November 16th, 2012
And others you don’t even come close. Those are some of the best words I can come up with to describe my head first dive into the fold of Cyclo-Cross racing.
Neck deep in a life renaissance I am taking a break from reviewing the race requirements for this coming weekend of back to back racing which includes the Canadian Championships and a UCI sanctioned race in Surrey to reflect on the season thus far.
Previously the mere thought of me entering a race of any kind would have blown the socks off friends back in Ontario, akin to the reaction that I get from friends out here about the news that “back in the day” I used to smoke. Don’t do it kids… bad stuff in there.
Since September 2012 I have raced in more races that I can count on two hands, waited in boarder line ups longer than I care to remember and been scolded by BC Ferry personal for not declaring your vehicle is overheight even though you don’t pay for it anymore. I have raced in the searing heat, carved squiggly lines in sun parched park grass with my tires and raced in conditions so bad they have been described as a war zone.
During a race I have both loved and hated myself, usually within seconds of each other. I have eaten enough dirt, sand and grass to warrant a warning about worms and stomach infections. And most surprisingly I have found deep in the dark corner of my mind the ability to pull off one last push when mere seconds before I had told myself I had nothing left. I have rolled a tubular tire twice and once ran further than I would if I was being chased. (Carrying my bike no less!)
I have been offered beer, bourbon, bourbon soaked bacon, waffles, clean marshmallows, and marshmallows that have been on the ground. I have been hit with said marshmallows and soaked with a garden hose at Starcrossed. (Much appreciated). I have been publicly heckled, and returned the encouragement with more volume!
I have sandbagged… Actually we’ll leave that one out.
From Vancouver, to Burnaby, to Ferndale, to Seattle, to Everett, to Victoria and Nanaimo I have lead some serious mileage to spend 45-60 minutes pretty much racing in circles.
I have laughed so hard I have cried. I have been so tired that I have fallen asleep in the shower standing up.
I have never stood at the top of the podium, but have been close a few times. I have not finished a race twice and a mere mention of the DNF makes me shutter.
I have 4 more races, including the races this weekend, the Island Cup Finals and the BC Cup Finals.
And for some reason I can’t wait until next year.