I think Nate coulda used this one for the latest entry to his blog. I may have already called one of my blogs experience. Or Welcome to PRO racing. Or this isn't D20 no more. Or I could think of many titles (sorry Nate). Just different style of racing. How many times do you ever see a local race with gutter action that lasts for 10 MILES??? Has anyone ever seen it round here lasting for 1 mile? I don't remember ever seeing it. Okay maybe at Turkey Day over the top of the hill when it was windy.... Last time I was there was when Saturn and Gen Jeanson were duking it out in Idaho and I wondered how I wasn't dead already. I was still alive and wishing I weren't. Okay, not really. But maybe you get the picture. I never want to try and compare the Bunny Hop to the Gila crit where speeds are 50-60kph the WHOLE 90'. Because these are 2 completely different races with a different list of players in a different ball park. Every individual has obstacles to overcome. I have come to realize I don't know why to all the questions the athletes' ask me. But I do know you just cannot quit. Coz sooner or later you make the break or you win a field sprint or you learn how to descend at speed. I have learned that the sooner you work on your limiters the better you will be. Of course I don't understand why some people get there sooner than others, I have theories of course. Alot is human nature or character of an individual. I know going into anything holding a + attitude is worth many many miles and/or much training.
One big reason I started a women's team yrs ago was to try and bridge that gap, from regional racing to NRC. For women it is not as big a gap I don't think, the depth doesn't exist as it does in men's racing. But women have other issues that often prevent them from making this jump. It is scary to bridge that gap no matter what the gender. Reading Nate's blog makes it all too honest how much different it is, the racing he is trying to do now vs the racing he was doing only 1 year ago. And it isn't ever going to get "easier", it is going to get more manageable. Coz he will learn how to read the races better and when to expend energy or when not to use an ounce of strength. I remember thinking the same thing on so many days, thank GOD I have good legs. Coz if I didn't this day would suck. But I have had plenty of days that did suck from start to finish. I just go to bed praying I feel good tomorrow. It is a hard man's sport cycling. No matter if you are cat 5 trying to get to cat 4. It is all the same. No matter if it is the cat 4 race at the Bunny Hop. 100 people line up and only 1 "wins". Isn't this so fascinating. I may see winning in different ways then the riders. But I know what they all want.
My last 3 days in Silver City were fantastic - we rode, hiked, then rode. Climbed about 15000 in those 2 days of riding - take me about 3650 trips on the W & OD to do this much climbing. It is just different. I tell people all the time, if you wanna be strong - you gotta go climb. If you have the choice of Haines Pt vs repeats on Brickyard - do some of both. Then whenever you can - get to real mtns - Front Royal, Luray Rt 211. Anything that goes up. I had to use a 28 tooth cassette (thanks KevinG) but so what at least I could still turn it. And I had FUN. Which for me, is something I wish I woulda had alot more of all those years of racing. Instead I was too freaking serious most of the time. UGH. Nate you are just 19 riding with the best in the US and some of Europe's best. You need to be patient. It is all going to come your way. It may be tomorrow, may be next week, thing is - all of this is in your future. Doesn't get much better.