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Twice in a Lifetime

One can measure the joy of an event in a number of ways. In the case of a bike race you might find joy in winning, or beating a previous time. You might find it in merely surviving.

In the case of Sister's Stampede, I found joy in, well, not getting lost this year. I also found joy in the cooler day and not baking to death. I was also pleasantly surprised that I did substantially better than I expected.  14 out of 21 may not be great by most people's standards but it's the closest to a mid-pack finish I've had in Cat II since pretty much as long as I can remember. It was the first race I've had this year that I could really race too. It rained the night before so it was a fast, tacky course with no dust. It was also a single lap so there was less overlap in categories. There was a lot of bunching at the front of the categories but 8 or 9 minutes back we had room to breathe and courtesy informed all the passes. It was also my first time on the long course and my word! What a fun, fast trail system! You couldn't not have a good time. People were whooping and hollering ahead of me and behind me as we swept through the open forest. Accelerating out of corners I felt ageless and fast.

And when I finished the race Carolyn and my mom were waiting for me.

Aw mom...
And that, I think was the most joyous thing of all. Because my mom had only seen me finish one other mountain bike race. It was 23 years ago.
Williams Lake NY 1989 or 90

In a year when many of my racing friends are cheering on their kids in their first races, I got to experience what their kids are experiencing. While a bit socially awkward if you're trying to pass yourself off as a seasoned veteran, it is nonetheless quite an amazing experience. As I look at these photos, I'm reminded that some truths endure through the years:
  • No matter what I'm riding or what I'm wearing, I will always look like a dork on a bike
  • Lycra seat covers ruled
  • Toe clips will never go out of fashion
  • Neither will day-glow windbreakers
  • Mom will always be proud of me


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