Sleep, unlike your choice of rubber, is not a make-or-break performances issue for Cross Country Mountain Biking. ‘Seriously’, Olympic records are broken with no sleep, but your choice of tread can play a decisive role in determining where you place. Not convinced? Imagine racing your 310 Superfly semi-slicks in mud, or buzzing along with super beefy Continental Vertical 2.3 downhill knobs on hard pack. In either case, you are fighting for last place. Suffice to say I might not be too concerned with my quality of sleep, but I am particularly neurotic about which rubber I pull on before I get down and dirty.
With a forecast of heavy rain and high winds, I was originally expecting epic conditions for the race. Generally, I do well in adverse conditions, and was originally encouraged by the prospect of an epic 5-hour race on my beefy Conti mud tires. I had been training and racing on these bad boys for 2-years, and was confident in the ability of the massive tread blocks to provide the ultimate grip in mud, sand or bog.
However, confidence is as unpredictable as the weather conditions have been this year. I sat down Saturday evening self-assured in my ability to race through the worst of conditions, and by dawn, my determination had grown wings and taken flight. Confidence is a curious emotion easily swayed by the weather and fatigue. A cloudy day or a little sunshine has a great influence on the constitutions of even the most seasoned racer. A ray of sunshine can refresh the smile, cheer the discouraged, and rejuvenate the weary. The weather also has the power to shapes our memories and emotions; a grey, overcast, day can makes us feel sad, unfulfilled, and melancholy or empty. By morning I was satisfied with my scholarly efforts but mentally worn-out, and lacking the resolve to hike-a-bike through
Fatigue had dampened my spirits, but weather had renewed sense of optimism, purpose and hope, and I was once again expecting the most favorable outcome.
Iwas hoping for rain. Mud would raise the technical challenge, and stave off the boredom from riding for 5-hours on an exceedingly flat autobahn, but after further consideration that didn’t seem like much fun at a brisk 8C° with the threat of some serious rain. Why the hell was it so dammed cold anyway?
BFA 2010 – It’s All About The Ride
BFA 2009 – Race Report: Better Late Then Never
BFA 2009 – Do You Have Any Friends?
BFA 2007 – Photo Album
BFA 2005– Blast From The Past