The year started out good with plenty of training rides on local trails and several well attended Gravel Grinders. The family even found a weekend to head to Arkansas for a family MTB Training Camp - Carolynn found a new favorite place to ride in Blowing Springs and Christopher tried to break his new rig
Early in the year while out riding with Christopher I crashed while trying to hop over a log. I caught my pedal on the log and the force sent me over the bars. I hit my head really hard and got knocked out. I can not tell you how many times I have hit my head. I wish I had someone to sue like some NFL players have for "repetitive head trauma" or otherwise known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. If Pro Motocross or mountain bike racing had a Pro Union maybe, but neither do. Besides hitting my head I injured my wrist. At first I thought it was just a sprain, but it turned out I torn some ligaments. Surgery was an option, but after visiting the doctor(s) and with a 50/50 chance that the surgery would even heal (lack of blood flow in that region) I decided to live with it and start rehab. The good thing about it was Carolynn and I got really good at taping injuries :-)
I had to take a break from mountain bike riding but I was still able to ride gravel. We had a good winter of gravel grinding. I put in some good base miles and was planning to race the Ouachita ChallengeAs it turned out I would have to sell my entry. My wrist was not healing very quickly. At this point I did not know if it would heal at all. I could still ride road and some smoother gravel but I was also experiencing some knee pain after rides. I kept thinking it was my position on the bike but after fits and adjustments no change. I have had this problem off and on for the last couple of years. Maybe this pain is just part age?
Spring break we headed down to South Florida. A nice visit. Spent some time with my parents, hit the beach, rented some scooters, swam, kayaked and played on one of my new favorite water toys a SUP. One of the highlights of our day on the Stand Up Paddle boards was Christopher and I had a cool encounter with some Dolphins.
Bone Bender MTB Odyssey was next up. We got good local support for this event as well as plenty of out of town racers. Bone Bender is always a fun event. With all the support from Cow Town, LMBC and The Wheel Cyclery the event was a success.
Mason's Midsummer Meltdown and Wyco's Revenge. Christopher earned his only win of the year and I took 2nd place in both events.
Bart Cox did an awesome job.
Take away the injuries 2013 was good to me. One important thing I learned in 2013 was that I need to take it easy on my body. My body is o.k. with shorter easy rides, but every time I try to put in a hard training block my body does not respond well especially my knees. I also discovered that my body holds up better when I work out with weights more. This past year I gained 15 pounds with all the weights and physical therapy that I did. Unfortunately sports like Triathlon and Cycling tend to reward the lean athlete. I need to accept that my days of competitive cycling/running are over. How many 190 lbs cyclist do you see on top of the box? I still plan to do some cycling events, but will focus more on "skill" based events and events that do not reward the featherweight or the athlete that that willing to sacrifice his body. Been there done that....