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It was 53 degrees when I woke at 4:45 a.m. to get ready for RATPOD, the 2015 installment of a 130-mile course that starts and finishes in Dillon, Montana. It had been a long year waiting for a shot at redemption. In 2014 I had unceremoniously thrown in the towel before I reached the breakfast station and rode back into Dillon. Cold weather, lack of sleep (one month old twins) and being unprepared for the rain and sleet that was hitting me caused me to fold. Later that day I had beaten myself up over it enough and vowed “Next year!”. It was now next year and I was ready. Then I got the text.
I’ve lost count of all the highsides, lowsides and endos on my cyclocross and mountain bikes. All that’s lost is maybe a little skin and possibly some bar tape. Not a big deal. After a few days the memory of the crash becomes vague and joins the memory montage of hitting the dirt with a thud and a grunt before dusting myself off and continuing on my way.
These accidents have always occurred on dirt though, and never asphalt, which I thought about as we pedaled along on a windy but otherwise pleasant Sunday a few weeks ago. Funny how well my road bike always works, I thought to myself, yet my ‘cross bikes and my mountain bikes are always in the shop. Oh, duh, I never crash this bike. And with that I rubbed wheels with the bike in front of me and went flying face first onto the chipseal at 35 miles per hour.
I have been racing for a number of years and thought I had tried about all there was to offer. Last year I was lucky enough to have a good friend of mine strongly encourage me to do the Tusher in the Crusher; he promised it would be like nothing I have ever done before. Half pavement-half dirt with over 10k feet of climbing in little less than 70 miles and I was sure it was going to be a hellish experience for this old crit dog. Turned out to be anything but!
This year TRC has approximately 15 riders signed up and given my newfound zeal, I have been scoping out the local roads from every vantage I can to figure out fun and exciting preparation rides. This past Saturday was one I have been excited about for a while, but never got around to trying. We had a good, solid group of riders when we departed Three Forks.
Team Rockford is a cycling team based in Bozeman, Montana. We are comprised of riders of all abilities and ages. Our main goals are to promote bike racing and create a local grass roots program that develops a love of cycling. We are parents, ex-pro racers, kids, full-time workers, beginners, mountain bikers, crossers, roadies, first-timers and national champions. We are friends and we love racing and riding. By selecting prominent community establishments as partners/sponsors and generous volunteer efforts, we are truly a community team with regional and national reach.
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