I couldn't get it out of my head. "Tic begins!....." and the rumbling ambush of guitar that explodes into the song at that point and crescendos to chaos. One of my favorite desert island albums. Helmet. I'll never get over them.
So there I was...again...in that all too familiar place with some of the greatest folks I've met here in Colorado surrounding me. On the front line of a 'cross. Ward, Tim, Chris P, Jon G, Clay, Jared. Dads, worker bees, athletes. I'll get to that stuff later. And I am there on the front line with this song in my head...
It's beginning. Again. And I'm so happy. I'm staring down at my machine and the perfectly new tread on my Dugasts as the ACA ref counts down 1 minute. And I start to smile.
In one minute...massive reflections of this past summer. No sorrow. I'm smiling. No deep training. I'm smiling. Heart rate which is normally pumping hard in those nervous seconds before a race...decelerating. Calm. I'm smiling.10 seconds. I'm smiling.
I'll get to the race in a minute....
I picked up my A bike last night. Jeremiah, Mike D and D-Wayne all took turns dialing it in. Built on Saturday, picked up at 5 and I 'd planned to just hot lap it at the race in the AM on Sunday. Bottom line, the bike with all its new bits came out AWESOME. 17.03 lbs. Not bad for a fairly big bike...e.g. ~59cm. Some shots of the sex:
So I warmed up with the A bike today fully intending to ride the B bike with the Shimano still affixed which I have been used to for a decade or more (SRAM Force is going on this week on the B). Confession time: I've never ridden more than 10 feet with SRAM before. By 100 meters into my first warm up lap...I GOT it. Everything felt right. From the hoods to the lever's unique 'double tap' use, it all felt completely right. Ward as we're warming up is trying to get into my head: "Dude, you know it is not the smartest idea to race a freshly built bike in a race for the first time...." Yeah, yeah, yeah. But dude IT FEELS SO GOOD! I took a lap on the B and honestly, it wasn’t the same. I had to take the risk. I don't care this season. No points, nothing. I HAD to ride that newbie. Mmmmm. And so it was to be.
"GO!!!" Back to the race….
The smile was likely still on my mug as the ACA ref shouted for the race’s beginning and I instinctively I win the hole shot with very little effort. I want to be out front, get a tempo and stay out of drama. No elevated heart rates or afterburners. Just push a gear that is sensible, 'floaty' and somewhat fast without the watts. That and a subtle punch at the moment I hear go is all it takes.
All in all, I feel I spun it well and sensible in today's 35 Elite race in Breckenridge CO's 10,000 feet of blissful and beautiful altitude. All the while, lap after lap, I'm not thinking with a blood lust to go and vault after the leaders in the late laps of the race. I can see their uniforms in the apex bends in the courses seconds ahead. Instead, I'm whispering to myself. "Clean. Take it clean. No rolled tires. No pressure. Clean lines. Every line clean." I rolled for roughly 1/2 the first lap out front wanting a group to split so I could relax and sit in. Timmy, Ward and Jon C came through and I hung then Jon dropped the gauntlet and I did not want to follow something like that yet. I just spun the legs super 'Lancey' today with a 42 x 23 or 25 in a lot of sections that I’d normally be low in cadence and high in power. Keeping them free of lactic build up and it worked well. I'd float back to groups easily and just hammered along. I spun with Chris P and others for a bit finally settling in with Glen from Moots trading between 4th to 7th place.
By the bell lap, I'm wavering in what could be 5th to 7th...depending upon how I play it. We can see Tim, Ward, Chris P etc in the woods. 35 seconds. My wife and boys are cowbelling their little hands off and Amy is shouting times at me as I swing by each lap. I can see the two white Moots uniforms and Glen and Jon are together for some reason. Jon apparently had a tire and a gear issue and I bridge up and we both attack it at exactly the same time up the final hill in the run towards the finish with TONS of fans going nuts. THAT was great cowbell action folks!! Jon is incredible. He lets his team mate grab the distance watching me carefully marking me PRO style. His strength is incredible as we both go for it and I concede to his 'powah' and we roll in 6th and 7th I believe behind Glen.
I am STILL smiling. It was so good to be back and racing again. Moreover, racing with guys who are some of the best in the country...and all have this rich balance in their lives. Fantastic conversations we have continually and if there is ever a group of folks who can truly parse the words of my crappy blog and 'get it', its them. Perfect.
More digital celluloid.