I started the month lamenting that I missed the first three big races of the year, Mellow Johnny’s, Bonelli, and Fontana. Then I got over myself and decided to look forward, instead of back, and get down to business.
I spent 11 day sunny days in Anderson California, climbing up amazing roads, applying massive amounts of sunscreen to my pasty white legs, and cooking meals for a training camp put on by Powered by Bowen.
This experience presented the opportunity to meet a number of top notch individuals, ride my bike in 80 degree weather, and spend some time with Brig, my coach, but also my friend, and someone from whom I always learn something.
I raced - three times - at Mudslinger, Bear Trap Springs, and Coast Hills Classic; all part of the Oregon XC Mountain Bike Series. Each race presented its own unique challenges, but all had two things in common.
1) When I crossed the line, I was covered, from head to toe, in mud. One expects this from Mudslinger. Bear Springs Trap offered a full-on snowstorm and winter–like temperatures. Coast Hills Classic was held in Newport, on the Oregon Coast, and meet us with gale force winds and sheets of solid rain. But it was warm rain, so this was a nice change from the previous week's frozen fingers.
2) Kalla (aka The Lust) was freaking amazing. I love this bike, and together we took the win at each race.
Racing in Oregon is great fun; full of familiar faces, great smiles, encouraging words and friends. I love racing in this environment, but I am feeling the need to dive into something deeper. I may have missed the first three ProXCT races, but that doesn't mean I can’t jump into the remaining four. I am excited, nervous, and anxious for what lies ahead and have a few more Oregon races, including Blitz to the Barrel, to get myself ready for the first of these races in Missoula, MT.
I can’t thank Erik, All Access, and Brig enough for their strength, confidence, and constant belief. Sometimes life throws you a hurdle (aka Clive Ellis); you either come to a screeching haul, or figure out how to jump over it. I have chosen the later (no real shock there) and am grateful to so many people for their support.
None of this racing stuff would be possible without support from Erik Eastland, All Access, Liv/Giant, Rolf Prima, Clif Bar & Company, Sunnyside Sports, Udo’s Oil, Giro, REP Lap, Smith Optics, Hutch's, and of course my #1 - Ben.