Saturday, December 15, 2012

2,700 miles

2,700 miles.  That's the distance from Portland, OR to Hendersonville, NC.  Part of me thinks I did it the easy way by flying half of that distance back to WI, but the other part of me that just spent 2 full days in the car driving from Sheboygan to Hendersonville via Athens, OH doesn't quite agree!  Travel is travel though and you've got to get to the races somehow.

Last year the trip out to Bend was miserable.  This year things were about as smooth as can be.  We arrived in Bend after a 15 hour travel day on Planes(obvious), Trains(Denver Airport) and Automobiles(rental car form Portland to Bend).

Thanks to my friends at Clif Bar we were set up with some host housing.  I'm never sure about host housing and usually prefer just to be on my own in a hotel, but this time around we hit the jackpot.  Many of you probably don't remember the name Kirt Voreis, but I do.  Kirt was the man on the downhill circuit back in the day racing for teams like Santa Cruz, Yeti, and Specialized Mountain Dew.  He now lives in Bend and was gracious enough to let me crash at his house for 3 days.

It was pretty sweet to hang out there and share war stories of the olden days of Norba and the traveling circus.  Kirt and his wife Lindsey are still involved in the industry and are still living the dream.  Check out his website and if you get a chance to hit up a stop on his ALLRIDE Tour you should take advantage.  I think he could teach you a thing or two in the skills department!

The racing itself was not so hot.  I had a horrible start on day 1 and fought back for a few UCI points and finished 14th.  Not what I was hoping for after all the hard training after Jingle Cross.  The next day I was determined to get a better start and I did...only to fade away after 3 laps of racing.  I finished 18th after a flat tire on the last lap.  Really dissaapointing way to end the USGP for me.

Looking back I think I trained too hard too close to the race.  I was mentally focused on completing a training block that was similar to the block I did before the Iceman and Cincy weekend, but this time around it was too much.  Hopefully the hard work pays dividends later in the year.

Now I am sitting at the Red Rood Inn in Hendersonville, NC.  I still feel overextended, but it is what it is and its time to go and race!  Andrea and I made the drive to Athens, OH on Thursday.  She stayed to ride with the gang and hang out with Dad, while my Mom and I drove down to NC.  Race time in 4 hours...wish me luck!

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