If there is something that makes life more fun than Wednesday night Mountain Bike races, it is not coming to mind right now. I am just coming down off the high from the weekend’s adventure at the 12 hours of Snowmass race. On Sunday I was so tired all I could do was sleep and eat. Monday the legs came around and I was able to ride hard for a few hours in the Canyon. Tuesday I had to back it off because I was getting carried away going too hard. Yup it is time to race again.
This was my second year at Snowmass and once again it did not disappoint. It is classic Ski hill racing. Brutal climb out of the gate, a little traverse across the top, and then a screaming burly descent that plummets you to the finish line. My main goal for the event was to set the fast lap for the day, last year I had an epic duel with Honey Stinger rider Colin Osborn and I won the fast lap contest on the 4th lap. This year my form is better and I did set the hot lap and all 5 of my laps as the 5 fastest of the race. It is worth mentioning that Colin was sitting on the sideline crewing for Kalan Beisel who had a great solo effort to claim third place podium position. Even though I work with Chris Carmichael closely every day it still was pretty special to get to race on a team with him in this event. I never fail to learn something new, hear a great story, and get inspired to push myself harder when hanging around Chris.
So we go back to Palmer Park tomorrow. Of course I am stoked, I do not need to drag on about that. This is race number 4 in the Series and after my 2nd place finish last week I took the series lead over, after being tied with JJ. But with only two races participated in for Russell he is only two points behind me with three races of points. I will of course race until I bleed from my eyes but the series kind of comes down to if Russell is away racing in the big leagues or here in COS toying with us. It still can go either way with JJ and I so we will have a great battle in the next two installments of the Sand Creek Series.
Racing bikes is beautiful. Watching the final stage of the Tour we saw a 40 year old Jens Voight in a breakaway hovering off the front in what may be his last circuits of the Champs Elysses. Watching both the pain and determination on his face as he put out what we all realized would be a fruitless effort towards the stage win I had to choke back tears (granted I am way overly emotional about these type of things). I knew that I was seeing the picture of how I wanted to live my life. Not just on the bike but in all things I undertake. And for that it was not a fruitless effort, instead it was a gorgeous expression of the best of what is inside us.
Sure the venue is different and the course is not lined with wild cheering fans. But in some ways that makes it even cooler, that on a Wednesday night we have the chance to get on our fat tire fun machines and drive forward with everything and then some, to show what determination you have. For me and you, that is the only way we know how to ride.