Thursday, July 1, 2010


I think it is quite PC to say we race to challenge ourselves, to do it for fun, to participate etc. I would say most of us race for results. Results are what differentiates a race from a hard ride. I would also say the better the results the better one feels about the race. When I hear someone tell me they are racing for fun, I wonder what they mean. Are they saying they are not competitive, do they mean they don't really care how they finish, or is just a way of saying I don't know how I will do so if I do poorly I won't feel so bad. There are some races I do just to measure myself with others. This would be some of the 100 mile races I have done and the Super Ds I do. I know I am not going to win these but I am interested in how close I am to my competitors and I like when my name is higher on the list than lower. Some races I think I can win, or at least be competitive. In these races I have to tell you it is way more fun to win than anything. I am not suggesting that those who use the term "just for fun" not compete, but I will tell you winning is the most fun. In other words I also race "just for fun", most of us do.
This year I had a couple of milestones. One is I won the 55+ Oregon Mountain Bike Series for the second time. It was not easy. Mark Miller, who came in second, beat me three times, I beat him three times. It came down to me outlasting him in the TOE, check out my last blog for that race. I was confident going into Pickett's I could win, but with half a lap to go he went by. So my decision to race TOE was key to my overall win. A more important milestone was the team victory. This was way more important to me than my individual victory. I am into the team feeling. Everyone who raced helped the team get this prize. Again it was not easy. The lead changed hands through out the season with Team Dirt from Corvallis. It also really came down to TOE. Five of us put in our best races of the year and that gave us a cushion going into Pickett's. Sunnyside Sports had never sponsored a number 1 team in Oregon, and we have been sponsoring teams since 1980. Mountain bike racing is bigger than ever in Oregon and we were the best. We are not a big team, and we do not recruit ringers. We are a group of friends that love cycling period. We just happened to be the right age, the right category and many of us traveled to a lot of races to make this a team effort. Some of us are really Track Racers but came out and scored important points. Some of us are new to the sport but gave it our best and scored points, some of us have been doing this since the beginning of mountain biking and love it so much that we can't quit and we scored valuable points.
I am so proud to be part of this group of fun loving athletes and cycling enthusiasts.
This award would have meant nothing without Team Dirt. Team Dirt gave it there all, making us realize this was no give a way. If we scored 9 points they would score 10, We had a slim 2 point lead with two races to go. If we hadn't all had great races at TOE Team Dirt would have taken over the lead for Pickett's. Thanks to Mike Ripley and Team Dirt for making this year very memorable.
Remember, on our team we all race for fun. Winning this year made it more fun. And the other 29 years when we did not win, well they were also fun but those years helped make this year pretty special.
In the photos you see we had four series winners, Don, Serena, Austin and his super Mom Jodi. This blog only has room for 5 photos but I must mention Jim was third in his group. And of course there is the Team getting it's prize. Sweet.


Asher said...

Hey Don. Interesting and informative blogs. Thanks for sharing. Question for you... Myself and 4 buddies all about 35yrs old are flying from TX to OR to ride mtn bikes for 4 full days - in a few weeks. Since its clear you ahve ridden most of OR I wanted to get your take on the best rides to consider. WE will be staying in Eugene and don't mind driving. We know we will do MRT and N Umpqua. What about the other 2 days - I was thinking Alpine Trail for one and then stumped on the other day. The last 4 yrs we have done Moab, Fruita, Whistler, and Pisgah NC. We are advnanced but not experts - and we're mtn bikers not roadies so take it easy on us please :) Thanks for your consideration. Mark from Austin TX

Don Leet said...

I think you are on track with the N Umpqua and MRT, since you are already going to Oakridge do a couple of more days there. Alpine trail is on your schedule so there is the South Fork of the Willamette (I think that is what it is called and then there is Larison Rock Trail. There are more trails than that but Oakridge is so close to Eugene you won't go wrong spending more than one day. As I was writing I was thinking about the Umpqua. It is over 60 miles and has lots of sections. I like to spend two days there when I go. Of course we have hundreds of miles of trails in Bend, it is a very senic drive about 2 1/2 hours from Eugene. We also have hundreds of miles of trails. I would have suggested you stay in Bend not Eugene. Have Fun.

Asher said...

Don - thanks very much for taking the time. We will swing by the shop when in Bend! This was very kind of you. Thanks - Mark