I was walking around downtown Marquette last night, before and after eating dinner, and lots of people just came up and started talking to me. The predominate question was, “How bad was it watching?” It is extremely cool that peers sympathized with my plight.
And the answer was – awful. It was horrible watching a race that I wanted and should have been riding. I almost couldn’t stand it. If I would have brought my clothes to the start, I would have ridden. I guess I learned something. I wouldn’t have won the race, but only one guy wins anyway. I would have done really poorly by my standards, but those standards were meaningless considering the conditions.
I drove to a couple places on the course and watched the leaders go by. I learned a lot about the sport and myself by doing so. I came to Marquette originally to try to win the Ore to Shore. That wasn’t possible. So, I now wish I would have just started the race (with some wet wipes in my pocket) and experienced the day from on a bike. Watching made me realize that it really doesn’t matter who you’re racing with, it will always be someone.
I probably wouldn’t have been riding with Cole, Brian, Tristan and Co. for that long, but I would have eventually found a group of guys my speed to enjoy the day with. And it probably would have been a few of the great guys that came up and asked me about how I felt, etc. downtown. It would have been a pleasure to ride from Negaunee to Marquette with them.
The non racing rubbed me so much the wrong way, that later in the afternoon, yesterday, I got on my bike and rode out to the course and rode the last 20 miles just to get a flavor of the course. That really didn’t come close to helping.
For me, racing a bike race is 100X more fun than watching a bike race. And watching is usually pretty fun on its own. Not yesterday though.