Think Globally, Adventure Locally

Tonight I am flying back from San Diego wrapping up my 103rd day (out of 243 days) on the road this year. I am not complaining, I have met a lot of great people working to solve some really hard problems. But traveling that much makes it hard to really explore where you live.

It is easy to get swept up in being new places and thinking about all of the places I still want to go and all of the events I want to do. I kept a browser tab open for weeks following the dots who raced across the United States during the Trans Am Bike Race. The same with the Tour Divide and Trans North Georgia Adventure. I have spent many late evenings in a hotel room researching what it would take to do a Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim or the Tour du Mont Blanc. There are so many articles that keep drawing to new and exciting places in far off and distant places.

In reality, there are a ton of things close that I can be doing but am over looking BECAUSE they are close to home. I can do an overnight bikepacking trip through Montgomery County without having to load my gear into a car. Within an hour I can be at the start of a the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail and kick off a 10-day bikepacking trip through Shenandoah. There trails all over that I can run any length on any surface type I could want. For whitewater, I could be at Great Falls in 45 minutes and paddle in a wide variety of conditions. 

But I am not.

I know the term ‘local’ is subjective as well. I still think of New Jersey and Pennsylvania as local, and I have a list of things I want to do up there. Run the AT across NJ. My all-time favorite creek, the Tohickon. Running the Batona Trail. Paddling the Savage or the Yough. And on, and on, and on…

Head deep in the Savage

But I am not…

As I am setting goals for next year, this thought has me thinking a lot about what and where I am going to play. Not saying trips to far off places are off the table, but I think I am going to look a little closer to home.

Letter of Intent – Allegheny Mountain Loop

Leading up to the IRONMAN Lake Placid, I am going to have to do some serious training (thank you Captain Obvious). But along the way I am going to compete in a few events to help gauge my fitness and just break the monotony. So Sunday I submitted my letter of intent to race in the Allegheny Mountains Loop.

There is not a day that goes by when I do not think of where I was a little over a year ago. Along the way, I have completed a number of my identified goals:

But this letter is not about looking back, it is all about looking forward. I have a couple more events in front of me before the 2017 IronMan Lake Placid, I’ll be running in the Black Mountain Challenge and Marine Corps 17.75 and competing in the IronMan Raleigh 70.3. With this letter, I would like to announce my intent in competing 2017 Allegheny Mountain Loop.

Thank you for the opportunity and I appreciate your effort!

So what is the Allegheny Mountain Loop you might ask…

It is a 400+ mile self-supported mountain bike race along the West Virginia and Virginia borders held in late April that consists of 128 miles of gravel forest roads, 78 miles of rail-trails, 22 miles of abandoned rail-trails, and 175 miles of paved roads with a whole bunch of ups and downs.

But what does that mean? Well, it means I will be starting with a handful of other crazies at 6am on April 28th to ride the loop as fast as I can while carrying everything I need. If I can’t carry it, I will need to buy it along the way. There are no support vehicles or aid stations along the way, just a simple “run what you brung” event.

Pretty stoked about it and being accepted to toe the line with some of the best cyclists in the region and see how hard and as far as I can push myself.