Ah, such foolishness.... :-)
I figured there couldn't be a better place to celebrate reaching 5,000 than the one and only Mike's Maze, in the process doing my first corn maze bike orienteering. Perhaps the first ever corn maze bike orienteering? Also, perhaps the last ever corn maze bike orienteering?
But it was there and it had to be done.
Got out the sprint map
from this year's champs, I'd had 10:50 I think. I figured the last thing I wanted was to be clipped in, so I put on a pair of running shoes because that seemed easier than changing pedals. And got set to go.
The maze, well, like me, it's not as young as it used to be. More precisely, it's old and it's showing its age. But there is still a maze. Of course there were no controls out, and a couple of times that would have been really helpful, but you deal with what's there.
Sunny day, light wind, upper 20s, beautiful. Except it would have been a lot better had it been cloudy, though I didn't realize this until I was in the maze.
Started off, moving nicely to #1, the ground was frozen hard, except where it wasn't. And in those places, where the ground was a dark brown, the top layer must have gotten enough sun that it had thawed and there was now a layer of rather gooey mud on top. With zero traction. Sure made things interesting.
Got to #1 OK, hit the button on my Garmin to take splits, on to #2. Got there, determined that I had stopped my watch at #1 and that I was now actually at #3.
Bummer in 2 ways. Thought for a moment. Decided -- because it was my party and I was making the rules -- that the only thing to do was a do-over. Headed back to the start outside the maze. Got there, deleted the data from the Garmin. Hey, if it's not on the Garmin, it never happened, right?
OK, started off again. Seemed as every minute went by there was more mud. Seemed like riding a bike in this stuff was rather difficult (and thank goodness I wasn't clipped in). Seemed like riding a bike in a maze and trying to orienteer was some combination of difficult and insane. And imagine if there had been, say, the 50 or so folks we get for the corn maze champs all in the maze at once, on bikes.
Nope, corn maze bike orienteering is not going to catch on. But for this one time, well, it seemed just right. Made the 5,000. And I was smiling before, during, and after. And didn't even mind the half hour it took afterwards to clean the mud off the bike (it went down a couple of times, though I didn't.
And I finished the course.... :-)