Wednesday, February 22, 2012

To Race or To Ride

The problem with racing... and don't get me wrong... I love a good bike race, but in the process of attempting to race, one can most certainly miss out on a ton of fun. This weekend, as I took part in Actif Epica, i was once again reminded of this fact. Due to being in a state of "racing", I was unable to partake in various enjoyments that the race and associated festivals had to offer. Originally I was planning to ride the race with my brother-in-law at a leisurely pace- and we definitely would have eaten (finished) our pea soup, taken baileys hand-ups from Tom, had laughs with volunteers at the checkpoints, and would likely have had a few beers the night before, etc. I was actually looking forward to not racing. So when my com-padre was unable to do the race I automatically defaulted to "race" mode and followed the usual protocols. In retrospect, it was still a great time. I made some new friends in the pace line and completed the race with a feeling of accomplishment- especially relating to relatively choices of clothing, gear, nutrition, and strategy. One of the things I was dreading most was general navigation- I seem to be much more comfortable with three layers of yellow tape in the trees and big black arrows on white signs than with 92 lines of cues on two 8 1/2 by 11 sheets of paper in a zip-lock. I think by the end we missed only about 6 turnoffs, none of which proving to be huge wastes of time except for one diversion down main street in downtown Niverville. To re-hash- I definitely do love the racing part. For sure. But sometimes it's also nice to take it easy- look at the scenery- and take a little more time to get to know and absorb your surroundings. Actif Epica was a fantastic event and would have been great had I done it either way. Thanks again to Ian & Dave the race organizers and to all other volunteers on a very memorable event!

*photo by Kyle Thomas


Sherwin said...
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Tom K said...

Wise words thrown out there JP!

However, I suspect you needed this challenge and it will fit with your plans for this summer ... you 'enjoy' the 24 of Falcon and then crush the 24 at Canmore!! :-)

John E said...

This is an excellent commentary! I had decided ahead of time to not be in a race mindset, partially due to being massively outclassed but also to enjoy the event for what it was, and I did. Just the same I was able to glean some tips on performance in case I decide to ever "step things up a bit". Cheers!