The end of the season came unceremoniously. No interviews, no photos, no podiums, and a sense incompleteness.
Not that incompleteness is a bad thing, but something that could be avoided. A chord progression in music sounds incomplete without a return to a dominant chord tone, a meal is incomplete when you don't spice it up before serving it, and a season feels incomplete without accomplishing goals.
The season was full of ups and downs, but the results don't tell the true story about the ups and downs. In the long run, the season was a huge up, and I got to do so many amazing things which I am beyond grateful for. Louisville was a low point in the season, and led to a uncompleted goal.
The beginning of the season started at home, in Boulder, where I took the win at the Boulder Resivour and learned that I really love riding sand and the skills involved with that.
From Boulder we went to Cincinnati, where the food was great, and the racing was even better. Racing at the front of a UCI race was the experience of my lifetime, throwing attacks and reacting to them. I got my first taste of what its like to race at the top, and wanted that for the rest of the season, only to show up in Kentucky to be no where close.
Kentucky was a taste of failure and taught me about the essence of persevering. No matter how hard it gets, you only go harder, and faster and keep piling it on until you get to what you want. The results I got there didn't reflect what I wanted them to reflect but I pressed on, wanting it more than ever.
Los Angeles was awesome, without a doubt one of the coolest trips I've done. The food was killer, the race was nice, and the city was cool to be there for a bike race. I finally got to race at the front of a UCI race again and be drilling it in a breakaway. If not for a dropped chain, I would have gotten the best result of the season, but I was finally back to the top where I knew I could ride.
After Los Angeles things stayed local and I got to race some fun races in the snow, and then State Championships. All the Boulder kids going to Europe were there and I got the chance to race them one last time to prove myself before Nationals. It was a great course and super fun conditions, which meant I was able to apply the lessons and skills from the rest of the season and put them into practice to walk away with the second win of the season.
Going into National Championships I had lofty goals, I wanted a top 5 more than anything. It was going to be hard against kids who had been racing against the best in the world, but I was ready. I lined up for the race in the 3rd row, but by the top of the first climb I was sitting in 6th place. Perfect.
Throughout the race I slowly faded until I was in a group of 3 battling for 9th place. It was still a great race and I got to duke it out with kids that I truly enjoy on and off the bike. Nationals felt like a homecoming and to ride top 10 was acceptable for me. I wanted better, but to feel the excitement of the crowd, the support of the Fort Collins community and my loving family was worth it. The race is mostly a blur, of wind and bumpy corners, but I feel that I proved something and showed people that even though I may not have gone to europe, or finished top 3 in any major race, I have it to wrestle at the top, and I still have next year in Juniors! Regardless of how the rest of the season had gone, I rolled into the finish line with a top 10, and into next year.
Thank you to Boo Bicycles: Nick, Adam, Jacob, James, et al at Boo, you guys rock and I have loved working with you guys and riding the wonderful bikes you guys create. Your support has kept me rolling forward this year, and towards results on the National Circuit. Keep BOOing!
TrainingPeaks, Braaap Nutrition and Challenge Tires have provided support throughout the whole season. From Gear Fisher, CFO of TrainingPeaks, yelling at me from the side of the course and encouraging me all season, and having TrainingPeaks supporting such a great local company, I'm honored to work with the brand. Braaap is another amazing nutrition company from my hometown, who's support on the bike and off the bike has been indispensable, thank you so much Todd and Shauna. Challenge Tires has provided the basis for any CX bike and kept our tires refreshed all season long.
And of course the support of my family, friends, and acquaintances. Thank you to my mom Carol, my dad Matt, my sister Campbell, and my girlfriend Fiona. Your guys support mean so much and it is great to have you guys behind me all the time. Thank you to all my friends on CYF and pals, my coach Andy Clark who has been more than a coach, but a reality check too. Thank you to everyone else that has supported me this season, it means so much, and I hope I can give everyone someone to cheer about next year.
Until next year CX. Keep muddy.
Brannan Fix is a Junior at Rocky Mountain High School, races for the high school mtb team and the Boo TrainingPeaks cyclocross team. With one race remaining, he's leading the Colorado High School Mountain Bike League series. Here's his recap of the Elbert race from last week. Read more blog posts from Brannan at: http://bit.ly/1eejLKo
Sometimes believing in yourself and your skills is more than enough to do the best you can.