I’ve never thought of myself as one of those people who races to train, which is to say, that I need an event in order to be motivated to ride. I love to ride. I ride all the time. But the thing is, without an event, I just don’t ride very hard.
So when the email landed in my inbox, the one that said I’d been moved off the Rasputitsa waitlist into the actual race, I was excited and disappointed both.
I was there last year, temperature hovering in the high 30s, steady drizzle, sand and grit spraying everywhere, so much climbing, so, so much climbing. They say Rasputitsa is Russian for ‘mud season,’ which describes most of what you’re likely to encounter there in Northern Vermont in April. They might also have called the event ‘Type 2,’ since that is the primary variety of fun on offer.
I wasn’t sure I wanted more of that.
But Rasputitsa banks on something true about us New England cyclists, that we need to rip the band-aid of suffering off at some point. We don’t want to ride around in the cold and the mud. We need to. I need to.
I’d missed the registration deadlines without thinking too hard about them, because my friends hadn’t pestered me enough. When I went to sign up and found myself on the waitlist, I thought, “Perfect!” I hadn’t chickened out, but I didn’t have to race.
The best laid plans of mice and men.
I have 6 weeks, roughly, to be ready. I’d put myself at about 30% fit today. I’m not carrying any extra winter weight, but I’m low on base miles. I haven’t been doing any appreciable climbing, and the only intervals in my life are the ones I spend warming up in the lobby of the rink between periods in my kid’s hockey games.
This week’s Group Ride asks, if you had 6 weeks to be fighting fit for a hard race in tough conditions, what would you do? How would you lay it out? Keep in mind, the winter’s not over here. Weather will keep us indoors intermittently through the end of March. Also keep in mind, I’m not really racing. I’ll go quick as I can. I’ll try to beat last year’s time, but I’ll be happy to finish, as I always am.