Monday, April 23, 2007

11th place ain't to bad....

Glorious day for a mountain bike race!!!

Sunday I raced my first "official" cross-country mountain bike race since July 2005. I know I have raced a few Wednesday night races but they are merely for fun and training. I lined up with about 23 Sport class 30-39 year old racers around 1:30pm and promptly tried to explode my heart out of my chest. We rode four laps of the course for a total of just about 20 miles of 97% single track trail. I completed the race in 1:48:29.1 55 and my heart rate averaged 175 bpm the entire race!!! The day was warm and perfect for a mountain bike race!!!

Jose riding a singlespeed fully rigid 29er!!!

Jose came out for his first official mtb race and what was his second mtb race ever!! He was again competing on his single speed in the Sport 40-49 year old age class. He race rather well completing 2 and a half laps before getting a flat tire that effectively took him out of the race. So he just bagged it and took pictures. Christie and Abigael came along to enjoy the day outside, take pictures and play in the dirt.

Dirt angels!!

I once again went out to hard and too fast in the first lap and promptly blew up. With my heart rate monitor alarm sounding like a time bomb ready to blow constantly I decided to back off and take it easier in the second and third laps actually dropping my HR below the alarm threshold of 175 bpm for a little while. When I came through the finish line going out for my last lap the announcer said I was in 11th place so I decided to see if I could catch number ten to nab a top ten finish. Well my last lap was pretty quiet as I only passed a few slow 20-29 year olds and a few of the 40-49 year olds that had passed me up earlier in the race but I never did catch or even see another 30-39 year old to take 11th place!! Not bad in my book!

UP, UP, UP!! Venga, Venga, Venga!! Allez, Allez, Allez!!

The other big decision I have had to make in the past week was one that took quite a bit of thought and inner turmoil as well a few restless nights. I have been involved with the AVA/Counterbalance Bicycles racing team from it's inception. I have helped to build it up to where it is today and unfortunately due to my busy life I have not and was not able to continue this year in a leadership role. The problem is I can't let lie the team when I see things that I personally don't like or actions that I feel are contrary to the original purpose of the team. So I tend, more often than not, to voice my opinion and some people don't like to here or read my opinion. Whether I am right or wrong it is still my opinion and I truly feel I have the right to make it be known, if people want to read it or hear it is their prerogative.

So I have made the decision to part ways with the team, at least for a year, so that I can detach myself from the leadership and the team can find it's direction what ever that be. Because I am coming back to racing this year from a long time down on the Disabled List I still want to have some "support" as opposed to just racing solo. I made the decision to approach my Physical Therapist Erik Moen to see if I could race for his Viking Sport Seattle club. Erik enthusiastically invited me on board and provided me with a jersey and no pressure when it came to making the decision to race for another team.

Most importantly I want it to be known that I LOVE my team, AVA/Counterbalance, and I eventually want to come back to it. I love the Counterbalance bike shop and I will continue to support it and patronize it. I love and miss my friends that I have raced with, planned events with, and still feel close to. I just came to the conclusion that I would be happier if I didn't have the temptation of wanting to "meddle" in the leadership of the team that way I can just race, heal, and have fun. I am sorry to all of my AVA/Counterbalance team members and sponsors but for right now this is what will work for me. So yes, Sunday I raced in the Viking colors and felt good, had fun, and kicked some butt in the process!

Photo courtesy of Jose Sandoval

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