a farewell to the season

12 miles long with 6000 feet of climbing, the Mt. Tam Hill Climb is a beast of a race. Silly little me thought it was a good idea to race it as my second ever race last year, with no training and no idea what the course looked like. I ended up taking fourth place and was ecstatic, surprised that I could actually place in a race with other cyclists.
This confidence led to finding a team and racing with them for the 2013 season. I raced criteriums and road races for months and learned how to ride a bike like the racing machine it can be. I learned about wattage, intervals, line selection, weight and measurement of everything. I researched nutrition, biology, physiology, even geometry and physics all in the name of riding faster. There’s no telling how far the rabbit hole goes down on amateur road racing technique and training, but I was happy to learn as much as I could about this world of riding bikes.
Each step you take towards a more serious road racing lifestyle is a new commitment that exemplifies a transferable dedication in your life. Often you will notice that a successful bike racer is also successful in other parts of his/her life. The motivation and drive required to win races is often the same motivation and drive it takes for somebody to thrive in an academic or professional world. This drive, equally paired with a pure desire to race can, no doubt, lead to a fun and fulfilling hobby.
I have found that my motivation and drive lack in comparison to those I raced with. My commitment did not balance with my desire and I slowly lost motivation for racing. This imbalance is obviously what led me to messing around on bikes more than I trained on them. I kind of got fat and swore off racing for a couple months until I realized that racing wasn’t the devil and it was ok to participate in some friendly competition every once in a while. I knew it was time to take a step back from racing and find other paths of fulfillment on the bike. I decided on one last race to close out my season, Mt. Tam Hill Climb.
Once more I suffered up the giant hill, sweating and burning the entire way. I pushed as hard as I could and at the end I came in 9th place. As I crossed the finish line I felt a certain closure to this year in racing, and it felt good. I have no regrets and only a wealth of knowledge to take away from it all.

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