Tag: MBAA

12 February 2017

Havasu Havoc – MBAA #3

There were 22 at the start and after the top five riders in the series standings were called up to the line, I slotted in behind one of them, hoping to get a good start.  The course did not become singletrack for several hundred yards and by the time we made the hard U-turn onto the narrow, rock lined, twisting trail, there were 6 of us that had already gapped the rest of the field.  I rode a few wheels to the singletrack “junior loop” trying to save a little gas for later.  I did not feel particularly good – or bad – so I had little clue how I might fare the day after my less than enthusiastic pre-ride.  I was a little concerned about the ten mile “long loop” that I had not checked out and I could not remember much about the course from 2014, except the steep descent marked with signs that offered two paths to the bottom.  In 2014, riders were treated to a bit of course marker’s humor that suggested one of these two routes was “Sane”, the other, steeper, rockier trail, “Insane.” There was also a very steep climb out of a wash that was a hike-a-bike section for all but the very strongest riders. That’s all I remember from my third place finish in 2014.
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Last night may not have been the best preparation for the first race of the season.  A pianist friend was in town from D.C. and he and some of his young gun musicians were performing at The Nash – a Phoenix Valley oasis of art in an otherwise cultural desert.  Initially I had wanted see Lexie play, but as race day approached, I begged off, and changed my statement to, “we’ll see how I feel on Friday.”  This bought me some time to reflect.  But, my love of live jazz won out and come Friday night I had dinner at a new Jamaican bistro in anticipation of some front row jazz.  The menu was not what you might find on the training tables of even the Jamaican bob-sled team, so I dove into jerked braised pork belly, butter bean mash with guava reduction and washed it all down with a cup that runnethed over with pre-race guilt.  The jazz show was an evening of improvisation and cutting edge complexity, that somehow worked in satisfying ways, and went a long way toward assuaging my race meal remorse.

In so many ways this is stupid.  I’m 58 and my racing age is 59.  I love jazz.  I love cycling.   I love to eat adventurously.  There has to be a balance in there somewhere.  While I want to win every race I enter, the reality, in my many years of racing, is that I have only been on the top step of the podium once.

In the mid-90s.

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