I'm a mountain biker. I most likely came to this conclusion because I prefer mountain biking to any other activity available to me, but also because I'm solidly mediocre at it which means I'm better at mountain biking than anything else I do. However, I'm setting my mountain bike aside for the next month and a half until September 14 because on September 12 I'm planning on riding a road bike from Logan, Utah, through Idaho, and into Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
By all means, this is a bad idea. Man was not designed to spend all day on a bicycle saddle. Also, instead of doing what I'm the best at, riding a mountain bike, I am spending all of my summer training to do something that leaves my body feeling broken and abused. Last time I was in this situation it didn't turn out especially well. I trained all summer and didn't even officially finish with a time to show my friends. I spent so long in the saddle that my Garmin battery died, so I assume I spent 36 hours pedaling because I have no official time to say otherwise or even a Strava file to verify it. I only had a beaten body that felt like I had been pedaling for 3 complete days.
You may ask why I would sign up again. I guess it's because I don't learn. It could be because I feel like I have some unfinished business left on the road between Logan and Jackson. Maybe it's because Lotoja is our area's Tour de France. It's THE race for anyone that has been on a road bike or even aspiring to get on a road bike in the Intermountain West. But it is probably because someone asked me if I was planning on doing it and I said I was thinking about it. Before I knew it, I was signed up and riding my bike more. The only problem was that I got a new mountain bike this spring, but not just any mountain bike, the Yeti SB-6c. The ultimate mountain bike. It goes uphill and downhill. That bike is difficult to walk away from.
Nevertheless, until mid-September, I'm riding a Trek Domane with thru-axles and disc brakes; it makes me feel a bit less like a roadie. But there is something about riding over multiple state lines under your own power that gives you a feeling of accomplishment that is far different than any other feeling in the world. That may have been the reason I am signed up again, but I'm also craving Burger King in Afton and no one will give me a ride.