Ok, the reflection part... Hey, everyone's doing it... I wanna be one of the cool kids. It's the end of the season so it's time to look back and think ahead. I've got plenty to look back on and some permanent reminders of the season that was...
This was definitely a season of painful and expensive lessons. I trashed one helmet, one frame, 4 wheels, 2 or 3 sets of bars, a few components, and my body. The crashology went like this:
1/10 - Highly dramatic faceplant while mountain biking
4/26 - Sentra vs. Commuter
4/28 - Sturbridge. I should be far more grateful than I am that I didn't break anything and that my ruptured groin tendon/muscle thing didn't keep me down for longer
6/17 - The Father's Day Wells crash. At least I wasn't the guy who lost his teeth. I walked away from my bike for about 10 days after this
7/8 - The broken hand the day before family vacation ultimately resulting in 3 titanium screws and 9 weeks without riding. At least I got in 90 minutes of riding between breaking it and packing it in for the day
So what is there that's positive about this trainwreck of a season? Well, for starters, I did 14 cross races without a noteable incident. Sure there were a few of the silly fallover types of things that are just part of the game, but nothing worth noting. Secondly, the few races I did complete taught me so much more than I knew... hell, even a couple of the races I crashed out of taught me a lot. I can now recognize much better where to be, when to go, when to sit back, etc. The game of road racing makes a little more sense now so it's just a shame that I'm going to be pack shy for a bit until I make it through a few races in one piece. I also know a lot more about what I am able to do. I hung in a couple of road races much better than expected and I still think I could have won Sturbridge. I podiumed in a MTB race which I still think I suck at. I know that in a cross race everyone in front of me better watch out in the final couple of laps because I'm coming to get ya (lord know what would happen if I knew how to start and there was nobody to catch). So trying to ignore the scars and look forward, I think these are my goals:
- Not crash. Sure this is partially joking, but I think what I mean is to be smarter about where I am and what I'm doing so that I minimize my chances of getting taken out. If I was at fault in my road crashes this year, it was because I put myself in a less than optimal position. Any offroad crashes were pure operator error.
- Suck less off-road. This will be a matter of practice and building confidence for me. I find that a lot of off-road crashes can be caused by being too careful (braking when you don't need too, etc).
- Win a race. Road, MTB, Cross... doesn't matter.
- Finish Great Glen... and despite CTodd's urging, no, it won't be solo. Having retired from Reach the Beach, this will be my bout with epic stupidity for this year.
- Bike to work at least once a week for the entire duration of daylight savings. Target will be 2-3 times, but I'd like to make once a requirement.
So that's my line in the sand subject to being crossed or erased by the tides. Let's hope blogger doesn't eat the post so I can go back next year and see how I did.