Six years ago I separated my shoulder on a mild solo training ride at Hanson Hills. I know, what?! Hanson? Really?! Yup. Only two miles in and I lost control on a downhill that cost me a couple grand and 9 months of recovery. I’ve avoided the trail ever since, but the great weather, potential CPS points, and my own pride all pointed in one direction… Get over it!
I decided I needed a pre-ride, so late Saturday afternoon, I got to the trail to face my nemesis mono a mono. The dusty, sandy trail was hurling insults at my psyche, but I forged on, with the eminent moment of repetitious disaster awaiting. Inflated fear, like The Monster Under The Bed teasing me to step out to pee in the middle of the night, crippled my confidence and every grain of sand ahead was thrown down by the devil on my shoulder. The climb and flat that were etched in my mind for six years are past and I know what’s at the bottom. When the bottom came, the climb started, just like all trails do. I had to stop and find “the spot”. It was nothing. Are you ##$&@’ing serious?!! I can’t believe I admitted that I lost a whole season to this trail! So with my tail between my legs, I finished the pre-ride unscathed and ready for the race.
Here’s how the race went in detail: It hurt. Blah, blah, blah… I got third! (That’s for you, Rob!) And Jeff’s version goes like this… “Hey, I’m Jeff Jacobi and I only like one beer, I mean gear! I’m gonna take my sweet ass time, pop a few wheelies and look for bald eagles.” (Which would be a perfect picture to go with the “Jeff next to big things” series, by the way.) Nice third place, Jeff! I kid because I love. With the cash payout we almost raced for free. It was a fun race with good competition and I regret having avoided it for so long.
After a recovery drink (wink, wink), it was time for the kids race. You see, Jeff and Curtis decided to brave the freshly hatched and hungry mosquitoes in a campground the night before and it was time to reap the benefits. Curtis took off with abandon, like a knight on his trusty steed chasing ten monsters under the bed! After the race, he proudly accepted his plaque of bravery and drove off into the sunset with Jeff crashed out, dreaming of a walk-in cooler fully stocked with Coors and autographed Pantera posters. Nice race, Curtis! There will be many more dragons to slay in your day. I hope you never separate your shoulder in the process, but take this advice from me, don’t wait six years to face your fears, little dude!