With that, it’s over

Posted on Nov 20, 2017 | 0 comments

The season. Bike racing season. OVER. It was a long one and quite frankly, it lasted too long. First race March 5, last race 8.5 months later, roughly 47 races in-between with a few taking the better part of entire days. After a big diet and effort push to Leadville, my interest and energy waned heading into cross season. Despite some great early results, I didn’t have as much fun as I should have, completely ran out of steam, and barely made it through, BUT MADE IT THROUGH I DID. All in all, I probably only “skipped” three races due to burnout. That’s not so bad.

I found my way onto the podium 13 times of which three were on the top rung. An unprecedented year.

OBRA Results | Strava data

Let’s work our way back through the seasons, shall we?

Cross

It went well. Turning 35 allowed me to race in the 35+/old man category. I ran away with a few Cat 3 races, earned a leader’s jersey, and was bumped to Cat 2 following three wins and a few other respectable finishes. Despite only getting a handful of races into the early season series, I still finished second overall, although I didn’t qualify for final standings due to lack of results. In order to truly “win” in a lot of bike racing overall competitors you need the perfect balance of finishing well, but not too well to upgrade – think 8th every race. Funny thing.

Following my upgrade to Cat 2 I was faced with racing Open 2/3 (45 minutes) or Masters 1/2 (60 minutes with the big dawgs). I opted for the former in all but one race and finished mid pack. No longer capable of finishing at the top and really feeling the mental fatigue, I kind of let my training and diet go, and more or less slogged through the rest of the season. It wasn’t particularly enjoyable, but a lesson learned; ~50 races is too many.

Next year I’ll likely focus on smaller races as I think I get more enjoyment out of spectating the larger ones than racing them. Will still likely keep in the Open 2/3 category too as the one race I did in Masters 1/2 had me battling for close to last place, that’s no fun, and neither is racing last in the schedule of events; my ~1ish starts allow me to sleep in, race, and then chill/spectate for a couple of hours.

Mountain

I’ve previously written about this in a multitude of posts. I progressed leaps and bounds here mostly by a) doing it and b) getting a fantastic new bicycle.

Next year I’ll find myself in Cat 1 for Short Track so that’ll be entertaining. Also planning to do the big local races, Tahoe, and Leadville if I can get in.

Track

I tried it. It’s scary as hell, but fun as hell. I want more of it. Lots of room to improve skills here so a worthy option for focus next year.

Road

This proved to be a tricky road year for me. I came out of a great off-season feeling crazy strong, but it’s the only discipline I don’t feel I really saw huge improvement in. My placing were more comfortable than years past, but I felt an upgrade was inevitable and it didn’t happen.

Next year I’m going to focus on that upgrade. It needs to happen as it’ll likely be the only one I get for a long while.

For now, I’m going to get back to enjoying aimless outdoor riding when weather permits, and when it doesn’t I equally look forward to spending a lot of time on the trainer catching up on Netflix and reading. It’s gonna be real nice.