Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why I’m not ready to ride Tevis

First, non-endurance friends, read here what Tevis is.

I’m not ready to ride 100 miles in a day (or even 90-ish, as they may have done this year). Putting aside all the concrete reasons that I'm not ready, including (but not limited to): Not having enough money for a trip to CA, not having a fit horse, not being a fit rider, never having ridden more than 30 miles continuously, not being a "morning person" and needing much more frequent bathroom breaks than a Tevis-winning pace will allow, I also am just too damn lazy. Let me illustrate.

I’ve copied 2011 winning rider Jeremy Reynolds’ schedule from ride day and compared it to my own schedule for the same Saturday. It puts my productivity in pretty harsh perspective.

6:30 a.m.
Jeremy begins the ride, cantering through darkness with a herd of fire-breathing elite equine athletes.

I am still in bed. 

7:30 a.m.
Jeremy arrives at Lower Quarry–East, averaging 10.1mph.

I am still in bed.

8:01 a.m.
Jeremy arrives at Franciscos–East, having already gone 20.1 miles in less than two hours.

I am still in bed.

10:21 a.m.
Jeremy arrives at Foresthill–East, having traveled 38.6 miles. He will now have a one-hour hold and vet check.

I am still in bed. (Do you see a pattern forming?)

11:24 a.m.
Jeremy leaves Foresthill–East.

I wake up 11 minutes after Jeremy leaves Foresthill. In those 11 minutes he has traveled about a mile. I have gone the 10 steps to the bathroom and back.

12:01 p.m.
Jeremy arrives at Chicken Hawk/Volcano–East, having traveled 42.7 miles.

I am putting frozen biscuits in the oven and frying breakfast sausage. I am still in my bathrobe. Brian is playing Call of Duty in his underwear.

1:22 p.m.
Jeremy is leaving Chicken Hawk/Volcano–West, having traveled more than half the ride distance—57.3 miles.

I am now wearing pants.

1:55 p.m.
Jeremy cruises into Foresthill – West. He is at 61.4 miles and will have another hourlong hold.

I am in the truck on my way to Heather’s to ride Blue.

2:58 p.m.
Jeremy leaves Foresthill – West.

Blue and I are at Bennington Lake. We are about 15 minutes into our ride.

5:22 p.m.
Jeremy arrives at River Crossing – West. He has ridden 83.4 miles today.

I am already back in the parking lot at Bennington Lake grooming Blue. I rode a few moderately paced miles of hills in ideal October-in-Walla-Walla weather (i.e., 70 degrees and sun with just the hint of a breeze).

I'm not a real endurance rider; I just play one in this blog.

5:50 p.m.
Jeremy arrives at Lower Quarry – West, 89.9 miles into his journey.

I drop Blue off at Heather’s and unhook the trailer. I zoom home to say hello to Brian and change clothes so I can go for a run.

7:01 p.m.
Jeremy cruises into the finish at McCann Stadium. He has been riding for 10.5 hours—longer than I have been awake—at an average speed just under 10mph.

I finish a 20-minute run (level, paved trail) at the same moment he crosses the finish line. I feel pleasantly tired.

I can’t imagine how he feels. And that’s why I’m not ready.


  1. I dearly wish that I had written this post! Still laughing...

  2. Just found your blog today :)
    What a funny post!!!

    I hope someday to try Endurance -- but I suspect Competitive Trail may be more my "speed." I can (very much) relate to your post here (and laughing -- I can see myself being the same way).

    I face the same challenges you talk about -- although I don't even have a horse that is able to do any lengthy rides. My guy is a senior citizen and I can only afford one at this time -- so he's it (...and I LOVE him tremendously).

    In the meantime, we do our easy, "light" rides together...I work on my own fitness...and hope the day will come soon that I can bring another horse into my life :)