I love this picture! It shows so much fun, humor and determination. I’ll let JJ tell the story…
Photo by Leonard Johnson at hotfootphoto.com
I can see why! Thanks for sharing your story and for the inspiration to laugh and keep going when we fall down.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest! You sent in some really awesome shots. You all deserve to win!
I decided to try racing cyclocross this year for the first time, despite the fact that I had never ever biked off road before. Road biking, I've been doing that for years, feel comfortable at it, etc. Off road? Mud? Gravel? Not so much. Terrifying. But the races I'd attended as a spectator had made me want to try it, and with a bit of encouragement from some friends, I decided to give it a go.
This picture is one from my 2nd ever cross race (the Battle at Barlow) and my first time biking in mud. Serious mud. Slippery, thick, goopy mud that more often than not gummed up my fork and brakes and wheels so I couldn't even ride. Mud that made me fall more times than I could count. Including once into a soccer goal. I had just cleared a set of barriers, was thrilled to be back ON my bike, then promptly bit it on the edge of the goal, and got tangled up in the net. Lay there laughing at the utter ridiculousness of it all (this race also included a run-up in the woods that involved a staircase made out of railroad ties, sized for a giant), debated quitting and never doing it again. Lucky me, someone was there with a camera to capture my favorite picture from the season.
And I did get up, and I finished the damn race. And I wasn't dead last. (It wasn't until the State Championships last month that I took that honor). I did 10 more races after that one, and the mud got more intense as the season went on, but with each race, my bike handling skills and confidence increased, and I don't think I will end up in that goal next year at the Battle at Barlow. At least I hope not.
I've got lots of pictures that I love from this season, but this one is the one I keep going back to, and it always makes me smile. :)