On the Plane home, 2015

Half Second Off

That’s the 2015 season in a snap shot. This last week at Masters Worlds is the culmination of that sentiment.

No excuses, no blame, no shame, just a year that started out at the end of last season with significant doubts about the future of track cycling in Minnesota in 2015. Personal life and the day to day events that make being an amateur athlete a challenge is the other part of that half a second. 2014 was a great year, probably my most accomplished to date with results at both US National level and at the World level. It only makes sense that there is ebb to the flow.

I’ve spent a significant portion of the last 10 years of my life loving and immersing my life in track cycling. What used to be a lot of non-competitive road cycling miles morphed magically into tons of track kilometers ridden mostly at the Blaine Velodrome but also at tracks all over the US and the world. Never planned that to happen but my addiction to track cycling just allowed it to happen. The excitement, the pure joy and fun, the adrenaline rush, the people and friendships that I have gained, it’s all part of what makes track cycling what it is to me.

The last race of the week at Worlds this year became my best personal effort mostly because I had nothing to lose and had only a few expectations, do better than last years points race by racing smart, staying in the field for the whole race and enjoy the thrill ride. My overall finish position was important to me but was not my prime focus. End result, it was fun, safe and hurt which was my mantra for the week.

Good chance that this was my last Worlds at Manchester, only 2016 left in their contract to host and then it comes to the USA in LA. I’ve been here 4 times for Worlds making Manchester the second track in number of kilometers that I’ve logged next to Blaine, hard for me to fathom that fact.

Talking to staff, officials, car rental employees and fellow racers, it’s a strange extended community. The atmosphere is very competitive but underlying that is a fun and enjoyment between all the competitors. You can see it during the Victory Ceremonies and just generally in the way everyone helps each other and wishes each other success.

The Argentinian racer that got 3rd behind me last year turned into my best friend the first part of this week even though neither of us could speak each others language, amazing. We made do, gladly.

Leaving Saturday night, walking by 2 of my French competitors including the guy who now 2 years in a row won every event he entered in my age category smiled at me, shook my hand, said “Chow” and then asked the question; See you next year?