2016 Season Wrap Up
I had written something a couple weeks ago but it was too soon and I didn’t like it. I’m going to keep this kinda brief, if that’s possible.
This whole year was pretty insane. 100% rad, balls to the wall, full on gnar dope. Yuh.
Structured training started March 1st with Cycle-smart as part of the KÜDÜ Collective team program. A solid base block got me ready for the Pisgah Stage Race with @Consult_Ant
. A few more XC races, much more saddle time, a trip to Alaska then the full on CX push started in mid July.
My first race of the season was at Riverfront Part in Hartford, CT on September 11th it was a small local field with a few ringers in the mix. The day was brutally hot, and the course intensely fast. Fast forward and I wrapped my season up at the same place. January 7th at Riverfront Park in Hartford, CT. A vastly different course in 18 degree weather racing snow covered frozen ruts surrounded by professional talent along with some very fast AMs. The name of the game was bike driving where in September it was POWER. There is something about bookending this epic season in the same place close to 4 months apart that I really, really like. Especially contrasting these two photos, even if the January one is technically Tuesday at the non-champ race.
In between these two races a lot went down. My season was a few races shorter than normal at 22, including both natz races.
My season high was finishing 20th at HPCX. It was really an amazing day for me. The MTBNJ tent party was LIT, almost as lit as my legs that day. I’m sitting here recalling the feeling of my legs and they were HOT. I was pushing to unfamiliar places and they were responding the whole way through. I think that was the only race I actually raced my way forward, if I recall correctly. That single ProCX point was something I didn’t think I had in me this year and I’m very proud to have earned it.
Other highs include only being lapped and pulled in 2 of 13 UCI races. The first at KMC crushed me a little, and then I didn’t even have a chance at Supercross, even if I had the right tires at the start. Both times actually crushed me pretty bad, but not into the ground. I felt pissed off enough to just want it more each time.
My favorite anecdote of the season was Gloucester Day 1. I was racing REALLY strong, switching positions a few times with Matt as we moved up/held our ground in the mid 20’s at Gloucester. Then I crashed, twisted my shifter, pitted twice, blew myself up fighting back too hard and finished 45. Coming around for bell lap I could hear the announcer calling out where Curtis White was “HE’S COMING BY THE ROCK!” and I think, “Wait.. I just came by the rock…” I look over my shoulder and see him two turns back. I don’t think he’ll catch me but I assume I’m going to get pulled. I hit the S/F stretch and the USAC official down there yells at me “YOU BETTER PEDAL HARDER.” HOLY SHIT I WAS STILL IN THE RACE. I came through the S/F seconds ahead of White with huge crowds on both sides and a line of photographers. My friends said “Yeah dude! It was nuts! Everyone was running to the finish and we were all going the other way back to the beer garden!!” My last time through may have been the loudest time through, my posse was deeeeep that day! Lead lap at 1:08:57.
Even more Local stoke in the money 4th at Town Hall, 3rd at Marty’s 1/2/3, 1st at Marty’s SS.
I don’t think I can truly describe how incredibly grateful I am for the opportunity I had with the KÜDÜ Collective this past season. Matt put together a solid squad with some incredible partners. Shout outs to Kindhuman for the rocketship bikes, Pactimo for some really nice threads and my favorite chamois to date, Cycle-Smart for helping me realize more of my potential, Vittoria for the traction assistance, Mad Alchemy for keeping my legs happy even when I was ready to vom before the starts, Giro, and Ritchey. The brand dropping makes me feel a little weird but all of these companies, brands and people have been incredibly generous, kind and supportive this past year.
I was just off the bike for 3 weeks. I fought it at first then fully slunk into the off season in a pretty glorious fashion. I didn’t realize how much tension and stress I was carrying until about 4 days in when I actually felt it slip off my shoulders. I got back on the bike this past weekend and woooweeee did I tucker myself out! Goals as of the coming two weeks are get some fitness back for a Liberty Gap ride with some of the Marty’s crew in a couple weeks. Plan is split the ride into two days. Should be fun, already stoked! Looking forward I have another full CX season slated, possibly a little bit of road racing, a few XC and hopefully a bit of short track too! 2017 gonna be LITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.
I’ll pick this up over at the Heckle-cation thread. Thanks for reading, see you in July.