Monday, December 30, 2013

A specific set of skills

...I don't know who you are...
...but I do know what you want...
...you want to beat me in a race...
...I can tell you that your chances are good...
...but I can also tell you that I have very specific set of skills...
...skills I have developed over many years of riding...
...a set of skills that will make me a nightmare for people like you...
...if you let me win now...that will be the end of it...
...I will not race with you...
...I will not pursue you...
...but if you don't...I will look for you...
...I will find you...
...and I will race you...
...and I will beat you...



I have been watching some videos that I recorded with my GoPro this year. I rode with a pretty diverse group of riders over this last year. The video I was recently watching made me smile. The rider in front of me crashed in the first 45 seconds of the movie. The rider also dabbed twice in the first 3 minutes. This trail was not technical...the rider just lacked skill. I have been told in the past few years that I have a solid skill set when it comes to riding. I even managed to transform those skills to the road. 

I did some group road rides with Velo City out of Holland. One day after the ride we were talking about the skill level of the group. They made reference to one rider in particular and I started asking questions because I wanted to make sure I wasn't "that guy". I was reassured that indeed was not "that guy" and that I was one of the people they didn't worry about in the peloton. Amazing to me to think that in my first few rides I had already gained the trust of other riders. That trust to me seems like it would take longer to build than a few rides. 

A few years ago at the State Games I met Brianna during the race. We rode together to keep each other company because we were both miserable. She made the comment on our very first ride that I had solid handling skills. Later this year we were on a group mountain bike ride with riders I trust and one guy we had never ridden with. He kept saying "watch out!" when we would fly around a corner or take a section faster than he was used to riding. He made the comments later that he was "amazed by the skill of the group"...and I am just a sport rider. So...my confidence in my handling skills is not the issue...

...my weight is the problem. I am working on that. I am a confident 260 pound rider. I know how much faster I can be at 240 pounds. I can only use my imagination to determine how fast I will be at 200 pounds, or even 190 pounds. I have the winter to drop as much as I can before my first race. Developing my handling skills even more the lighter I get. I will be dangerous on my bike...and there will be a long list of people that will see my specific set of skills....

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