Points. Yes, like two. The season long cross goal, as low as it might have been, has been achieved. A top 10 in a UCI race. UCI points. After getting 11th at Reston 2 years in a row, I finally managed to get 9th. Very anti climactic.
I once went to a stage race alone. I bummed a car. Got a hotel. Raced the race. Drove home. It was depressing. The car had a tape player, and I had a Youth of Today tape that I listened to on repeat for like four days. That was not fun bike racing.
Bike racing should be a social thing. Cyclocross is a really social thing, which makes it one of the best forms a bike racing. There have been people all season standing on the other side of the tape yelling at me. They yell at the ohter racers too I am sure, but by the third lap, Im usually alone, working my way backwards, and they are yelling at me. This is awesome.
Now I have friends, some of whom are teammates, that I can bum rides from. I am lucky enough to have friends and acquaintances to stay with. Some acquaintances have morphed into friends, communication increases, bonds grow, friends become better friends. Awesome.
People stick around a few hours after their races to watch the depressingly small elite men's field. Freaking Gorski pitted for me when I flatted with a lap to go. His race was over for 2 hours and he had a 4 hour drive home. Do I expect it, no. Would I do it for him, totally. And so it goes. He does something for me, I do something for somebody else, that person does it for somebody else. I guess that is a community. Cyclocross totally has it. When I first raced cross FOUR YEARS AGO (time flies!)... I had heard people talk about the cross community. I read Fatmarc's blog about it. I hadnt experienced it though. Its there. Its awesome.
One other thing that I will also note as an example is a guy named Sean Gallagher. He is what I am talking about I think. He is a bike racer. He is fast. We battle each other. He has bad starts (I think)... I have bad everything after the starts. So he always passes me. Every time he does he says "come on lets go"... HE ENCOURAGES ME WHILE HE IS COMPETING AGAINST ME! That is awesome. Then he rides away from me. Yesterday after the race I was like "alright man... see you next year." It felt like the last day of school knowing that the summer was coming and you werent going to see or talk to people that you didnt go out of your way to do so. But I know they will be there next year and we will start up right where we left off.
A few quotes from the weekend:
"How many spots can you lose??!?!?!" As he heckled me from the sidelines.
"Is this Interpol?" Says the 11 year old girl about JOY DIVISION. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Next post = "the i finally kept track of all riding and racing for a whole year and am going to post the numbers" post. Should be very exciting stuff.