Pre-Race Jitters

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

I raced this season less than anytime during the last 30 years. It doesn’t seem that strange since I’ve been injured so much of the season. And, I’ve had little patience with the injuries, which just prolonged the healing process. So, today, I felt pretty unfamiliar with the pre-race jitters I felt as I drove up to the Bass Resort, to pre-ride a little of the course of the Berryman Trail Epic race tomorrow. I hadn’t done a system check in such a long time, nearly a month, that it felt strange.

I don’t mind the self-imposed nervousness and constant checks the day before, or morning of the races. I think it is a good thing, especially when you’ve gone over all the aspects of the race and feel you’ve done everything possible to make the outcome positive. I can’t say that about this specific race, but it is what it is.

Brian and I got out for about 15 miles of the course late yesterday last night. Last year, nearly the whole 56 miles were covered with at least 4 inches of leaves. This year, it is a late fall, so the trail is perfect. Well, perfect leaf-wise, but a little dusty and loose to be super perfect.

I did all the system checks and still have a big question mark. I’m not as pitiful as I was the day before last year, and I won, so that is a good thing. But, I definitely didn’t feel perky at all. I have close to 4 1/2 hours to ride into it tomorrow, so it isn’t like the first 30 minutes decided the race.

The race starts a little early for my liking, 8:30 am. Yesterday it was 28 degrees at that time, but today it is warmer, in the mid 30’s. The race starts on a gravel climb, pretty much from the start, so you aren’t too cold for very long. It is supposed to be nearly 60 for a high, but that will be way after the race is over for the leaders.

Scott and Jacob, the race promoters, have been camped out for the last week, walking the trail and marking 56 miles of trail. I was talking to Brian on the way over, saying I can’t imagine how long it would take to mark that much non-repeating singletrack. I have my answer. It is quite impressive. There are 350 riders entered today, so all the hard work is obviously appreciated.

Okay, by the time many of you read this, I’ll be riding through the Mark Twain National Forest. Hopefully pretty fast. If not, it’s fine, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning.

Brian and I, all stiff from driving, heading out to ride some singletrack.

Brian and I, all stiff from driving, heading out to ride some singletrack.

You don't often go to registration and have the room lined with deer trophies.

You don’t often go to registration and have the room lined with deer trophies.

This is a first, a hoodie with my name on it.....twice.  Lots of gifts at registration, pretty cool.

This is a first, a hoodie with my name on it…..twice. Lots of gifts at registration, pretty cool.

It always amazes me there are places in the United States where you can still smoke in restaurants.  It is the Ozarks.

It always amazes me there are places in the United States where you can still smoke in restaurants. It is the Ozarks.

5 thoughts on “Pre-Race Jitters

  1. The Cyclist

    Just finished watchin Compton racing UCI CX in Tabor, Czech Rep. Very summery. Looks like it’s very late fall all over the Nothern hemispere this year. Kinda weird watchin ppl racing on a summer field. Not enuf mud for it to be as interesting as it can be in the winter, despite the brilliant picture quality in 1080p live on YouTube. A bit of drama on the last lap saved the experience. CX needs mud. They shoulda moved this race to Sweden…

     
  2. The Cyclist

    Ok, I take it back. No need for mud in the men’s race. They had enuf power and speed to make the race exciting to watch even without. Funny though that the pretty much the only guy on disc brakes crashed out in the lead. Only to catch back up again in a few laps. Looks like he’s the only one on form in the whole bunch… or is it PEDs? Can’t be the disc brakes that make him faster than the rest. That’s for sure.

     
  3. channel_zero

    Funny how Americans are so hot for discs when ‘cross is not a braking test. You still need more power than the guy or girl behind you to podium…

    Heaven forbid the competitive cycling fashion show slow down at all.

     
  4. jpete

    No worries, Steve- you are over forty, undertrained and recovering from injury- should be a record-breaking ride, right?

     

Comments are closed.