Indeed I am the human version of the ping pong ball this season and with my head getting jarred about, I can say this with complete clarity: I am in thrash mode. I am bouncing this way and that pushing all kinds of things in life at the moment…from pushing myself and my fitness in order to race at a level I know I can be at…to pushing hard with my partner in building our new company and products…to ensuring my family feels I am not psychotic. It’s as if I am constantly picking my self up off the ground in all aspects, then SPRINTING up the proverbial staircase yet again, only to have my head bash into the glass ceiling one more time…the same ceiling I thought I could break through because what I think I can see on the on the other side (or so it seems) is what I am hungry for. It’s humbling…and lest I fall into the trap of personifying the definition of insanity, I will try new things this season for all it’s worth. Education never stops…not even for the insane.
But alas, have no fear of this post dear readers. No boring whining diatribes and woe-is-me’s. The weekend was awesome in so many ways. My race sucked, so be it. A case of good old fashioned bad legs and a brain that wasn’t in fight mode. So I bit the bullet and just continued to slog myself silly as the race was being fought ahead. The WB and Robson made it a great show pushing JJ Clark to his limits for him to earn that well earned win in the 35 A’s this weekend. It reminded me of where I should be about now and will push to get there again so I can trade paint and mix it up with my boys. That’s what makes it FUN!
The course was flat and so so so so fast. Joe D and the DBCouriers gang made fantastic use of this massive high school in Louisville. What it lacked in Aspen Lodge-like technical features, it made up for with speed and a need for the understanding of how to drive your bike…very very fast…through flowy corners right at the limit of your tires unhooking. You had to have MAD prep to dial in tire pressures…not too soft (or you lose speed) not too hard (or you’ll lose it in the corners). The grass was was so smooth and fast, literally rooster tails of the green stuff would come flying off racer’s tires. Like a golf course.
From the gun the tempo was super high and was EXACTLY like a crit. It was pace-line for the most part on the long flowing slogs. Strings of 10-15 racers in full gallop. Coming into a run up transition I got boxed in and ended up on the short end of that shit-stick, somewhere in the top 20. Separations formed early on from the sand pits and I ended up towing a group of 6-10 around to try and bridge to the next group about 15 seconds ahead. My man Clay Harris came through to help but I was too pinned and the sharks who were biding their time had their way with me…chewing me up and spitting me out.
Brian Patrick’s video below does a great job capturing a lot of the action. In my case, you can see the head dropped in all occasions, my ‘tell’ that I am not in the game and pushing hard just to get through.
26th place. Honestly, no ‘depression’ or “ADS” (Angry Dad Syndrome) with it. The result is what it is. I did my best. I look at it like a level of training you just can’t get from doing intervals. Let’s hope some of this can surface…finally…in Bend!
Now on to the RAD parts of the weekend!
My wife and I are intentionally not pushing the boys into any one sport. We’ll sign them up for just about ANYTHING. They are rock climbing, playing baseball, soccer…whatever they want. In my eldest’s case…he simply asks: can I race this weekend? And to that I answer: Of course! If he’s too spent from school and he’s not up for it on a given weekend, I let him make the choice. The way I look at it if he wants it and loves it, he’ll ask for it. I do not want to push or pressure the boys.
And so, last week, he asked to race the State Championships! Hearing that, I got him stoked up that this was a big race and lots of kids would be going hard to win this one. To that he responded: “Is there ice cream there?” Which I translate to: “I’m going to rip their legs off” (even though it really means “…is there any ice cream there, dad?”)
On race day, I had him do some hot laps around the parking lot and he seemed REALLY amped to race. Interesting for the lad. He put himself in the front row and waited for the count down. I whispered in his ear to try and go super hard from the whistle so he would not get caught up in any crashes as happened to a group of the kids earlier in the season and freaked him out. He still talks about that. And so, like father like son as it comes to hole shots…
My boy raced his little heart out and took an incredible 3rd place and was so proud of himself. And yes, he got is ice cream…
And now to the final part of this incredible weekend: Sunday and the Open men’s event. My boys, teammates and mentors, Brandon and Pete, were in the pits for me Saturday yelling their guts out for me to move my carcass in a forward motion. In kind, I donned my boots and gloves and warmed up my vocal chords for their event. Pete was reigning State Champ having battled it out with the Hudz boys in 2009 and with Brandon until the last lap where they, teammates, lit it up to a sprint finish. Epically close.
This year was similar although we had some hard men like our own Allen Krughoff doing the final USGP in PDX along with Hudz-Subaru’s Matt Pacocha. Colby Pearce also from Hudz is in Zurich doing the six day and I’d absolutely have pegged him to do well on this course. So the chore of taking the prize away from BCS was left to Jake Wells and Jon Baker of Hudz to contend with the BCS Orange. I could write out the story of the race, but Brian (as he did above) has done a great job capturing the drama of the race on video. I will say this: Jake KNEW he had no support once he, Brandon and Pete got the gap from the rest of the leaders with about 3 to go so he kept attacking and attacking and attacking. It was beautiful. Brandon seized one small opportunity and gunned it for the win on the last lap. Amazing racing smarts by all three podium finishers and one hell of a rad race to watch (from the pits):
Seeing Dubba attack the way he did at the end was absolutely inspiring for me. He, like most of us, has a job, a new baby, wife....the 'teeter tooter'…so to see him pull this off and absolutely slay himself to stay in the group to even have the opportunity to attack should be lesson for us all. I lost it at the end and ran out to greet him when he came across the line I was so pumped. My good bud Nick Saucier caught these rad images of that moment. Keepers...
And with that ‘high’, I am off for a week of finishing up TONS of work for my company and packing/prepping to fly out with the boys (Me, Brandon, Webber, Boups, Weber, Baker) to Bend Thursday. We’re PUMPED and ready to finally race in conditions that we dream about. I’m hoping I can punch through that glass ceiling. Upward. The season is not done and I am stoked for that.