Riding around the ranch yesterday I screwed up. I broke my heart.

I was sucked into a game of Hunter/Killer. It’s the game I tend to play in races and hard rides. I wasn’t looking for that on this day but I found it. I seek my target, overtake/kill it, move to the next. One after another. I wasn’t in the mood for this but it happened and I couldn’t help it. What got to me was the rhythm off the hunts. Just when I thought I’d be able to back off, another target would appear and each time in just the right place where I had to make the pass to get a clean entry into the downhill. That’s the most important pass. Never start a descent with a slow rider in front of you. PVD Trail Rule #1.

Anyway, I’m pushing good and hard and upon making a painful pass on another rider, the downhill starts and I’m on fire. Hard. Mean. Hurting before the drop is fitting and sets the mood. A good descent should be agonizing. I pass a guy going downhill who later states, “Oh my god. You went by me soo fast”. Who could ask for more?!

Here, at 0:41:10.00 I pass my peak of 178 bpm and build up to 185 bpm for almost 0:03:25.00 (0:44:35.00). This was bad. Very bad. It changed the rest of the day for me. I really wasn’t worth much. I had crossed the line and for far too long. Don’t ever do this!!! It’s not like much is gained. My power drops off and my head goes bonkers.

We describe efforts on rides often as burning matches. You get a box of matches to use on a ride and that’s it. When you cross the line, you burn all your matches at once. They’re gone. Really. You don’t have more matches to burn.

It’s heartbraking.