In my last post I talked about my experience at the Cherry Roubaix Road Race. It was a humbling and embarrassing event. In fact I was so embarrassed that after the race I didn’t go home to face my family and friends. Instead I went north and hid out in the Boundary Waters between Northern Minnesota and Canada, under an assumed name. Where I was I had no internet connection and only occasionally could I find a cell connection. I didn’t touch my bicycle for over two weeks. And it probably wasn’t right, but for the next couple weeks I took my anger and frustration out on the Northern Pike and Large Mouth Bass of the area.
I had started my program in the later part of last year, aiming to peak in the middle of June for the races I deemed to be important. I think I did a pretty good job of achieving that goal. But realizing it was still early in the year I modified my training and aimed for the Cherry Roubaix in early August. I don’t think I took more than a couple rides during those 8-9 months that were for fun and not part of my program.
I had reached a burned out point by the time Cherry Roubaix rolled around. I lost some of my enthusiasum for the bike and the results of the race finished it off. I had lost my Mojo.
But the events of two days ago tell me I’m back. First, I am back to recording my activities in my journal. I have been doing this since I started biking last year. Since Cherry Roubaix I had not made an entry. There didn’t seem to be anything to say. And then suddenly two nights ago that old feeling returned.
And then I was riding around the State Park at Manistique with my wife and a couple friends when some kid around 6-7 years old goes flying by us on his bicycle with his little legs churning as fast as he could get them to go. My buddy said “You’re not going to let him do that to us, are you?” And at that moment it came back.
I took off after him and he looked back and saw me coming. He was giving it everything he had and as I approached him he kept looking over his shoulder until I was almost up to him. Then he swerved over and forced me off the paved road. I was on my trusty mountain bike and passed him while in the grass. I rounded the final curve, shifted up, got up on the pedals and gave it my patented (in my mind) finishing kick across the imaginary finish line. He finished moments later with both hands raised in the air in a gesture of defiant triumph.
Two things happened there. I felt the old me come back as I always hate to be passed by anyone, anytime, even if it is some 50 pound kid on a bike half the size of mine. Not a fair race you say. Doesn’t matter, it was a race. And secondly, I was inspired by that young man. Every time I saw him over the two days I was there, he was going all out. He was not intimidated by some old guy he had no chance to beat and in the end he celebrated the fact he had given it his best.
My most important races in my three year plan are next July and I will work hard after the first of the year aiming towards those races. But for now I think I’ll try getting some riding in just for the fun of it. I got home last night and called my friend Dennis (The Animal) and set up a ride for tomorrow. I told him I wanted to just go out and take it easy and enjoy myself. But then again, we always say that. And who knows how it will go once I clip in, because my Mojo is back.
Until next time, remember age is an excuse not a reason.