Well, I sit here stumped. Mulling over several ideas to title this month’s High Sides, I have no idea. Yeah, I know what I want to write about. However, I don’t yet know what my point is.
had been planning on riding the Jackhammer Enduro last year. I spent a few
months seriously preparing for this. So seriously that I hired a personal
trainer and started working out. I modified my diet to lean more towards
the healthier side, all things being relative, including reducing my beer
consumption. To my wife’s dismay I actually had ridden nearly every
weekend for about two months. When it looked like George wasn’t going to
make it I talked Brad into going with me.
preparation, Brad and I went on several “practice” rides together. The
weekend before the Jackhammer we went to Stonyford, where the actual event
was to be held. We rode for about 6 hours and covered about 34 miles. Now
keep in mind that most enduros are 70-100 miles and are intended to last
5-6 hours. During this ride we faced numerous hill climbs and steep
descents. Brad crashed pretty hard on one of the down hills. While he
wasn’t KO’d, he was knocked a little more senseless than usual. While
we sat there trying to repair his busted throttle I commented “Life is
making it very hard to pretend we’re not getting old.”
we got back to the trucks I was feeling really good, despite the fact that
we rode less than half the distance than we intended to. I think this was
the first ride that I ended up physically feeling better than Brad did.
Then, as it usually does, Life walked up and smacked me real hard up
‘long side my head. Actually it was in my chest.
going into much detail I began thinking that I was suffering from a second
heart attack, the first one was five or six years ago. Well, once my wife
got wind of this there was no chance of racing the next weekend. The
months that followed sent my morale deeper and deeper in to a downhill
spiral that affected every aspect of my life.
it turned out, I did not have a heart attack, I was suffering from
problems with arrhythmia. Oddly enough, this was caused by the caffeine in
the PowerGel that I was eating. I normally don't have caffeine and the
quantities I was getting from several packs of PowerGel wasn't good. After we confirmed I hadn’t had a heart
attack, I discovered that I was also having liver problems. This has
resulted in probably the biggest lifestyle change in my life (yes, even
bigger than having kids). I had to give up drinking and have to partake of
a low-fat diet.
the time I started writing this article, last November, I was in decent
shape (the best that I had been in years). I had lost some weight, was
feeling good, and my riding was improving. In the months that followed, I
quit riding, quit working out, gained a bunch of weight, and quit caring
much about anything.
sometime around April things changed. Several things came together all
around the same time and my attitude changed. I started working out,
dieting and losing weight. So far, I’ve lost between 30-35 lbs. I’ve
started riding again, and am still improving. I’m sure I’m riding
better than I ever have. I think it’s time to start racing again…