Ok so first order of business on this POS rainy monday where I should be out riding tranquilo on the road bike just about ready to pull off into my first pastry shop for a little chocolate croissant and a double macchiato an apology. Kind of a preemptive apology if you will. Who exactly am I apologizing to? That would be all the sport class ( I just can't call them 2s) mtn bikers in New England. All five of you. Why am I apologizing to you. Well in two weeks I guarantee it will be painfully obvious. In two weeks I am doing this.
Sure doesn't sound like such a big deal. A mountain bike race so what. Have I mentioned I am the worst mtn biker on the eastern seaboard? Have I mentioned I am really old? Well I guess the good news is I will be racing against other old dudes. The bad news is being old doesn't seem to slow down these dudes at all. In fact they seem to get faster and tougher by the minute. How else do you explain 3 old dudes beating a young dude at a young man's game? I am going to get beat like a drum...
But to get to that next level in cross the suffering needs to happen now. Well in two weeks. But my suffering will be small in comparison to the suffering of the rest of the sport riders that unfortunately find themselves behind me. Oh and it will happen. Hubris me stating I will get in front of riders in the sport class? I am a cross racer we live for the hole shot. Entire season's worth of cross glory can be gained in one hole shot. If you get the hole shot at G-star it doesn't matter if you go from first wheel to 30th position in one lap. Trust me I've been there people forget the enormous slide you just did they only remember seeing you at THE FRONT! So long story short I can get out of the gate pretty ok. The bad news for you is I can barely hop a small root. I have a deep seated fear of wood bridges. I crash a lot. I get off and run faster than you can say wtf. Actually I may have to invest in ear plugs because I am sure there will be a lot of brake squealing and screaming of epithets in a short two weeks.
My friends have been trying to help me. And I really honestly am so in debt to them it is almost beyond words. People with real talent have actually shown an interest in keeping you all from physically assaulting me on the race course. But I think I am a tad beyond help. They have been kind. I've heard "you get off that bike awfully quick." And "yeah I guess it was faster to run up that." Like I said these are my friends and I do love them all. I am lucky to have friends like these. Come to think of it maybe its not you all they are worried about. Maybe it is me they are really worried about. The thought of me trying to go race pace over axe head rocks and drop offs must be terrifying. I need about 4 months riding with these friends before I can even hope to be competent on the dirt.
The good news? I do love mtn biking. I hated it when I first moved here. The rocks and drop offs and woods bridges scared the crap out of me. Well they still do but its less Freddy Kruger and now just kind of ok wood bridge I know how to ride a wood bridge chill out and ride the wood bridge. Yeah that is the other bad news for you. Hopefully I will be able to keep this dialogue with myself internal. But when I am bonked to pieces and trying to keep my shit together I can't guarantee that I won't start talking with myself a bit about these trail features and how to deal with them.
Half the reason I am going to partake of the VTT racing this summer is that mtn biking just takes me to the redzone soooo fast. Perfect for cross. Cross is ALL about the redzone. Mtn bike racing will also force me to run. It might force you to crash or run/walk as well as I get off right in front of you and run up something you are going to ride but what can I do about that? I hate running and this will be a perfect opportunity to get some trail running in.
Sully cautioned me at Washington Square Tavern that its too "dangerous" Coming from him that is something. This guy lives danger. So did that make me nervous? Maybe a touch. But road racing is dangerous. Hell road riding in a group ride with a bunch of amped up wannabes that you don't know is wayyyy off the danger scale in my mind. Just ask Eli about the last CRW ride if you get a chance. That my friends is danger. So we'll see how this experiment goes. I guarantee there will be some hijinx out there. I may ruin your mtn bike race. Cross riders are kind of like that. We are pretty much the red-headed step child of bike racing and frankly I like it like that.
See you out there! Hup Hup...just remember when you scream at me for running a section or getting off on a sketchy descent and "ruining" your line I warned you wayyy in advance. Peace OUT...