Monday, February 23, 2009


I have been racing for over 30 years now. That is a long time. These wimpy pro guys retire after 10 or 15 years. So after that long you would think I would know how to get ready for a race.
Yes I know how to get ready but doing it is another thing. Mountain bike racing is another kettle of fish as compared to cyclo cross. Cyclo cross is 40 minutes of as hard as I can go. No need to feed (in fact that is frowned on). Eat three hours before, eat one gu and then race. Don't dress too warmly. Mountain bike racing is 2 to three hours. You can get too hot or too cold. Eating is part of the race, warm up is important but not the same as cross. I use a 5 inch full suspension bike. It needs to be set up for race mode. I was thinking about all this on Saturday evening.  I was going to race the next day and I hadn't even thought about getting ready. 
I packed everything I thought I would need into the car and along with James, Jim and Ben off we went. We got to the race a little later than I would have liked. The highway was a sheet of ice for close to 60 miles. Going 4o instead of 60. We decided to forge on. I didn't eat quite enough so I threw some Gu packages in my pocket (good) I put my vest on over my pocket (bad). I brought my clear glasses (good), I couldn't find them in my bag (bad). I really wanted to use contacts but had totally forgotten them ( I was to pay for that later). 
I was too warm but there was no way to take off any clothing without stopping. I got hungry but couldn't get out my gu. I had to stop and move my vest. My glasses fogged up while I was on the most fun part of the trail. I lost my momentum. I persevered, I forged on and ended up winning my category. I am known as the guys who is ready, I felt like a rookie. Next time it will be better. 
As I mentioned I won yesterday. Don't ask me how many showed up. I don't really know other than there were a lot of racers. Ron was there (he beat me in my last two cross races last year). Winning is an important part of racing for me. I work hard and to have the satisfaction of that hard work paying off by winning is the best. When I get back from a race I am asked "Did you win?" I hate that. Yes I have won my share of races but it is never a forgone conclusion. I like "How did you do?" better. When I win it is special. Yesterday was special. As Levi Leipheimer said at the Tour of California winning is only as  good as your competition. Ron is good competition, so the win was good. I hope to win some more this year, but my last win was over one year ago. I certainly am not counting on winning every race I do, but I do enter every race thinking I can win. When I do it is sweet.
PS These photos were of the Echo the small town where this race started. It was a great venue. 


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