I describe myself as a competitive cyclist, although my podiums have been just a few. I can also be described as a reluctant racer, but still somehow it’s increasingly important to me that I show up to that line and say, “I’m a competitive cyclist.”
Racing is a difficult process for many, and certainly for me, and definitely not a comfortable one. I have found more than a thousand excuses of why I should not race, but, I keep going back. Perhaps writer Gina Kolata describes the feeling best in her New York Times article Just Me and My Pessimism in the ‘Race of Truth’.
So, I’m just in the beginning of a third ‘cross season, and I’ve certainly been far, far from that podium in the two races so far. But I keep remembering something a World Champion racer said to me a year or so ago when I gave her a worried eyeball and joked about how many times she would lap me, she said “Your race will be just as hard as mine.” Somehow that made me feel a little bit better. I’ve certainly remembered it.
So, I’ve continued to show up for the Women’s Open division armed with the knowledge that my race is just as hard as everyone else out there, but this year I’ve added a little humor to my quest for personal best with …socks.
Please don’t think even for a moment that I’m letting up the gas on the pedals. I am definitely racing my bike. I just want to be remembered for something, and although I do dream of those podium steps, it’s always good to have a back-up plan. And if I can get a laugh, and a cheer, all the better.
And if you’re watching don’t forget to yell “Go Sox!”
See you next Tuesday for the next Cycling installment.
P.S. If you know of any fantastic tall socks suitable for cyclocross please shoot me an email.
Update: Great Cross article from Heidi Swift at Grit & Glimmer, if you need other reasons why women race. She writes better too…