A humbling race for me at Winona Lake. The course is a beautiful fully singletrack 9+ mile course consisting of 3 loops for the Experts. I wanted to race Sport so bad knowing that I wasn't ready, yet Ken changed my mind. I don't think I'll listen to him anymore. Last ride prior to the race was a two hour outing with the Boy Scouts the prior weekend. Seven months since the surgery and my racing skills at their best.
Ken, Mike and I lined up. The pros were called up, then the called up in groups riders and how they ranked the previous year. We were left in the back since we didn't race any Dino races last year. We were off across a field and right into the singletrack train poking along all congested. Two people were behind me at that point, not a good start. I followed Laney for a while and then went by as I thought I had more than I did. Shortly thereafter I realized it was going to be a rough race. I passed a few others and then those ahead were gone and ended up riding the next two laps alone. I was done at that point and thought I'd at least ride the final lap with Laney and thus stopped and waited a minute for him to arrive. I latched on and explained my plan which motivated him to kick it up a notch and leave me. He would've caught me on the last lap anyway as I was done. One other guy passed me a little later which left me all alone as the second to last rider. I could've quit, yet focused more on completing the race and enjoying the trails.
I am motivated now to pick up some slack, yet has already been a few days and I haven't made time to get back on the bike. I just need to get through the next few months of some important work and home projects I've got going on and then I'll be able to get my life back in proper balance.
A new '08 race rig was acquired last week and is in the build process. Details to follow when I get some time to strip it all down and build it up correctly.