Tuesday, January 5, 2010

looking back at 2009

this post will be noticeably lacking any sort of top ten list cause i just don't feel like getting that organized. its mostly a random collection of memories from the last year of riding bicycles. funny also that most of the memories will involve rides that included finish lines despite the fact that such a limited number of rides actually include stopwatches and trophies. whatever, i'm overly competitive and masochistic and have no plans to stop racing anytime soon. so, in absolutely no order whatsoever here are some highs and lows from 2009:

-first of all, its necessary to understand that i (with absolutely no doubt in my mind) accomplished more on a bike in 2009 than i ever thought i would in my entire life. that simple fact helps put a lot of things in perspective for me.

-highlight of the year was finishing transiowa. i have chronicled what this meant to me and the time and effort thrown at it and don't plan to do it again here, but becoming the second person to ever finish this monster fixed was the single biggest physical accomplishment of my life. included in this should be the fact that transiowa 2008 is what started my riding relationship with vassago cycles. following their support of my failed effort in 2008, they offered me a spot as a team rider in 2009. i've never thought myself a pro or anyone with enough talent to deserve a spot riding for a company like this. finishing in 2009 after a year and a half of support from such an awesome company, i finally felt like i had justified their continued support of my riding. huge thank you to vassago and the people that run it.

-winning the single speed division of the 60-mile ouachita challenge was as much of a surprise to me as anything else. with no concept of where i was sitting during the race i was amazed at the end when they told me i'd won. fun race, good result, hard to complain.

-made the move to the expert class in cross country racing. felt like the right move racing in iowa. felt like a massive blow to the ego in minnesota. still was finishing roughly mid-pack in the 50-60 rider expert fields in minnesota. 2 years ago i never thought i'd race above sport class. perspective.

-triple d was the epitome of a death march. at least we partied well.

-wilderness trail 101 sucked. nope. i sucked. i've never hurt so bad in my life and never wanted to quit something so bad in my life. 10 hours of riding, the last 6.5 of which were spent suffering from paralyzing cramps. possibly the most beautiful place i've ever been. definitely some of the coolest trails i've ever ridden. full blown gut check.

-top 3 decorah time trials finish. this race will always hold a special place. hometown trails, cool people, grassroots feel despite how long its been going and how smoothly its run...now if it just wouldn't be the same weekend as transiowa...

-dakota 5-0. the whole trip. the people we hung out with, the ride went well, the scenery, the broken mirror, the cliff jumping, the big rock with peoples faces on it.

-breaking my steer tube and surviving.

-all the people i've gotten to meet, ride and race with this year. and the great people i've renewed friendships with. its really difficult to explain to people what its like to have such a sense of shared suffering during some of these events and the bonds that it can form. i feel very lucky that something i love to do has allowed me to meet such incredible people.

-making charlie farrow's list. this is both flattering and humbling. charlie is nothing short of a legend in midwest endurance events, but more importantly he is obviously just a truly good guy.

-that's all i got for now...i'm sure i've missed some stuff and i'll probably post an updated "shit i forgot to mention" list. might even do a list of my favorite products of 2009. suppose i'll probably put together a list of expected races for 2010 too. but the temps are pushing double digits so i think i'm gonna go ride. triple d is like 5 days away. transiowa is less than 4 months away. yeah, it probably is time to go ride.

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