Never Give Up (Nittany Day 2)
Never Give Up
I want to start this post by saying, I got 22nd. It wasn’t a miracle race, but the result is pretty good given the context.
After a super relaxing night and morning at the Saw Armor provided hotel, Myles and I were pumped to improve on the 15th place from yesterday. After a few laps on the course, I could tell it was going to be a really fast race. The course had dried out a lot with an exception of a 100 meter section of mud and water that was up to the axles in some places. The giant mud pit came only 400 meters from the start, so getting to and through the mud on the first lap was going to be crucial.
On one of my pre-ride laps, I noticed my rear tire getting flat. No big, hopefully we can just throw some Stan's sealant in there and get it good to go. But when we took a look, there was a giant gash in the sidewall. The sealant didn't take, so Myles threw a clincher on my training wheels and we hoped it wouldn't come to having to pit and use the clincher.
I had a phenomenal start. The pack charged into the mud pit, and I was able to avoid the carnage and come out in 6th wheel. For the first lap, I was able to feel comfortable at the front, and was just getting settled. Then, after a steep decent, I hit a root just right and flatted my front tire. I rode the flat for a half lap and made it to the pit and had a great change with Myles and worked on making up the lost ground. THEN ANOTHER FLAT!
There was about 20 seconds of, "SH$T! Are you serious! I just passed the pit and I have to ride another flat for half a lap. Its probably gonna break my wheel to keep riding it with a flat, I should just quit." BUT then I remembered everyone who has supported me getting to this point. All the sacrifices, kind words, donations, sacrifices kept playing through my head. Whats the worst that happens if I keep riding? I get pulled? So I put my head down, made it to the pit, got a bike and went as fast as I could.
Lo and behold, I was able to race with abandon, and really push the limits of the bike and remember how to corner at speed. Because my race was already over, I had nothing to lose by coming hot into a corner, or trying a new line. I just kept passing people and was shocked to see that I ended up 22nd on the day after being deep in the 60's halfway through.
So kids, Never Give Up. Never Quit. Because quitting will feel way worse than whatever the outcome of continuing would be. Thanks for following along this weekend and keep up with the blog for an interview with Saw Armor who supported beyondCX this weekend. Thanks for reading!