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Good Adventures, No Matter the Outcome January 12, 2012

Posted by Marc Troeger in adventure.

racenumb This picture was taken in my garage. It shows some of my race numbers that I wore in mountain bike races I have taken part in over the past several years. Several of them are from the 24 Hours of Snowshoe race where my teammates and I completed as many circuits, up and down Snowshoe Mountain, in West Virgina, over a 24 hour period. The other numbers are from the Iceman mountain bike race held each early November in Traverse City, Michigan. Snow, ice, cold, rain, mud and mayhem is an expected element as you participate in this race.

What none of these numbers have attached to them are trophies or winning ribbons. That has never happened and most probably never will. You see, my passion has never been to become a pro and win the race. That’s someone else’s passion. Mine has always been to enter the race and finish, all-the-while having a great time doing it. And I have always been successful at that… until this year. This year I did not finish.

Two-thirds into this year’s race, my rear dérailleur snapped off and got caught up in my spokes, stretching my shift cable and snapping my chain. As much as I tried, I wasn’t going to be able to perform successful, trail-side surgery on that bike. A little later, a support truck delivered me and my broken bike back to the campsite where the rest of my team was celebrating their finishes and waiting for my return. Frustrated and humiliated, I dropped in a chair and related my mishap.

Sitting there, feeling sorry for myself, my friend Pete walked up and shoved a beer in my hand.

“Cheer up, Buddy!” he exclaimed. “Did you have fun out there?”

“Well, yeah, until my bike failed me.” I replied, a bit glumly.

“Then that’s what it’s all about; getting out there and having fun! None of us came expecting to win. We came to ride!” he said as he slapped me on the back.

I looked up at him and couldn’t help grinning. “You’re trying to push your Zen mountain biking crap on me again, aren’t you?”

Pete was always pushing his “be-in-the-moment-when-you-ride” philosophy on us. His idea of a good race is the one where he makes friends along the course or stops several times during the event to help other riders who have broke down. He rides for the experience, for the adventure.  It sometimes takes a good buddy to remind you of that.

“You bet!” Pete said as he clinked his beer bottle into mine in a toast of agreement.

I sat back feeling a little better and began to enjoy the company of friends, joining in with them as we recounted our anecdotes and stories of the race.

Good race. Good ride. Good Adventure, no matter the outcome.



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