I take myself as seriously as the average ‘Merican takes any and all warning labels: they are to be mocked, criticized, peeled off, and stuck to the next nearest surface that said label will stick.  I like me, it’s just more amusing to be self-deprecating and highlight the ridiculous nature of [my] life and everything else in the near vicinity.  Thanks to this twisted view of things, I am not bothered by trivial instances like, let’s say, almost finishing DFL at the first race of the season.  In fact, if I’m honest, I am quite pleased with how things went.  Granted, the time score shows what might be read as a god-awful, sad, uncompetitive result…that’s not incorrect, I’m just saying that, those numbers aside, it was a great weekend.
  It’s about having fun, and my run was fun.  A couple folks were even kind enough to praise the speed at which I rode the section where they were spectating – a couple moments of brilliance is more than I can ask for considering I spent six months living on Hoth in the Adirondacks trying to not succumb to the cold like Jack in The Shining.  Despite my time score indication that I may or may not have tried to ride down the course in reverse, I hit my lines, caught some air, and didn’t crash – the latter of the trio being the most important of the lot; getting down is Step 1, going competitively quick is Step 2.

C: Ryan Benton 

  I’m not out to prove anything to anyone but myself.  This sport is very self-centered, in the sense that it is about how well I perform, and that’s that.  If I feel I’ve done well, then that’s good enough!  If I didn’t finish well, that just means I have to try harder next time.  Simple stuff, no bitchin’.  In spite of my personality and energy levels, when it comes to this race season, I’m trying out the “slow burn” technique: give myself some time to warm into things, and then really turn up the heat.  This is slightly problematic for the opening races of ’14 though, as they are legitimately mini WC races, with 15-ish dudes who have put their Int’l UCI license to actual use, not just wasting $175 to have “ELITE” on their USAC license like I have so far done since ’09.  BUT, that has created a goal to aim for on my “To Do List” (in due time).
  All in all, it was a stupendous weekend of mud and rain, and then sun and dirt.  Hanging out with all the my summer friends, and getting to see some of my former competition sporting much fancier digs and hard-earned accolades.  The community of dirty people on sprung bikes is where many of favorite memories were fostered and they continue to provide endless hilarity and entertainment.  New friends were made/initiated, old friends reacquainted/reunited, and at the end of it all, we left with smiles knowing we’ll get to do it all again in five days time.  See ya at the next one!