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Wisconsin Off Road Series in Wausau!

Wausau, Wisconsin's Nine Mile Recreational Area was the site of today's Trek Big Ring Classic. The Wisconsin Off Road Series touts itself as the biggest state racing series in America.  And by the hundreds of riders at today's event, it's clear this organization has developed a well run program with great infrastructure and rider support.

"Big Ring" was right.  These randy competitors were grinding the big gears on this fast, granite-based course.  I spotted a couple of master man style riders, but for the most part this is a young man's and young woman's game.  The intensity in competition was evident.  I  spectated on a single track wooded section; riders were pounding through wheel-to-wheel and I envisioned myself being off the pace and holding up a fast moving freight train of off road talent. 

I have become comfortable in my own skin and was quite OK at today's event.  Years back, I'd be agitated and ornery about the fact I was leaning on the fence, not  racing on the track.  But now I realize that it's fun to watch young, gifted riders do their thing.  My version of mountain biking is now a slow, reserved, spin that is more about exercise and relaxation than competition.  We all ride at different phases, yet we're all part of the sport.

I find it interesting to examine myself and realize I'm pretty settled and satisfied with my state of affairs.  I don't ride with the latest equipment, or wear cutting edge riding apparel.  Matter of fact, I detest the term "kit" (riding outfit)....what's wrong with a jersey and riding shorts?

It's fun being the best you can be, but having nothing left to prove.  I no longer need the sport to validate myself.  The sport no longer defines me; instead, I define my place in the sport.  Let's work to develop fun and fitness while embracing the age and ability we possess.


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I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

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Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…