TLDR Version: Thank you Michael Marckx, Andy Brightman, Phil Tinstman and all the countless others and volunteers who bring this insane event to our community. Thank you cycling community for being awesome. Thank you to Nick, Steve and Ned for putting up and being involved in this nonsense. Most of all, thank you Adam Mills at Source Endurance for giving me the tools I need to be able to do this stuff. Why do I have a coach? So I can have more fun. And it works.
Lining up for this year’s BWR I was feeling stoked, happy with my fitness (if not my freshness… #unbound problems….stay tuned for that write up in a few weeks), feeling confident in my equipment and surrounded by more friends than I can possibly count. BWR is always the event that’s most important to me, but I had to prepare a little differently this year because of that Kansas problem. Lots of higher volume training left me spending lots of time thinking about why I do this and what’s important to me, and making sure I hang onto that. What’s important is having fun, and doing my very best to hopefully spread that to as many other riders as I can.
Well, fun was not had by me in the “neutral” zone Wave 1 with the Pros. My plan to stay attached at all costs fell apart somewhere around Country Club Drive when I realized that I was going to run through half my matchbook before I even got to Lemontwistenberg. Fortunately there were others in the same situation and we coalesced and traded pulls to the first dirt. I ended up getting there just 2.5 min slower than last year, but I’m not mad about it, happy with my decision to get dropped. Yes, I’m pretending I had a choice in the matter.
The upside of being off the back of Wave 1 was that I got to ride Lemon Twist my usual efficient way, calm like a Hindu Cow was my mantra in my head, minimal downhill brakes, picking all my favorite lines, passing at least 11 riders changing flats. Hindu Cow. But maybe with better handling. Blaize passed me after fixing his flat, and I encouraged him to keep both his lungs fully expanded all day. He never fails to make me smile on a ride, such a positive force in our community. I spent some time riding with Kristen Mayer at this point, stoked for her on how she was riding in the dirt, and savoring briefly hanging out with a friend since I knew she was gonna drop me like third period French up Highland Valley Road.