Monday, October 17, 2022

Thuns out guns out (in Mike Tyson voice)

I swear. It's not offensive to Mike Tyson, he designed a shirt himself with that same slogan on it. But also yeth. You really couldn't have asked for a better mid-October weekend; there were blue skies, behks, frands, and some killer dinner (more on that later). Read to the end to see a funny Mike Tyson video and its context.

There was the Iron Cross race on Sunday, and even though I wasn't doing it, my friend Nate was, so he came up to my apartment for the weekend to ride before his race. Then there was also a 50km running race on Sunday in Rothrock which somehow seemed like a good idea for Will to do after only 2 weeks of running training. Actually, it did end up being a good idea for him, but more on that later also.

On Friday, I headed out for a ride a couple hours before Nate showed just to enjoy the blue sky day. As the pictures above indicate, Rothrock is absolutely gorgeous. I can't tell you where those pictures were taken, because then I'd have to... well, I just won't tell you.

I met up with Nate halfway through my ride, and we rode over to the Bald Knob trails and then over to Mountain Mist Trail. We also hit on my favorite little downhills, Wolf Tooth, and then bombed Downer Trail, a fairly adrenaline fueled descent to Lower Trail. If you're not from around here, the names are meaningless to you, but the trails are all rocky, popping with color, and in perfect condition.

Another important thing to note about Friday's ride is that I was on my Karate Monkey. Earlier in the week, I blew apart my lower headset cup, but luckily I replaced that quickly and didn't see any other frame damage. Set up with 32x19 gearing and a 140mm fork, it's a pretty ideal Rothrock behk.

Saturday morning was another beautiful day outside, so Nate and I rode from my apartment into Rothrock for a solid three hour ride. We hit Croyle Trail, Detweiler, Thickhead, and the fan favorite (me being the fan) Tussey Ridge. I really think that October is the best month for Rothrock mountain biking. The temperatures are still nice, the leaves are incredible, and since I don't have any races on the calendar, the only focus is purely to have fun.

Will came up to State College on Saturday afternoon in preparation for the Tussey Mountainback 50km run race on Sunday. A friend of mine had told me about the race on Wednesday, and he thought Will might be interested. Sure enough, when I texted Will, he was interested, and he signed up Friday I think for the race. Talk about short notice.

Normally, the dinners I cook for myself in my apartment consist of a plain meat, instant rice, and maybe some canned vegetables if I'm feeling spicy. But I'm usually not feeling spicy. 

Saturday night however, Nate cooked up a super fancy and great dinner as a pre-race meal. The evening trip to Wegman's was well worth it, and I can confidently say it was the best dinner ever cooked in the entire Keller Street apartment complex (remember, we're dealing with college kids here).

The dinner was healthy enough that I think it canceled out a late night trip to Wendy's, at least that's what I tell myself.

On Sunday morning, Nate left for Iron Cross, and I headed over to Tussey Mountain Ski Resort in Rothrock with Will for his race. His race started at 9am and was going to take until after noon, so I got on my bike to do a ride while he was racing. My legs were pretty tired, so it was nice to have an excuse of meeting Will at the finish to not do a long ride.

The colors on Tussey Ridge were amazing, and every time I ride it, I try to take a picture from a different spot. The above picture with the sea of red was taken just before the intersection with Kettle Trail, near the one downhill (this direction) rock garden. Ifkyk.

I knew Will's race route, so I rode up Bear Meadows Road to hopefully see him running. I wasn't sure if he'd be leading the race, just behind the leaders, or collapsed on the side of the road, seeing as he's only been running again for two weeks.

Sure enough, Will was in the lead - by a quite a bit. After seeing him there, I then headed down Lonberger Trail to Three Bridges, and rode up Laurel Run Road to watch him crest the last climb.

Once he got to the summit, I sprinted passed him down Laurel Run Road, quickly put my behk away, and headed down to finish line to watch him win the race. The timing mat wasn't even set up yet, but he crossed the line in about 3 hours 24 minutes. That's an average pace of 6:39 min/mile for 31 miles. My whole body hurts just thinking about that.

I also saw that Nate won his age group and 2nd overall at Iron Cross, so talk about a successful day for everyone. Nate actually was riding his mountain bike for Iron Cross, and he told me the gravel bike would've been a better choice. But either way, he had a really solid result. He's doing Marathon Nationals coming up, so he wanted to do a hard race on his mountain bike in preparation. I'd say mission accomplished.

After a few congratulations from people, Will hobbled up to my car. Back at my apartment, his muscles slowly got more and more painful as we watched the Steelers defeat Tom Brady and Buccaneers. By late afternoon Sunday, Will's back was in quite a lot of pain. But, that's to be expected I'd say. Really, after watching some gnarly hits in the Steelers game and some definite instances of traumatic brain injuries, sore running muscles weren't that bad.

But, I would imagine he had the seat heat on his entire drive home Sunday night, for back pain relief.

Which brings me to the Mike Tyson inspired title. There's an interview of Mike Tyson saying "I broke my back", which is what Will sent me when I asked him how his back felt this morning.

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