Participating in a race, and racing, are two very different things.
I have been having internal debates over the last year whether or not I should start downhill (DH) racing again.
I have been missing the competition, I want my kids to see this sport from within and hopefully show some interest in it as well, and as I age, I’m looking for something to keep me feeling young.
On the other hand, I don’t really have time to train properly, DH racing can be dangerous and my body doesn’t handle crashes well any more, and realizing how slow I’ve become might backfire and actually make me feel older.
So a few weeks back, I signed up for a local DH race and decided to test the waters.
I had loads of fun, I pushed the limits a bit, and remembered a few things about racing.
It turns out I forgot how to be a racer and it could take a bit more time to become competitive.
I was happy with my time, but realized quickly how ill-prepared I was.
Wrong bike set up, wrong shoes, lacking practice, and when you are not racing the clock regularly, it is really difficult to go at race pace. Apparently that switch doesn’t just get flipped on and off … For me anyway.
So do I stick to casual riding, or figure out how to get more committed?
The racing debate continues.
I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…