The initial climb from the Start Line up Texas Creek tonight for Race #4 of the 8-race DWC Championship Series;  a brutal 8%, 1k bitch-slap to start a 14.3-mile Time Trial on wet, windy, gravel roads…you up?

Most Noble Sangha…

if you ride a bike what’s NOT to LOVE about this time of year?!?!    we got the Tour de France craziness going on with all the typical Week One high speed crashes and drama, we got a summer stretching her seemingly long (operative word, “seemingly”) arms reaching deep into the evening bliss, and we got (here in Durango) the meaty part of the DWC Championships;  a season-long slugfest for bragging rights in what is quite likely the hardest town in the nation to earn local bragging rights when it comes to testing your physical and mental tenacity and endurance on that beautifully simple machine of the past several centuries;  the bicycle.

Tonight’s battle – the 4th of 8 races – took place upon the steep and undulating serpentine gravel roads of the infamous Texas Creek drainages.   These ribbons of bone-jarring pathways are usually privy to white pickups with bumper stickers smacking of gun rights, elk killing, and PBR.   The road surface would make the winners of the famed Paris-Roubaix race smile.  Pock-marked like a male teenagers face, riveted by countless potholes, washboards to jar your molars, and sweeping curves covered by a layer of dancing gravel which makes cornering at high-speeds a gamblers bet at best.

Tonights’ Time Trial was set at 14.3 miles.  1,450′ of climbing up and down these gravel, rural roads snaking their way among pine footed mountains and criss crossing creeks.   Father Sky kept His precious rain rap tapping out upon tonights’ venue making for nordic conditions which pleased my sensitivities as i drove Chloe up to the race start which hovered over the surging Florida (pronounced Flor-REED-duh for some reason) River.  as i unloaded my ol’ faithful Warrior Pony, Vajrapani, from the bike rack to the gathering of warriors and warrioresses shouts of, “Hey ilg!”  or “Feeble ilg!  this course and weather is for YOU!”…. i had to smile.  it was go(o)d to be alive at 53 and still raring to race in what would most likely become a roaring rain, mudfest among my sacred h(om)eland roads…

After 3 races within categorically diverse race courses, i was holding 5th place coming into this race in a fully loaded 50+ category.  Remember..i hail from a town in which Ned Overend (59?) is still killin’ it in the pro elites.   your feeble ilg hovers in a bardo zone locally in 50+…the top three guys i chased today finished about 3 minutes in front of me and included former pro Ivan Uvanoskosvy, National Championship Team member, Gerry Geraghty, and the just-turned 50 phenom; Joel Richards.   Let me tell you true, Noble Sangha,  for a Wholistic Fitness® student like feeble ilg to even be tickling the tires of such cycling specific specimens?   Tis an honor of an incarnation.  Pedaling within the same zip code of these mutants is truly proof again of the powerful Path of WF!

The Start:   the female, electronic voice from the computerized Start Clock has somehow managed a quite acceptable pronunciation of my last name as ‘she’   (i’ve come to call her, Samantha) counts me down 30 seconds after Doug Eagle, who leads me by 1 point in the Series takes off.  I start wisely, mindfully making sure i don’t misstep my clicking into my pedal.  The first 3/4 mile is steep; 8% average gradient.  On dirt.  Thanks a lot, right?  Yet,  having done my yoga and pranayama beforehand,  i slipped easily into a steep climbing tempo, perching my but as close to the nose of my saddle as possible and focusing on Mula Bandha retention and Mantra.  Soon, i see my first quarry of the inner adventure of pain;  the Soaring Eagle is struggling with the steep bitch-slap of this abrupt first hillclimb and i gather both time and confidence as i spin my pedals…

i passed Soaring Eagle (who started 30 seconds in front of me) on the downhill…feeling Kundalini spongy i leaned Vajrapani willingly into each banked apex of the sensuous descent,  not caring about oncoming cars; this was a race and..well,  i Trusted the Deities to protect.  i carried no water bottles, no spare tires, nothing but my confidence of self gained from Wholistic Fitness®…i leaned into the sweeping right hand turn and churned past my 60-second man…i was on an inner rhythm as the rain intensified, filling the potholes in the gravel road like miniature stock ponds.

head down, saliva being breath-spatttered about my face, bike, and road.  thighs churning,  lungs burning, spirit learning as the mud-caked gravel road sped beneath my flying feet.   such m(om)ents are what makes feeble ilg bow before the Highest Ones;  it’s here..driving upwards, churning, yearning…

by the Turn Around point at 7.6 miles?    i knew i was going strong;  sure i had moments of weakness…ahamkara (ego) pleading, “Stop this pain!   Less pressure!  you’ll blow up on the final climb!”  and other such egoic bullshit.   The Wholistic Fitness® cure for such lower mind antics?  Mantra.  Recenter on the Breath.  Keep the Cadence…surrender to the wind, the rain, the mud…and i did.  Felt Eagle Medicine sweep me through the highly dangerous final curve into the final 3k climb…i settled willingly into the Pain Cave wherein the Noble Silence empowered my pedaling…



Sheltered from Rain Sister and the past 53 minutes of high-end suffering within Her,  i eagerly suck down the Oxygenated Water of Kaqun from BodyHealth to begin recovering….



Voted by ilg as the #1 Place to suck down a well-earned Mexican Logger from SKA…it’s….LEMON DAM looking resplendent, if not downright sexy in her full-capacity wardrobe!!!   Yeah, baby!!!






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