First off, thanks to Neil Turner and Dave Proctor for organizing such an event. Thanks to all of my housemates for spoiling the living daylights out of me. I had been struggling with my rib and hip when I arrived, and I was grateful to all for allowing me to rest. There was one time that I volunteered to help cook when I probably had no business doing anything. Jean would hear none of it. “I saw you limping. You sit down.”
As you can see from the pictures below, the cabin was magnificent. It was spacious and comfortable. You would think that it would get crowded with 20 people roaming about, but that was not the case.
Aside from riding, we did a lot of eating, and a lot of visiting. Did I mention eating? I practically ate my weight in carbs. I joked to Neil that this was the only cycling event where you leave with a calorie surplus.
The highlight for me was the campfire. We did not sing Kumbaya, although we joked about it a few times. Instead we made pathetic attempts at cooking Smores. Neil was the only one who really mastered the process. I’ll admit to being the biggest failure. I spent too much time fighting to get my marshmallows off the stick, so they were already cool when I tried to add the chocolate and cracker. Instead of a smore, I had a cold graham cracker with an unmelted bar of chocolate. I tried again with messier results. It still tasted amazing.
I was worried about my injuries, but fortunately there were a number of doctors attending. I got some great advice. All of them suggested that I get a bone scan, and that depending on the results, I may want to run a little bit to keep my bones strong. That will probably be part of the plan.
By Sunday, I was surprisingly more limber. My back had been swollen when I arrived because of the broken rib, but I think the riding loosened it up. In addition to giving me some much needed climbing, this weekend instilled me with a sense of confidence. I may not be all the way recovered, but I can still do the things I love, with a surprising amount of fitness.
We were at Table Rock for last year’s Nealapalooza, where I managed to complete the Strava Climbing Challenge. Last year I was a cougar, eager to climb my heart out, while this year I was was more like a sheep, barely moving around. I have a feeling the beast will be out to play next year.