Monday, November 7, 2011

Fileds of Gold

I am still grinning (and coughing up dirt) from the cross race. I got a really good start (that's me top left). It's good when it's open class. The fast guys love being behind base racers on mountain bikes with slow motors and questionable skills. I stunk up the first few corners and made some dudes grunt and skateboard push behind me. I was laughing so hard I almost couldn't feel my heart exploding, on the first open section.

I had a simple strategy; stay with the big man as long as possible. The course favored MTB's but the soft climbs, crazy wind and stampede dust, tore me a new one. On the second lap run up, big man demanded I come around him. I am scared of him, so I did what I was told, and ran from him like a sorority girl in a slasher flick.

 I (kind of) got away from him, but on the final lap he hunted me down like a dog, and got with in spitting distance, in last few corners. Ever the sportsman, I called him a "some bitch" when I realized he was back on my bumper and mentally gave up. Then I heard a grunt and thought the big man crashed. I knew it was a gift (from Deity of choice) and ran for the finish like my Irish arse was on fire. I edged him out for umpteenth place. Turns out the Big One did not crash, he just bobbled and did what has been dubbed by the gallery as; "The Dab Heard Round The World, or By The Three Guys Standing There". 

Great day all around and as always, the best part is when your race is over and you get to heckle the rest of the riders. If anyone says CX racing is not fun, slap them open handed and leave a big red print on them, so they know they are stupid.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do You Remember?

The human capacity to forget should never be discounted. It is the motivating factor for all great come backs. It is also the death knell for people that can't or don't want to improve.

I have been complaining about my local trails. I have had the white boy blues since I got back from the rock laden obstacle courses of "The Lig" in Pennsylvania. The short version is; I haven't been entertained enough, so I have had a little attitude (shocker!).

Last week we had another cyclist fall to a stroke. I went to visit him and I remembered not being able to write, having balance and speech problems and worst of all, watching the clock on crew ride nights (remember those?) and thinking; Ya they are turning their lights on. Big Chris is probably yelling at them. Now they are bombing the roller coaster on Caddy. Man those guys are probably laughing on their tailgates. It's very easy to forget, especially when it ain't no fun to remember.

I was yelling at my boys the other night about something really important like: dirty towels on the floor or cleaning their rooms. My oldest boy (we call him Captain Positive) can put a good spin on anything. He has been that way since he was a kid. A buddy of his lost a big brother last week, while being the DD for his friends. The driver that hit and killed him blew twice the limit. I have never seen that look on my sons face when he talked about it, or had to watch him experience a loss this close to home. Needless to say, no one has been leaving the house without knowing they are loved and getting a hug.

Like so many of us, I had completely forgotten to be thankful for my gifts. I probably won't institute any behavior changes, hardly anyone does. I probably won't magically become a better person, but as I rode through a clearing last night on my bike, I looked up at an autumn sky. The stars were just coming out and the moon was bright as a light at eight O'clock. In that silent moment the voice of the cynic inside me shut the hell up and I thought of those parents without their first born. I thought about Brian laying in bed dreaming about what I was doing.

And I remembered.