Race Report: Red Wing Classic or An Unbalanced Report for an Unbalanced Summer

6:53 AM

Oh, my poor baby...
Here is what can suck royally about mountain bike racing.  You can get yourself all ready for a race through training and skills practice, look forward to the challenge of the course’s features, set aside time in a busy schedule for a day of fun on the bike…and it can all come to naught when the weather just will not cooperate.

That is what happened with this year’s edition of the Bluff Rider’s Charge.  Huge storms that brought massive amounts of rain (and a lovely power outage that lasted 18 hours in our house) meant the implementation of a “rain lap.”  Code for wet ski trails and muddy double track.  

Still, we drove down Sunday morning in the hope that Red Wing had somehow escaped the deluge.  They hadn’t.  We decided to stay and race the mud bowl anyway.  An easy win for me because, well, not a lot of ladies showed up.  My efforts for the day brought me two things: a free pair of running shoes courtesy of the swag giveaway, and this lovely (and quite massive) bruise courtesy of my inability to navigate the feed zone:

If you look close, you can actually see the outline of my handlebar...
To be quite honest, I’m feeling a bit off-balance this summer.  Summer is usually a lazy time of catching up on house projects, travel, book reading, and lots and lots of biking.  Signing up for two fast-track classes has put me completely off-kilter as I spend my days taking notes, reviewing notes, reading textbooks, completing labs, listening to lectures and studying for test that just keep coming. 

The only thing that has remained from my usual summers is the bike riding.  We’ve gotten in a ton of road riding (have to, trails keep closing because of the rain), and I’m beginning to feel the effects of the hard training.  But I’m also beginning to feel very worn down.  The classes only run for three more weeks, which seems like an eternity to me right now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Still, I don’t think I should spend these remaining three weeks huddled under books like I have the previous five.  Balance is not something that comes on its own – but rather something that needs to be cultivated (and sometimes even forced). 

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