I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually kind of glad the 2019 race season is over. I mean, sure it was a great season of big boss racing, but after 16 races I’m tired. Like, really really tired.
Keep in mind that 16 races means 16 days of racing, 16 days of prep before each race, 16 zombie days after each race, and then this blogging thing about the damn race.
Okay, to be honest, I’d happily race if there was a good rip this weekend…and yeah, I’m jonesing for the race vibe…and sure, I crave the feeling of bossnicity that comes after a race…but right now I just feel done–like stick a fork in me, just gotta rest, dee-oh-en-eee…DONE!
What a race season tho. Aw man, what a race season:
- 16 races (8 MTB, 4 fatbike, 4 gravel)
- Single speed, many speed–ALL hardtail
- Solo, team, big laps, one lap, many laps
- New races, old races, race series, and one-off races
- 17 blog posts
- 5 FOTC posts
- Almost 1,000k of race pace wickedness
And all the boom. So very much boom. I may have started the 2019 season on a hack and a cough (…and a prayer…and in utter frustration), but I ended it with a smile and a sprint to the finish. To be honest, I didn’t even think I’d be able to race at all this year, given the havoc wracked my body in the spring, and virtually no early season training. I think my race community would have given me a mulligan if I decided to not clip-in (although not really–and really not really for ME), but I’m Team Colin, damnit, and if there’s a race, I do it.
Because you never regret a race.
And so, I raced. 16 friggin’ awesome times this year, I prepped my gear, made sure my bike was tuned, got up early, drove too bloody far sometimes, filled a water bottle (or 10), put on my kit, buckled my shoes, put my head down, and pedalled so hard that it hurt.
I raced despite myself.
I raced FOR myself.
Gawd, when did I become so dramatic? Wait, I’m a Dramatic Arts teacher. It’s literally right there in the name.
Gotta say, WHAT AN AWESOME SEASON!!!
The 2019 race season hit me with heat and fog and snow and cold. I did races in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night (and sometimes on the same day). I crushed the sand, mud, dirt, and gravel.
I raced when I didn’t want to, which was most of the time, and I raced when I HAD TO, which was ALL of the time (because sometimes you just need a good hard rip), and like I said, nobody would have faulted me for not racing–or even riding–this year, but I would have. It’s the Team Colin Ethos. We all have one (mine’s just online and scattered on social media). It’s what pushes us to pedal out of our comfort zones, and away from easy.
Easy? Pfft. There was very little that was easy this year.
The 2019 race season had all the climbing…
How much climbing? 250m/lap at the Spring 8 Hour, 230m/lap at the Fall 8 Hour, 1,000m+ at each gravel race, that damn hill in the Ganny, every damn esker and drumlin this side of Huntsville, most of the Blue Mountain ski hill (over and over again), and of course, the Martin Hill Climb at the end of P2A.
The 2019 race season had all the races…
What’d I do? I did three fatbike races; three Epic 8 Hour races (solo, solo, and solo); the 24 Hour race; the (premiere) Sea Otter Canada 3HR XC; the full XC Marathon series (and won my category!); two thirds of the OnGravel Series; P2A; and a Reggie Ramble (even though I still don’t know what a Reggie is).
Phew, that’s a big list.
The 2019 race season had all the fun..
From the fun at the Reggie Ramble BBQ to my hero finish at the Fall 8 Hour; from the last minute excitement of Sea Otter to the community at each Substance Projects race; and from the wickedly cool race courses weekend after weekend, to the super hard training rips…I had a bloody blast. I don’t know how I’m so blessed to have such an awesome life, and I ain’t gonna question too hard, so I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride (see what I did there).
Here are some highlights of the season that almost wasn’t…
- Series Winner: XCM Marathon, Clydesdale category
- 3rd place: Kingston Trophy XCM Half Marathon, Clydesdale category
- 100k pin: Summer Epic 8 Hour
- Registering after the race started (Sea Otter XC 3HR)
- Getting pulled off the course due to darkness at Georgian Nordic
- Winning a set of brakes, a helmet and a light at 24 Hours of Summer Solstice
- …and riding in the dark at same race, the night before, because my old lights died
- Finishing the SSITT after last year’s crash at the same race
- Finishing P2A with a broken lung and a more broken heart
- Meeting a new pal at the Reggie Ramble (hey Dylan)
- Riding with all my old pals
- Trying to keep up with Nick Emsley on his 22nd lap at 24 Hours of Summer of Solstice
- Winning a Pearl Izumi full kit AND shoes at two Substance Projects races
- Doling out a truckload of prizes at the last Team Colin Day at Joyride 150
- Calling the FINISH at the Reggie Ramble
- Finishing the Fall Epic 8 Hour with 46 seconds to spare
That’s a lifetime worth of bossness, and I got to do it in one race season. Boom.
How did I do it? Seriously, how did a 250 pound rider with limited ability (and that’s being kind) finish 16 races in a season? Actually, it was kind of easy. I registered for 16 races, I woke up hella early to get to 16 races, I started 16 races, and didn’t stop until each of the 16 races was finished. I’m no Adam Hill–I’m not even a fraction of Adam Hill–I’m just a regular guy who ordered a 1/4 Pound meal (with a super sized fries) today at McDonalds (ketchup only, no cheese), and a double hamburger just for good measure.
2020 is coming up, and I don’t know what’s in store for me, but I know this: It’s going to be awesome. Bring it on 2K2K. Wait, that’s a dumb name for next season. Bring it on 2ksquared. Dang it. That’s even worse. Um, bring it on, Twenty 20. Crap. 20-twenty? Aw geez. Wait, I got this…okay, no I don’t. Well, at least I’ve got a few months to figure it out.