Monday, August 10, 2009

True Love

I may have said this before but I love Cyclocross. No I mean it, I really really love it. And while I’ve only known about the sport for a few years now I’ve actually loved it since I was a little kid. We just didn’t call it ‘cross we called it riding our bmx bikes on the numerous homemade tracks that we had built in the woods (all of which have been bull dozed and paved over). We used to take our bikes back in the woods with wheelbarrows, shovels, picks, and saws. We’d spend all summer building up burms, obstacles, jumps over big pits. We even had steep kickers dug into the side of the hill. And if you didn’t get the right speed coming out of the corner it became a runup. We were constantly falling off our bikes and running with them to get back in the race. Sound familiar??
‘Cross adds in the sadomasochistic element. Even before I wrestle for good starting position, my stomach is churning and turning realizing the impending doom. I’m not sure if it’s cold sweats or the 40 degree air that has my skin crawling. “Why am I doing this” is usually a thought that goes through my head moments before the gun goes off. That’s when I remember as I unleash my best sprint. The whole time grinning from ear to ear. Or at least in my head I’m grinning like I just got away with something. The stomach settles and spend the next 45 mins trying to drop or chase somebody through the taped course.
Did I mention there is mud, blood, and beer all being mixed together? If you’re lucky it will start raining at a ‘cross race and the attitude usually turns from trying to kill the guy behind you to laughing at the racers sliding all over the course as the race magically turns into a muddy slip-n-slide. You suddenly turn back into that 12 year old kid in the woods laughing and playing with your friends in the mud with your bikes. Everything is right in the world just for a few minutes.

I love ‘cross.

Here it comes….


 
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