Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 YIR Part 1

For me 2011 will always be the year of "The Comeback".  If I close my eyes I can still feel my body shatter against cold hard steel, hear the bone snapping collision in head, taste the blood that flowed freely from my face.  I don't know if time will ever smooth over the broken jagged edges of my memories of April 2, 2010 or the days and weeks that followed.  Those memories propelled me.  Death is a stationary immovable object but I plan to move, till I can't move anymore.  Sure my neck and my knee still hurt, living is hurting though and is better than the alternative.  I charged into 2011 with my best friend and partner by my side.

New Years Eve, Allison's foot went bad that day.
Her presence by my side though was short lived in 2011.  Black Death Foot knocked her clean off the track that she was racing on.  In her absence I envisioned myself left on the field of battle.  Alone I was left to guard our flag.  I don't have many pictures from the seemingly endless hours of training in the cold and wet that followed but my skin grew thinner showing more of the sinew and muscle below than ever before.  I did get to ride a couple times on the dirt with friends and they were not just great times, it really helped keep me going to ride with someone else.

Singletrack riding with Weeger, one of the best rides of  January.

In February Allison tried to train again despite her injury.  The excitement over the 2011 race bikes fueled us along with the refusal to give up hope that she could get back on track and continue her ascent in racing. She  was, actually we both were, desperately groping at the edge of an icy crevasse of unknown depth that neither of us wanted to admit she had slid into without warning.

The new race bikes ready to rumble.
I love riding with this girl!
After the short ride together I rode home solo from Escondido.
Soon enough though the slow pace of the Winter picked up and going fast would be the name of the game in the Spring.  I was up to the challenge.  Winning races started in February at SRC.

There was no winning at Sagebrush, only suffering and cold.

March was a new month and the disappointment of Sagebrush pushed me to a higher level.  I am not sure if there was another race in 2011 where I was so much "in the zone" as I was at Bonelli.

Shortly afterward Fontana brought one of the most memorable and closest races I have ever had on a mountain bike.
Special thanks to Brian for making this race amazing. 
The "Top Step" at Fontana, a dream come true.
April brought a whole new race venue with Sycamore Canyon.  Again I reaped the benefit of all my hard work and mounted the top step.

Joking with Sheek off the start line.
"Tower, requesting a flyby."

 While I was getting practice climbing to the top step Allison was practicing her photography skills.  They would come in handy during what would become the most amazing Summer ever.

To be continued...

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