Well, yesterday didn’t go as planned despite the only plan being to have fun. The fun factor ran out just about 20 miles into the 60-mile race, which is discouraging, but my poor neck just couldn’t take the bike pulling on my neck and shoulders any longer and after the 25-mile mark, I crashed in front of a spectator and asked him how to get back to camp through tears. I hate quitting and I haven’t in a while but the decision came whenever I remembered my dad telling me as I child whenever I wanted to drop out of a race that, if I wasn’t having fun, I should quit.
So I did and cried the whole dirt road back to the pits frustrated that the only thing stopping me from having fun is something I can’t fix. It’s not like I can change my riding style to make my neck hurt less. I guess I could have my suspension serviced again. But I think most everyone felt like they were riding a pogo stick yesterday, not just me.
I’m only halfway into my second season of racing since I retired when I went to college in 2003 but I’m almost ready to call it quits again. It hurts that bad.
Still looking on the bright side, I’m learning a lot about myself through all this. I would rather not start on the same row as my competition again. In hare scrambles, it’s different because we’re forced to start on the same row but in enduros you have a choice so from now on, I choose to ride my own race on my own row with a bunch of strangers who I don’t have to worry about.
I also learned that I would much rather curl up with a book than talk to people and maybe it’s because I talk all day at my job and I’m used to being the center of attention but I’m much happier losing myself in a book than sitting around shooting the birds wasting time with meaningless conversation.
I learned that, along with duct taping both hands and right thumb, that I need to swap gloves every race because the blisters just keep coming.
The most important thing I learned is that even if I DNF a race, I could still win a trophy, which is what happened yesterday and that’s a first for me.