So before Sunday, I was beginning to think that 2012 might be the year I step back and take this bike racing thing a little less seriously. Really! Not that I care any less, but I'm down to just a few "must-do" events, and wouldn't it be more "fun" to experience Wilderness or Burn or Iron Cross without any particular expectations? I'm all-in for Pisgah36, but after that I was thinking it might be nice to enjoy the weather a little more, rather than making myself work through it ...
But then Chris handed me the envelope, the reward for dragging myself up and over Iron Mountain. And oh damn, if Mr. Scott doesn't know how to perpetuate the pain.
Rather than a check, or a gift certificate, or any number of other prizes that might fit in a No. 10 envelope, my prize for 5-1/2 hours of suffering ... is more suffering. As I've mentioned before, Chris puts on a bunch of great events throughout the Virginia mountains. One of them that was on my radar but was a bit too far to drive for a "short" race in April is the Dragon's Tale -- 40 miles of -- quote -- "Tight, narrow, mossy, off-camber Appalachian sidehill singletrack that runs a tight and rocky spine like a ridgeline." You know you're in for it when the event web site expressly states that you can drop dry socks at the aid station 'cause you just might need them!
Anyway, I opened that envelope, and inside was a free entry to Dragon's Tale 2012. Now really, how can I bring myself to "just ride" an event when I've gotten a free entry? No way! So then 2012 became a little more serious -- P36 and then Dragon's Tale -- and then, oh yeah, PMBAR, Tsali, Burn ...
Now, what will be interesting, is that it's the same weekend as Warrior Creek. Hmmm ... I heard tell of someone pulling off a double last year, and the drive from WC to home is the same as the drive from WC to New Castle ...
Hey Chad, maybe 2012 will be "serious" after all? For fun?
LATE EDIT: Just got a note from SMT that the certificates were incorrect -- my finish is good for a return to Iron Mountain instead! Hmmm ... even more pain and suffering? Mr. Scott, full speed ahead!
And with that ... good luck
Among my many pre-race rituals is one that Kim and I have repeated hundreds of times. Just before I go to line up, Kim gives me a kiss, then whispers good wishes into each of my ears, then gives me another kiss. With that, I'm off.
So we've been working with Kate to do the same. Rather than a simple "Good luck and have fun" (which Kim says too), we've taught Kate to tell me "Break a leg!" She always gets a good giggle from it.
Well, on Sunday, we were going through our routine at the car before the start. I gave Kim a quick kiss, she whispered in my ears, I kissed her again, and turned to Kate, who was standing at my feet. "OK, Kate, I'm ready -- what do you say?"
She got a big smile, her blue eyes lit up.
"Daddy! Have a baby!"
I guess we have a bit more work to do.