After Saturday's Psycowpath Capital City Challenge at Branched Oak Lake I sent out this tweet:
All old MTB demons exorcised. Good day - 2nd place. Jerry Hoff 1st.
It pretty much tells the story of the race. It WAS a good day - great people, great weather, twisty Nebraska singletrack, and a successful race. I hope one of these days I can actually beat Jerry. I was closer here than I have been but I still have some skills to work on. He still kicks my ass in the corners. I can out-power him but he gains it back plus some more in each turn.
There was another message in that Tweet. I think Troy Krause would get it, maybe some others. Two years ago I crashed in this race. I was trying to keep from being passed into last place, washed out in what is now referred to as "Jon Downey corner" and messed up my right shoulder. "Messed up" meaning dislocation, torn labrum, fractured glenoid, and torn bicep tendon. That was a bad day.
I really didn't think about the whole thing until I started pre-riding the course Friday afternoon. And, because I was so geeked out about it, I crashed, on my right shoulder. Damn.
"Well crap, is this the way its going to be?" I asked myself. No, dammit. HTFU already.
It took a bit to loosen up again. Then Paragon-buddy William Prann showed up and we rode a while together. Before I knew it I was loose, going fast, and having fun.
Its been a long road to get here - "here" being able to have fun riding with some ability. It wouldn't have happened without some really great support from my family and friends. And my wife. She doesn't get the whole racing thing because its just not in her to be competitive but she tries and she loves me. God only knows why.
Thank you, Love Bunny, for supporting me while I beat down the ghosts of failures past.