Earlier this year, after a one of our Thursday rides, (and a couple beers I might add) the discussion turned to this year’s Sea Otter Classic. Now, having just totally smoked our regular ride, and full of testosterone (and beer) I said, with much bravado, that I intended to race this year. And, not only was I going to race, but I was going to race in the single speed division.
At the time it seemed like a fun idea. I and several of my buddies would go down there, have as much fun as we could and enjoy the day. And so, having proven my machismo in front of the gang, I didn’t really give it another thought...until early March...and, in early March I not only began to think about it, I actually began to obsess about it.
Every ride that I missed or bailed on in the month of March was a failure in my training regimen. (Oh yes, I now had a regimen because you can’t prepare for race without a regimen) Every donut I ate (and there were many) was a failure in my diet, every beer I drank (again, there were many) was just more empty calories that would go to my waistline and not to fueling my training.
And that was the difference. I could no longer just go for a ride, I was “training”. I couldn’t just go out with my buddies for a nice cruise around the lake I needed to make sure every mile was painful and every climb was a heart attack waiting to happen. I needed to make sure I killed myself with every effort so that I could ensure I was ready for a race I had no chance of winning and that was supposed to be a fun event.
I mean seriously, I’m a middle-aged, lazy, recreational mountain biker that’s entered in the Cat 3 SS division. It’s supposed to be fun...why am I obsessing about this? I have really no idea. But, the fact remains, it’s really stressing me out.
As a result, I’ve decided that even before it starts, this will be my last race. Evidently I am incapable of going to any event with the word “race” in the title and have fun doing it.
Oh sure, I’ll probably go down there and once we start pedaling, I’ll get my mind together and enjoy the ride. I always enjoy riding my bike and, from what I’ve heard the vibe is really fun, the venue is great and the whole experience, as I’ve been told, must be experienced at least once.
I’m sure, that once it’s all said and done, I’ll look back at it as a fun event. But, for the whole month of March, I can’t help but think this is yet one more in a long list of bad ideas...right up there with the Mendocino Monster and the Death Ride which are coming up shortly....oh yeah, guess I better start training for those events here pretty soon too...