When I was a kid, I dreamt of racing my bike - I mean for real! The CCCX races would have come and gone if it weren't for the enthusiastic prodding of the crew at Scotts Valley CycleSport. I was a decent road rider, and bought my Stumpjumper mostly so I could do some rides with my wife and kids. I had been on my MTB about 6 times and thought the Beginner class would be a good way to start. After about a hundred questions and additional encouragement I decided to give it a go.
At the beginning of the first race Mike Columbani poked at me to come to the front of the line after humbly accepting a mid-pack (27 guys) starting position. He said, "When the whistle blows, you go!"
So, when the whistle blew, I did just that. Then when no one was behind me as I approached the single track, I thought to myself - 'Oh No! I'm gonna blow up!"
When I placed 3rd in my first race I thought I'd better try this again, just so see if wasn't a fluke.
I like how one of the other racers put the "excuses" we all make when it comes to our racing - something like the house burned down, my bike melted,..., the dog at my tires,... Having 7 races in the series, and the increase in laps, to prepare us for moving up in class, gave everyone a chance to have their own fare share of reasons to improve - or not.
Finishing third wasn't a fluke. Despite my own reasons for not doing better - like crashing all the time, blowing up, and a narly bad cold the second race; my compatriots - Jammin John Gamble, and the Alpha Wolf Mark Molchan, both had their own good reasons for not placing well on certain races - like a family Baptism John had to attend on Father's Day, and Mark's sleep deprivation after the birth of his daughter just two days earlier and helping his brother in law move the day before a race. I'm glad they were tired. Otherwise, I probably would have dumped my ride and lay in the grass for a nap just to stop the suffering.
I have never raced before - for real. But I've watched racing and read all that stuff we wannabe racers probably dreamt of being a part of at one time in our lives. I am happy to say that my first experiences were more than I could have ever imagined. The prompting of the guys at CycleSport, and the new found friendships from everyone in the races and on the race course. Working together with John and Mark, and encouraging every rider in every other class, was worth every entry fee.
I read an article about a race promoter in Velo News a couple weeks ago and at the same time thought how fortunate CCCX is to have Rod at the helm of every one of these races. Three Huzzah's for Rod, and those who pitched in - even after racing - to help with all the results and festivities. The guy even remembered to give me water when I needed it.
I'm already looking forward to the next series.
Until then - tomtom