Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's an Old Man to Do?

Looks like winter is finally over and Spring is here which means a slowing of our Good Times Gravel Grinding series.  What a season it has been for gravel riding.   Some of our rides had close to 100 riders.  All of them out having a good time riding gravel.  I have used these rides to meet new friends and try to recover from my hip injury and gain some fitness. They have been fun but challenging. 

The 2016 racing season has officially begun for me.  What that means right now is not entirely clear to me. I had plans to race the Forward Motion Hare Scrambles series again this year along with some MTB racing. Round #1 at Milford Lake was packed with full "gates".  The course had just as much sand as the classes had sandbaggers. I can not remember a time with the winners from the previous season did not move up.  This year no one moved up and several riders moved down making the Veteran Advanced  35+ class full.  Maybe it is time to make a 45+ or 50+ Advanced class?

My new number for the year.  I sure do miss my brothers. Everyday I think of them especially when I ride.  #911 - John Locke : #103 - Joey Locke  Rest In Peace my Brothers.

I broke a cardinal rule when I bought new helmet to race in.  Dave Lafond reminded me of this and told Carolynn to drop my helmet in the dirt to prevent any type of crashes.  It worked for the most part.
I personally had a very bad race, results wise, but I rode well for my age.  Poor start due mostly due to my hip and the lack of power to get a good strong kick to start my bike.  I rode as hard as a 50 year old can against all the young Vet Advanced riders but only got a 13 place finish.  

Part of my problem on this day was coming to the realization that life goes on sometimes without the ones you love.  Christopher has decided he does not want to ride/race with me anymore. Why, I do not know.  I got back into riding motorcycles so we could do it together.  I may have to rethink things.
This past weekend was another double header for me.  Gravel ride on Saturday with the Kings of the Hill ride hosted by Kevin Nierman and his Dirty Dogs team.  Fun route with plenty of variety, tough climbs and of course a head wind coming back into town.
On Sunday Carolynn and I loaded up and headed to round #2 of the Forward Motion series at Walters Ranch.  I was on the fence about going.  When your head is not in the game it is best to not play.   I decided to go and ride and see how I did on a more demanding course.  Today's course was really rocky and hilly.    I again rode as hard as I could for two hours and only fared slightly better with a 9th place.

The only good thing on this day was Carolynn and I found a nice restaurant to eat at in Sedalia. Kehde's Barbeque just off the Katy Trail was awesome.  If you happen to be in Sedalia, MO stop by and enjoy lunch/dinner.  My only suggestion is to share a meal because the serving sizes are very large.  I guess I have some big decisions to make.  Do I continue on racing Hare Scrambles solo and maybe give another series a try like MORE that has a 45+ class?  Will that change anything?  Do I see if I can work through these injuries and get back in form so I can race bicycles again?  Or is it time to quit racing all together.  Maybe take up Masters Swimming or a safer sport. I know I can not run so Triathlons, which I used to really enjoy are out.  I do know that not being competitive sucks.  I do not like being pack fodder but that is what I have become.