Racing after the saddest day in my life. My best friend and faithful companion passed away the day before the Blue Mountain Super D. On Saturday I had no intentions of racing on Sunday , but upon waking Sunday morning I wanted to be nowhere near my house and the place of so much sadness. My dog Ruby had been fighting cancer for over a year and the cancer had finally become too strong. I will miss her every day, but she’s finally at peace.
The Race course was a mix of aggressive downhill, short climbs, and twisty single track. I had a chance to pre-ride the course twice before taking my race run. This was my first time back at Blue Mountain since the Enduro race there, and this time my bike was perfectly set up. No more chain issues like last time. My only issue would be a major lack of sleep and food.
After morning practice we had a racers meeting at the base of the mountain. From there we proceeded back to the top to do our race run. Racers would be separated by one minute intervals, and I would be the last guy to go in the Pro class. Hearing my number called I headed to the starting line. The start of any race is very important, as every second counts. I wanted to start my run like a BMX gate start, basically trying to blast off the starting line. So I locked up both brakes and put pressure to the pedals, waiting to be told GO. 3…2..1..GO. I let go of the brakes and was pedaling my brains out. The start was a gravel road that dove into the woods. Upon entering the woods I hit my brakes, but the lever went right to the bar. Panic hit me like a ton of bricks, or in the case, a ton of large trees and rocks. I repeatedly squeezed the levers hoping they would pump up, but nothing happened. I was in panic mode but still focused on the trail. The course made a sweeping up hill in the shape of a horse shoe, as I entered it I braced for impact on a few saplings. After hitting them I managed to still be holding onto the bars. The course continued to flow downhill from here, but there would be no more tight corners. As I finished this section and was heading out of the woods to the first climb my brakes slowly started to return. They weren’t as strong as I would of like, but they were at least slightly there.
The rest of the run went smoothly, no more issues and or crashes. I was just thankful it was over. I’m not sure what actually went wrong with my brakes and it was something I had never experienced before, which is something I’m extremely happy about! After my run I went directly to my car and switched my knee guards to full shin guards and grabbed my longer travel bike for some more riding. I didn’t want to stop riding, for as long as I was riding my mind would be focused on that and not on the sadness sitting inside me.
A few of us did about four or five runs and then heard that results were posted. We changed out of our riding gear and back into street clothes. My mind wasn’t on how I finished but, on about a million other things. Then I was congratulated, it turns out I had won the Pro class. My first reaction was excitement, but once again it was short lived by what was on my mind. I was also happy that I wasn’t injured from my brakes failing. It was a good day overall, and I feel I made the right decision of getting out of my house and going to be with friends. My friends are always there with love and support, and on this day in particular I felt very grateful that I had each one of them in my life.
Thank you Ruby for being my best friend and faithful companion for so many years, life will never be the same without you. Be at peace.