Sunday, June 29th, 2008

A Good Weekend? … Or, a Bad Weekend? (MTB D'ville)

The weekend didn't start out well. When we were about to board our shuttle on Saturday to Packer Saddle for a downhill run, I realized that I forgot my riding shorts at home. I had to spend $50+ on a pair of most uncomfortable MTB shorts (Mens' Small was the closest I could find and they don't fit). Considering that the trip was already expensive due to the skyhigh gas price, I felt … bad.

The ride was good although we both felt a little rusty and awkward on Sunrise (the very first trail). I attributed that to lack of warm up. This time, after the baby heads section, we veered off to Big Boulder, a trail for which we got lost searching last weekend. The approach was a narly climb just like everyone had warned us, but the downhill seciton after the summit was quite interesting — steep and loose at times, but fun for the most part. … good.

Afterward, we hung out with Richard and his Irish friends, a bunch of funny and strong guys. Both Richard and Kevin did the downhill run in 59 minutes. Wow! It was fun to chat with them. … good.

On Sunday, we set out to do the new 2008 Downiville Class XC course. We had decided to time ourselves on this ride like in a race. 10am sharp, we left the start of Sierra Buttes Road in Sierra City. The climb began right away. I stayed right behind Mud for one third of the way and passed him at a relatively smooth section of the fireroad. I was feeling good. On the rest of the climb, I passed two other riders pushing their bikes, but they pulled aside as soon as they heard me coming. So I pretty much had the optimal line to myself on the entire climb up, which is never the case in a race. After the sharp right turn at the vista point where a couple groups were resting, I ran out of juice at the next steep technical climb. Last time I was able to clear that whole thing, but this time I had to step off and catch my breath. Considering that was the second time I had to push my bike, I wasn't too disappointment. Mud caught and passed me at the flat fireroad, but I passed him back on the very last climb right before the summit. 1:24:20 was the time when I got to Packer Saddle. I was very excited about it. Mud went on riding down while I took a very short break re-fueling before I headed down Sunrise Trail. I was overall pleased with myself going downhill — I cleared more stuff than ever. There was a minor annoyance. I somehow got intertwined with two separate groups — all faster downhillers than me. They would come up behind me and I pulled over to let them by only to pass them again at their next regrouping point. They regrouped very often, so I had to pull over many times. But I assume that only simulateed what would happen in the race since most people are faster than me going downhill. I was surprised to see Mud on Third Divide pushing his bike — he got a flat and only had a tube but no pump with him. He had been pushing for 20 minutes by then. I handed him my kit and continued on. By the time I got to the stop sign in Downieville (end of the course), I had 3:34 on my watch. That was one hour and 15 minute faster than my last year's time even though this year's course was slightly longer. I could hardly believe that result, but I knew I worked hard at it and glad to see that my practice paid off. … very good.

Here is where the weekend turned bad. After sitting around the Downieville Visitor Center for 50 minutes when Mud hitched a ride to Sierra City to fetch our car, I realized that I left my $130 sunglasses in the public restroom and they were of course gone when I went back in to check. I was very bummed because they were the only pair I found comfortable wearing and they were expensive. … bad.

Then it got worse. I realized that I no longer had my wedding ring on my finger! Not remembering ever taking it off, the only explanation I could come up with was it came off when I took my bicycling gloves off. By that time, Richard and his Irish friends were gathering there for post-ride relaxation. We all spent 20 minutes combing through the grass around the area where I took my gloves off after the ride. Mud and I later drove back to Sierra City (almost an hour extra) to look for it near the start of our ride. We did not find it. … very bad.

So, let's see what I did this weekend: forgot my shorts and had to buy an expensive pair that don't fit, lost my expensive sunglasses, and lost my precious wedding ring. Depite all these supid mistakes I made, all Mud said was, with a smile, "You are gonna get spanked tonight." Of course he would never do that; he was only saying that to make me laugh — he was trying to make me feel better! I knew if our roles had been switched, I would have gotten disappointed and angry and would have gone off scolding him "how could you…" and "I told you not to…" I had done that before — even though I knew my critisisms would not help the matter at all, I would do that just hoping to make the mistake sound so painful that hopefully it would not be repeated again. Of course, that's not how things work, and it only makes the person already feeling guilty of wrong-doing feel even worse. It strikes me hard this time how differently Mud and I handle things, and now with me being the wrong-doer, I much preferred his composure, acceptance, and forgiveness even though I was beating myself up inside. I promised myself on the spot that I would learn from my dear husband and be understanding and forgiving next time he makes a mistake. This awakening experience made me feel good — It will help me become a better person. Suddenly, the weekend did not look so bad any more. As a matter of fact, it was downright … good!

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Then, it got even better. On the long drive home, it suddenly dawned on me that I took the ring off and hung it on my harness when I was in the climbing gym on Thursday morning. I completely forgot about it as well as the rare gym session. So I didn't loose my ring after all!!! I laughed and chuckled for a while when Mud shook his head next to me again with a smile on his face. Oh, what a great weekend!



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