July 2, 2011

Purple Power at Pickett's Charge!

Photo: Bill Warburton
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We always want to do well, that is the nature of a bike racer.  Our best on a given day depends on so many factors. If you are training for a specific goal, there are going to be times when you are tired. There are going to be times when you are rested. You have to trust the process.

Pickett’s Charge was a specific goal. I wanted to race well at home. I knew the course, I was well rested, I was confident, but I was also nervous. When expectations are high, nerves creep in; the trick is to turn that nervous energy into excitement and power.

The conditions for Sunday’s race were perfect. Sunshine, blue skies, and lots of smiles. I got in a good warm-up, downed a Clif Shot Turbo, and went to the starting line. The gun went off, I shifted down, and never looked back. Two laps, 1 hour per lap. A double-header cyclocross race. I wanted to hit the single-track first, I did. I nailed the lines I had been practicing and caught a couple of guys on the first climb.

Some races everything just comes together. Focus is easy to find, the bike flows and legs are loose, the nutrition plan is dialed. Pickett’s Charge was that race for me.

Pickett’s was my last mountain bike race before MTB Nationals in Idaho – I needed to have a great race. I found confidence in the technical sections; strength on the climbs; now I am ready to toe the line in Sun Valley, knowing that I have trusted the process, practiced my skillz, and trained well.