Saturday, July 4, 2009

L'epic avec JG, musings de la musette

BrEpic: then there was one

There is only one mountain bike stage race like it in Colorado this year, and there have been many who have come before it in other parts of the world. We saw the inaugural Brian Head, Utah stage race succeed last season and of course the famously radical BC stage race of Vancouver is happening right now as I ponder, at this very moment, the allure of such endeavors…these races are cool. And, well, “when in Rome.” I mean they all have sweet singletrack and beautiful scenery. What more could you ask for? Perhaps a cheaper entry fee? Yes. Maybe some socks? I’m a sucker for free socks, throw in a pair and any event is the bomb diggety.

But really us mountain bikers are just big fat suckers for a great course and a good challenge. I think these stage races are offering a new format and the shift is cool. Adding more suspension, a camelpack and ripping fast descents day in and day out give reason for excitement. I do think however that more and more “underground” stage races such as the CB 100 will become even more popular than the uber organized events. I think mtb’ers are looking to get back to the roots of why they race and want to keep it real. Let’s face it; racing is expensive.

Oh! I have to pause quickly because I just saw a really funny commercial. Scene: Meatloaf (the food), Meatloaf (the Singer) and A1 steak sauce…”I would do anything for love…” Meatloaf’s meatloaf loves A1. Hilarious!

Anywho, I’ve just come up to Breckenridge this afternoon after a long day of packing, picking up last minute items, paying bills, making phone calls and finally driving at a break neck speed of 30 miles per hour on I-70 to arrive by dinner time. I’m feeling a bit fatigued but alas I have comfortably settled into my digs for the duration of the Epic. A big Muchos Gracias is in order for one of my Spot/Dale’s Pale Ale teammates, Travis Lukens and his wife Emily, for letting me invade their charming house in the heart of Breck. You guys rock!

So I’m camped out in front of the tele watching a re-cap of the semi-final men’s Wimbeldon match between Andy Roddick and Andy Murray. I’m pondering sport.

I will say that I want to try the Brian Head race and I would love to do the BC stage race, maybe even the Trans Alps in Europe someday. There is an allure for the scenery and the serenity from riding a mountain bike but the for inner demon that wants the challenge, the little demon that gets off from the rush of the descents and the good hurt of accomplishing the grueling ascents. It’s weird. And maybe it’s not something that most people have living inside of them. I don’t know, maybe we all do but only those of us who try to shun the real world of the 9-5 as long as possible battle find the time to battle the force. I think the hardest part about finding some success in anything you do is walking away from whatever that is. I remember a friend once confided in me, referring to an athletic ability,that “it wouldn’t be so hard to give up if I wasn’t good at it.” The worst part about it though is that no matter how good you are, if you are not the best it is very difficult to make a living doing that alone. Therefore, most of us realize quickly that a day job is necessary, the twin brother of the demon inside.

The most amazing thing for any cyclist to remember though is that it is all about the journey and as long as it is fun and you are a better, healthier, happier person for it then you have succeeded leagues over most.

Whew, enough of that deep mumbo jumbo for now.
It is safe to say that it’s a patient, steady, strong, road, the road to athletic greatness. The good days are awesome, good results are great…but any champion is one who endures with resolve and focus in the face of the many bad days.

Goodnight, tomorrow is the last day of prep…and the Firecracker 50! I do kinda wish I was doing that one too!! Ha! So nutty.

Pictures to come...I don't have the cord to download em'!


A^T said...

"The most amazing thing for any cyclist to remember though is that it is all about the journey and as long as it is fun and you are a better, healthier, happier person for it then you have succeeded leagues over most. "

Amen sister. Kick ass this week.

Good luck from all the Beti's.

Jen Tilley said...

good luck jen! you are so awesome for racing this crazy hard race! you are gonna kick some serious booty! woohooo! goooooo jen!

Itty Bitty Betty said...

Rip it up Jen!