Thursday, November 29, 2007

The pucker factor

Here it is, Thursday morning, and I am just starting to get that gut wrenching nervous feeling for this weekend’s USGP races in Portland. Not bad, usually it hits by Tuesday night, or Wednesday morning. These things seem to have a predictable cycle. Monday and Tuesday are spent reminiscing/ruminating about Sunday’s race. By Wednesday the mind starts to look forward to the upcoming weekend; The weather forecast is clearer, time to replace anything on the bikes, make sure the clothes are clean etc… and hence the pucker factor. You know, that feeling deep in the bowels every time you think about the weekend. From there it radiates out to the limbs with that “too much caffeine” feeling, and leaves the mind all scattered. Can’t say Thursday and Friday are my most productive days at work, as I am sure you can tell by this blog.

Why so nervous/stressed/amped you ask? Good question. I won’t delude you with any bullshit about being a dedicated and focused athlete. I’m just a compulsive competitor. I once had a great idea to start a Competitive Anonymous support group, but realized we would just sit around and try to out-do one another, trying to prove who is the most competitive, luckily I thought better about that one. Basically I am just a freak. Even luckier for me I’m joined by about 900 other freaks every weekend to make me feel normal.

This weekend is the last 2 races of the year for me, and the last 2 races in the USGP series that I traveled to L’ville and NJ for. No offense to the other venues, but I feel pretty confident that these races will be the best, by far. There are already 99 pre-registered riders for my race! By comparison, the other races had somewhere around 60 riders. Damn I am glad I have that one series point to get a decent start position. The weather has also been downright nasty. Raining on and off the past couple of days, and there is a chance of Snow Saturday night. It will be cold and wet, especially Sunday. The fun folks from the Gentle Lovers team will have their Wood fired hot tub on the course again, and I hear they are going for an inside corner this year so racers will be riding around the hot tub, and getting some nice warm water splashed on them as they pass. And, this being a race put on by the Cross Crusaders, I have no doubt there will be some additional excitement. I just hope the marching band is there. Something about that drum corps that just seems to fire things up during the race!

I just hope I have a couple of good races……

If you are in town, you should definitely come out and watch. It really is a fun exciting time. The races are out at PIR, and I’m racing at 12:15, followed by the Elite Women and then the Elite Men. Dress warm, wear your rubber boots, and bring the cow bell!

And for any of my fellow local Masters riders, let’s show them Out of Townies why Portland is the epicenter of ‘Cross in North America. Let’s work together when we can and make those candy ass Californians and sandbaggin' East Coasters sorry they ever laid rubber in Portland!

Hope to see you all out there.

p.s. Meadows opened last week, and skibowl opens tomorrow night with over a foot of fresh snow yesterday....but bring yer rock skis ;)