Monday, January 2, 2012

Kicking Diet Soda's Ass and the Possibility of Camping

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I didn't make any New Years resolutions, at least nothing that is blogworthy. I did set a few goals about training, losing weight, blah blah blah. One thing I did decide to work on was kicking the Diet Pepsi habit. I love the stuff. It's not like I'm one of those people who drink it in lieu of coffee and late into the night, no, it's been a one-pepsi-a-day habit for years. Literally years.  It harkens back to the days of yore when I was a smoker and just generally lived an unhealthy lifestyle.

I'm not convinced that diet soda is really all that bad for you but on the other hand, there seems to be a growing body of evidence that it's not all that good for you either.

Here's a shot of me on December 31 swilling away at what hopefully will be my last Diet Pepsi. I'm trying to enjoy drinking plain water with a bit of lime. The dull headache that I predicted would hit me by the end of the first day never materialized.

On a more relevant topic, last night I signed up for the Midwest Women's Mountain Bike Clinic (here's their website) held in Brown County State Park, Nashville, Indiana, June 9-10. Unless I can talk another adventurous soul into signing up, I'll probably be hitting this one solo. And that's ok. It looks like a great get-away kind of weekend.

I struggled with what level to assign myself -- Intro, Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. I'm probably somewhere between Beginner and Intermediate.  The criteria are as follows:

 Beginner Criteria
* You have been mountain biking for at least one (1) year. CHECK
* You have decent general riding skills and good fitness, but lack the ability and confidence to tackle terrain beyond a beginner level.CHECK
* You have a basic understanding of braking, shifting and steering and can handle riding smooth dirt paths with few rocks, roots and technical areas.CHECK
* You may be looking to improve your fitness and can only handle riding for a few hours before tiring.CHECK
     
Intermediate Criteria

* You have been mountain biking for over two (2) years and have solid intermediate-level skills. ...DEFINITELY NOT SOLID
* You are comfortable with almost all aspects of mountain biking and can handle more technical terrain with rocks, roots and small logs (up to 6"). MMMM, SMALL LOGS ARE OK...
* You have good control of your bike on intermediate to slightly more advanced trail and are comfortable climbing on non-technical singletrack. CHECK
* You are physically fit and can handle riding for several hours at a time. ...UH, ARE THERE BREAKS?
     ~ you must be able to perform a front and rear wheel lift as well as ride logs up to 6" in diameter   REAR WHEEL LIFT??????????? wtf????

Beginner it is. Maybe I'll learn to perform a rear wheel lift.  

Being in a state park, it is suggested and encouraged that clinic participants camp.  In tents. For those who absolutely must have their air conditioning, there are hotel options outside of the park. Let me go on record by stating that I hate tent camping with a passion. Oh sure, it's all fun while you're setting things up --- picking out the spot, fighting to erect the tent, inflating the air mattress.  Then reality sets in. If it's hot, it will be hotter in the tent. Sleeping on an air mattress is hardcore shit. At night it's freezing and if you have to make a bathroom run at 2 a.m., it's generally to a building lit by a large floodlight that has attracted every species of nocturnal insect ever documented. 

In the morning your stuff is all damp. The campfire that smelled so good last night has permeated everything you brought with woodsmoke and it reeks. It is damp and smelly. You are damp and smelly.  And when you are finished camping and tear down the tent, it goes into your car and makes the long drive home, stinking up your car with its damp smelliness.  So now your car stinks and there are probably slugs and other such things that hitched a ride on the tent.  

But there is some sort of fun around the campfire after the riding is done that is probably a big part of the culture of the Midwest Women's Mountain Bike Clinic. And I would hate to be the weenie who, at the end of the day, packed up my bike and just left without a bit of socializing.  

So maybe I will have to set my hatred of tent camping aside for this one event. 

3 comments:

Mike said...

Good luck kicking the soda habit. You can do it!

The mtb clinic should be fun. You can't shame reindeer Mary into it?

Patrick Mahoney said...

I read this clutching a diet coke, but good for you.

Maybe you could get a camping stunt double to do the camping parts for you.

Kate said...

I'm just about there on MTB camp. I really really want to go. If I wimp out on Kanza, I'm there for sure. Possibly either way. I keep looking at the criteria...I think I'd sign up for intermediate.

Do you ride clipless on your MTB? A rear wheel lift is pretty easy if you do.