Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Headed West #cxnats2014

Great mooglie booglies another year has passed. Sitting at my computer two days before Christmas madly packing an RV and a trailer for CX Nats 2014 in Boulder, CO and wondering how we got to this point. This will be our fifth straight trip to USA Cycling's cyclocross nationals and our fifth straight year providing stories, pics, and other CX goodness from the event for The Best Bike Blog Ever.

When we look back at 2009 in Bend, OR I remember very little, literally. But, what I do remember is a rag tag group of a few kids from Lionhearts heading out to Bend. We bummed space on the Red Zone trailer for our bikes, we flew out and stayed in a Best Western. None of them had B bikes, tubular wheels, appropriate clothing for the cold, or really any idea what they were about to witness. I also know that I for one had no idea how much that trip would change me personally.

Even an RV has to stop at Chipotle
As we saddle up for a trip to Boulder we are laser focused on gear - B bikes, extra sets of tubular wheels, summer, winter, spring and fall riding gear, rain suits, winter suits, wet suits, snow boots, rain boots, tents, sides, heaters, battery operated-triggered air pumps, trailers for bikes, tow vehicles, RVs, travel companions, time for altitude adjustment, hotel rooms with kitchens paid for by Marriott points, coaches, extra mechanics, tool bags, pit bags, and I could keep going, but I am out of breath.

What hasn't changed is the passion for the sport - the passion for cycling. The four Lionhearts that will be making their fifth straight start at CX Nats love this sport. They dream about it at night. They ride 6 out of every 7 days. They read magazines and books about cycling. They talk with other kids their age that also ride all across the country. They text about their bike rides, how hard they were, and how they have to do a four hour trainer ride the next day (no, I didn't make that up).

Snug in their bed
Most importantly is the fact that no one makes them do it. Everything you see, hear, or read about them doing is voluntary. Sure there are days where they drag themselves out of bed early to get those openers in before traveling or before school, but they do it all on their own.

Whenever I feel at odds with what I am doing or feel like everything we embark to do is some crazy hair brained idea I take a look at M1 in the picture at the top racing at Bend in 2009 in sub-freezing temps in a freshly fallen snow. A smile comes to my face while a tear hits the corner of my eye. It isn't about me any more, she has made it her own.

These are the best days of our lives.

Meanwhile, look for me on a curb near you. Someone's got to keep the RV rolling while the kids get their sleep and keep their legs in compression tights in a vertical position.

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