The past few months have been a total blast, but with sacrifice. I’ve been on my bike a lot, training, suffering, and racing. Although Its only been three races, each one of them were the hardest thing I have ever done.
First was the Arizona Trail Race which was an amazing overall experience, but it was mentally draining. I dealt with a lot of negatives and they were tough to over come. I did however, and my mental strength has made me a stronger rider. The Kokopelli’s Trail Race was next and it was very physically demanding. You can be in the right frame of mind but no matter what, 143 miles in one sitting will beat you up. The late 12:30am start time contributed to a very tough day on the bike. The Original Growler was the shortest race (65 miles) I have done all year and yet the most suffering I have ever experienced on a bike. A race like this is not easy and honestly shorter races are not my cup of tea, but the recently knowledge I gained from the previous races helped me finish in the top 25. Its funny that I keep signing up for such events, the positives are remembered, and the negatives are forgotten.
All of this racing has got me thinking why I truly started to love mountain biking… because its fun. Pain and suffering is rewarding but looking back, its not the reason I started to pedal up mountains and down through valleys. I love biking for the access and beauty.
The past three bike rides have put fun back in to biking. I’m so blessed to know so many great people in and around Crested Butte. It does not matter where I ride, how fast I get there, or who I ride with, just as long as I relax and have fun. Everyone finally has the itch to get on their bikes as the trails have melted off quickly in the past few weeks. This is our time before the tourist come. We live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, embrace it.