Ramblings, musings and generally boring stuff. Mostly about bikes...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

If (Rudyard Kipling)

As a child, my favorite books were by Rudyard Kipling: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Just So Stories. I found this on the internets and liked it enough I thought I'd share it with the few who stumble upon my little blog. I hope you like it too.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

~Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Good racing may not be evident in the results!

What is Good racing? Some may say catching that Win or even a prime. Others might consider it good to just stay with the pack. For me, Good racing involves what my face and mind are doing before, during and after. You can tell if I am having a good race because I smile, joke and say silly things.

Today was a good race! I gained confidence in my ability to corner with each lap. It even started to sprinkle a little.
From an outsider's perspective, I got dropped. From the start line.
There were only 7 of us to begin with (Thank God the Pit guys were able to get Alice a quick flat change or there would have been 6! She flatted on the warm up lap!! We tried to stall with the official until she got to the start line!)

Of the 7, 3 were my friends (Alice, Jamie, Britta). One of the girls I didn't know attacked at the start line. And we were off! I wasn't even in my pedal yet!

Off tearing toward the first of 10 turns. Off tearing down the bumpy, pitted, uneven, pot hole filled course. At turn 1, I somehow managed to put myself in front of 2 other ladies. With mixed thoughts, I braked and tentatively negotiated that turn, worried that I was hosing the girls behind me but wanting to remain upright.

To my relief, I soon found myself behind one of the girls and found that she was similar in her approach to the turns. We were still dropped. We could see Alice up ahead but no one else. We chased and worked together. After about 1/2 a lap, I realized the other girl wasn't behind us. Joan, the girl I was working with, let me know it was her team mate, Margie, who had just returned to racing after a fractured collar bone. (Oh, not a fun course for the first race back!)

Joan and I worked in vain to catch Alice. We'd get closer, often with Joan's efforts in the straight aways (She is STRONG!) but never caught up. BUT, I realized, I was having fun!
Soon I was able to dive into the turns, without my fingers even hovering near by brakes! I can't remember the last time I was able to race around a crit course, let a lone a technical one, with such confidence. And you could see it all from the smile on my face!!!

I also carried a smile on my face from hearing Kube yell words of encouragement out to me. At one point she even told me I looked pretty! :)

At some point we lapped Margie and she joined in the chase and then Joan powered away and I powered away from Margie and we were all split up. Alice stayed steadily in 4th position on the course with Joan feverishly trying to close the gap. It looked like Joan got close at one point but held her off.

I finished 6th. One place out of the money but with a solid smile on my face. I felt strong and confident. And very happy for my friends (old and new!) who raced well too.

Judging from the results, you may not have concluded this was a good race for me. The smile on my face and confidence in my heart make me feel like a winner!