This season I joined the ranks of the semi decent spare time amateur bike racer. There are a lot of things that go into making that happen. Mechanical aptitude, logistical arrangements, time management, dedicated and focused training, support from my wonderful wife, and a significant amount of money. Basically it is like having a part time job (on top of my full time job to pay the bills) that you pay for instead of getting paid. In the process of streamlining everything and stressing about all the details it sometimes feels like there is nothing else left, nothing but work and racing/training/preparing for races. It is no surprise that many people get burned out!
This last weekend I proved to myself that I am truly good at not racing. I am a bike racer, sure it is part of who I am at this point, but before I was a bike racer I rode bikes because I love being outdoors, speed, and enjoying the time with other people. This last three day weekend I did just that!
Saturday morning Allison and I met up with Richard and shredded some dirt at Vail Lake. Sure, we were "pre-riding" the State Champs course, but I was really just enjoying the trails and the speed! I didn't once think of my normal "pre-ride" mental checks like where to eat and drink. I did talk to Richard some about where some attacks might happen, but I wasn't really thinking of my race.
After getting the mountain bikes dirty (and finding that my poor neglected race bike was in desperate need of some bottom bracket love) we were joined by Richard's GF Heidi and we all jumped onto the "road bikes" for a loop through wine country. I use quotation marks for that comment because I choose to ride my CX bike pretty much all the time now. I love that thing! It was a good group...
and we had a blast rolling past the vineyards.
After the ride Allison and I went home to chill out in the air conditioning for a bit (it was HOT out!) and then get ready for Joy's wedding. We felt so fortunate to be a part of their nuptial celebration! Joy and BMC are truly awesome people, the type of people that ordinarily awesome people look to for inspiration. Basically their wedding was a giant vortex of awesomeness and we had a freaking blast!!!!
Words fail to describe just how cool it was to be a part of that.
Sunday morning we drove down to Pizza Port in Carlsbad to start a ride that would earn us some good pizza and beer. We rolled out on the cross bikes and headed generally south then east on pavement.
In La Costa we put the little knobbies on the CX tires to use and didn't let up on them till we had gone over a few mountains,
through stream crossings,
and down blazing fast fire roads.
Such an amazing ride! We wound up back at Pizza Port after almost 6hrs of riding and pigged out with good friends!
Sunday night Steph and Dan (the original Mannimals!) came up for the night and joined us on Monday for what turned out to be about the best ride I could imagine. The rain came and made the trails PERFECT!
Group riding is neat because it affords me some time to build lines and play...
Everyone rode great and we had so much fun! I have to admit we cut the ride a little short though. One of the boys didn't bring any food, and it got a bit chilly. That's okay though because we were on a mission to BBQ some spectacular food for dinner and enjoy a cold brew!!!
As usual, photo credit for all the pictures goes to Allison.
So in summary we rode for a lot of hours and many miles on various bikes. We consumed vast quantities of food and beverage and laughed lots with great friends. I am truly good at not racing bikes, but very soon we will be bike racing every weekend on the CX bikes. I hope I feel as successful in that venture as I did with MTB race season, and my short season of not racing bikes!
See you at the Cyclocross races! Next up, Cross Vegas!