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2017 Bear Claw Epic Recap: Hot, Hot Heat Brings Wins for KICKBUSH and Brockmiller

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91 degrees and dusty, the Bear Claw Epic brought the heat in 2017, and two worthy winners nabbed titles and cookies.  Continue reading “2017 Bear Claw Epic Recap: Hot, Hot Heat Brings Wins for KICKBUSH and Brockmiller”

Racing Bikes is All About Losing. Get Over It.

 

I haven’t won a bike race in six years. It’s unlikely that I’ll win one anytime soon. I train hard, (sort of) watch what I eat, and strive to be a faster bike rider in every other conceivable way. Even with all that time, money, and effort, my quest for victory remains Quixotic at best. In fact, I’m lining up at Bear Claw Epic this weekend in the Elite class and it’s almost assured that I get dead last. I’d need someone else to get a flat tire and a leg eaten off by a bear to not finish last. Seriously.

And I’m far from alone. 99% of the people at a bike race lose. And by lose, I mean get beat by one guy or gal who takes the top step of the podium. Afterall, we live in a society best summed up by a quote from a contemporary American philosopher, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” –Ricky Bobby. It’s difficult to understand why anyone would want to go pay good money to, in all likelihood, get beat.

So, why race at all? For me, it’s about the process. It’s about trying to lose a few extra pounds, take 10 seconds off a Strava segment, or keep up with another cyclist who usually kicks seven shades of shit out of me. Adding a race in there is extra motivation to get out to ride, push yourself, and set a new goal. If it was about winning, I’d undoubtedly fail. Every single race. But since it’s more about racing myself, I can be satisfied with how I’ve improved, or in a worst case, how I came up short. But that’s entirely up to me; my goals, my expectations, and my motivations. 

The key here is to not let a fear of losing keep you from racing. There’s always going to be someone faster than you. Even if you master the Expert class, moving up to Elite guarantees you get whipped at least a few times before you triumph. And if you start winning the Elite classes here in Northern Michigan, go race a WORS event and be prepared to get humbled. Instead of focusing on winning, or even podiums, focus on the work that will make you a faster rider. Not even a faster rider compared to others, but rather a faster rider compared to your past self. Fall in love with the process, not the results. It’s the best way to enjoy your riding and your racing.

So, I’ll line up this weekend, ego totally prepared to be battered and bruised. But as long as I meet my goals of feeling strong and staying motivated the whole race, I’ll be happy with how things go. And, who knows? Maybe the entire Elite field gets eaten by a bear and I end up on the podium. Now that would be pretty great. For me, at least.

Be sure to follow Wes on Strava and Instagram. Or don’t. Totally up to you. Happy trails. 

2017 Bear Claw Epic Race Preview: Speed of Light Goes South

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At the moment, the Bear Claw Epic Elite field is shaping up to be a Speed of Light showdown in Cadnasty.  Continue reading “2017 Bear Claw Epic Race Preview: Speed of Light Goes South”

September Out’n’Back Iceman Report: It’s Sandy

 

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Drew was looking for donuts. 

 

Yeah, crazy right? Sand.  Continue reading “September Out’n’Back Iceman Report: It’s Sandy”

2017 Speed of Light World Championships: Wakeley, Schwab, Welton Earn Titles

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In the largest World Championship field to date, three worthy wins took emphatic steps into the history books.  Continue reading “2017 Speed of Light World Championships: Wakeley, Schwab, Welton Earn Titles”

2017 Speed of Light World Championship Preview

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Owens, O’Hearn lead list of contenders with the women’s race wide open.  Continue reading “2017 Speed of Light World Championship Preview”

2017 Speed of Light Vuelta Competition Finale: Sovis Wins Stage and GC

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After a Cleveland Browns-like run of futility, Cody Sovis finally won a stage at SOL and a Grand Tour title.  Continue reading “2017 Speed of Light Vuelta Competition Finale: Sovis Wins Stage and GC”

2017 Vuelta Competition Finale Preview: Time Bonus Could Decide Winner

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There are time bonuses of 10, 6 and 2 seconds on offer for the first 3 riders across the line Thursday in the final Grand Tour stage of 2017.  Continue reading “2017 Vuelta Competition Finale Preview: Time Bonus Could Decide Winner”

2017 Speed of Light Vuelta Competition: Owens Controls, O’Hearn Inches Closer

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It wasn’t riveting racing, but it was effective. O’Hearn nabbed just a few seconds ahead of the Vuelta finale on the heels of a demonstrative show of strength from Jeff Owens.  Continue reading “2017 Speed of Light Vuelta Competition: Owens Controls, O’Hearn Inches Closer”

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