After coffee in the woods, the guys all had to go to work. I had work to do, but I consult, which means all my work is flexible, movable, optional (to a degree). I decided to head out the trail, instead of back in.

I’m supposed to be tapering this week. I have a big run coming up this weekend, and so now is the time to get my legs back together, reset my batteries, and see if I can store some energy for the coming battle. But as I mentioned the other day, I’m bad at sitting still. Really, I could have rolled slowly back home from coffee in the woods, grabbed some food and a shower, and put my feet up (not to mention doing some of the work I’ve been putting off), but it was so goddamned nice out, and my bike is so goddamned smooth, and we were already in the stupid woods, so…

I love the word taper actually, because it means both “reduce or diminish” and “a candle,” which is a universal metaphor for our energy stores. I tend to burn mine from both ends, leaving a warm puddle and a charred wick where my source of light should be.

So my tapering turned into an extra 10 or 15 miles of trail riding. In my defense, I didn’t go hard. I soft-pedaled most of the hills. I railed all the single-track, because it demands you do so, but I cruised the road sections. I was good(ish).

The main mistake I made was not eating before I left the house. On Tuesdays, of course, we have Suffer Club, which I set up this morning, but didn’t participate in. Because I’m tapering. I got the Sufferers going, and then I walked the dog. I drank some coffee (Before coffee in the woods? Yeah.) , and then I left to meet the guys (at a coffee shop). We rolled 20 minutes or so out to the flat spot at the top of the hill in the small patch of woods where we have traditionally made coffee, and then I drank more coffee.

At this point, I’m 3 hours and 4 cups of coffee into my day, and I haven’t eaten. That was the point I decided there was some perfectly good riding to do, and so headed west instead of east, making a few short stops at opportune moments to relieve the pressure in my bladder from all that coffee.

By the time I crested the hill we live on and snaked around the few corners to our little dead end, I was on the verge of bonking. I deposited my bike in the garage and wobbled back up the basement stairs, emerging into the kitchen to the beguiling scent of bacon cooking. I nearly cried.

B was on a call, so I had to wait for her to finish before I begged for some bacon to go into the breakfast burrito I was rolling. It was touch-and-go there for a minute, whether I’d faint before I got food in my face, but I made it.

Then I got a text from a friend hoping to connect for a ride, and I told him, “Hey, I can’t. I have a big run coming, and I’m tapering. Try me next week.”