Jesse the King Pre Leadville 100 Post

Written by Jesse King, BodyZen Team Transform member

So, I am usually a pretty careful guy. Some may say cautious, but others may disagree. (I recently got called a thrillseeker. Not sure why, but that’s another story.) I have been in pretty heavy training since January for the Leadville 100 in mid-August. Thus, I have had that in the back of my mind when deciding how dare-devilish to be. Well, apparently with only 6 weeks until the race, all that went out the window. While traveling to visit some friends in St. Louis, I decided it would be a good idea to get some riding in at a bit higher elevation than I’m used to in Florida. All was good and we were having a great ride, until about 100 yards away from the car, on a tight switchback coming down a hill. I hit a rock that I was trying to avoid, promptly sliding my rear tire out and landing directly on my thumb. I don’t suggest it. There was not enough strength to support my weight and the result was a severe dislocation.
After an ER visit and hand specialist follow up, I was outfitted with my very own cast. Trouble is, its hard to grab a bike handlebar with no thumb. So, with 6 weeks left to train and prepare for Leadville, I was forced to spend all of my seat time on the trainer. Fun, I know.
Ramping up for a 8-12-hour race requires a lot of seat time. Previously, I had done a few hours on the trainer due to rain, childcare issues, or travel requirements without much trouble. But, coming up on my longest ride yet, 7 hours, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Seven hours on a bike isn’t an easy task in any way, but at least on the trail you have scenery to look at, people to follow, the wind blowing on your face, the sun, the birds, the animals….you get the idea. However, when on the trainer, you get your living room.
There is only so much Netflix you can watch and still stay on task. Bathroom breaks were a bit easier however, so thats always good. The kids (3.5-year-old twin boys) were a little funny though. They kept asking if I was still riding on my bike and why. That happened a few times throughout the time. They came and went, so there was some interaction, but being that the bike and trainer combination is pretty loud, its kinda hard to hear 3-year-olds unless they yell.
Its also a bit hard to simulate any type of course on a standard trainer. There is no elevation change in my living room, except maybe from carpet to tile, so I was forced to stroll through the gears every now and then to do what I could. No hills, no descents, nothing. It makes you become a bit creative when riding, for 2 reasons. One to occupy your mind for that long in the same space, and two for thinking about how you would react to the course and gear changes. Throwing it into low gear and standing up and rocking the trainer from left to right is a little daunting to the onlooker, but it just had to happen.
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