Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How Bad Do You Want It?

I debated for a few days on whether to post my gear list for the CTR this year. I am going light--uberlight--this year. I didn't go buy a bunch of expensive stuff, just a killer new raincoat I found on sale. In fact, there are some notable things that are staying home this year--my shitshow red Sea Line dry bag stays and so does my Montbell sleeping bag. My trusty old 2010 Superfly 100 gets the nod eventhough it  is on its third frame, original drivetrain and has gone far more miles than I drove a car this year. I will post more after the race because I really just want to ride my bike right now far more than I want to talk about riding my bike.

This year CTR is about one thing for me--breaking the women's record. The current record is highly respectable and set by one tough lady. We all just watched her crush the Tour Divide record. She is faster, way more experienced, better coached and most likely tougher than I am. I have never met her and I don't know her personally, but from reading her blog, I can closely identify with her writing and give her my utmost respect.

So I am throwing my guts on the line and going big. I am not giving any thought or energy to failing. I believe in only a few things in life with everything I have and this is one of them. Sure something huge could go wrong, break, etc. And to use a worn out cliche--that's life--the uncontrollable variable.

But the tired legs, the tired mind, the pounding hail, awesome lightning storms, the mud, the rocks, the hungry stomach, the grinding dirt road miles or the next hill to climb--those represent my weaknesses and are what I am out there to overcome. 

Next year, I am going to tour the Colorado Trail from south to north. Yeah, like a real tour where you ride during the daylight hours and then set up camp and build a fire and sleep all night and eat hot food. And have time to gaze into and savor the views of the mountains that own my heart and soul.

But this year you won't see any pictures of my bike at every sign post or see me lingering at laudramats in Buena Vista waiting out the black clouds. It's not going to be a comfortable 5 days and 3 hours.

But as I lie in my bed drifting off to sleep, I constantly remind myself that not one mile or one thing on the Colorado Trail holds a candle (sorry, I am just full of old, overused cliches tonight) to the miles I overcame on the Arizona Trail between Payson and the Mogollon Rim. And I think of the lyrics to a song I heard at a concert last Saturday in Denver that brought tears to my eyes (which I successfully hid) in the middle of thousands of screaming people:

Are you hungry?
Are you thirsty?
Is it a fire that burns you up inside?
How bad do you want it?
How bad do you need it?
Are you eating, sleeping, dreaming
With that one thing on your mind?
How bad do you want it?
How bad do you need it?
Cause if you want it all
You've got to lay it all out on the line

 And so I fight off the demons of insecurity again.

And I believe. 

I just fucking believe. 

Skinny tires took me here last Saturday....


  1. As you already know, believing is more than half the battle. I admire your ambition on this beast of a route and can't wait to follow your progress. Good luck!

  2. Good luck!!!! I hope you kill it this year and smash the current record

  3. Good luck! and ride like you stole something!