I'm a week late posting this...for obvious reasons. The destruction here in Boulder due to the floods and landslides has been surreal and bike racing has taken a very far back seat while we as a community have been helping our neighbors. I've been in basements and back yards the last few days helping literally dig my friends out. We will recover and move on. But it has been a true mental block for many of us to think about biking.
Last week, however, was just awesome. It was a true 'kick start' to the season for both my Boulder Cycle Sport Ambassadors as well as my Boulder Junior Cycling grommets.
Kick It Time Trial - Fort Collins
The weekend started up in Fort Collins with a time trial. It was one, big, technical 'drivers' course. Full gas to stage for starting positions on Sunday on essentially the same course, albeit a bit shorter.
My BJC'ers crushed! Watching my sons rip it was also amazing to see. They're both in the 10-12 division, Aiden winning and Seamus taking 7th at 9 years old! Very proud of all the kids.
My race was smooth and fast, enabling me to take 4th overall and a first row start up on Sunday.
Cross of the North - Fort Collins
This year, the Colorado 35-Open class is in an weird spot: We start the season racing at 8AM in essentially our own group for 50min...but end the season racing at 3:30 PM for 60min mixed with the Open guys. Getting up early...no problem, but the inconsistency feels weird. We'll see how it all evolves. I got up at 5 and headed up to Fort Collins, got in a decent warm up and before I know it we were on the line and going full gas.
I honestly had zero clue where I'd be fitness-wise in this first race of the season. I'd had mental goals of being OK with 10th-ish, but no real idea how I'd do under that intensity. The Crack and my 1 Wednesday Worlds ride before more or less showed me that my bike driving was good, and my fitness was OK...but mostly I was HEALTHY starting a season for once. No protruding bones, road rash or other ridicu-scars.
The course was fairly blown out. Dry and dusty but really required finesse and constant power. Stuff I'm decent at. I was back on my only operable bike, my 2012 Ridley X-Fire with cantis. I'd been Cracking on this bike all summer, so felt good, but was REALLY hungry to use the SRAM Red hydrologic disc brakes sitting in my garage, waiting to be built!
The technical skills and off bike maneuvering felt really decent on Sunday. The YogaGlo work I've been doing made the back solid and otherwise fluid.
I ended up 7th on the day, happy with the performance and by no means 'ahead of schedule' (I dion't have a schedule I know of...) but for once just felt great to come into a season feeling not bad or injured.
My race done, it was time to put on the Coaches Hat. I assmbled my BJC'ers and amped them all up on the fun they were about to have....
The Junior Men 10-12 group was huge. Larger than most senior fields! Aiden got the front row call up due to his win in the time trial the day before and was very amped. Seamus was playing Lacrosse this day! (Ah, to have that much energy...). From the gun, the kids jumped hard. 20 feet in Aiden slipped a pedal...badly. He landed on his top tube and veered radically to the fence. I swear to you I was dialing 9...1... as I thought this was going to end badly. He stayed upright but was shot out the back.
I walked to the first part of the course I'd see him and sure enough he was in the back, and I could see was upset. I tilted my head and looked at him as he went by like my dad would do to me giving him the "Son, control what you can control" look. Within a 1/2 lap he came alive. He decided to get to work and went from the back to the front and took his 1st win in a complete race in the 10-12's. Super proud of him not for a podium...but for digging into himself, finding calm, and fixing mistakes and believing he could recover.It was awesome to see his face change from sad and weepy to confident and happy.
We talked about this all the way home that day.
Races done, I got to work on some fun stuff this week: finishing the Ridley X-Night builds. These bikes are insane and I will be blogging about these genius frames in a seperate post. Sub 17lb bikes (with pedals) at size 58. Yes, sub 17.
The season's underway. It's surreal to me. Time is going too fast. I am seeing my sons become athletes at their core. It's happening organically and within their own desires. Amy and I just...smile. And keep them grounded on having fun.