I Got My MoJo Back


August was a down month. I only rode 893 miles whereas a summer month should always be over 1,000 miles. I was tired and I knew it. Not sick, just tired.

Last year I rode 1,200 miles in August. In 2019, I also rode 1,200 miles in August. This is what August should be. But 300+ miles less this year, it was an average of 10 miles per day that I was off.

August was hot. The day before my first big Punxsutawney ride I rode 30 miles in Virginia with Tim. It was 95º. That left me drained. The heat continued into the second week.

Northern Cambria, Pa., Aug. 7, 2021
Don and Nancy’s house (they weren’t home)

By the third week, I cut back. And maybe it was too much. There was not a ride the entire week of 20 miles. The longest was August 20 in Concord, New Hampshire. I rode 10 miles in the morning and 11 miles in Maine in the afternoon. For the week I rode just 103 miles.

Maine-New Hampshire border, Aug. 20, 2021

Some of it was travel. Two trips to Pennsylvania then a long trip to Maine. It’s hard to get long rides in when you are driving most of the day. But then Mount Washington came. I had hoped to have a PR on Mount Washington but instead had my worst time ever.

Life’s a struggle

Maybe not worse but I was completely drained afterward. For the next 12 days, it was total blah. Nothing there. It took me 12 days to feel like my legs were coming back. And then on Sept. 2, I recaptured the Walton Drive Sprint KOM (52 sec.). I also picked up the longer Walton Roll KOM. I could not have done this in the prior two weeks.

I went to Richmond on September 12 for the Climb to Conquer Cancer. Riding solo instead of in a group this year, I was one mph faster than I was two years ago, the only time I had ridden this course. I marked a number of segments and I PR’d on every one of them except for two near the end that I held back on for a reason.

Not my jeresey

The reason was that I was riding well. I was spending a lot of energy but wanted one PR on the day. And that was on Libby Hill. Ultimately, I had the same exact time as I did two years ago. So no PR for me. But it was in the Top Ten All-Time age group. “Officially” I am 9th out of 53. But many of those are on trainers in their basements riding the Zwift Richmond Worlds Course. Not the same thing. I did not see anyone on Sept. 12, 2021, in my age group that was better. I think I won the age group for the event but never heard back from anyone.

Then there was Sunday. The Alpine Loop Gran Fondo. I had my best ride in 10 years. Second overall for my age group – need to work on first. I was energized by my granddaughters cheering me on.

1000 Days 1000 Rides

There are times when one is tired. Worn down. And for me, I hit the way in August. I started to question whether I’d get my mojo back. But I am not alone.

Even the best in the world will hit the wall. Richard Carapez of Equador won the Tour de Swiss then finished third in the Tour de France. He went to Tokoyo and won the Olympic road race gold medal. Then he returned to Spain to race the Vuelta a España and withdrew during Stage 14. It just caught up to him.

So no need to worry when I don’t have it – even for weeks. Sometimes the body is tired and needs a rest. And what little mojo I have, will come back.

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