I saw Kerkove's tweet on his best of list of 2008 and it is RAD! He did a fantastic job in getting this year-in-review out I was inspired to do likewise. So with confirmation from Jeff that I could blatantly rip off his framework for his best-of (after all, he is the MASTER of sports marketing in this Web2 day and age....), I've listed below what were my tops of the year. Thanks to Jeff for letting me 'borrow' his list framework!
Best New Race: The Blue Sky Velo Xilinx 'Cross Race!
TOTALLY pro and the entire Blue Sky Velo team went psycho to get it done and done right.
Best Race that I Raced: Chatfield State Park.
I can not describe the FUN I had at this race and likely was the best I felt the whole season. A true course for mountain bikers and those who can handle bikes.
Chatfield St. Park CX - 8 Nov 08 from Gregory Keller on Vimeo.
Best Race that I didn't Race: Cross Crusade
I'd get an email a week from my hombre Chris DiStefano in PDX this season to let me know how rad the scene is and that they'd measure their racer participation each weekend in the THOUSANDS. I need to make it a mission to get out there in 2009 to mix it up a bit with some of the fast West Coasters.
Best Training or Racing Aide: Nothing.
As it was a very 'different' year for me with no real ability to build up this year (at all), I went completely naked into the season and felt my way through. Not ideal but the best thing I could have done to keep the pressure off. I'll have a better plan for 2009, but just flow-ing in and out of each weekend in 2008 was what the doctor ordered.
Best Food: Pancakes!
For some reason these bad boys made me feel infinitely better than my old pre-race fuel: Eggs. It must be a protein versus carbs thing but my best results came with a healthy dose of the flap jacks ~3hours before race time.
Best Road Trip: Za Trip!!
While the Nationals in Kansas City was an epic road trip this month, it was still (unbelievably) in 2008 (January) that I was in Belgium and The Netherlands on the most epic racing road trip I've ever partaken in. It will happen again. Plans are in motion...
Best New Product I Tried This Year: SRAM Red/Force
This was the year I 'made the leap'. The products are absolutely bomber and worth of the rigors of 'cross and would recommend it to anyone who wants lightness, bomb-proofness, cable-free bars, etc.
Best All-Around Ride:
Best Picture I Took: Some Pro dude in Shriek Grootlo
It's not a technically great picture in the eyes of real photographers I am sure, but I like looking at this pic as it reminds me so much of the trip to Belgium and of the fantastic woodsy courses we flowed on in Za Motherland. It was taken with a crappy Canon point and shoot camera so I can't complain.
Best Picture Someone Took of Me: Larry Rosa at Nats.
I met Larry for the first time in person in Kansas City. I'd admired and aspired to his image taking for some time and was stoked to meet him in person. Salt of the earth! The image is perfect and his effects are rad. I am suffering inexplicably this race and yet I like seeing this pic as it 'feels' like the day to me. Cold. Always climbing. Pain.
Best Purchase I Made In '08: Selle San Marco Concor Saddle.
The product just fits my ass well. What can I say? It is bomb proof which is truly the most important reason (and is so Euro-bling it makes me smile).
Best of the Best of 2008: Lucca! This was the year we got our little fat-head, floppy eared lab/boarder collie mix. She rules. Even though I want to duct tape her up and keep her in a closet some days.
I am really looking forward to the clock turning to 12AM January 1st 2009 tonight. It's been a long year and we are ready to move into the future! I wish you all the best of everything this coming year! Make it your best.