The other day I was doing a once-over and noticed these cracks:
It was fun while it lasted.
This is a sad time, my friends. Worst of all, is I traded my cherry NON-CRACKED Eastern Traildigger for it. I only rode my Gary Fisher once, on the road, with no bumps or curb jumps so I have a feeling I received it this way. And since the trade was done in the dark, there was no way I could see this.
I ordered an aluminum Kinesis frame as a replacement, a new bottom bracket and front derailleur. So much for my vintage build.
Onto my reflection on racing...
Last night I couldn't sleep and I've been giving the racing thing a lot of thought.
For, like, the last two weeks.
I think CX racing is not my thing. I really dug deep to think of why I lost interest and there's many reasons (mostly work stress), but I don't think I have the racer's mindset. I can't dig deep enough within to make a competitive attempt. What it is, is I focus so much energy into work, especially with my appointments, phone calling and pending business pouring into Saturdays and Sundays, and then I have to go to all these fraternal events on the weekends that relate to my work. The agency I am in is super sales competitive oriented, and when all is said and done, the only peace I find is in riding.
What I've come to find is that racing doesn't bring me peace. It actually kinda stresses me out and I don't have fun - and then it becomes a pain in the ass and then I don't want to do it. I feel I not only waste my time and money, but I waste the guy-who-I-may-finish-ahead-of's time, who may be actually going for the glory. I may just be a roadblock for him and he may be trying real hard to get ahead, when in my mind, I just don't care.
I think I've come to terms with the reasons why I ride, and to me, it's really to get away, not to dive into a heated competition. I have to compete everyday with work production, and my manager makes it a competitive sales environment.
I've been working hard trying to make the sales quota for the incentive cruise vacation that I promised my wife, Kelly. December is the last opportunity to make it - and if I screw this up I will really let myself and Kelly down. That means, there will be consecutive days that I will not be able to train. I don't want to view these days as a hindrance to my training, and then that's yet just another thing to stress me out.
This all doesn't go without saying to those who continue to race, I have utmost respect for them. But after giving it a try I just don't see myself putting real effort into it the way the next guy may want to.
Sometimes I have a hard time understanding why some pound the pedals so hard, ultra-competitive, when I already do that with work. The last thing I want to be is be stressed out doing an activity that's supposed to be peaceful for me. To me, when I hit the trails, I like to take my time and spend time with nature. In a competitive environment, I don't feel there's room for that kind of "mountain trekking" riding style that I enjoy so much.
I think I may shine the rest of the season, which is three more races going into January. I'm not wimping out or being lazy, but if my heart's not in it, I just don't see any reason to continue. All it's going to do is make me not want to be there. That's not fair to the guys I'm up against, the race organizers or myself.
It was an interesting attempt, pretty cool and I'm glad I did it. But I just don't think it's for me. At least I tried it and experienced it.
So... no race for me on Sunday and no more race reports. I am still set on racing the SBRacing MTB race in the Spring when it hits Santa Teresa County Park - since that is MY park - but I will only do that for fun and will not race the season.
Am I disappointed in myself for not continuing? A little. I feel like I'm a quitter and this will take some time for me to get over.
But I also can't kid myself of what riding truly is to me. I also need to focus on my job.
Racing is not what pays the bills.