Sunday, April 22, 2012's a no

I am pulling the plug on my first race of the season before it even begins.
Three weeks ago I wrecked pretty badly and suffered a concussion for the second time within a year.
Before the crash, I was feeling confident, fit, fast...all the makings in place for a self-satisfying race result at one of my favorite venues.
Technically, I shouldn't even be on my mountain bike yet, but yesterday I wanted to test my legs (and confidence post-crash) on my singlespeed.
Bill and I had a great ride at Middle Run/White Clay on dry, dusty trails.
In spite of a few reckless riders who nearly blitzed us off the trail (you simply cannot ride like that at White Clay with all the blind turns, corners and ultra-smooth descents on a busy must always be in control of their bike and aware of other trail users...RRRRRRR...end rant, to be continued some other time), we had a blast.
Although my legs felt pretty decent and my fitness hasn't waned too much over the past few weeks, I realized pretty directly that I definitely should not race next weekend.
I have no business lining up in a field of experts only to ride timidly or sit in or just wouldn't be wise to use the race as a training tool when all I can think about is must. not. crash. bike

Several years ago, racing was an all-consuming passion for me...year-round, I was either preparing or training or mapping out the next season.
I dreamed of yellow tape September through January, followed by hardpack trails and number plates come springtime...intervals, race nutrition, perceived exertion, confirmed riders...all of these things dominated a constant loop inside my head. 
Times have changed and racing just isn't as important to me any more.
Nine years ago, I entered my first mountain bike race at Granogue and I was hooked.
To still be this in love with riding my bike and hitting the trails after all these years, blows my mind.
It's only natural that the energy devoted to the racing aspect of this love will come and go.
Looks like this year it's go.
I can't step out of a season entirely, so I'll jump into a few meaningful, hand-picked events and really make them count.

(there's no other way, right?) 
Fair Hill presented by Bikeline 2010

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