When I got home from work this evening, my feet were sore from a savage day. In fact, I was so spent from the day, I left work earlier than usual and got home before my kids so that I could have a ten minute dirt nap.
The all-too-brief nap did nothing to soothe my sore, throbbing, swollen feet.
But tonight was the second race in the King Weekly Series.
Sore feet, aching back…bike race on a Tuesday night…
Sooo tired, just want another nap…bike race on a Tuesday night…
Swollen feet from standing all day…bike race…
And so, I wolfed down dinner with my kids, ignored their pleas to “play with me”, changed the tires on my bike, showered off the funk of the day (well, I tried to), and got in my van for the wretched 45 minute drive to the far west, far north, end of the city for a, wait for it, bike race.
Toronto had other plans. Those plans included: traffic jams; some traffic; a bit of traffic; and traffic. Good times.
All was well though, because I was going to a ride my bike.
And so, at the end of a gong-show of a work day, and after the drive to the race when it seemed like I was actually driving in reverse, and with two clumps of feet at the bottom of pasty white spring legs, I made it to the race.
And it was awesome.
Riding a bike on a weekday, when you have a job and a family, always feels like a stolen piece of time. I feel like someone is going to tell my mom, and she’ll call me inside to finish my homework.
To make it even better, Jamie, Ryan ,and the guys at Evolution Cycles are such a cool part of the cycling community. They make great courses, put on a great event every Tuesday of the summer, and welcome and encourage everybody who comes out. Each time I see them, at every race, and on every lap, they are shouting words of encouragement, ringing a bell, or just being cool. They are awesome. In short, they embody exactly what I love about racing and the cycling: They make it fun for everyone.
What can I say, it was a tough day at work, but here’s my race report:
Race Report: King Weekly Series Race 2 (Tuesday, May 3, 2016)
I RACED A BIKE ON A WEEKDAY!
I always have trouble finding the time to stretch before a race, and it’s something I’m working on. Tonight was no different. I was a bit late so there wasn’t much time for a proper warm up. After a quick zip around the first part of the course, I made it the starting line just in time for the race to start. I was stuck at the back of the tail end of the pack. So I tried to pass, and I did. But the course is so tight, and I saw the lead riders slowly getting farther and farther ahead.
Worse, there was an 11 year old ahead of me, and I just couldn’t catch up. It’s kind of demoralizing when you can’t keep up with a rider that young, but she just had the legs and lungs, and I didn’t. Good on her. I saw her up ahead throughout the race, and I kept on thinking “Man, how is that kid so fast”. And then I realized that I was thinking about the person on the bike in front of me, when I should have been thinking about the person on MY bike.
But here’s the thing: after the race, I discovered my results weren’t horrible. I placed 20th out of 29 racers. That means, 9 riders behind me could have been thinking “Man, how is that big guy so fast”.
We all have someone faster than us. Tonight, it was an eleven year old, and 19 other riders. Maybe some other night it’ll be an eleven year old and 18 other riders. Or maybe it’ll be an eleven year old, her younger brother, and a hundred other riders.Whatever it is, I can live with any result as long as I’m on a bike, trying my best, and RIDING.
When I say to myself that it’s not about the results, it’s about the ride. They aren’t empty words. Really, at my size, it’s a good thing I feel that way, otherwise I’d have quit a long time ago. However, as tough as it is sometimes to separate the results from the ride, tonight was a good chance to practice it. I knew I rode well. That’s enough for me.
Oh, and it was Norco demo night. I already have 5 Norco bikes, so there was no need to test ride another, but when the Norco van was packing up, I asked the rep if I could buy a shirt. “Nope” he said. “Damnit” I thought. “But…” he continued “…you can have one”. Sweet.
And my tired, swollen feet? No worries. There is nothing like a 60 minute, white knuckle mountain bike race, to invigorate and un-swell your extremities.
One savage work day tamed. Boom.