Entries in 2013 cross nationals (4)
It's finally silent in my head. The thrashing going on inside was like none other I'd experienced before, during or after a race in an attempt to separate the signals from the noise on what I'd witnessed and felt. The success from the failures. The amazing experiences to the let downs. Trying to parse out what 2013 would be like for me after this experience. I needed a few days to separate myself from Louisville. And days later after re-entering the atmosphere of home and work, I am still tired to the bone. My ears still ringing from the roar of the crowd all day Saturday at the elite race. My vocal chords still shredded from screaming my guts out at my friends and racers streaking by us lap after lap. My legs and soul equally cashed from the racing we did the week before. A needed few days of separation between all of this and my last race season, the Master's World Championship. I learned so much this trip…like I continue to learn year after year. But the questions in my head I intimately know the answers to still surface. Why do I still feel impulsed to put my hand back in the white hot flame? I know what the results will be as I watch my own flesh bubble. But why do I put back in again? And again? I'll answer that.
So much was different between this race and the first Worlds I'd done in Mol, Belgium a few years back. Quite honestly, this was more like "U.S. Nationals Part Deux" than a World Championship...although the lone Euro from Spain in our group (40-44's) Marco Prieto, who I give props to for making the journey over to participate, certainly was a worthy World's challenger as we'd come to find.
Pride. Immense, glowing, unabashed pride is what I feel for my son having completed his first national cyclocross championship in Madison, WI. Aiden is 10 and did his first Junior Mens 10-12 age group and it was a barn burner. He'll be back again in this age group next yere when the Nationals come visit us here in Boulder CO!
From all accounts, from my teammates to my wife to Aiden's Boulder Junior Cycling team parents who made the trek up north, all descriptions of the conditions were nothing less that epic, if not treacherous. Hearing stories by Tilford and Joe underscore what the competitors faced and experienced and it made my stomach turn not being there to support (and maybe feel like I'm protecting in some way). Black ice, frozen earth covered by a thin layer of muddy slime...adults claimed they knew they'd hit the earth, but had no idea when.
But the conditions are what they are and this is cyclocross. It is all about preparation, equipment and trust in your skills. Knowing my best friends and teammates were there made me extremely happy though...
Brandon Dwight (National Champ) Aiden, Pete Webber (National & World Champ) and Russ Stevenson (long time pro and WA state CX champ)
My teammate and family friend (and fellow BJC dad) had Aiden's Clement PDXs dialed for me. We were texting that AM and he put Aiden's tires in the 16-18psi range. Aiden and the BJC kids know how to drive their bikes in the bad as the coaches and I had taken them
It's an incredibly selfish, self-centered sport this cycling of ours. And we're slaves to it because of what it brings us. The work, the rewards, the fun. But lest we forget how we can do this. Through support. Through love. Through understanding. All graciously afforded to us by our loved ones. Wives, husbands, children.
My wife has always been there. Supporting me over the last 16 years in what often feels like a Quixotic adventure. Always propping me up when I've not achieved what I think I can and telling me I can. Cleaning me up when I am broken and bloody. Hugging me when I've done my best.
She is now managing three of us. My sons and me in our quests to go fast. And we owe her so much. Too much to re-pay. Amy thank you for what you do to enable us to do it. And thank you for this wonderful gift you are giving our son. Taking him to his first National Championship. Providing him such an amazing experience.
You are amazing.
It's cold. And snowy. And we're smiling here in Boulder. The motivation of the crew here in Boulder is extremely high to perform well in Madison and in Louisville. Almost all training exclusively outside., suffering gladly in the bitter cold. It's so inspiring to push each other as hard as possible as we all want to see that sweet Colorado flag flying high on podiums and for our own personal bests at the Big Shows. Our beloved 'Parc des Champions' has become a playground-cum-battleground to push each other to red-line limits while ensuring our bike driving is as smooth as ever...
For me, I will be absent from Madison. My eldest going in my place to rip up the 10-12's in his first Nationals appearance. He's stoked. And my wife is the best for inspiring the idea that she is taking him to the great white north while I am here in Boulder busily working and training for Louisville.
One month to go. I am deeply excited and motivated to shred. Giddy up.