How Long the Road
Nearly seven years have passed, but I remember my first LD like it was just last May. I had so much to say afterwards that I needed two, lengthy posts to tell the tale. Later that summer, my good friend, a photographer, drove a couple hours on a frigid morning to document my first 50. That story also took a long post, plus some related posts, to tell.
Since 2008, I have completed 30 endurance rides, plus a few LDs before I gave those up altogether in 2009. My record is hardly notable — riding with friends like Karen Bumgarner has a way of keeping a person humble — but still, 30 rides will get you a long way down the road. 1515 AERC miles, to be exact.
That’s enough miles to make your average 50 nothing to write home about. Oh, it’s still one of my favorite ways to spend a day. It’s still fun and beautiful and painful and sweaty and all the rest. It still gets my attention and makes me look for ever-better ways to prepare and care for my horse.
But it just isn’t the big deal that once it was. It isn’t a major challenge. It isn’t sufficiently HARD.
(Did you notice that, last year, I wrote up only one of Jammer’s six endurance rides? Yeah. Partly that was because I was busy playing with whitewater and backpacks and motorcycles, but it was also because there just wasn’t much to say beyond: “We had a great ride!” Yep. Sure did. Next?)
I’ll tell you what’s next. It’s what I’ve wanted from the day I first learned that endurance riding exists as an organized sport. It’s the thing that still lures me, still scares the crap out of me, the thing I must do.