May 26, 2011
BACK IN THE SADDLE
There once was a time, not so long ago, when a mountain bike race in Big Bear was a frequent occurrence. Counting the NORBA Nat’l, we’d race out of Snow Summit about 5 or 6 times a year. The Team Big Bear crew had several courses to serve up back then, but those days are long gone. Last weekend was round 5 of the Kenda Cup West Series, and the first of only two mountain bike races in Big Bear this year.
While it was dreary as jolly old England down the hill, the sky at 6,000 feet was clear, blue, and beautiful. We raced on what has become our normal loop up there, and while some complain that the course consists of too much dirt road and not enough singletrack, I’m just happy to be racing mountain bikes in the actual mountains. Despite going through about 3 weeks of burn-out on the bike, poor sleep, and an even poorer diet, I felt reasonably good in the race, but I think that had more to do with my positive-charged euphoria for being in Big Bear. I still had some moments of complacence during the race (my arch enemy on the mountain bike this year), yet not nearly as detrimental to my results as other recent attempts.
Do you ever get half way into a race and just quit giving a damn? There’s no desire to keep going, no tolerance for suffering, and no interest in anything at that moment. That’s how I’ve felt for much of this year, which is why I changed gears and jumped into some more road races. However, the fresh mountain air in Big Bear seemed therapeutic for me and I’m motivated again. When Sunday’s race was all said and done, I finished 9th in the Pro class. Not the greatest result, but a personal victory considering I’ve recently had more fun cleaning the scum out of the bathroom drains at home than I have racing mountain bikes. Bring on the 12 Hours of Temecula.