Csomor XCO 2014

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Ram Bikes

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Csomor XCO C2, 10th place: Good? Bad??? Happy? Yep!!

One week after my nice crash in Sofia with the dislocated shoulder, I still feel the pain, but more important, I lost the confidence in riding off road. Somehow, I can live with the constant numb pain, the waking up at night, but I am scared to hell to jump on my mtb and to go real mountainbiking. Every corner where the tire slips 1cm gives me the creeps, it got to my head ;)… I just know that I cannot afford to crash again, because I cannot put my hand out, I can’t roll over the shoulder like I usually do L. And so I did recovery rides all week on the roadbike. (wasn’t so bad after a 2000km cardrive and 2 marathons in a weekend) But by Friday I really felt like racing again. But would this be possible? (not to mention smart…). And so I decided to go to Csomor at Friday night to check out the loop for the Saturday’s race. If I would feel confident, I would race, if not, then family-time… So far the plan…

When I arrived on the track, I did some loops with Vigh, but from the first corner I knew it: I cramped up every time I got close to the trees, in every slippery corner (= all of them) and I totally freaked out in the jumps. So, confident?? No way!!! It was worse than just no confidence, I was scared! After 4 loops, when I was driving home, I could feel my whole back all the way to my neck very tense, even close to cramps and all that because of fear! So, I decided somehow strangely to go racing! Why? I hate fear!! And the only good way to handle fear for me is to fight it, to overcome it. And for that, I had to race…

Saturday 15.15h, time to throw the bike in the car after the birthdayparty of my daughter this morning with 15kids… But, what’s that? I see some damage to the seatpost due to overtightening the seatclamp… Hmm, that’s a risk and so I had to change it. But that means you lose the saddleposition as well and I know I am so sensitive to this L. But ok, today is all about getting over the fear, so it’s not too important. At 17.10 I did some warming up, and I immediately felt something was wrong in the position, I quickly adjusted a little and without any further testing went to the start. 17.35, there we go! Yep, they all went fast, incredible fast and I was already back in 9th spot. But ok, that’s not so bad. We hit the trails and sure, same fear as yesterday. The good thing: you are in a race and there is no time for slowing down, you HAVE to go! But then problem 2 came: after only half a loop, my back started hurting and I couldn’t go to power, the legs were cut-off… But, in a way, this was a good thing. The pain in my back slowly made me forget about the shoulder. I was going as fast as possible but I couldn’t get any closer to the others, more, I had to slow down, it was too fast! But, I didn’t care (at that point), I had to try to keep the back alive by standing on the pedals, stretching where possible… And so, after 3 loops, my confidence came back little by little! Jihaa!!!! I started to enjoy the trail, drifting into the corners, jumping faster, higher, great!!! In the 5th lap, I got company from Steven, a Canadian guy, and so I was finally in a fight… Great, it was fun to be so close, but in the climbs, I couldn’t keep up and so I finally ended up 10th. At that point I was very happy, because I succeeded in my goal: I killed the fear, feel ready to ride again. But now, I am wondering about that 10th spot.. What was wrong?? Why couldn’t I go faster??? And yes, nothing motivates more than to be beaten big time J. I saw my weaknesses again and I will work on it, I can’t wait J. Hope to do some more xco races from now, because it is big fun! And, instead of needing almost the whole week to recover, you only need 2 days, perfect for an old man like me :)

I almost forgot: a big thanks to Veronika again for supporting me during the race, because I am a thirsty rider :)…

See you around,

Wouter