When riding solo…do you pretend you’re in a race?

Yesterday I was riding solo again. But I realized that any time I saw someone ahead, it motivated me to ride harder and eventually pass them up.

Now keep in mind, I’m not the fastest person on the trail, but when I do see someone in front, I start playing the songs from The Collective in my head and pump my legs so they’re spinning as fast as a little hamster on a wheel. Sometimes this is hard to do since my SS’s drive train is only 32/18, but it sure feels good when I say “on your left.”

Let me give you a detailed account of my break down of the peleton out on the Fullerton Loop yesterday. Once I got to the parking lot, I got ready and by this time, I had seen at least 3 groups that had already left. So that meant I was already plotting my “attack mode” on the trail. The first goal was to catch up the last group. About 5 of them, 4 men and 1 woman. The woman was the last person on the train. I spun my little legs through the the first single track and when it split into a Y, I called out “on your left!…Good morning!” Remember all this time I’m playing music in my head. This time it this song from the opening scene of the Collective, something about “trippin.”

Anyhow, I see her other trail buddies, and they’re cruising at a pace that would be considered relaxed vibe, but I’m not cuz’ I’m mentally in a race and I’ve got my bibs and an actual jersey on, so that means I’m riding in XC style. Now the music changes….to Celine Dione…What? Wait no…let me hit the FFWD button in my brain! Ok now we’ve got some Barry Manilow…WTF!?! NO! FFWD again…ok got some Slackstring playing Sunday Jen…ok much better, I get back into my “racing” groove and I steadily pick off one rider after another. Eventually I’ve managed to completely pass that whole group. Yes it still counts even if they stopped to wait for the other riders, I still passed them…so it counts!

Now I’m cruising along towards a gradual climb. This section of the Loop goes through a farm like place where the group ahead of me is obviously taunting me because they’re riding super slow. The knee high socks, backwards helmets, and jeans make me think these guys are either newbies on the trail or it was a clever ploy to disguise themselves since they were actually some fast XC racers. You know the kind, all skin and muscles…yup that’s what they were! The MGX and Mongoose mountain bikes they rode look like they were from Wal Mart, but I think they used these bikes as their training bikes….Anyhow, I pass every single one of them without a problem…

Now I’m getting to this gradual climb that really just sucks. It’s a pavement climb along a park that is right after Rosecrans Ave. I spot my next group of victims…3 guys on big heavy all mountain bikes. I pluck them off one at a time and I get to the top of the hill ready to hurl…By this time my mental music player is blaring some Rocky music…Eye of the Tiger!

As I make my way through the trails I only encounter one more group. But I gave them mercy and shut off my racing mode and even turned down the music in my head, that way the I can hear the voices that normally talk to me….what? No I didn’t say anything about you! Shut up!….Sorry, that was Bad RL wanting to come out and play. So back to my pretend racing. By the time I got back to the car, I felt great because I had just gotten on the podium! That’s right I placed in this race and as I look out into the crowd, my kids are cheering, and Priscilla is winking at me! Not bad eh? I didn’t even pay an entry fee!

I know you guys can relate because mental racing makes riding solo a bit more fun!

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