Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Highs and Lows

Last Tuesday I felt great, completing one of my best races so far on the dirt. Today, I didn't feel so good but resolved to have a good start since my family was spectating. I punched it in the big ring and soon found myself at the front. Unfortunately my time at the front was short lived as about half of the group had passed me by the time we reached the top of the pavement. I dropped into the zig zags behind Andy and resolved to hold his wheel as long as possible once the climbing began. I did ok, hanging on up the first section. It was super dusty and slick which made me a bit nervous, but I stayed with him. Across the ski run we hit a rocky section just before entering the trees again. It was here that my race fell apart. I took a horrible line through the rocks, stalled, tried to unclip with no success and then fell over, landing right in the middle of the trail. I got up as quickly as I could and moved off the trail but the 6-8 guys and 1 gal (sorry Lyna!) behind me had to stop and wait for me to get out of their way. Feeling stupid, I started riding again once they had passed but my head just wasn't in it. I was riding really tentative, freaking out about the dust and rocks. I pulled over again and let a bunch more guys go by. After going from Andy's wheel to the back of the group in the space of 1 minute I lost all motivation and flipped around, riding back to the start/finish.

At that point things went from bad to worse as I had to face my family. The kids just couldn't understand why I had quit and to be honest I really didn't know what had happened either, so answering their questions wasn't easy. I went back up and yelled at Bob, Andy and Warren as they came through and then packed up and headed home. I'm still not sure why I felt so off tonight. Hopefully the feeling goes away quickly as I'll be racing the Big Cottonwood Hill Climb on Saturday!

8 comments:

I am Matt said...

It happens to everybody. Don't worry about it and just take it as a lesson learned. Best of luck to ya at the Porc hill climb.

KanyonKris said...

What are you doing beating yourself up with racing in circles when there are miles of mountain single-track now free of snow and open for pure MTB riding pleasure? Racing is a sickness - the prescription: destroy your racing plate and go ride for fun. I'm riding Ghost Falls after work to check out the new section of trail - join me for the ride.

Eat Sleep MTB said...

When I bailed on Garden Creek my wife was not happy. You drove all the way to Idaho and you didn't even finish!

See you at the Porcupine Saturday morning!

Andy H. said...

Racing makes you faster and stronger and being faster and stronger makes riding killer singletrack all the more fun. At our level of suckness racing has more lows than highs but I think it's still worth it.

UtRider said...

I wouldn't say racing is a sickness, but more a means to an end. I want to get faster and develop better bike handling skills. Racing is perfect training. Sure it hurts and at times (ok, for me, most of the time!) it's frustrating, but even so, it sure feels good to give it your best effort. Last week I felt really, really good. Yesterday not so great.

Utah Mnt biker said...

I wasn't feeling the love last night either. You missed me clipping a tree on the dh and flying over my bike.

KanyonKris said...

I admit that racing pushed me to ride harder and because of that I ride faster, and it's fun to go fast. But I rode MTB for 15 years before my first race and I enjoyed it immensely. So I thank racing for giving me a push, but I see no need to keep racing - I can do fine on my own, thank you.

Now I push it on trail rides, when the mood strikes me, and I've pushed hard on plenty of road group and solo rides. I'd rather push hard when I feel like it, rather than have some artificial event (race) dictate it. But that's just me. To each his own.

So while I personally believe that racing sucks some of the soul out of MTBing, I can see why people dig it and I wish them well. But when I hear complaints about racing performance I can't help wonder if stepping away from racing for a while isn't a good idea.

Most of us are recreational riders, meaning we're supposed to be doing this for fun. I've got plenty of stuff I HAVE to do in my life - for my free time I want to be free to go where my mood/interest takes me. Getting tied into racing can make it feel like an obligation. Life's too short.

Mother Theresa said...

A person is not defined by one dnf.......it simply implies you were smarter than the rest of us.