In a little over 7 weeks, the racing season is going to kick off. With it will hopefully come warmer, drier weather. I have set a new all-time trainer record, with 5 days in a row of going nowhere fast in my basement. I can honestly say I was not looking forward to each session, but now that it is over, it was very productive. These trainer days help to improve my mental fortitude.
The kick-off to my racing season will be the March Snake finale, followed two weeks later by the first SERC race in Gainesville, Florida. While most of my competitors will be racing brand new 2011 bikes, I will be on bikes that have already seen a couple seasons of epic racing. This has been dictated mostly by my finances, but also by the fact that my bike shop is unable to acquire any S-Works bikes. Even though Bruce only sells Specialized, he can't get an S-Works Epic or Stumpjumper for me. I am not sure why; Bruce says it has to do something with volume.
Now don't get me wrong; Specialized has been great to me the past few years of my racing career. I love their bikes; I don't think I could ride anything else. And their support has been great! But it is quite disappointing that just because The Outdoor Store doesn't do a certain amount of $$$$ with Specialized, they don't have access to their top of the line bicycles. I could always get one of their non S-Works bikes at a killer deal, but why would I want to? Not only would it be heavier, the componentry would be less than what I am riding now.
My bikes ('08 S-Works SJ FSR, '09 S-Works Era, '10 SJ 29'r SS) have taken a beating over their life, but they have never failed me. So rather than ride a lesser model, I am going with what has taken me to many podiums over the past 3 years. It is not the bike that makes the racer, but rather the racer that makes the bike, right? Performance is 95% racer and 5% bike, so I will just let that be my handicap. Anyways, I already think I have made that 5% up, what with the killer strength sessions Coach has been giving me.
Regardless of what I ride, I am looking forward to a fantastic season of racing my SS in my regional XC series and throwing in a little endurance racing here and there. My daughter will be racing the SERC kids series. I am stoked! Earlier this year, I told her that she was going to try a sport and her choices were basketball, soccer, or MTB'ing. I was quite surprised with her decision. She loves to play sports, but does not like having people watch her, especially team mates that might judge her abilities. Hmmm, I wonder where she got that? (I was really never a team sport kinda gal, either). Zeke is going to be her coach and I will be her training partner. I hope that Carly will enjoy it as much as I.
So although I won't be racing on a shiny new bike or in a shiny new kit, I will be racing with my daughter. And that is what really matters!