How do you know when you're in love?

I was out riding a few months ago in the rain. By rain I mean it was dumping. Completely soaked immediately. At hour three of the ride I was coming across the seven sisters and realized that I think I actually love riding. I've denied it to myself for years. But when it's 40 degrees out and I'm riding into a driving rain pedaling with everything I have just to make 5 mph. And I can't think of any way I'd rather be spending my day, I think that's when you just know that you love riding. I would have taken a picture of that epicness but my phone wouldn't have lasted thirty seconds in that rain.

Then again, maybe I'm just sadistic.

Jingle Cross Rock - Day One

Southampton Cross, Day One

Not too exciting, but there's a monkey in a tree.

Living in the third person

It's been a while since I've opened my big mouth.  I have a couple blog posts up in my head and lots of cam footage but I just haven't had the time to get to them.  I'm actually writing this post from a rest stop on I80 just outside of Iowa City.  Hooray for government sponsored WiFi.

It really hit me the other day as I was walking out the door to drive to the Southampton cross race, my life is surreal.  It's so detached from anything that resembles normalcy to me that I now feel like I'm a passenger in my life.  I don't directly live my life anymore.  I experience it as an observer.  My body does all the motions while I sit at the private bar in my head drinking a beer and watching the spectacle.

Lucky me I managed to hook up a "working remotely" gig before leaving SF so all during the week I'm in front of a computer building objects that don't exist.  Sure they represent data that has meaning but they aren't tangible.  I have giant systems of these objects loaded up in my head and the relationships between them all strung together into something that's visual, but it's not real, it's just shit I've imagined up in my head to help me understand the system so I can figure out where to add the two lines of code that it needs.

Every Monday the carnage left over from the weekend somehow is dealt with.  The laundry gets done and I nurse my wasted body and mind back to health so I can hope to plug it into that imaginary world by Tuesday and earn money again.

On Friday, somehow more laundry gets done and the car gets packed and a departure time is determined and I open the front door, walk through it, and close it.  I have no control over this anymore.  It just happens.

So that is the third person existence I live Monday through Friday.  As I enter the weekend things get weird.  first of all there is usually a long ass car ride by myself to get to the race.  If you've ever gone on a long car trip you already know that they get a little trippy.  Try that twice a week, every week since your seven day solo drive across country.  I've never really left that state to tell you the truth.

Once I get to the race everything is already out of my control.  From three hours before the race until sometime afterward, all the decisions are already made.  Pick up number, decide on race clothing, pin number on, check bikes, food, pre-ride course, brew coffee, warm up, etc...

Then we get to the icing on the cake of this whole ordeal, The one hour I spend in the most physical setting possible.  A setting so physical in fact that I have to spend most of it trying to control my own mind.  Is the pain real?  Can my body go harder anyway?  Which line is faster?  Should I sprint through this section?  Negative thoughts are so far down my list of mental shit to monitor they barely even deserve a mention.  They're cake compared to the rest of it. 

When I get right down to what it really takes to push the body that hard for that long in such a technically challenging way it seems like the race is all in my head.  So there you have it.  If you meet my body give a wink to the guy up in my forehead area having the imaginary beer at the imaginary bar.  That's me.

Downeast Cross 2009, Day Two

This one's pretty good.

Downeast Cross 2009, Day One

Seriously guys, this one's kinda boring. If you're really a cross geek and want a taste of serious mud then click away.

2009 Downeast Cross, Day One from Kirt on Vimeo.

Providence Cross Day One

Leisurely cross ride around Keene