Race season is here baby!
Nothing rejuvenates a training plan like working towards a series of races… I’m being extra cautious to remind myself that these races are definitely “B” list races, and at the highest level should be used mainly as a way to accelerate my training for the Transrockies, but man is it tough not to get tunnel vision for each race.
Since this is my first serious foray into the mountain bike race scene, there are a few things that stand out – they don’t necessarily surprise me, but I’ve taken note:
Mountain bike culture rocks.
This is one of the main reasons I fell in love with mountain biking in the first place. Everybody is just there to ride… Whether you’re pounding out the laps with the Elite crew, or it’s your first race ever, there’s a sense of community that’s tough not to get caught up in.
I am not fast.
By no means did I expect to be winning any races my first season, but I was a little bummed that I’d have to start in the Novice category… With that said, I’m where I belong. These boys (and girls) in these races are quick… Building year upon year of race experience has definitely put them in a much better position that me. Perhaps using this season as a springboard I can look at becoming slightly competitive next year…
Little changes make big differences.
I was pretty stoked to be starting the season with a new ride, but since I hadn’t had the opportunity to really trail test it before blasting onto the race scene I was apprehensive… And rightfully so. Though I’m by no means re-learning how to ride a bike, I am re-learning the subtle graces that come with years of riding – a larger frame, different suspension, different tires, different seat height, different cockpit setup… They all add up to a lot of adaptation. Now that I’m starting to get some hours under my belt, it’s starting to come together again.
The Transrockies is going to kill me.
Kidding. Sort of… I’ve only done two enduro races this summer (the TransStony and Giver-8-er), but both were eye-opening experiences. Great opportunities to play with hydration and nutrition, but also to useful to get a guage on pacing and just generally how the body will hold up after pounding out a full day on the mountain. The answer today? Not well. The legs are progressing nicely I think, but my lower back and shoulders start fussing after long hours on the trail. I’m thinking this is something only remedied by additional long hours on the trail ;-)
So yeah, I’m excited to see how the rest of the season pans out, but disappointed that a number of the enduro races are over… The sprint races are fun and serve a purpose, but I fear I may have to start ignoring them in favor of spending longer hours in the mountains.
Bring it on June!