to think about.
Which brings me back to the fun of riding. That's why we're doing this race. Because it's going to be fun. It's a hard, honest course. Sure there's plenty of road and double track, but the singletrack is worth it all. This isn't the roadie course that almost anyone can do. This is a riders race that will reward skill and confidence. Any one of the sections of singletrack can be considered a Colorado Classic. To loop them all together - this will be epic. I have to remember in the next three weeks as I begin stressing over the race of the fun it will entail. Of riding alpine singletrack under the stars. Of traversing the roof of the continent with the sunrise. This will be a journey, not a race persay. Sure I will have a number plate and a goal finish time, but the greatest goal is to finish in one piece, with a smile. That's all I can hope for on my first trip around the Vapor Trail 125 journey.