At least for the 2015 season, the Ascent Cycling Series is wrapping up. One more race at Palmer Park. One more chance to ride with one way traffic as hard as we can on local trails. It's been a long series, with all kinds of conditions thrown at us - sunshine and heat to mud and creek crossings. What will the race bring? It's impossible to guess until we are on the line, sizing up the competition and ourselves. Are we ready for this finale? Will both the bike and the legs hold on until the finish line? This late in the season, it's easy to loose the motivation for pushing until the end, forcing the brain to take over despite how much things hurt. But it's just one more race, one more hour of pain. Dig deep, find the motivation to push for just a little longer, climb just a little harder. Chose to race, to embrace the burning lungs and aching legs only Palmer Park can deliver. Push yourself out of your comfort zone - try that different line, start a little hard. This is our time to ride. Today - now.
But while the series is coming to a close, the racing doesn't need to end with this race. What we do today - what we do tomorrow - will help determine how next year will unfold. The Ascent Cycling Series is OUR local race series - our Wednesday night worlds where some of the best of COS mountain biking comes to play. It can be hard to find the time in the middle of the week for a race, especially for some of the earlier start groups. But by showing up and racing, we reveal how important these races are. Other events, new courses and different crowds can be tempting, but as with so many things staying local can have a huge impact and we don't realize what we had until it's gone. Do we want the next generation of riders - the kids participating in the Kids on Bikes camps and such to miss out on the chance to learn the racing ropes locally? I don't - racing in the Sand Creek races in 2008 and 2009 were the best way for me to sharpen my racing skills. The numbers we have today can predict what the future will bring.
One more race this year. Can we bring the numbers like there were on June 3? Let's end this series on a high note.