I've always enjoyed being the resident Team Seagal roadie, never a true mtbiker. I just dabble in it. I welcomed the harassment that came with being a roadie on the trails. It always gave me an excuse to screw up and endo up-hill over some small root. After all, my true sport is the road. The Hillsboro race on Saturday has given me second thoughts. I'll get back to that race report in a moment. I drove to and from WI since that race and I have come to some conclusions.
First, it isn't the competition on the road, it is the riding really, really fast. This year I didn't have any real racing goals for my own glory. I was hoping to help out teammates and be a factor in someone else's goals. Unfortunately, the season has already been very unkind to my road team. There has been many a crash involving my team in just two races.
Second, I can't afford to road race. I am embarrassed to even think about how much money I have lost due to crashes. The good thing is, I work in a bike shop, so it is only half-stupid that I have spent as much as I have.
Third, apparently I am built tougher then both carbon and aluminum road bikes. So far I am yet to be nearly as damaged as my equipment. Sore, but not broke. Although, after Saturday my right knee is a bit more grindy then I remember!
Which brings me to Hillsboro. In my short 13 month road career I have raced roughly 30 times if you count Tuesday nights and I have been in 3 crashes. All of them have taken place near the front of the pack. Two were from guys going down immediately in front of me and the other was from a guy taking out my front wheel. I'm not complaining, racing involves crashing and I signed up to race. But I have totaled two bikes. The first was aluminum, the second was this fine dedaccai carbon frame.
10 miles into Hillsboro the guy in front of me took his right hand off his bars and all of a sudden both of his wheels flip up to the left. I was boxed in on the left so I head right. The problem is, that is wear he slid. My front wheel hits his downtube, I go over the bars, and as usually, akido role out of it. Someone behind me plows into the pile. My bike is totaled, the second guy's body is totaled, and the guy who falls for no reason gets up and rides away. This was going 25mph on a straightaway. Road racing.
So, I'm done road racing. I am going to focus on mtbiking. Now when I crash, and I will crash, I can only blame myself. I don't think I can give up the speed though. So I am still going to ride with my road team and anyone else who wants to join me for a long road ride with some serious speed mixed in. You might still catch me at a Tuesday night crit, but I'll be in front, pulling.