But there is another aspect to racing that is equally important - the people and the camaraderie, the social interaction, the encouragement.
This past weekend was the first race in the Root 66 Race Series - Hop Brook Dam. The last time Mike and I did this race, it was 38 degrees, pouring rain and I was worried about getting some sort of infection from all of the dirt and grime in my bike shorts. Sunday was sunny though, the trails were dry, and the temps were reasonably mild. The conditions were going to be great.
The night prior to the race, Liz A posted something on Facebook about drinking wine the night before a race. Before we even got to the venue, a few of us from the Women's Cat 1 and Pro fields were bantering back and forth about drinking and racing - having some great laughs. This carried over to race day as we met, laughed and caught up. Other racers we hadn't seen since last season gave hugs, handshakes and we spent a lot of time before the race socializing. This really set the tone for the remainder of the day.
|The Cat 2 Women - the Cat 1 Women's |
field was equally as large
Being the shy person I am known to be, I promptly introduced myself to Stacey B, whom I knew of from CX racing. We immediately hit it off, and proceeded to chat, quickly becoming "old" friends (sorry for the pun, Stacey) before the race even started. Kate L joined in, as did others. We joked about the hole shot when Kate commented that it was likely a Rowell given and I said there was no way I was doing that... Smiles, jokes and wishes of good luck to all right up until the whistle.
After the race, we once again all reached out to each other - to offer congrats, to share war stories, to offer encouragement where it was needed. THIS is why I love to race, and why, in two weeks, I'll be back in the woods with a number on my bike. Thanks to my fellow racers for making this such a big, important part of my life.