Seasonal Changes

The last 4 months have been interesting. The Butte 100 gave me a new perspective on life and racing. That new perspective opened the door to meeting someone and opening up for the first time in over 10 years. Then there was a month of discovery followed by reality. Now I start the process of tucking all my feelings back into racing and morphing back into a solo machine.

Cold, calculating, and focused on pain.  It’s all about the pain and the process of over coming the pain. A small skit of life itself. And that my friend is the intro into my story and just an excuse to post photos of a race that I had forgotten to post photos of.

Pierre’s Hole 100 is the race that actually I raced differently and made a transition.   Instead of busting open a miserable pace at the start I laid back and became a back of the pack lolly-gagger. But even that wasn’t enough to keep myself from excruciating pain near the middle of the race.

A month previous I had a friend over for a nights stay in which ended up in a all night session of talking, laughing, and general life discussion. After that I couldn’t sleep or focus. The same was true for her. After some phone calls I was urged to attend the PH 100 even though I felt like driving West. I showed up feeling exposed and vulnerable. The gun went off and I just started riding aimlessly on course.

For three laps I went through the motions of the race but eventually I came to a complete stop. I was breathing hard but not gasping for air. I stood there on the race course breathing rhythmically and just clearing my mind. I couldn’t continue. Something was bugging me. Like a chicken bone caught in my throat, I had to spit it out or die.

Suddenly I blurted my friends’ name and some mushy terms and phrases.   After many many years of stale cold actions I was feeling warm gushy stuff and I had to realize it. I had to come to terms with it and accept it. For no reason other then admitting to myself I could have feelings again I jumped on my bike. I pulled out a lap and a half so fast that I won a belt buckle. It was an amazing burst of power and best of all I actually wanted to be out there. Racing. Racing my heart out.

This is not some beginning of a love story but an explanation of why things have been different for the last 4 months. But life has shown its brutal side and started smoothing over the exciting stuff and exposed its ugly side. I am headed down to Utah this week to race in a 25 hour mountain bike race. A race that we had planned on to get to know each other. Recently I have discovered I will be going alone.

As with the PH 100 I do not want to go. I guess  I must. This may be my last race. I know there is something to be found out there racing in the desert. I don’t know if I can transition back to pain. Racing solo. Alone. But I will try.

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