March 2, 2007

All or Nothing

I did my first elite WORS race back in 1999, The crusty bluff hunkerdown. I still remember the torrential rain, the mud, and pushing the car out of the field afterwards.
It sure is interesting going back and looking at results from then and seeing names that have long disappeared, and other names that are a surprise. Back then I was so inconsistent, one week I'd be 14th, the next week 2nd, the following week 18th, and I never knew what I was doing wrong or right week to week to get those results. I remember being super pumped after getting that 2nd place behind some New Zealand guys later that year, and then coming home totally bummed the next week after getting smoked in like 18th place again.

Each race back then I'd do everything to make the front group and then I'd usually blow up and finish in the second or third group if I didn't bonk, but my main goal was always to ride in that first group. Eventually I was able to hang longer and longer and then I remember eventually winning my first WORS race at the Wor at Wilmot WORS race in 2000. All of a sudden riding at the front was easier, the races seemed easier, and I was consistently up near the front of races and winning more often. It just clicked at the Wor at Wilmot. The next two seasons I won the WORS series twice and have won 18 WORS races since.
My point is that at every level there is a time when something just clicks and it becomes "easier" to ride at that level. Jeremiah Bishop was telling us last year how he was struggling for top tens at NORBAs for years and then he did the trans rockies one year and all of a sudden it just clicked and he felt comfortable riding at the front of big races. I think the last few years I've been racing NORBAs trying to get top 50s, then 30s, now 20s and never forcing myself to ride to the front like I did years ago at WORS races. I think without at least riding at the front a little each race, you never will, but looking back at my early success, it came after many failed attempts to ride at the front - but eventually it catches up with you - that's when it clicks. This is my goal this year at the NORBA series, to ride at the front for a long as possible, possibly forfeiting a top 15 for an all or nothing attitude like back in the day.

9 comments:

biwan said...

my bad, that pic was from Sheboygan, not Wilmot. The year that "PRO" showed up at Wilmot, Schaning won. I thought you would have learned how to be consistant after wrenching with "Mr. Constistency"!

Anonymous said...

Now that's what I'm talking about. BTW you should come up for spring break training camp come March 17th if you're up for it.
John

Anonymous said...

Not many people turn pro at 18 years of age. But you did! Good way to learn. But now it's time to teach! Take it old man.....

And I here your hanging out at Steffinos? Contract come in a little larger than last year?

Biwon, you better be writting while on the bike....

RB

Anonymous said...

Not many people turn pro at 18 years of age. But you did! Good way to learn. But now it's time to teach! Take it old man. And I here your hanging out at Steffinos? Contract come in a little larger than last year?

RB

D A N O said...

Your "I remember way back when" stuff is pretty cool.

But not as cool as Matter's.

Make sure you get pic's when your bustin' it out in front. Then save them to hook us up in 10 years
:-)

eppen said...

I remember wor at Wilmot. Hot as hell, and a hub deep swamp section, and you turning the screws pretty tight on the last climb the last lap. I also remeber I hadn't showered in like 4 days coming back from Mt. Snow National. Now I know why you never let me ride in front of you. That's my style, I guess.

Rowbear said...

nice blog, I like the pictures too.

Carlos said...

I know what you're saying.
Maybe you know me, maybe you have seen me around or passing you in some previous races, and let me tell ya it feels good to catch up with a Pro. I'm just an Expert and I knew the times I passed you, it was maybe cuz you were in bad shape or sick of something.
I started racing in 02 in my country and my race level there I think here is like sport, 03 I moved up to expert wich is here like comp and barely in made a 3rd place at the last race before I moved to wisconsin, I always dreamed to race international and here I am.
You know, here is hard to come in a good place, everybody is training all the time.
I start racing here in 04 in the comp cat, after the 4th race I moved to expert but wasn't ready for the extra lap but it was ok since I wanted to improve my racing level and skills, I thought I'll never gonna be able to do a 1rst place in my each or come in top 10; gues what? I came few time in top 10 in 05 and it really feels good.
Last year it was year for me, and this year I will try to make it to top 10 again.
Some day I'll be a cabron like you, that's my dream.
With all my respect to you.
Take care and keep it up

enduroloco said...

Thanks for that info. I never saw myself as someone who could start and stay at the front and be okay with blowing up knowing that it will come full circle. I came to the realization that I am not a power guy, but can put up very consistent times over a ridiculous amount of time and kinda got stuck in a rut where I would start mid pack and reel them in except for the ones in the lead group.

I never saw it from that perspective and hopefully that will get me towards the front of the comp group and eventually to the elite class.

Thanks,
Justin #1150