This weekend I attended the Bloomer Park XC race on the east side of our lovely state. The park lies in the heart of Rochester Hills and is a great place to ride a bike. The park holds our only velodrome in the state and has some of the most technical trails I have ridden.
The start of the day was picture perfect, you really couldnt ask for a better start to the race. With that being said, I was feeling great, I had my lovely wife and my dog there to help with the support. This was going to be a 5 lap event covering over 26 miles and this was my first year racing in the Elite group at Bloomer. The start of the race was typical, Fast and furious; I was able to hold on to the lead group for about ¾ of the lap. That’s when my body started to tell my brain, This Hurts! The course was nothing but straight up then straight down. Normally my kind of course. But not that day. For some reason my body was over powering my brain with pain and suffering. It was not my normal pain that I can control and take over. You see the mind is stronger than you think. But when you don’t have it, you don’t have it. My legs, my lungs, my arms Hurt and I could not get them under control. Needless to say I had to stay with it. By this time I was on my 3rd lap and had to do 2 more.
Most every racer goes through this pain. This is where the weak fail and the strong prevail. I asked myself over and over, can I give up? Would my wife understand? What mechanical problem would I fake? Please have a flat tire or something break, Please! I just want to Quit. Well you see I have never quit a race do to this Phenomenon. I have always finished! This day I was going to finish. Rounding my last grueling lap, I guessed I was close to last place, Not Cool. But that is all right. Last place is better than DNF. All I had to do was finish now. Last lap came and went faster than the previous it was only a blur. But when I rolled a crossed the line to end my fight, there was a sense of pride and failure, that I had failed the race because of my place on the standings, but no I had finished. So I had won the fight in my head. You see that is more important. Standings are important but the real battle is in your own head. The true reason why we race is the sense of accomplishment and pride we get when you complete something. Even if your body won’t cooperate. Well the race was over. I had a bad day; it is not the end of the world. I learned a lot about myself that day. Well to say the least I finished 9th out of 10 guys. The 10th guy DNF. I will be back!
I am on the founders Team for one reason. Pride! Ever sense I was a young man I thought it would be cool to race for a Beer team. Well now I’m on one, and the sense of pride always wins and I must finish. Even if I am in last or first. Would Founders stop making beer if it was hard? No. they do it because they love to make beer and I love to ride bikes. So I will continue to race with a sense of pride that takes me to the finish.
Thank you Founders and Alger for the chance to show my pride.