or Recipe for taking yourself down a notch. First, find some success on the bike. A win is best, but something courageously epic (see Day 2) will work just as well. While you’re riding the wave from your win (or your 19th place finish in a super-fast race), start putting yourself in a head-space for an upcoming race. Think about the primes you’re going to win. Invite your friends to come see you race. Have your friends invite their friends. Maybe a few family members should come to watch you race for the first time ever; the more the merrier. This is the critical step: the morning of the race, completely misinterpret everything everybody has ever told you about warming up for a race; ride to the race but don’t really do any efforts. Line up for the race and let’er rip. The quicker you fall off the back of the group and spend a lap or two chasing, the better.
With the correct outlook, a crushing loss can be the ultimate motivation. A good, old-fashioned beat-down keeps things in perspective and teaches a man to be humble. There is no sense letting the ego get bigger than the legs that need to re-accelerate it after every turn. Humility is important, and learning to deal with defeat is one of the most important aspects of learning to race. I have an idea of how far I have come, and got a glimpse of how far I need to go.
At least Dave McLaughlin can make me look fast during a race.
Now that I got that out of the way: a little about the race. I’m not going to be long-winded about this one. This was the most technical race of the weekend, so there is no surprise that it was the race I struggled with. The tight, technical course was less suited for somebody still trying to find the confidence to corner at speed with the P/1’s. Getting gapped on every turn didn’t help the fact that I did not have the leg speed or the power to repeatedly sprint with the accelerations of the group after every turn. More than that, I did not have the mental toughness to finish the race like I did at the Pickle; not two day in a row, and not through the amount of fatigue that I had from the rest of the weekend. Plus, a good warm-up would have helped. Lesson learned.
Anyways, the box of wine and the case of beer my cheering section brought were calling my name. And, in the end, family is still family and friends are still friends. They don’t care if you win or finish dead last. Especially when they have a box of wine and a case of beer on the first day of cool weather during one of the hottest summers in history.