When I left Bozeman last spring I had one working arm, a bruised ego and a morphine hangover. It was sleeting as usual and I did not feel the least bit sentimental as I was shuttled away in my mom’s mini van- I wanted out, bad, and I didn’t care if I ever came back. Since then (and since the shoulder healed up) I’ve been playing bikes all over California, Europe, Colorado and the Northwest. In all my travels I really thought I’d find someplace better, but it turns out that only one place has been really calling me back. You guessed it; shoulder-munching, sleet-ridden, freeze-the-snot-out-of-you MONTANA.
But I’ll rewind through another 12 hour manic solo road trip, back to Seattle time. After completing a satisfactory number of toursit-y obligations, I chose one last race in Washington to finish up my Northwest experience. It was a short circuit race, and I actually almost skipped it- the day was grey and, having carbo loaded a little too diligently the night before and fallen over a fence, I was finding it difficult to scrape up the motivation to go pedal. I waffled around for the entire morning wondering what I’d do, and although I don’t remember actually making an active decision for or against racing, I found myself standing, zombielike, under another registration tent in another parking lot, writing another check and filling out another USAC waiver. Sometimes racing is easier than not-racing.
Sure enough, as soon as I started pedaling I was glad I’d come- I had a great ride and got to mess with roadies, which I always love to do when I’ve got the legs to do it. I got into some trouble on the last corner before the sprint so my finish was nothing special, but I was satisfied with a good hard effort. It was a casual yet well-run race- perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
I’ve been on skinny tires more than I’d like to admit in the last two weeks, but I think it’s doing me some good. I feel like my will to compete is finally returning and I’m enjoying the racing again. Afterwards I drove home, blasted some new tunes, and ate a sandwich from Haggen, which I think is the best name ever for a grocery store, managing to be both unappetizing and mildly offensive. Like are you offering me haggis or calling me a hag? I don’t really like either option, thanks. But I will have a sandwich.
As always, it doesn’t take a whole lot more than friends, a good race, and some food in my belly for me to feel alright, despite whatever limbs or attitudes get messed up. I guess it’s kind of a lot to ask, but I’ve got it all right now- it’s good to be home.