What mountain bike racing means to me, an average guy in his mid 40’s .
First off, I have only been racing as a hobby for the last 5 or so years. I was at a point in my life where I felt if I didn’t make a change, things were going to go down hill fast. I was overweight, somewhat bored and wasn’t finding much joy in life. When I came to this realization, I hired a trainer who got me into the swimming pool 5 days a week and I swam off 40 pounds of weight. It was at this point that I started looking at MTB as an activity from my youth that I had yearned to get back into, but could never find the motivation. It was at this point that I purchased a bike and signed up for my first race.
I entered a local race called “Rumble on 18rd”, it was a local race in the desert, north of Fruita Colorado in an area named for the road that takes you to the trails, i.e. 18rd. With little training other than a few rides I suffered through 15 miles of sweat, tears, and aching body parts but completed without giving up. I also signed up for 1 other race that year, which was more of a “fun ride” and again I completed it, with again sweat, tears, probably a few cuss words, and even though I was miserable the whole time I endured.
Fast forward to today, I have a full race calendar for the summer, I have a coach that supports my growth as an athlete, writes me a weekly workout schedule. My training often exceeds 10 hours a week, Is it hard? yes, Is it time consuming? Extremely, do i make sacrifices? Of course. Am I happy? I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I race Mountain bikes, because it challenges mind and body, it takes me places that I likely would not go, and gives me goals to look forward to and accomplish. It has made me think about what I put into my body, and has strengthened my relationships, and has led me down a path that has made me a better person.