"If you don't have trouble paying the rent, you have trouble doing something else; one needs just a certain amount of trouble." -- Robert Rauschenberg
Trans Iowa definitely confirmed for me this concept of the conservation of trouble. There are only so many hours in the week, only so much mental energy to be expended, only so many things one person can simultaneously do. Sometimes you just run up against the limit of what can be contained within one life.
The thing is, how do I write about this? How do I tell the story of a DNF without it devolving into boring excuses? I recently read a blog post by a woman was still feeling bad about dropping out of a race last year. LAST YEAR. Anyone who races at all knows those guys who brag that they have never dropped out of a race ever-ever-ever, and they never would, because dropping out weakens you and makes you drop out more in the future. Ignore that BS. An endurance racer who has never had to drop out of a mountain bike race is at least one of the following: very green; very lucky; very conservative; or very unambitious.
It really is true, I think, that if you never fail it just means you aren't ever risking very much. So: race report. Let's go.
All spring, the shit has been hitting the fan for me. I've been working hard, putting longer hours than I expected. The weather has been crap on days I've wanted to ride long. A close college friend went missing in March, and the drama and heartache of that sparked some deep emotion.