You might have missed this in Velonews, but on Sunday, November 9th a once great cyclist, winner of countless road, mountain and cyclo-cross races made his comeback complete by competing in the Ohio Valley Cyclo-Cross race in Dayton, Oh.
The cold air only added the tension as I was called to my start grid. As I looked around, I started to remember the feeling of competition. My legs were twitching much like a cat as it readies to pounce on its unsuspecting prey. The ring of the gun vibrated off each of the 75 riders. I shot for the hole and made through the first 100 meters that included five 90 degree turns and one set of three barriers to be crossed without going down in a tangled mess of legs and gears. As I remounted after the first of two sand pit runs, I was in a strong 20th position. I was in perfect position to really flounder and lose 20 more spots, and so I did just that. I started falling back so fast, I swore I heard spectators calling me McCain.
Reality was setting in hard. What was I doing? I am a middle-aged man whose legs haven’t seen any type of hard training for several years. I was suffering like Governor Palin in a Katie Couric interview. I too had no life line. Then there was a sliver of hope, a small thorn made its way into my rear wheel and saved me the better part of the whole race. Yes, 1 ½ laps into the race and I flatted out! No worries, I will be back racing on December 7 at the Brookside Park Cyclo-Cross race in Indianapolis.
My two boys enjoyed the kid’s race as you can see from the pictures. I encourage you all to help with the race at Brookside Park .