Okay, I've finally come to terms with the truth...I'm a closet mountain biker.
It shouldn't really be a shock. I love the outdoors, I love covering a lot of ground as I explore and I love bikes. I like endurance sports. I ran cross country in 8th and 9th grade. My favorite cycling films are Ride the Divide and the two Race Across the Sky films.
It took a awhile for me to realize this truth about myself. I think the main reason is circumstance. Kentucky didn't have a lot of developed mountain biking when we lived there. Of course that's changing. But there were no trails for biking in the Red River Gorge area. The best I could do was rough four wheeling roads in the oil fields.
The weekend after the MTB version of the Cannonball made the truck ride west to Colorado I pedaled up Evergreen Mountain. My mountain bike climbed a mountain.
Since then I've dabbled, but the lack of obsession on my part was less a lack of desire and more an abundance of responsibility. I don't begrudge being an adult, it just doesn't leave as much time for play.
The Leadville 100 isn't really mountain biking. There's not really any singletrack. And that's good because my experience on singletrack is lacking.
But I'm really getting the singletrack bug. I'm beginning to see that it really jives with my proprioceptive needs.
And in the past few years I've suffered more after long hikes. No matter what kind of shape I'm in I just hurt more after any hike over five miles. I've punished myself too much over the years. But on the bike I don't suffer so much from the aches and pains of hiking.
Now if I can just keep from crashing...