Monday, July 5, 2010

Racing on Fumes

Giving up. Quitting. Packing it in. The first lap of Sunday's Back 40 had me seriously considering hanging up the race plate for good. It was bad. Real bad. Any type of incline had me off the bike walking. My head felt like it was going to explode. I considered backtracking along the race course and asking people if they'd seen any shreds of my shattered spirit littering the trail. It all came to an humiliating head when I emerged from the woods onto the windswept mile and a half of gravel road and a 14 year old wearing full jeans and his seat way low rolled past me, eyes filled with pity. I tried to hang on to his wheel. Really, I did. But the gap kept growing as he steadily pulled away. The sound of another rider coming behind me filled me with thoughts of drafting and gathering some form of energy into the west wind. To my dismay, I realized her 5"3' frame wasn't about to be any help. It was at this point that some hidden well of reserve strength rose to the fore and I determined to pull ahead and provide a draft, rather than poach one. It was the TSN turning point, and slowly but surely, as the effort needle settled back to the black, I managed to start enjoying myself again to the point where on the 2nd lap I didn't get off the bike for the climbs that demoralized me on lap 1. In fact, I actually started to think that racing was fun again. Thank the Lord for second chances. If that race had ended after lap one, I think I would have indeed hung up the racing cleats for good and reached for my fishing pole.

Disclaimer(excuse alert): as some of you may know, I only just returned to Canada last Saturday and raced the 32k version of the Back 40 with 3 rides under my belt, all my training having come this past week. My body was trying to cash a cheque, but there were no funds in the bank. Or, as I recall Mike G saying one time, "You got to put in the time, to get the grades", or something like that.

Anyhoo. When it was all said and done, it was a good time and I finally got a chance to sample the Morden trails I've heard so much about. Their reputation is well deserved. Thanks Tinker.


  1. You gotta do your homework if you want the grades.

    ...or something like that.

  2. Stole that one from Phil Roadley-
    Do the homework, get the grades.