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Posts tagged racing
@512Disch on Roger Sterling Bike Wisdom
It is easy to love something when it’s going well. For the past year and a half, ever since I started biking with any focus, almost everything I’ve done on the bike has gone better than I could have imagined. I podium’d in two different mountain bike categories and damn near won my first crit. I had a huge day at Leadville and nearly clipped the 9 hour mark. I set a goal for being a CAT 1 on the mountain bike and a CAT 4 on the road by this summer and I’m already ahead of schedule.
Saturday at the Leadville qualifier in Austin was another story. It didn’t go according to plan. I missed the cut by one place and ten seconds. By a hair. A fraction of the hours spent out there suffering.
Ten seconds could have been one hill where I let off the brakes a little more. Or a climb I leaned into harder. One place could have been the guy from Steamboat I rallied on the last lap, towed for the majority of it, then got passed by in the single track.
There are so many ways to armchair quarterback my way back into qualifying three days after crossing the finish line. None of them matter.
Leadville isn’t happening this year. Between last years race and this years qualifier, I’ve spent the past 18 months obsessing over that race. It was the reason I got my ass out of bed on a cold December morning to crank out base miles….the reason I suffered through interval sessions on bad hotel bikes all spring….the reason I took nights off drinking and got to bed early.
It was an identity.
When things don’t go the way you want, do you still love the sport? Do you still crave that time on the bike, gutting out a rainy three hour trainer in the hill country?
You do when you really love it.
It took me a few days off cool-off time to get here, but it’s time to chart a Leadville’less course forward for the year. I’ve logged over 100 hours on the bike this year and whipped myself into solid form, and it would be a waste right now to just mail it in because of one failed objective.
The track ahead will be different than the one I’d envisioned for the past six months, but instead of shutting down, I’m turning over a new leaf….or crank arm, to stay on-message. It’s time to work on my road game, test the waters at the Thursday night crits with more focus, and dip my toe into the Tuesday nighter. I’ve also got a new adventure on the horizon to calm my fat tire loving blood: the Park City Point To Point. 80 miles of glorious Utah singletrack at the end of August, which I’ll be carving up alongside my brother Garrett who lives in Colorado and raced it last year. If a killer 9 hour day in Park City is my “consolation prize” for Leadville not working out, I must be living right.
The season took a turn, but as Roger Sterling once said in Mad Men, every time a door closes a blouse opens up. Opportunities wash out. New ones appear. Time to go make all these winter miles count.
Editor’s Note: One trait we noticed about Rob after he raced in Leadville last year was his amazingly positive attitude. In our humble opinion, it’s one of the most essential character traits to be successful at life. This is a roadie phrase but “Chapeau Rob!” Now go shave yer guns and git busy at the Driveway!