I just can't believe that this year is almost over. I am not complaining, time has just flown by. I mark 2007 as a year that my life changed drastically. I had raced in my first mountain bike race November 2006 and from that point on...I knew 2007 held some immense challenge and fun!
My racing year started on a FREEZING cold and SUPREMELY windy day in January at the Southridge Winter Series. I think that I weighed around 245 pounds. I took second place that day in the beginner class and was stoked. Over this 6 race series I met some amazing people that helped me in many ways, and some I have built great friendships with. Rory, whom I raced with in the first race of the season, became my greatest challenger of the season. The last race of the series proved to be our best as we battled it out to the end! He almost caught me at the end...almost!
The California State Series started the day after the Southridge final and I was feeling great. After winning the overall at Southridge it was time to move up to the Sport division. Moving up to the Sport class meant doubling the mileage and faster competition. I was flying through this course. My first lap was so great..then on lap two, disaster struck! I was 9 miles into the 12 mile lap when every muscle in my lower body balled up like a twisted phone cord. I spent the next 7-10 minutes on the ground in agonizing pain! I was still able to finish in 2nd place about 2 minutes back from 1st. That means I had well over 10 minutes on 2nd when I came near death! OK so I am exaggerating a little. The rest of the Cal State Series was great and I was able to take the overall in this as well! State Champion...good times!
In April I also raced the annual Sea Otter Festival in Monterey. This was an amazing experience getting see all the pro's and racing in a field of over 60 riders. I placed 21st and learned a great deal in this race. I also learned not to speed on the 101 driving through King County! 1st Speeding ticket in a long time!
One of the highlights and goal changing events of the year came in June. I headed back to Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey Ca. for a 24 hour mountain bike race. I was part of a four person team with Rory, Jenn, and Heather. I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere and commraderie of this discipline called endurance mountain bike racing. After my first lap I was hooked! We managed to pull off 10th place in the Co-ed open field! We were stoked and an endurance inspiration was born!
The end of Sept. brought my first endurance challenge! 8 hours of Hurkey Creek. I thought that I was super ready for the race until I got a cold the week before and my wife(whom was going to be my support) got scheduled to work. About 5 days before the race the weather forcast was calling for freezing rain! Every day the forcast seem to change a little...and it was always for the worst! Well, we never got more than a light sprinkling for a couple of hours! The race was great. I was able to stay with friends in their R.V. and they also helped a little with support between laps. I was able to ride all 8 hours of the race and came in 13th out of 31 racers! I had an amazing time and couldn't wait to do it again. I had every intention of doing the last 12 Hours of Temecula of the season...but could not work it out.
I finished my race season with the Southridge Challenge. I decided to give the expert class a try! Just as I expected...I came in 6th place. That was out of 6! I really got everything out of the race that I desired and know that for any XC races I do in 2008, I won't yet be at the expert level! My ending weight for the race season, 214. From first getting on my bike after the sickness a little over a year and a half ago until now I've lost about 75 pounds. If I could lose about 20 more I think that I could compete with the little skinny guys! Pulling my fat ass up all the mountains would be much easier if it were a skinny ass! If I could lock into the right eating regimen, I think I could do it.
I have one last ride before the end of the year and that is the Project Rwanda charity ride. This is a 50 mile endurnce ride that will test my limits. Please check out the website as this is a great cause that I stand behind fully. Brendan from Siren Bicycles and I decided to partner up for this ride and suffer together! We both have not spent much time in the saddle lately and this will be an amazingly painful ride! I can't wait!
For the few of you that have been reading my race stories this year, I aprreciate your thoughts, support, humor, and love! If all goes as planned on Christmas, I will be getting a new camera that will become my cycling buddy! This will make my blog a little more exciting as I will be taking mad photos of most rides in order to share what I see as I enjoy this love called cycling!
I am still not sure what 2008 will bring. I would love to say that I will be racing every weekend and by the end of the year ready to go pro....but then I would wake up and realize that I need a job! My goal for this season is to race a solo 24 hour event. Right now my eyes are set on the 24 Hours of Hurkey Creek in September. A lot would need to fall into place for this to happen but I figure that if I train my butt off over the season, when and if all falls into place...I will be ready. In the mean time I will be cheering on some of the amazing people that I met this year:
Mary and Brendan Collier, Josh Smith, Bernice P., Jeff Kerkove, Ernesto(Solo Goat), Eldin(Fatty),The Langins, Rory, Jenn, and a few others! Good luck my friends! For those of you whom I met this year, thank you for your support, advice, and friendship.
May you all have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!