To say motivation to write has been "lacking" lately would be a bit of a misnomer. To be quote honest, there's been a number of times I thought about writing this post and wasted away the time doing nothing consequential. I just haven't felt like putting forth the effort. However, as the current vogue is to avoid the abject horror of writing about mind numbing hours spent on the trainer and instead write about happier times, I'm not one to buck the trend. So, without further adieu, I'll bring you my highlights from 2009 and what I would like to do in 2010.
Obviously 2009 was a special year in various ways for me both personally and on the bike. The birth of our daughter was the crowning achievement for the year overall. She's been such a sweet addition to our family and I feel like we're pretty well complete now. I'm excited to see her as she grows and forms her own personality. There were a number of other great things in my personal life, but as I've switched to mostly talking about biking and racing here, I'll leave those locked away.
This was indeed my breakout year. As my buddy Keith put it, I seemed to come out of nowhere. And, by all means, I pretty much agree with him. This was my first year doing any serious racing and putting forth a real effort to train as well. Somewhere about mid season everything just clicked for me and I was literally off to the races. I had support of a great shop, a very understanding wife, excellent friends and teammates to chase, and a healthy dose of willingness to suffer that came together and pushed me further than I ever expected. Winning the overall IMBCS series was a huge accomplishment and one I didn't even entertain when I looked at racing for this year. Finishing strong in a number of races from Ahquabi to Manawa during the series was almost beyond my comprehension. Additionally, being a part of the winning team at 24 hours of 7 oaks, just fulfilled about every dream I could think of last year. It was surreal to say the least.
I do think a big part of my late summer surge was partly due to the trip out to Breckenridge to ride. Riding out in Colorado put the Iowa terrain into a much different perspective for me. I quickly rode above and beyond my comfort zone starting on the very first ride out there and continued unabaited for the rest of the week. It was truly an amazing trip and one I hope to repeat with some great friends in years to come. Alternately, I really hit the dirt with gusto this summer riding hours and hours as often as I could escape. It all started adding up and fueled an even bigger desire to ride hard and race harder.
Looking forward to 2010, I can't help but think it will pale in comparison if I look strictly at how I finish in races. I'm planning to jump up to Cat 1 on the mountain bike. It puts me going head to head with the best our state has to offer. I don't really see how I'm in that league, but at the same time, it's a great motivator to keep working and training hard. I feel like I've been doing well thus far this winter, but I'm not really kidding myself either and just hope to be able to finish all my races and not be competing for DFL.
Something else I'm excited about this year is the team. I was approached about stepping into the role of team manager late last fall and was pretty excited about the prospect. There's a great group of guys that race under the Rasmussen flag and whatever I can do to help make this team better is something I am looking forward to. We've got some great kits for the upcoming year that will be debuting sometime in the next month or two. I can't wait to see what the guys can do this year. Unless money comes pouring from the sky, I'll be racing on pretty much the same equipment this year as last. I do plan on rocking some new team green grips from Ergon to replace my race worn ones. And I'll probably be rocking some new products from Specialized on my head and feet as well.
I look forward to seeing everyone out on the trail this year and enjoying some post race/ride beers as well!