A few weeks ago I raced out in West Virginia at Jay Moglia and NCVC's Lost River Classic Road Race, a semi-epic hill-burner held in the towering hills that sprinkle the mountainous ridgelines traversing the town of Mathias. I was pleased to see fairly full fields in most of the races, as this event was at its third year and really needed to break even with solid registration numbers in order to ensure future editions. I was also pleased to see my teammate Bruno Neto turn out to race.
Bruno is around my age and was racing against me as a 4 when I first started racing. The first race I really traveled to was the Altoona Stage Race, and I vividly remember hanging around Bruno and Nate Wilson in the parking lots, as they were friendly and familiar faces. This year, Bruno has been riding like a beast, but he's been having trouble finding time to attend races. When I found out he was doing Lost River, I was happy to sign up myself and slog it out in the hills in hopes that I could help him in some way, shape, or form..
|Me setting up the ole' one-two|
While the end results of Lost River were not super fruitful, Bruno did land himself in the initial dangerous breakaway and got to ride his own race. As for myself, I made it a lap further with the field than I did last year, and was only pulled with 1 to go.
Races like Lost River are more of 'completion challenges' to me: I go to experience a different type of race, and also to humbly accept the will of the climbers, as they spend much of the spring time on the opposite end of the totem pole dealing with guys like me dishing out the hurt on the flatter terrains. To not show up and accept my own beatings, and more importantly, not experience and support a GREAT race course, would not fit the archetype of a sportsman.
More recently, I raced at the Millersburg Stage Race, but that report is worthy of its own entry. Right now, I'm mostly focused on my season's end. With the last MABRA series races occurring this weekend, I find myself with a plane ticket to the Gulf of Mexico in my hand. I leave today. Bike racing is certainly not over for me this year: I will be racing the Mayor's Cup in Boston again, and I'm leaning towards participating at Iron Cross.
I'm amazed that I've been 'on' for the entire season and never got tired of it. I accomplished a lot personally (whether or not I intended to), and I think I've helped my teammates accomplish some personal goals of their own. It is only fitting that I once again express my sincere thanks and appreciation to not only my teammates, who rallied around me to send me to the Nature Valley Grand Prix and were instrumental in my victory at the All American Road Race, but also to my team sponsors. The folks at Bike Doctor made it EASY to keep myself and my teammates rolling all season long with proper equipment, fast repairs (we took a few spills!), and how about our SWEET Caad 10s?
Elite Endurance was the final component in a 'perfect storm' of aspirations, expectations, and mutual motivation in the Bike Doctor Racing Team's continued ascent this year. A lot of the guys trained under Elite Endurance, and, shocker, a lot of guys had awesome years. Another Shocker: I'm working with Elite Endurance now, after I realized at Nature Valley that 'I have no idea what I'm doing.'
DigiSource (the logo on our side panel) threw in to the pot to complete the picture. Aside from providing support to the team, they are my employer, and deal with my bike racing 'problem' with grace and generosity. Also, I get to take my mind off of bikes for 8 hours a day and play with high end computer equipment. Legal-types in D.C. be aware: we have the equivalent of a P5 with 808 Firecrests for E Discovery equipment and services. I've been upgrading the speed of more than just my pedal stroke this year!
Finally, I've been helped out at races by Igda, Emir, Kat, and Katie G. Most importantly, though, my wife, who deals with me missing half of our 'visitation time' that I blow up by attending all of these events and racing with the team.
Coffee's done, and I've got to get back to work.