I use too, but it was a culmination of fears. Over the past 18 seasons I have been racing my bicycle and I slowly have over come many of those fears. I won’t say any of them were easy but they were obstacles holding back my performance. This season my mental focus was to erase that dreaded fear of falling or crashing. None of us wants to crash and risk potential a season ending injury but we do want race fast. The mind is a tricky thing to change. I don’t care how many times I quoted Molly C “keep you hands off the F*@king brakes”, I still feathered them. It took some crashes to let go and ride fast. It started when the gang got together for an early season training session; I caught a toe on a pvc barrier and plowed into the ground. Minutes later I washed out in a corner slamming my knee into the rocks. My first race had me passing a rider warming up who happen to be behind a racer, I hooked my bars and went flying. I got up, made my way to the pits and kept racing. So, with those first few crashes out the way I focused on why I had been afraid to fall. I hadn’t really injured myself or serious damaged my bicycle; what was holding me back? Fear? Maybe becoming more aware of my abilities, changing bike set-ups, and wanting to do better have forced my mental risk/reward function to let it go a little more. That brings us to my latest crash, where I hooked some course tape and tumbled harmlessly to the ground. I got up only to see the pack riding away, did I fear being laughed at, did I fear being last, or did I fear crashing again. NO, I just used my crash to fuel my stomach of anger and continued to race.
I will toe the line again this weekend with my only fear being will the kids eat all the candy before I get home.
As we move into the 2010 season, here is the CO Posse:
Name & Nickname: Michael Beck
Category: Cat 3 CX but race 45 Open, Cat 4 Road but race 35/4 or 45/4, and Cat 1 Mtn but race single and rigid.
Years Racing: 17 years seriously, my first race was in 1992 at the Cold Springs Road Race in Texas but I considered myself a racer after competing in the 1993 Cactus Cup in Arizona.
Hometown: Carol Stream, IL (Live in the Suburban Hell of Denver)
Occupation: Slacker, Stay at Home Dad
Favorite Local Race: A tie between Buena Vista and Frisco. My all time favorite race is the Chihuahaun Desert Challenge, an old Mountain Bike Stage Race in Lajitas, Texas.
Post Race Beverage: Anything malty and cold.
Tubular or Clincher: Tubular, rode my first pair in 1989 then strayed away for a few years.
Bicycle of Choice: Dean for Cross, Waltworks for Mtn, De Rosa for Road
Can or Bottle: Can for my beer, bottle for my wine
2010 Goals: Finish Dirty Kanza, ride time trials with my kids, a weekend of self-supported touring with the family, ride lots of CO gravel, and a solid Cyclocross season.
Name & Nickname: Gerry Reynolds aka The Destroyer or G
Category: CX 35+4/Mountain Cat 3
Years Racing: 5
Hometown: Centennial,CO aka The Burbs
Occupation: Distribution Center Manager
Favorite Local Race: Battle The Bear, Cult Cross and any cross race at BCLP
Post Race Beverage: PBR
Tubular or Clincher: Clincher
Bicycle of Choice: S-Works Tricross and the Ferrous Twins (yes, I have two of them now)
Can or Bottle: Can
2010 Goals: Get healthy, Do Laramie again,have fun, and keep my ass of the ground!
Name & Nickname: Meiney
Years Racing: 10
Hometown: Currently reside in Lakewood, CO
Occupation: Recreation Manager
Favorite Local Race: Frisco Cross’ Weekend!
Post Race Beverage: I do not discriminate.
Tubular or Clincher: I do not discriminate.
Bicycle of Choice: My old school Sacha White, Spot SS, Surly Pacer,
Can or Bottle: I do not discriminate.
2010 Goals: DK & Cross’ will get my focus, the beautiful roads and trails of Colorado will get my fancy.
Name & Nickname: Scott Bristol, aka “Woody.” Nickname from college that all my old buds still call me. Should have kept it had I known I would be an insurance agent.
Category: 35+ Cat 4 or 45+ open if I ever get back in shape.
Years Racing: 25 (first race was the Santa Fe Hill Climb which pretty much set the tone for my entire racing career. OTB and suffering right from the gun.
Hometown: Golden, CO (I grew up in El Paso, TX)
Occupation: www.scottbristol.com State Farm Agent
Favorite Local Race: Tough call, but hard to beat Xilinx. Our own race in Golden is a close 2nd, especially after Chad went so deep in the hurt locker he almost knocked the back out of it.
Post Race Beverage: PBR cans or Coors Light cans
Tubular or Clincher: Tubular. Period.
Bicycle of Choice: Redline Conquest Pro for CX, Spot Brand Rigid SS for MTB, DeRosa for road
Can or Bottle: Cans after (and during) races, bottles all other times, preferably Coors Light in large quantities. This may be cause of answer #2 above and #11 below.
2010 Goals: Represent at Dirty Kanza, Big Buckle at Leadville if I get in, and actually be a factor in a 45+ cross race this year.
Name & Nickname: Travis Stone, just Trav
Category:35+4 CX & Road, Cat 2 Mtn
Years Racing: 3
Occupation: Real Estate Asset Manager
Favorite Race: Mt. Washington Hill Climb
Post Race Beverage: 2004 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, or most any quality Napa Cab. Yeah, I know I’m a pussy.
Tubular or Clincher: Clincher Tubeless
Bicycle of Choice: Santa Cruz Stigmata CX, Look 585 Road, Yeti 575 Mtn (fun), Niner EMD Mtn (race)
Can or Bottle: Bottle
2010 Goals: Top tens, maybe a couple of top 5′s in cross, win Bayou Salado!
Welcome the newest members
Name & Nickname: Bil Pfaffendorf
Nick names Notorious or Notorious B.I.L.
Category: Single speed! Is there any other? I guess I’m a cat 3 Cyclocrosser and a Cat 1 MTBer (by Colorado definition).
Years Racing: 13 years, mostly MTB
Hometown: LinHOOD Minnesota (aka Linwood)
Occupation: Instructional coach (a.k.a teacher of teachers)
Favorite Local Race: Anything with only one gear and a lot of suffering
Post Race Beverage: P.B.R., Coors, Go FAST, Espresso, and water (in any order)
Tubular or Clincher: Clincher tubeless
Bicycle of Choice: Gary Fisher steel ridged 29er SS, or my Kona SS Cyclocross scandium beauty. Sometimes a geared Primus Mootry road bike when I have to.
Can or Bottle: Jack Daniels and Routine Leg Works only come in a bottle.
2010 Goals: Ride more than last year, have fun, enjoy life, and win a race
Name & Nickname: Jamie Elsasser (aka Furious George)
Category: Masters35+/Cat 4 CX/Road, Cat 2 Mtn, Single Speed
Years Racing: 9 yrs (across a few decades)
Hometown: Denver, CO (from Philly Yo)
Occupation: Data Center Operations Manager
Favorite Local Race: Carbon Cross, Boulder Roubaix, Winter Park Mtn bike races, Tony Grampas CX Course
Post Race Beverage: Indian Pale Ale and coffee (but not at the same time)
Tubular or Clincher: Clincher
Bicycle of Choice: Custom Blacksheep Ti 29er, Surly SS 29er, Redline Team Conquest CX . Lapierre Road
Can or Bottle: Iron Cross CX Pint Glass (podium gift), keep filling her up…
2010 Goals: Get top ten in some CX races, Mt. Evans, Ride a Gravel Grinder, Multi-Day Mountain Bike tour/overnighter, Pull my 18 month boy Max on a metric century, not get injured this year, no broken frames.