At this point I had never heard of WORS or knew of any MTB racing in Wisconsin. I started riding MTB's again for the first time since 1995 and the first rides consisted in a single mile ride through the hood three times a week. Chris and I then ventured out to a 5 mile ride and he was on a BMX bike yelling at me to hurry up. It was a painful ride to say the least. I started using Mapmyride to find new and longer routes and on one of our longer routes (10 miles) we even had stopped off for lunch at McDonald's. I know pathetic right? But this is the point in which Chris and his BMX bike were slowing me down. So I treated myself to a brand new Giant Rincon and passed down my Old, trusted, well used MTB. (which fit him better then me)
But this is where I started and I pushed to progress farther and longer each time out until we found a great 20 mile loop. At this point it was about completing this loop faster each time out. But I started to get bored with seeing the same scenes and trails so I looked for ambition or motivation. I also started running (treadmill running) and for the first time since my teens I had run a uninterrupted mile. And over time I was up to 6 miles on the ole mill and feeling good about myself. At this point I decided I was ready for a 5K... HAHA ..A buddy I work with is a Marathon runner and pleasantly told me I just may want to try running outside first before signing up. hmmm Can running outside be any harder then the Mill? HELL YA, I made a 1/4 mile and wanted to die. I was discourage in running so bad I pretty much had stopped after this eye opening moment.
It was also at this point I had found WORS during my searches for 5k's. Needless to say I was very intrigued and the 2009 SunBurst showdown was my target ride after not a lot of preparing. Maybe 400 miles of riding under my belt at this point. I had signed up for Citizens 40-49. I was way to tough for the first timers right? So I showed up on Saturday for my very first pre-ride. 1/2 way through the lap I was like WTF!!!! I do 20 mile loops 3 times a week and I am gassed 3.5 miles into a flippin Pre-ride. So I see there is a Learn to ride Clinic with Claire Cannon. This clinic restored my belief that I can do this and that I have a lot to learn first. She was more helpful then one can imagine. Needless to say on race morning I failed to make the trip and decided to try my first race at the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic.
My plan was to hang back on the start so I didn't mess up anyone's race. Turns out I didn't have to try, I was just left by my age grouping (man these guys are fast). I was about 1.5 miles into this race and coming up on a group when someone crashed up ahead and bottle neck the trail. So the rookie that I am fell over (damn clipless pedals) and broke my toe cleat. I finished the last 9 miles with one clipless pedal..Even though I placed 27th (5th from the bottom) I was hooked. Awesome side note (on my second lap I was riding behind a fellow older then me when he tries a smooth pass but clipped a branch and he did this incredible flip. I used this oppotunnity, after he told me he was fine to just go ahead, to stick around to make sure he was ok (I was beat and needed the break) He and I finished the race and a my first MTB friendship was born. Hello Mr. George Doty
|George and I climbing on the start|
I liked that race so much I went the next week to there Wednesday night races and tried my skills (or lack of). HA only the fast need apply to those races as I got destroyed. But as I was on that last climb this fellow wearing a green Mr.Tree jersey whom passed me already once that night flew by me, going uphill too mind you like I was walking. He jumps off his bike at the finish and turns to me and others climbing offering his unbelievable support. I mean this cat don't even know me and he is patting me on the back and telling me what a great job I did. This night I met MTB friend #2 in Nathan Guerra. On an Ironic note my wife was watching the race and when the race was over she come walking up with another women whom I didn't recognize and it was Lindsey Guerra. What a very nice couple. If you don't know them introduce yourself.
So my next race was Reforestation Ramble and I was 238lbs still so I had signed up for the Clydesdale group. The race was Long (12 miles) but I did much better. I placed 8th out of 19. Yup Clydes is were I belong.....
Next was Treadfest. WOW what an education in hill climbing and MTB'ing it was this race that told me I had to train for real and learn what ever I could about cycling I finished 9th out of 19 but I was hurting bad.
Wolf river Rendezvous - I started a little stronger in this race and when we got to the first climb nearly everyone bailed but Geroge Doty. He yelled "Rider coming through" I just followed his tail up and over the two first climbs. He left me after my slight misread on a sharp turn caused me to eat dirt. So for most of the race I had no idea what place I was in and really only saw one other rider in my grouping. We traded spots a few times until I met a tree, in which he stopped to make sure I was ok. I finished the race a little mad at my 4 crashes and thinking I had just earned my first DFL when I spotted my wife holding up the peace sign. I am like WTF is that, you're not a hippie. The nice ladies who took my race tag and signed me in told me I just earn 2nd place.... I was like Ya , right stopping messing with my heart. The just laughed at me and then it dawned on me, Wife's peace sign dummy wasn't for peace. My first Podium baby!!!!