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Often described as one of the toughest bike races in the lower 48 states, the Arrowhead 135 challenges even the most prepared riders. This is a journal by a non-athlete's participation in an event where starting is often just as much a challenge as finishing.

Getting "Made"
April 26, 2011
I hate reality TV. In fact I hate *most* (but not all) TV. But I was curious when Steve Casimiro over at Adventure Journal posted his review of an episode of MTV's "Made" that took high school princess Emily Highstreet and turned ("made") her into a mountain bike racer.

You can read Steve's assessment yourself, but I generally agree with his opinion. The basic synopsis of the story is that in 5 weeks Emily went from not even being able to ride a bike (literally, much less a mountain bike on California single track) to participating in a 13 mile race, with a tour as a bike mechanic along the way. You can watch the full episode online at MTV.

The reason I'm putting this here is that the process I went though for the Arrowhead was similar, and a lot of the mental issues are basically the same. In my case, perhaps the nature of the challenge shifted the process, but the challenge for Emily in terms of both mental and physical preparation necessary was probably actually harder for her than me. It was amazing to see how many times she ended up picking herself up from crashes and keep going - that took some motivation. What I kind of see is that no matter where you are on the spectrum - complete novice to cycling, 44 year old bike commuter, pro athlete - there is a challenge somewhere that will tax everything from physical fitness to committment to mental roadblocks to riding skill. The process of getting from where you start to where you want to finish is basically the same.

Her goal was simply to get out there and race and complete the course. No different from mine.

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