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Mountain Biking, Racing

Two mountain bike races this week

This is a big week with Laramie Short Track race #3 on Wednesday and the Gowdy Grinder on Sunday, my third and fourth races this season.  I’m feeling good about my fitness for mid-May and will keep pushing hard.  I give a lot of credit to the short track races — they force you to push your limits and subsequently improve your fitness and skills.

I rode the Gowdy Grinder course today to get a feel for the flow and tempo.  Wow.  This is going to be a kick-ass race.  The course is brilliant.  It’s got an even mix of climbing, technical sections and flowy downhill single track.  Here’s the 13.2-mile course:

The course is one green lap and two yellow laps for 13.2 miles.

It wasn’t long ago that I wouldn’t have considered doing a race like this for various reasons: afraid to get my butt kicked by better riders; afraid to crash and get injured; afraid that I couldn’t handle the physical and mental demands.  Fear is such an unnecessary limiting factor in our lives.

I had to destroy that fear, and after the first time I attached a number plate to my handlebars my life got better.  I know that I’m not likely going to win these races.  I have ultimate respect for the superb riders whom I’ll never catch.  When I race I’m really battling myself.  I’m battling the fear of crashing, the urge to slow down because lactic acid is searing my muscles, and the thoughts that tell me I can’t do it.  It’s a victory when I endure and cross the finish line.

Speaking of crashing, I took a decent digger on a sharp turn going pretty fast at Gowdy today.  I was getting a bit cocky and knew I should’ve braked a bit more before going into a turn.  My front tire slid out, my left handlebar dove and I plowed into the dirt.  The crash took some skin off my shin and slightly bruised my rib cage but I don’t think it will affect my riding, I hope.  I’ll find out in Wednesday’s race.  It’s good to get that first hard crash out of the way and move on.

This is a photo of me riding on terrain at Vedauwoo that is very similar to Curt Gowdy.

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One thought on “Two mountain bike races this week

  1. Love what you said about fear and battling yourself. And be careful!!! Ouch!!! :)

    Posted by T | May 14, 2012, 11:04 pm

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