I've been racing for 20 years now, so one thing I know for certain is that uncertainty is just part of the deal. That said, it's been a bit of a bitter pill to swallow to have a couple of important recent races either canceled or greatly affected by the hand of Mother Nature and her spring storms.
I thought I came into Trans Iowa primed and ready for whatever came our way after finishing second overall at the six-hour Bone Bender at Smithville Lake just one week prior. Unfortunately, as Amigos blog regulars know well by now, T.I. wasn’t the event that many of us were expecting and for me it was even less so. Long story short, my day ended about 80 miles in and I have no regrets. I simply didn’t have it that day. Gotta call it for what it was. It wasn’t my day.
Then, the very next weekend, with a solid lead in-hand and almost six laps into the three-hour mountain bike enduro at Swanson Park in Bellevue (the first race of our state championship endurance series), I had a nutrition problem that caused my day to go south in a most horrific way. It took me from first to ninth place in the last two laps of the race, but I’ll save you the gory details (trust me…you'll thank me for that).
So this past weekend, when Ma Nature waved her fickle finger at the three-hour enduro at Platte River State Park, I was extra bummed. To say I was ready to go would be an understatement! I was looking forward to racing my El Mariachi Ti on one of my favorite courses in the Midwest. But it wasn’t to be – rain mid-week caused havoc on the course, cancelling the race, so I ended up spending some quality time with my Vaya instead. Not exactly a terrible trade, but also not what I was hoping for either.
So I guess it’s at times like these that I’m reminded why those few 'great' races or 'great' days on the bike each season are so incredibly special. Those perfect days are indeed rare, but I hope you know the feeling I’m talking about. Because much like being on the receiving end of an unexpected smile from a beautiful woman, or ripping through a fast corner in an Italian sports car, there are few experiences in life that truly compare.
Here's hoping there's another 'great' day on the bike ahead for each of us.
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Growing up the son of a wildlife biologist gave me a jump-start on my appreciation for the outdoors and I still count the day I first pedaled a bicycle as one of the best, most empowering days of my life. And while I enjoy the lure of big challenges like TransIowa and the Colorado Trail Race, I want to help cyclists see that great adventures are waiting right outside their doors. Discovery by bicycle is a beautiful thing. Matt Gersib: The Dirtblog http://dirtstories.blogspot.com/