"Having wandered some distance among gloomy rocks, I came to the entrance of a great cavern...two contrary emotions arose in me, fear and desire - fear of the threatening dark cavern, desire to see whether there were any marvelous things in it."
-Leonardo da Vinci
After what feels like quite some time, I still and often reflect on what exactly I want my future in racing to look like. I believe this thought to be in its adolescent stage. From my observation of others, I wouldn't be too far off by thinking it may be a moving target. I can say that I have become hooked on a particular racing style that lives up to every word of the quote above. 24 hour solo racing. I know there are more hooks than just this one and I'll have bigger fish to fry soon enough. Think stage races like La Ruta and earlier today I realized the inevitable of racing the Tour Divide in an upcoming year. Undeniably, I've been unintentionally training for this race for a while. In the meantime I'll stick with what's intoxicating for the 2012 season, the 24 Hour Solo World Championships in Canmore, Canada. The race location was very recently announced and coincidentally, I've been thinking a lot about the Worlds and when I would commit to it. I had no idea that I'd be so lucky to have it this soon. With a race of this caliber, I'm unsure of the qualification process and whether having four 24 hour solos under my belt by June will suffice for acceptance. All I can do is crush it at the next two 24s (see 2012 Tentative Race Plan) and increase my chances for selection.
A few nights ago, the Trek Bicycle Store Racing Team held its first meeting to congratulate each other on a great 2011 season and to meet its new members and the upcoming season. We also discussed our sponsors for the season which I am super excited about and is a vast improvement from 2011. To start, Trek and Bontrager are major sponsors for the team and will provide us with fantastic carbon bikes and components. Hopefully, I'll be racing on something like this in 2012! Trek Bicycle Store (Boulder and Louisville, Colorado) will be the team shops. Already, I've gained great confidence in their staff and team members for the upcoming season of racing, coaching, purchases, repair, friendships, camaraderie, you name it. Again, I'll be supported by Brad Keyes at CarboRocket and Honey Stinger out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado but this time it'll be at the team level instead of individual sponsorship support. Both of these company's products make up a very high percentage of nutrition during training and races. The combination of the CarboRocket 111 drink mix and Honey Stinger Waffles are my hands down favorites. I've still yet to have a Stinger Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich, soon! Coincidentally, I recently was accepted to the Maxxis grassroots program for individual riders but the Trek Bicycle Store Racing Team also has them as a new sponsor for 2012 as well. You'll see me rolling Maxxis Ikons all season without question. To add to the excitement, I've been accepted to Stan's NoTubes Pro Level Sponsorship Program. Stoke level is super high! I can't wait to rock a set of Race Golds! As for the most cycling specific products on the planet, Ergon is also sponsoring the team. I've been a huge fan of their ergonomic grips and bags and I can't wait to see how their saddles fit. Seeing that I plan on racing nearly 200 hours in 2012 (versus 120ish in 2011), saddle fit will be a critical piece of bike fit. As I've stated in previous race recaps, I've been racing on borrowed Radical Lights which have been a blessing and a must have for the upcoming season of training and 24 hour solos. Also, MTB Coach, owned by team member Curt Wilhelm, will also sponsor us this upcoming season with his knowledge of training and racing endurance events. Other sponsors also include Highpoint, a major player in deck & landscape lighting in the area, owned and operated by Jonathan Davis of the team. Another team member that has chosen to sponsor us is Adam Haid with his own company, Haid Consulting Enterprises. Last but not least, Avery Brewing of Boulder, Colorado is again on board to provide celebratory ales for great race results. I'll need to take a tour!