Always in it for the long haul. Even if sometimes uphill.
I simply hate to quit. This is probably the best mind-set a person can have with a racing resume like mine. But occasionally there are set-backs. And well, sometimes you have to reassess. This isn’t quitting. This is simply changing the course.
I’d like to fault the socks. I mean what athlete wears a garment proclaiming “Bacon?” As if Bacon were some type of perfect food for an athlete. I could almost hear the snickers and jokes as I trudged up the hill. But truthfully I can’t fault the socks, and I’m pretty sure the jokes were just in my head. The Socks were doing their usual stand-up job by starting the conversation for me this weekend and getting me noticed for something other than 20th some-odd place. Plus I didn’t wear Bacon Socks both days. Just on Sunday.
But let’s back up. My objective for the weekend was to race both Saturday and Sunday. And for an added kicker I was going to do not one, but two races each day. Womens Open and 35+, both days. (And yes I can race 35+.)
Now I know what you’re saying, “She might have tenacity, but she’s just plain crazy.”
Perhaps there is a certain amount of “crazy” that accompanies tenacity. Not a lot of people commit to two races in a day. It’s just plain hard, mentally and physically. Plus there’s the time, and the money. But people do it. In fact quite a few of the women do it. Anyway, Saturday arrives and I’m committed. I’m going to do both races.
My partner in crime, JK, is there too. I’ve somehow convinced her on her second Cross racing weekend that doing two races is a good thing. Plus these are Colorado Cup Races and points are awarded through the top 20 places.
First race went decently well. I hung behind a Justin’s rider for enough laps to consistently think about giving their version of Nutella a try. Plus with “Knead & Squeeze” on the butt of her shorts I had something further to contemplate for at least 3 laps. Then it started to get tough, and my head started to rationalize. Good for my head, but not for my race.
Second race I learned that it pays to think about equipment other than Socks. I burped a tire, and then everything was so splashy in the corners I thought I’d roll the tire off the rim. And unfortunately I didn’t have another bike or wheels in the pit. Obviously Tall Southern Guy needed to learn a few more tricks about creating tubeless. But more results are had with sugar than vinegar, and plus I didn’t want to have to look for another “Wrench” mid-season, so I smiled and called it a day.
So here I was smiling, and trying not to mind the little things, like the big fat DNF after my name in the results! Oh, well tomorrow was another day. At least I had finally attempted two races in the same day.
Sunday: Well to be honest I didn’t feel so hot. I think Saturday took more out of me than I realized. 303Cycling’s description of the Louisville race as the “Bowl of Death” seems right on. Especially after the fact.
It didn’t start well to begin with: I forgot my helmet and had to take a quick drive back to Denver, then I arrived back at the race, after missing my exit and going to Boulder, only to find when I did get to the race that there were no parking spaces left, and there was a very grouchy and determined meter-maid on duty. I arrived at the start with no warm-up and 15 minutes to spare.
Well, it was a suffer-fest, and one that I didn’t care to repeat, and so after my last lap I had changed my course of direction for the weekend. I was only going to race one race on Sunday. “Let’s live to ride another day,” I thought.
But, the power of the Socks revealed itself in subtle and friendly ways that will encourage my resolve to carry on next weekend. I met a lot of new friends and found support in surprising places. Here’s a list of a few.
- I met Lee Waldman from Green Mountain Sports before the race. What a nice man and a savvy rider. (looks like you had a good race too)
- There were several other women racing in cool tall socks, and a Tough Girl racer in short “pig” socks. We were like “farm to …. race ?” Wish I had a pic. I’d like to say I started a trend, but I think there were a few Socks’ riders before me.
- Men’s Mafia team racers: who encouraged me and helped me not freak out when I lost my chain on the hill. Thanks guys.
- Annette from Mountain Moon Photography who has documented almost all of my Sock Series. Thank you!
- Anette’s boyfriend Mike who introduced himself after yelling “Go Socks!” for two races.
- JK who’s willingly been Huckleberry’d along. Thanks for playing
- New friend at team Justin’s… and thanks for the motivation!
I wish there were 10; in fact I’m sure there are, but I can’t remember any more at the moment, and I’m sure you are tired of reading. Check back in for the Halloween fun! Until next week…