Journey into 2010

Looking back I feel like 2010 really was a surprise. I would of never expected it to go the way it did. As I met my friends for one last ride I found myself contemplating the previous year as our ride unfolded.

“WHAT? … It’s what outside?”

“Like 10 degrees”

Beat gave me a worried look and charged into the other room to gather more gear. Jill walked around as if it didn’t matter and I plunged into the crisp morning air to get my bike ready. Soon we were making our way to the outer reaches of Missoula.

My focus for 2010 was to spend more time at races camping and enjoying friends. Instead of focusing the entire year on just one big race I would go to more races and hang out with friends. That is mostly why I race. I love traveling and hanging with people that I have a lot in common with. I also love adventure. So on the last day of 2010 I took off with some people that I have a lot in common with for an adventure up the Miller Creek Valley.

2010 started off just as planned with a great trip to the Devils Slide (blogs: history, part 1, part 2, and part 3) with my good friends Ross, Nancy, and Emily Brown. I ended up winning the race which ended the weekend nicely. Then I followed that adventure up with another trip to Idaho for the Barking Spider Bash (blogs: part 1,  and part 2). It was quite eventful with a crash and some interesting camping/hoteling adventure with my friend Ross. The highlight of the weekend was when I got to finally climb White Bird Grade.  My mind comes back to present day and our ride.

We began to climb into the South Hills. To get to the Miller Creek area we had to bike through some urban hill country. It was frosty and as ice crystals started forming on our faces I thought back to some more highlights of 2010. One was the Grizzlyman Adventure Race weekend and it was a grand ol time. I came away with the win and got to know some new friends who spent the nights bunked out at my place. The seed was planted for a exciting year.

2010 started to stray away from the initial plan as it always does with myself getting all caught up in racing. First my friend Sten and I won the 24 hours of Round and Round in Spokane (blogs: part 1, part 2, and part 3). It was a Huge win. Winning has a intoxicating feeling to it. The next thing I knew I was focusing on the next race.

Then along came the 24 hours of Rapelje weekend where the year started to unfold in a bazaar way. My pit crew was supposed to be my parents who have never seen me doing what I do. I wanted to put on a show for them, to race for them. About a day before the race I learned they were not coming. Then my pit tent and other support didn’t show up. If things couldn’t get any worse I forgot my head lamps and almost drove home and canceled. Friends came through for me and I put in a solid effort. After this race I decided that the most important thing for me was to win the Butte 100. To heck with just chilling and hanging with friends, tried that, ended up driving back to Missoula alone. My mind came back to today’s frigid ride.

Beat, Jill, and I rode up the Miller Creek Valley which rewarded us with extreme beauty and at one point I remarked that I didn’t think white could be so beautiful. On our way back Jill stopped to take a snap shot of Beat. “Ahh”, I thought to myself, “Jill the blogger at work”. I glanced back into my earliest memories of when Jill came to town. I now consider her a close friend, one that I relate to at so many levels. The blog would drag on way to long if I were to explain.

Back in June I was starting to ramp up for the next race. The world in Missoula as I knew it changed. One day riding with my friend Julie on a Thursday Night Ride she mentioned to me that Jill had taken a job at Adventure Cycling. I thought she was full of shit.

I have my list of blogs I follow and one in particular was my favorite. It was my favorite because I felt that by reading it I was connected somehow. I kept thinking that there was another world where my spirit existed in female form. I lived through her adventures and admired at how she overcame hardships. One lazy afternoon on a Thursday night group ride I finally met up with Jill Homer.

Now we were riding back into town and I thought to myself how many things have happened since June. The rest of the year kind of went by in a flash although many different things happened. The Butte 100 was a huge disappointment in terms of my performance.  But soon after as Zephanie and Ross finished up their rides I realized that to me it felt better to see them excel. Then it all started to happen so fast. 2010 started to accelerate and I held on for the ride. It was a bumpy one at times.

I opened up and slowed down. I found myself in a “situation” as a result. Did some races, had some great results, and continued to situate. I had a moment at the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow where I forgot about the race and enjoyed a sunrise. Soon after I found out that life is unpredictable, valuable, and fragile. My situation suddenly re-situated. Got evicted and now live at a new place. Yea! Went by like a flash.

Sitting in my apartment now warming up my toes from today’s ride It seems to me that with 2011 looming I can only see 2010 as a great year. I learned a lot about myself emotionally and dealt with a lot of pain. But I see it now in the way my friend Jill described pain once. When her fingers got cold from the frigid wind on a frosty decent. When the pain started to bite into her skin. She said, “I feel alive”.

See you in 2011.

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