The last week or two has brought some significant events in my life, the biggest of which is that I, Dan, beat Mark....twice.
(oh and my little brother got married)
Now I know what you are thinking. It must have been in some obscure contest like how many bananas we could eat in a minute or who had the longest toe nail, but no, really, I beat Mark on a bike, twice.
So yesterday we decide to head out for a nice ride after work. We took off up the canyon and had a pleasant ride up the trail, conversing the whole ride, catching up on everything new.
I hadn't seen Mark in more than a week so it was good to chat for a while filling each other in on new life events, swap a few recipes, and tell him about the new quilt bordering technique I picked up from my aunt while home this weekend. (He called me gay)
Anyway, on our way back we decided to hit up the Country Club Sprint. The Country Club Sprint, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is a slightly uphill quarter mile section of road on University Avenue that starts at a residential turn off and ends at the intersection that goes into the Country Club.
Matt showed me the sprint years ago on a ride before I really knew who he was. Since then Kyle and I would duke it out almost every ride to be the first to the line. I used to beat him soundly, but by the end of our first season racing he was really sticking it to me. Kyle's fast. He can accelerate like a bat out of....a cave.
So yesterday, Mark and I go ahead and have it out on the CCS (Country Club Sprint, for those of you too dim to understand my abbreviation) and I am proud to say I beat him by about a second.
A second may not sound like much, but it's an eternity while in a full out sprint. We were going so fast that distance-wise, I was probably ahead by a good mile and a half...at least.
Needless to say, Mark was very graceful in his defeat. We are very competitive (Ok so I am very competitive, Mark just goes along with it) but we take joy in seeing the other succeed. For example, I was happy as I watched Mark succeed in creaming me in the next two sprints down University Ave and over the viaduct.
Those don't matter. Cause I won the first.
Now, for my second success.
Today, Mark and I decided to go do both our favorite ride ever, the Alpine Loop. (The ride is so official that it is capitalized, very formal)
I didn't know how hard he wanted to drill it, or how hard I would end up wanting to ride, but was more excited just to do my favorite ride with my good buddy.
As we left Provo, the weather quickly decided which way we would go. There was an ridiculously tremendous wind coming from the north, so we opted to ride up the Provo side so we could take advantage of the wind coming back from American Fork.
(I realize that our logic in making this descion was completely erroneous in the proven fact that the wind will ALWAYS change directions as soon as it is time for it to be a tail wind. Anyone doubting this statement will please do a google search on "Murphy's Law")
As we started the climb up to Sundance, we both charged it pretty hard. We stayed together the whole ride, but were both pushing it pretty dang hard. My average heart rate was somewhere around 190 for the 2.25 miles. Either way, we did it in 13 minutes, my fastest time ever.
We kept climbing at a pretty good pace all the way up to the summit. As we got closer, I realized we were right on pace to break 50 minutes for the whole climb.
For those of you unacquainted with the Alpine Loop, the Provo side is about 9 miles long and you gain a few thousand feet in climbing. My previous best time was somewhere around 55 minutes, so breaking 50 would have been a definite success.
As we got closer and closer to the top I really wasn't even paying much attention to Mark. Granted, a large portion of my manhood wanted desperately to beat him as badly as I could, I found myself consumed with a bigger goal: Breaking 50 minutes. We drilled the pace as we got closer and closer to the top. It was going to be close.
As we got to the mile 19 sign, I knew we had about a half mile to go, but less than 3 minutes to do it. I almost gave up when Mark started attacking (Mark knew little of my time goal, he just wanted to beat me) I jumped on his wheel and followed him as long as I could. He surged again and started to leave me.
In a last minute attempt to at least help him push his own pace all the way to the line, I yelled "don't you let up for a second, I'm right on your tail" knowing full well that my legs were spent and I was about to blow.
Well, before you go and get worried now, there is something about me you should know. No matter how long or how hard I have been riding or racing, as soon as I feel close to the finish, I get this crazy reserve kick that takes over my legs. I'm the only guy at the mountain bike races that sprints all out across the finish line completely alone, but its just how I am.
So anyway, just as we were coming around to the last bend in the road, my body's 11th sense picked up the finish line signal and I was off like a bat out of....a cave. I pushed with everything I had and shot past Mark as we crested the hill and rolled across the line. More importantly, however, the whole racing Mark thing pushed us hard enough that we ended up breaking 50 minutes.
Double wins for Dan the Man.
Anyway, we had a great time descending and riding home with the best tailwind ever pushing us all the way back.
Sometimes, somethings don't change.