I raced Downieville (XC, Expert) on Saturday. First Dville, first Mountain Bike race. No course pre-ride. No goals other than don’t destroy body or bike and *have fun*. Mission accomplished — but easier said than done. Ended up 11th, which I’m still strangely pleased about . . . or don’t care about. This day is the epitome of the experience — the journey — trumping any goal. Bike racing can cloud that life maxim but it shouldn’t. I won’t go deep in detail here as others will and it is not my story — but some teammates got hurt on the course (they are ok now overall). Perspective. I can say that this was one of the best days of bike racing I’ve ever experienced blowing away many where I exceeded my expectation in results (including winning – the ultimate goal — right?). Awesome. Random thoughts and observations:
*This is beyond a race. The day reminded me more of a ski mountaineering adventure/epic. Sensory assault. Physical and mental suffering, incredible highs and lows, every moment rich and layered and deep . . . a trip.
*Wow am I slow on the descent . . . to get better here is some combo of growing sack, practice — at speed — on more technical terrain than I typically ride, pre-riding course/course knowledge. Bike/gear is no excuse . . . dudes on hardtails (Conrad/Matt) smoked me. Did I mention this was my first Mt bike race . . .
*The post race scene in Dville is beyond awesome. No cars (mine was 13 miles away in Sierra City at the start). Post race endorphins. Teammates/friends and sharing stories. Cold beer, food, bike, bike, bike. Tiny old town. Cold clear river. Bike jump arial show into river. On and on
This event is firmly on the annual calendar, hopefully for the whole family next year. Riding back to my car late in the afternoon (shuttle bailed, I didn’t care?) looking forward to the short and beautiful drive back to Truckee and hanging w/ my family I felt incredibly humbled and fortunate and just stoked . . . still buzzing 2 days later.