Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Game Changer...

"Michaux is the granddaddy of painful and challenging technical mountain bike races - in the eastern US or anywhere else. Nothing compares. Many otherwise hardcore racers avoid it like a 'ho with a case of the clap. Others are attracted to the danger, the challenge, and the rush of fear and adrenalin". -Brian Kemler

There are races that you do for fun and there are races that you do for training but once in a while you run across a race so hard that it changes the course of your entire season.
Up to this point I've entered five races this season and had won three so you could say I was confident coming to the Michaux Maximus this weekend. Maybe even cocky. Dave Lyons said it best at the first aid station (at this time I was pondering my further involvement in the sport) "Monte, you can't win every race". He was right, that comment knocked me right off the 'pity potty party' I was having. I thank him for that.
Long story short, The course handed me my ass. That was the toughest race I've done since I was a beginner. Back then every race seemed tough. It was tougher than Shenandoah, tougher than the Stoopid 50, tougher than the muddy Mohican that I battled out with Harlan last year. I was reduced to a bumbling mess mid way through this race...By the course, not the competition. They were gone, never to be seen again. Fucking hard ass men at Michaux.
Experience tells me that everything will seem easy from here on out, That's for sure. I have loops in Ringwood that I usually avoid because they are too tough for "purposeful training". I can't wait to ride those tough loops again. A week ago I was in a fog as far as riding and racing was concerned, now my head is as clear as a bell and I have a new purpose. Changes are being made, UST tires will be purchased.
Meeting and talking with Cheryl Sornson (who did the Cohutta 100 the day before) was inspiring and made me think further into the season, where I will now attempt to pull my own multi state mini stage race (details will follow). Cheryl is a machine. Losing only to Sue Haywood by a second. Sue Effing Haywood!!! The girls were starstruck and couldn't stop talking about it the whole way home. Hell, I was starstruck...
Jocelyn and Jane had a great time also, knowing they had raced the best and gave it their all. One of my favorite quotes was "There are no out of shape mid packers to battle with when you fall apart here".

It was true. Only the Hard Core apply...