It's been no secret that last year was a tough year for me when it comes to riding a bike. I spent much of the year planning and executing a plan, but not a typical training plan. No, buying a business (most of you know I'm a chiropractor by trade) was a plan unlike any other that sucked most of the time out of my life. I raced all of four races last year and put in the fewest training hours I've logged in any year in the last half a decade.
Because of that, and because I now have the additional responsibilities of running a practice, it's time for a renaissance of sorts.
“Friends don't let friends get fat”
I had been looking for a little motivation to build my early season on. Sitting on the trainer isn't the most fun, so a fun early season target would be most welcome. What was out there that would be worth doing, though?
This most recent challenge, which I intend to document in a series called “Motivation Monday” is based on a challenge/request from a friend of mine (thanks, Nate!) Nate, much like myself, spent much of last year on the sidelines, albeit for very different reasons. Those reasons don’t really matter, suffice to say he was in the saddle less than I was. Recently, when he texted me and asked if I had any interest in an early season ride, he framed it a little differently then most requests people make:
“Monkey Knife Fight – April 14th. I've been intrigued by this ride for a few years and I should really stop being fat. Any interest?”
How can you say no to that?
It sounds as strange out loud as it looks on paper. Monkey Knife Fight. Monkeys fighting with knives. The illustration above can only begin to offer an explanation.
Monkey Knife Fight is a long-running Pennsylvania tradition. For nearly 10 years now, folks have gathered in Emmaus PA to sample some of the prettiest and most wicked terrain the region has to offer. And this isn't one of those cute little Gran Fondos with all the glass smooth asphalt and support. Nope. Monkey Knife Fight is a spring classic in the truest sense of the word.
So for those of you who aren't familiar with the term, what exactly does a “spring classic” entail? Well, here's a checklist for you:
It’s got big grades (20%???)
It’s got gravel, dirt and crappy pavement.
It’s got bad weather (which can be commonplace.)
It's a hard distance and elevation.
It's fun as shit.
It's also not a race, but it's all about company and fun. Per the BikeReg description:
It's not a race! But it is a social ride, because misery does love company. Most of it is paved, with seven dirt road “sectors” that are as sharp as any knife you'd ever find on a monkey.
Sounds like my kind of ride. Sounds like a fun way to kick my ass into gear and get into some kind of racing shape. Hell, racing should be fun, and it's more fun if you're in shape, which I'm going to have to be for this event. Turning that fitness into some race fitness should be pretty easy, whether it's track racing, crits or the occasional time trial.
Follow along and help kick my ass
So follow along, dear friends, as I whoop my ass into shape for this monumental task. I've got 4 months, so I need to get cracking. You can follow me on Strava and on Zwift and watch my progress. And don't forget to subscribe to the Tailwind Coaching Newsletter so you don't miss a Motivation Monday post!
To make it more awesome, Monkey Knife Fight benefits the Perimeter Ride against cancer. Fuck cancer.
This will be fun. Stay tuned and hopefully my suffering will create some motivation for you too!