Like most people, I love a harmless fantasy now and then. A little daydream can provide much of the pleasure without any of the risk, devastation and pain. I often stare of into space with a smile on my face this time of year as my mind conjures up a multitude of decadent pleasures.
This is the period when I can imagine the ecstasy of slipping in and out of a warm, damp forest on a slinky little ribbon of singletrack while every inch of my body vibrates with excitement.
By July, of course, the fantasy will be over, as it always is. It’s the same every year—a joint aches for weeks or months after a crash. Or a thumb gets tweaked and reminds me every damn time I click up or down a gear. There always seems to be a scab healing (and itching) somewhere. Usually, the injuries are nothing major. Just nagging little things that grow a bit frustrating as the weeks go by.
After last fall’s trip to Moab and Fruita, my left elbow hurt on nearly every ride until the end of February. It’s only May, and the pain in my left hand is mostly gone, but I’ve already spent a month with two swollen fingers, and I’m just now regaining the ability to form a tight fist after taking a spill on the road bike.
Being a clumsy hack on a mountain bike means that May is about as pain-free as life is going to get. Shit’s gonna happen, and some of it’s gonna hurt.
And with a solo attempt in a 12-hour race coming up, that may be more true this year than ever before.