Mostly in between cooking food, slanging beer, consuming one of these items (see: vegan) in the meantime, and riding my bike in beautiful places, I’ve been putting together a tentative schedule for the events I plan on attending in 2013. In doing this I have realized how popular this sport has become, and how much variety there is to choose from. I could race every weekend, sometimes twice a weekend, from April until September, if my budget was unlimited and legs were bionic. Unfortunately I have to make some compromises. I have decided that I will replace ice cream with peanut butter in my diet in an attempt to offset the costs of attending all of these events. Also, instead of actually training for these races, and because cutting back on ice cream is training in itself, I will just use the races as expensive professional training sessions. It will go something like this: “Training Session 1: Try to Keep up With the 30 Guys Ahead of You”, “Training Session 2: Try to Keep up With the 29 Guys Ahead of You”, and so on and so forth. If I can make it through to Training Session 30 I may be ready to start racing. There it is in a nutshell. Of course, the nut will be crushed, turned into a nut butter and spread all over this blog for all to taste. Sounds easy enough.
The process of formulating a schedule for next year continues to change and unfold. Right when I think I have it all figured out, something else pops up. Do I stick to local events and series and try to grow and progress locally? This is the more affordable option. Or do I hit the national scene, like the dorky ball boy trying to hoop it up at a Ruckers Park pick-up game?
I don’t like getting dunked on. Keep in mind, so far I have no financial support other than what I can personally muster from a meager income and a peanut butter diet. What I will attempt is to do a little bit of both. Last year, I dove head first into endurance racing, did pretty well, and enjoyed it very much. I also did well in shorter cross country races. In 2013 the goal is to stay as varied as possible. In addition to XC and endurance (now considered marathon), I will be attempting my first ultra-endurance races, which are all generally 100-mile efforts. The National Ultra Endurance Series, or NUE, is a growing and very competitive series with some of the best races nationwide. These NUE races, although I’ve never tried them before, are what I am most excited for. I will attempt to do four NUE races, as the standings are compiled based on racers’ 4 best finishes. Plus, it gives me an excuse to get back to the Midwest and see family. Other than that there is a whole plethora of XC and marathon races just around the corner from me in Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Endurance Series is the one I got my feet wet with this year, and believe it to be one of the most well-run and fun series going. So here’s a preliminary list of races I hope to attend:
Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, CA, April 18-21 (paid for)
RME Indian Creek, Sedalia, CO, May 18
Gunnison Growler, Gunnison, CO, May 26 (paid for)
Mohican 100 (NUE), Loudonville, OH, June 1
Lumberjack 100 (NUE), Manistee, MI, June 15
Winter Park XC, June 29
Marathon Nationals, Sun Valley, ID, July 6
Breckenridge 100 (RME & NUE), Breckenridge, CO, July 14
High Cascades 100, Bend, OR, July 21
RME Tahosa, Ward, CO, August 4
Winter Park XC, August 10
Steamboat Stinger, Steamboat Springs, CO, August 18
RME Snake River, August 31
This entire schedule is, of course, very tentative. Can I afford these events? Can my body handle them? Will I get dengue fever? Will I discover my untapped love for sustainable maggot farming? I don’t have the answers to any of these questions. There are some dingle berry’s hanging around in this poopy list. Some could potentially get wiped away only to be replaced by others. The hope is that it doesn’t all go down the toilet.
Some events I am sad to miss, but will one day attend:
XC Nationals, Whiskey 50, 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, SS USA, Transylvania-Epic, BC Bike Race, Breck Epic, etc. etc. etc.
The last 3 are something I would think about scrapping an entire year for at some point down the road. They are all week-long stage races in arguably the best riding spots in North America. Pisgah, Breckenridge, British Columbia. Mmmm Mmmm now that’s some tasty shit! SS USA, and then subsequently SSWC, are more parties than race, which is why they will always be at the top of my list. And then, just as I thought I had it all figured out, this came out:
The USAC Pro XCT calendar. It just so happens that I had planned on being in California during the month of March. Should I entertain the idea of getting smoked by top-level pros?