Funky Fresh

This last week has got me in a funk.  Usually, if work gets me a little down, I always have a good ride to look forward to at the end of my day.  With longer days, I don’t have to rush around to get on the bike, forget my troubles, and get home with plenty of daylight to spare.
Unfortunately, between the fact it’s getting dark around 5 right now and being a little busier at work, I’m feeling like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.  “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Trying to work though my first world problems, I met up with Jacob, Shawn, and Eli at Lithia Park, Tuesday right after work.
We took it easy as we pedaled up the road to 4 Corners.  

There, Shawn and Eli decided to continue on to Horn Gap, while Jacob and I chose to head down Marty’s, Catwalk, and Toothpick.
Having only ever followed someone down Marty’s the two times I’d ridden it, we missed the connector to Catwalk.  It didn’t help that it was nearly dark by this point.  Luckily, we knew the direction we were supposed to be heading and found our way back on track quickly.
An in-progress underbrush burning operation made for an exciting ride along Toothpick.

There were a couple of large logs across the trail we had to climb over.  One was about 5 feet in diameter and on fire only a few feet below where we went over it.  The debris on the trail was really slowing us down and worried about our lights dying, we regrettably didn’t take the time to get a photo of it.
The rest of the ride was relatively uneventful.
Wednesday, I hurried home from work and hopped on the C3.  It was straight to Jacksonville and a rather painful attempt at a PR up Cady Road.  I think I missed it by 8 or 9 seconds, but it didn’t feel like it!
From there it was over to Griffin, Pioneer, and up Dark Hollow.
Despite only getting 23 miles, I still barely made it home before it was dark.
Not having to rush Saturday morning was a nice break.  I decided I would ride up and watch the cyclocross race at Tom Pearce Park in Grants Pass.
I figured since the first race didn’t start until 10, I could take the slightly longer and more scenic route through the Applegate Valley.  
Rolling out at 7:15 in all the morning’s sunny, but frigid glory, I was over Jacksonville Hill and through Ruch by 8.  
It wasn’t too far past Ruch that I started seeing patchy fog throughout the valley.
The fog wasn’t too bad.  It had lifted high enough above the ground to not affect visibility and it actually added to the valley’s scenic quality.
After navigating through a little traffic on the streets of Grants Pass, I made it to the race 15 minutes before start time.
The race ended up being a close battle between Jacob and fellow Unreal Cycles shop rider, Mark.  I’m still not positive who won but they were neck and neck throughout.
Wasting no time, I was back on the bike trying to get my legs to wake up as soon as the race was over.  
Another 40 miles through Rogue River, Gold Hill, and along the Greenway, and I was home with 80 non-rushed miles under my belt.
 
I’m still feeling a little funky.  I think I may be backing off a little bit for the next month or so in order to give my body and mind a break from riding so I can be ready to attack next year’s goals when 2016 rolls around.
But, there’s a four day weekend coming.  Four days straight of riding, RIGHT!?
– Aaron

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