Uh oh. That’s never a good noise. I’m looking around for the source of the noise. Not hearing the rain falling around me or the wind that’s blowing leaves across the gravel road in front of me. I am simply hearing the thump. My bikes in order. Tires have air & nothing is stuck in them. There aren’t any waterbars in site. I breathe in. Catching my breath I realized the noise. It’s my heart. Reminding me I’m alive & that it is still working inside of my tired core. Pedaling up the gravel road towards the trail head. Little warm up time, ok – no warm up time. My heart was trying to catch up. I see my friend standing up ahead. There’s the trail head. The rain picks up. Oh lord what am I doing? I’m catching a cold & beating the piss out of myself to ride up a gravel road? Trailhead means singletrack. I enter first. I have two wheels, she has two feet to carry her. Down I go. Through the wet sandy puddles. Around torn down branches & a few trees. There’s the thump again, where had it gone? Retreated or stopped in excitement. The trail stops. Left turn or right turn. To the left all I see is a rock bed going down hill. A wet rock bed – my worst fear. I went down. Stopping once for a huge drop. I rode down. (You hearing that taryn?) A couple hike-a-bikes later, we are back on that gravel road. The thumping has ceased only because I am flying back down the road to parking and then a hot shower. 10 miles and I had more left. Good feeling. Heading home to Charlotte tonight after work. Hanging out with the pup and girlfriend. Tomorrow waking up super early to go to Hobby Park. Hope loosing sleep will be worth it all. No racing this weekend. Just riding & enjoying my friends. Sunday I plan on sleeping in with the woman & making up for all the lost winks.