A Year to Remember

This weekend marked the end of my 2010 cycling season, both ceremonially and literally. Last night was the MCA’s end of year awards banquet honouring the athletes who have excelled over the race season, as well as the many individuals who make the season possible to begin with. Although my trophy case remains sadly empty, it sure was a nice party.

Who ARE these people??

We bode a sad and fond farewell to MCA director Ron Brown who is moving on to greener pastures, and also proved a very entertaining MC. It was very cool and a bit strange to see folks in their civvies (as in civilian clothes, not “skivvies” as in underpants). You people clean up pretty good. The evening held a few surprises, like finding out Jane P. has an identical twin sister, Jennifer. Which explains why the woman I mistakenly thought was Jane was in urgent care last week with Don, who is actually Jennifer’s husband. Thanfully the truth was revealed and a scandal narrowly avoided. I also discovered that Tristan has dark curly hair, and is not a fellow blonde, as I had imagined. Wonders never cease.

I was delighted to sit with members of the notorious Junk Yard Dogs, including Nettie N., who needed a moving van to bring all of her awards back to Portage la Prairie. Way to go Nettie! (you know real friends share)…

Nettie beats down a well deserved path to the podium.

It was the literal end to my season as I discovered the little sprain from last week’s race was actually a completely torn ucl ligament which has put me in a cast from the tip of my thumb almost to my elbow. The doctor did not advise doing the race on November 27th, although the expression on his face when I asked about doing it was worth the 2 hour wait at the clinic.

What a season it was. My goal was to try as many things as possible, and short of hitting a velodrome or racing a penny farthing, I think I covered all the bases. It started back in March with a weeklong cycling camp in Arizona that can only be described as orgasmic.

Spring brought the Brevet series, including two 200s km rides and a 300 km ride for good measure.

Then the crits, seven or eight of them by my loose count. Give or take half a lap.

There was the Provincial Time Trail on a cold and crappy day in August, and the Provincial Road Race in Holland on a glorious one.

Then of course the cyclocross season, which truthfully hadn’t really been on the radar, but ended up being more fun than a barrel of intoxicated monkeys. My love of cyclocross caught me off guard, like falling for the guy with a Camaro and a moustache who’s totally not your type. I did four in total before going out in a blaze of glory at Provincials when I tipped over on a warmup lap (yes, of course I still raced. duh…) resulting in the aforementioned ligamental destruction.

The season also included the sub-3 hour 100km ride littered with flats, a 200km ride to PlaP and back, a token triathlon, countless rides to Saint FX, Marquette, the Bridge to Nowhere, a death-defying trip to Darlingford and the glorious Tuesday/Thursday morning rides to Headlingly and back, always capped off with a Tall Dark (roast) and Handsome at Starbucks.

I should have my head examined for riding 200k with these three.

Riding into the sunrise.

Michelle waits for Ben to buy her coffee.

Yes, it’s been a glorious season. Yes, some bad stuff happened too. Yes, I have some regrets. But I do not regret a single thing I have done. The only things I regret are the things I didn’t, or couldn’t do. Like Muddy Waters, the Provincial Criterium, the MS ride, the Halloween CX Race, and the last 200km Brevet. I even regret not keeping Andrei the Russian company on his attempted solo 400km ride. I bet with some company he could have finished. Next year pal, I’ll bring the vodka.

Thanks to everyone that was part of this amazing year. You know who you are. And special thanks to my family who lets me do this crazy thing, and who nurses my wounds both mental and physical, and celebrates my victories both real and imagined. You’ll be happy to know it’s time to pack in the leg warmers and race numbers and celebrate the end of a great season. I even got a “special” cast to commemorate the occasion.