The last of the snow melted this past week on the Cape. Reports were coming back that Otis was dry, but not so clear. Seems considerable debris from the hurricanes and storms over the last few months are still being cleaned up.
There were quite a few cars at the usual Otis parking spot. I pull in, got out, and Carl DeVincent was there to greet me. He told me Shawn and Andy were running late. Hmm, why was he telling me that? Did he know something I did not? I hadn't planned to meet or ride with anybody and just wanted to nurse my race damaged body for a few hours. Carl assumed Shawn invited me to their ride. When the other two arrived, I learned that none of them knew the trail system very well. I felt like I was getting corralled into leading a group ride, which freaked me out a little. I know how those guys ride... fast, and over everything.
With some reservation and lack of sound judgement, I decided to ride with them, maybe show them the lay of the land and split off at some point. I felt better than expected heading out along Hwy 151 and set a pace I hoped wouldn't be too pedestrian for the others. It felt downright hard to me, but I raced hard three hours the day before, so it was really hard to translate how that might have felt to them. Shawn was always right on my wheel, so that little demon in my head says "not hard enough."
Many entertaining features at Otis.
It's been a couple years since I rode Otis, and due to the density of interconnecting trails, a lot of it became foggy in my head. Add to that the expansion of the national cemetery into riding terrain, it threw me into a recursive loop that took some doing to get out of.
Hurricane Sandy debris no doubt deprived Andy part of his valve stem.
Stan's don't work too good for that.
A liberal dose of climbing was had. Not so much deliberately, but aimlessly wandering trying to find "that trail" I remember from two years ago. I'm sure Shawn enjoyed some of those climbs on his rigid singlespeed;) He was schooling me everywhere else. A couple climbs, nobody cleaned. Might have been one or two only I cleaned. Not sure where my kilojoules were coming from. There were many, many VOmax efforts.
New swing on "Mt ZiG"
There are several areas with SUV sized rocks to play on. I'm amazed that Andy and Shawn would blind faith launch over some of them, not having inspected the back side first. Shawn later quipped on Strava why anybody would need a long travel 29er when he was killing it on a rigid singlespeed. Yeah, I have a Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc on order, a 5" travel 29er carbon frame. I get killed on my 26" Titus riding with others on 29ers at Harold Parker. At Otis, I felt I was doing ok on my 29er hardtail.
Confidence. No gears or suspension for Shawn.
Contemplation. I wouldn't have even made it as far as Andy did.
All the peakiness put Carl into a spot of trouble around the 3hr mark. I was pretty much cooked too. We worked our way back to the cars after having covered about 75% of the trails at Otis. I logged a considerable amount of intensity during the ride, probably quality stuff. Definitely had more fun than had I poked around by myself.
In medieval times, it was believed you could treat a rabid dog bite by placing hair of the dog that bit you in the wound. I doubt they had much success with that. Today, the expression is associated with alcohol hangovers, consuming more of the same toxin that made you feel awful in the first place, to feel better. Does that work for training too? In moderation, I believe it often does, aka a recovery ride or run. Three hours of anaerobic climbs on the Cape hardly constitutes a recovery ride. It was worth it though. Recover another day.