Lungs searing, I'm suffering just to hang onto the back of the pack. Where will my fans be this lap? They like to move around and surprise me with cheers and cowbell. What was that lavender blur in the tree? Yep, that was Payton. New energy, head up, smile. My girls give me life.
Seattle Cyclocross, Fort Steilacoom, October 26. After a mechanical problem put me a full minute off the back on the first corner, it was decision time: A) give up. B) chase some fuckers down. Mountain bike dude, you're mine. Who's next? I managed to pull in 20 guys in three laps, and I'll go ahead and call that a success.
But this day belonged to Payton. It was her first race, and a chance for Dad to ring the cowbell. It made me so proud to watch her line up fearlessly at the start, the "great unknown" directly ahead. Her little legs could barely keep up with her adrenaline (especially on a too-small bike), and the race was over in a flash.
Lisa and I beamed with admiration and wonder, perhaps recalling something of the adventures we undertook at age 8. Petey obviously loved the excitement, and next time she wants to "upgrade" to the two-lap race. Something tells me this is just the beginning... how small do they build 'cross bikes, anyway?