Showing posts from September, 2012

The Third Best Shape of my Life

It might sound funny but I actually keep track of when I am most fit. They say that as an athlete you should keep copious notes about every training session and every food you eat but unless you have OCD, this can be a daunting challenge. At the very least my memory can recall long stretches where training had a steady, organized and properly intense focus.
The most fit I have even been was when I was training for a Street Boxing tournament when I was seventeen. It was pretty much what you might imagine, teenagers fighting in backyards with little more than 16 ounce gloves and sheer testosterone. I guess the fear of losing motivated me on those 7 mile runs and countless sessions with the heavy bag. After several weeks of breaking down personal barriers I felt unstoppable. Confident on the day of my fight it wasn't a surprise when I won.

The second most fit I have ever been was just before Army Basic Training when I was nineteen. That's right, I said just before. In order to p…

Finding Rhythm on the Legacy Trail

As a Mountain Biker in Florida I have to spend a lot of time on the concrete. However, that doesn't necessarily have to remove me from nature. I was helping my wife with a pet sitting job and just by odd circumstance we happened to be staying near the Venice to Sarasota Rail-Trail, otherwise known as the Legacy Trail.
Rail Trails are a series of paths being built all over the country. Old rail lines long past destroyed are now being converted into bike trails. I decided to give this one a try.

I started at the Mission Valley entrance on Laurel Rd in Nokomis. I already had a two mile warm-up so the moment I hit the path I was able to go all out. I clicked up to the top gear and settled into the time trial position.
A Rail Trail is unlike other paths for many reasons but the first and most obvious is that it is still surrounded by nature and teeming with wildlife. The Legacy trail is one long, uninterrupted stretch flanked by Florida scrub brush and marshlands. Half a mile onto the…

Introduction to Alafia State Park (Part 2)

It was only my second trip to the Alafia River State Park and I had already fallen in love with a trail. North Creek is a miniature version of the great heights we all strive to reach when bouncing along on knobby tires. Narrow singletrack winds its way through a hilly terrain alongside fern lined brooks and algae covered swamps.
The elegance of North Creek is matched only by it's ability to challenge the rider. As an intermediate trail it has the perfect combination of small sharp climbs, quick racing downhills, multiple bridges and sudden technical elements.

The amount of care put into North Creek is evident around every twist and turn. Concrete blocks solidify the earth from sliding away under heavy rains, wooden slats protect dirt turns from eroding into the swamp and there is even a newly built descent bridge that is not for the faint of heart.
North Creek is only two miles long and it goes by fast. Your attention is held by each obstacle and the beauty that surrounds them. …