The first time I rode a modern road bike was in 2006 in Gallup, NM. I had just started mountain bike racing and didn’t even really know there was a whole other ‘side’ of competitive cycling. I grew up playing baseball, basketball and football and hadn’t really ridden bikes since I had a Huffy mountain bike as a kid. As I began to cruise around the block on this ragged out early 2000′s Masi road bike I felt the speed, efficiency and power that you just don’t get mountain biking. I knew I had to find out more about this sport know by some in Gallup as “The Darkside”. I bought a 2006 Lemond Versailles and eased into the sport. I then bought a 2009 S-works, and now ride a Caad10.
More riding, trainer, power-tap, Gu Brew, etc has led to being able to compete in the 4′s here in Colorado. Competing means crashing. Many of my friends and teammates have crashed in races, crashed on roundabouts, broken shoulders, been hit by cars, flew over the bars and broken collar bones and more. It’s very scary and expensive but I had been able to avoid it until Weld County, and then Deer Trail last weekend. I went down at Weld when a rider made an epic swerve around a marked pothole near the shoulder. I tumbled around with bikes and humans and ended with a chain ring mark on my back. Then at Deer trail I decided to follow a young rider as he bridged to the break away. He skipped his rear tire while sprinting and crashed. I braked, swerved, drifted, whipped back upright and was lucky to ride into the grass on the shoulder. The result was no injury, but one severely wanged out rear wheel and a DNF.
Let’s not get too dramatic here. Just in these two races, guys were hurt way worse than me and I hope they’re okay and I hope they’ll write a blog post. The reality is that cycling is a fast, exciting, and dangerous sport where people are injured and even killed every day. Being safe and promoting safety is a huge aspect of cycling. For me it’s also about fitness, riding with friends, competing, and belonging to something. I came away from these two races unharmed and am grateful for this.
Here is a ridiculous drift save in a track race:
Here is my wheel from my non crash:
Denver 38 Results from Weld County 2013 Road Race
Aaron Hugen: 2 place Cat4
Jeremy Liebherr: 1st place Cat5
Mac Whitney: 45th place Cat4
Results from Deer Trail 2013 Road Race
Aaron Hugen: 11th place Cat3
Jeremy Liebherr: 14th place Cat5
Mac Whitney: DNF
Leonardo Perez: 45th place Cat4