I posted a poll about Montana cross races and double weekends. It was to close to really make any decisions. In some cities (Whitefish, Missoula, Bozeman) I like having two races a weekend but in other cities I just like one. Mostly for selfish reasons....I don't have a place to crash for the weekend in the other MT cities. Seriously though, I think it might be good to try a hybrid season. Some cities can have double weekends and others can just put one race on. We already sort of do this. It would be fun in Missoula to have a Sunday late start race somewhere downtown. That way it gives folks a little time to sleep and rest after Rolling Thunder.
My friend Brian W. has been staying with me for the past couple days. He rides a lot of trail in the Northwest. His rig of choice is the Giant XTC. I used to ride that bike but exchanged it for the less serious cheapy Motebecane Outcast 29er. I think I bought it because of peer pressure. Everyone I ride with has a single speed 29er and I was tired of being the only 26er bra out there. Riding with Brian he's giving me a new perspective. While I love the Outcast, it has killed my pedal stroke for any kind of road season, since it's cheap there are more repairs then initially expected, and it's not quick on tight twisty single track. I've never second guessed the decision to buy it, but I've started to the last couple days. Maybe I do need a geared bike, or even a 26er? The Giant XTC was nice for races......
Today I'm coming to a realization about my Motebecane Outcast 29er purchase. It was a lot about peer pressure, but it also represented something deeper. I trained hard for mountain bike racing a couple years ago. My goal was Collegiate Nationals at Angel Fire, NM. I was super regimented about training, diet, and overall race preparation. It was the most serious I have ever gotten about bicycle racing. Leading up to Nationals I had raced a crap ton to try and get my expert upgrade. I finally got it and had a huge wave of confidence going into Angel Fire. In the first event, the short track I was the second person to be kicked out within 2 laps of the race. Months of preparation and I was out in 5 minutes. In the cross country I finished somewhere in the 40's back with some of the flatlanders who couldn't breath cause of the elevation. I even got some comments like "don't you have high mountains in Montana.....you should be good at this stuff." My disappointment was overwelmed by the team finishing second, bringing home 3 individual titles, and everyone else having career performances. It was to much for me to handle. I came home and sold my Giant XTC, and vowed to never take mountain bike racing seriously ever again. When everyone started riding trail again I bought the Motebecane. It was cheap, and there was no pressure to perform because you were on a single speed. I think single speeds are fast, but unless your the Lelonge (sp) or Dale it's hard to be competitive. I've done two races on the single speed and they were fun. However, maybe it's time to drop the past and buy a real mountain bike.
Everyone gets down about certain bad performances, but you can't let it ruin something you love. The amatuear level should be about riding hard, having fun and pushing your self to the limit.