Saturday, June 12, 2010
2010 MO state mtn bike championships
Although I appear to be shorter than those around, I am in fact on the top step.
Maybe next time I won't wear a blindfold and will try and beat Shottler.
Strongest single speed field that I've ever raced in Missouri today. Pro mountain biker and recent (don't know the year?) singlespeed national champion Dejay Birtch was there, as well as Garrett, Dan Fuhrmann, Nico Toscani, and many others. In addition the day was hot, humid, and I don't think I had pedaled a bike for more than an hour in about a month. Given all of that, my goals were not based on any particular outcome, only the the process of getting to the race and seeing how I felt.
The first 'separation' climb felt great at the beginning of the race. At the top, it was Fuhrmann, Dejay, and then me and i felt like I was well within my comfort zone. My gear choice for the day was a 34x18 which was hard but about perfect for the 3 lap, 90-ish minute race. If I would have needed to do another lap, I definitely could not have pushed that gear. At the top of the hill, Fuhrman got off and ran a section and Dejay and I sped around him. A few minutes into the race I felt well within my comfort zone holding Dejay's wheel and we slowly started pulling away. On the second climb we started passing some of the expert riders, which was interesting riding with such an experienced racer, as he was much more aggressive in passing than I normally am...but I didn't want to let him get a gap on me so I just tried to apologize and keep moving. 10-15 or so minutes into the race, at the start of the 'rollercoaster' section, he fell. Don't exactly know how or why and after talking with him after the race, neither does he. So, I just kept my pace and kept pedaling. Next thing I knew, I was by myself. I hammered it up the climbs and just kept it steady and smooth on the single track.
The heat was really hard to deal with. I opted for the camelbak today and was really glad I had it, as I went through all of a 100oz bag except for just a few sips.
The last lap felt great until climb #3, when my quads locked up in searing pain anytime I fully extended my knees.
It was definitely a suffer fest with the heat and the cramps at the end...but for some reason I've got an appetite for that these days.
Jersey #2 and third state title in a year (last year's ss race at the state championships only had 2 riders, so no jersey!).
ps- Very unfortunate thread on stlbiking regarding bitterness. I read this quote last week from Mark Twight and really dig what it says about our personal responsibility to be respectful and to work hard. Although he is talking about road racing and people that sit-in I think the general idea about just putting it all out-there is one of the reasons I love racing:
"I just don't get it. We're amateurs. It's a hobby. The sport is tough. That difficulty makes the feeling of finishing well after having utterly smashed yourself so satisfying. I know that feeling. I wonder what it feels like to finish after having sat in, after having done the bare minimum for 99% of the race, and then shooting to the line on reasonably fresh legs ahead of the chasing, faltering pack. Is it a good feeling, that win? It must be.
Still, why wouldn't you work hard enough to break and redefine yourself? Afraid of what you might find?"
This is not to say ANYTHING about sandbagging or getting second place, or whatever. The only thing I mean by it is that we do this for fun. Winning isn't everything. In 10 years and beyond my daughter won't give a rats ass that I won this race today or even that I raced bikes. She will care however if I live my life with balance, take responsibility, and treat others well.