Friday, August 17, 2012

Ultracycling training/reading/eating,
skate spot, trailspotting, 635 sight

Not interested in reading about Mark Beaumont's adventure? You can watch it on YouTube.
About a week from now, I will be on my way to Hotter 'N Hell for my second 100-mile rally. It'll be a lot of fun and a good training ride for the 12-hour ride at TTTT. Seeking inspiration, I picked up a new book the other night. "The Man Who Cycled the World" is the story of Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont's attempt to break the record for biking across Earth — an 18,000 mile journey. So far, it's only an OK book. Beaumont isn't nearly as good a writer as Scott Jurek or Dean Karnazes, but his feat is pretty damn impressive.

Speaking of cycling great distances: Last Sunday, I rode longer than I ever had — 129 miles in 7 hours. I've been told that you just never know what you'll get a hankerin' for when you are exerting yourself. After three laps around the Mesquite/Sunnyvale route, my body said I needed fries and a Coke. Needed. My body wasn't joking around. So, instead of noshing on the provisions in my cooler in my car parked at Poteet High School, I stopped at Sonic. The carhop didn't even flinch at the sight of a sweaty, stinky, messy me stretched out at a table. I demolished my "meal" and knew I could complete one more loop on a 100-degree day with strong-ish wind (felt like a hair dryer out there, y'all). It was a great, tiring day. I can't wait for my 9-hour ride in two weeks. I'll probably want to eat tots!

Scenic, isn't it? That's the back loading dock at Poteet. It's also known as the place where I skateboarded all the effin' time as a teen. That crumbling concrete on the right used to be covered with wax. Countless grinds went down at this location. Countless cigarettes were smoked here. I even saw a dude pop his shoulder back into its socket for the first time here. I hadn't revisited this spot in at least 15 years. Last Sunday, I imagined what a 16-year-old me would have said if he met the 33-year-old me in Lycra and wearing a helmet at this loading dock. He would have laughed his ass off. 

You are looking at a creek crossing (no diving!) at the Coppell Nature Park. Since I started working in Irving, I've tried to find cool spots to run and ride, particularly on nights when traffic on Interstate 635 is a nightmare. Tuesday evening, I ran CNP. I wasn't blown away. It's more of an educational/walking trail. What was good: My 3-mile run at 5 p.m. was pleasantly cool, thanks to the considerable tree cover. And it's a free park. Good on ya, Coppell, for having a nice natural space for people to enjoy. I won't come back too often (Northshore is worth driving a little further and paying an entrance fee), but I will return.

When I am stuck on 635, I entertain myself by looking for odd things. The funnier, the better. The advertisement on the back of this truck is hilarious. I mean, seriously, who in his right mind is going to trust this dude to fix his home's foundation? He can't even put stickers on his truck straight!!!


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