Friday, June 25, 2010

Lost and Found

Healey Cabin. I don't normally ski out this way and I've always wondered about the trail. It's a 'winter only trail' so I've never bothered to go down it. I decided to throw caution to the rain and head on down it to explore where it leads. There were no "No Bicycles" signs, so I assumed it was okay to ride. So off I went.

It was my day off today, so I planned on a ride. The weather-person didn't cooperate. Showers ending near noon. Pffffft. I started riding at 11:40 AM. The minute (no lie!) my foot touched the pedal it began to pour and it didn't let up for two and a half more hours. I knew that I was going to get wet, I actually like riding in crappy conditions.

I had no expectations for my ride. No goals. No plan. No gains. No nothing. Just go ride.

And it felt great.

The trail dumped me out here, looking out to Cross Loop Rd. The greeness, rain, mist, clouds, quietness made coming out into this open expansion a little mystical and freaky. The best part was when I was spinning along Cross Loop Rd, looking out into a vast, green, wet field and seeing a deer canter across it unaware of my presence.

I got a little lost while taking the trail. I had on older winter map with me, which got so wet that I couldn't read it. I knew 'generally' where I was, but still somewhat confused on where to go. The trail finally spit me out near Cross Rd. Got on Cross and headed north, jumped on an NCC road, which put me onto some snowshoe trails, which gradually put me out to Brown's Cabin. Trails I've never ridden on before. And there were NO "No Bicycle" signs. Beauty.

Saw a lot of wildlife today in the pouring rain: many deer, rabbits (almost ran over one), a family of partridge (grouse), hawks, and groundhogs . . . but no bear. I was expecting to see one or two, but no luck.
What was out in swams were the deer flies. In the rain. They didn't let up. I hate deer flies.

No wings on this little girl.

Bottom of the O'Brien climb looking out to Meech Lake.

I still haven't found what I am looking for . . . . legs, lungs, power, speed, endurance, base . . . meh. But . . . .

I found something more important today - my smile. My smile on the bike has returned. It's been gone for a long while and it's so nice to finally have found it today . . . in the pouring rain. Who would have thunk it?

Was "Whooping" it up bombing down the hills in the mud and rain. You know you're having fun when you're by yourself and you're laughing during the ride.
My legs felt incredible. I had a heap of energy. My breathing was good.
Mind you, my speed, power, base and endurance weren't there. Meh.

I heard a long time ago that when you place expectations, demands or dependency on anything or anyone, you're going to be let down. I've been letting myself down a whole lot this season by expecting that I should be at some far better stage of fitness than I am presently at.

So, laa-dii-daa. Isn't life is grand!?!? I've found the joy of riding again.
Does that mean I won't think of how slow, fat, powerless and out of shape I am again? Nope, I know myself better than that. But maybe those thoughts won't creep into my wee little brain so much and when they do come back, maybe I can kick them out a little faster by focusing on what's important.

I rode and discovered some "new-to-me" trails yesterday. All the trails I rode did not display the "No Biking" signs - so everything I rode was legal. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I had the legs and the energy to keep going after climbing out of O'Brien and had contemplated heading down to the 40, climbing up it, then east on number one and make my way back to P10 where I parked (you have to pay to park at the O'Brien lot now). But I ended on a high note, deciding my time would be better spent having the energy later in the day/evening to spend going to the park with my little family.


Anonymous said...

when it feeds you lemons make the beer!

Racing can be the shts. That's why I don't do it much anymore. You are someone else's slut monkey most of the time.

Nothing beats exploring new trails.
It opens up great excitement for in the backs of our minds we are all explorers in some regards.
Heck, we've been doing it for centuries on end. Its just in the past century that most of us have put our rear ends on a couche and contiplated our navel to no end. Many many people lead a boring life out there.
Exploring adds excitement to one's life. I love exporing and building new trails.

If you go over to OBrien lake, there is suppose to be a trail in there the that will take you to the 50 somehow.
Also, there are trails along the escarpment (ones that are hardly ever used).

man-kind was created to expore its in our nature. Hence, the sht faced grin most likely.

Anonymous said...

What I use to do as well, make new loops adding in all sorts of stuff...
Ottawa has some great green space as well. One can get in a huge loop by hitting up the green space as well.
Diversity is the spice of life.
And, exploring.

same old same old gets boring after a while
(I take it that's one of the good things about being a cop as well - every day is something different)

Anonymous said...

opps, I meant browns lake... bunch of trail over there as well.

Pascii said...

Hey Bigring,
I rode a similar ride last week to sort myself for the 24hr. From home to Lac Philippe via 5-15 etc, dip in the lake, then back, then changed my mind and turned left to wakefield down those like 4 or 5 screamers, lunch, river road back to cross loop, up meech valley to obrien, then what? Up Western towards Champlain before heading home? Wishful planning early in the ride...nuh-uh, straight home via road and collapse on front porch. I was also smiling a lot- all by myself.


the original big ring said...

some nice trails in there that I've never been on before - heading back this week for more!

Matt Surch said...

I'm very glad to hear/read you rediscovered the joy of riding Craig. I think you are right on the money with your line about expectation. In Buddhist terms, the thing to avoid is attachment, and that often pertains to ideas. Like ideas about how fast you should be, could be, have been but cannot be. I think the main challenge associated with racing is keeping a handle on your attachment to goals. Its great to work toward goals, but when the stuff that lies outside your control interferes with achieving those goals, all you can do is try to manage the disappointment as well as you can and move on. I think you've done just that, with an eye to what is most important in your life. There will always be other races, and form returns. The other major psychological trap Buddhist teachings warn against is grasping. In the context of racing, many of us are always grasping - for better form, better results, harder races, bigger challenges. That's part and parcel to being competitive, but its dangerous. Those who are content with where they are at with their riding are those I really try to learn from, as I am personally afflicted with the tendency to grasp. This is why I am happy to be a Master now, so I am not tempted to train like the younger non-parent guys do. All this said, I think the necessity to register for big events so early in advance is part of the problem. This is necessary for numerous reasons, and often a great positive motivator, but it can also lead us to maintain firm attachment to an idea that we should really let go.

So, anyhow, I'm looking forward to some long, fun, exploratory rides this month, so lets do it!