714 days. I was curious, so I looked up the last time I pinned a race number on, pre-pandemic. Records show I raced on Dec. 7, 2019. Although some racing happened in some parts of the country in 2020, here in SoCal we lost pretty much everything - "gravel" events like Redlands Strada Rossa in the Spring, then the entire cyclocross season in the Fall.
Things finally got going again this weekend (Nov 20-21, 2021) at Calimesa Country Club CX. Dec 7, 2019 --> Nov 20, 2021 = is a whopping 714 days in between races!
In true SoCal fashion, it was hot, dry, and dusty (some things never change.) Not much of a market for mud tires here. Quite a few juniors seem to have magically grown a foot or more since the last time I saw them compete.
Things went OK. I'm a lot fitter now than I've been in years past, but I still made some dumb mistakes - like using a new GPS for the first time on race day, which left me fumbling around trying to switch it from "train" to "race" mode during the 30 second warning when I should have been focusing on the start.
Fortunately, there will be more chances soon. Here in SoCal, we're just getting going. Elsewhere, you might be halfway through your season already, time for that mid-season bike checkover. And it looks like we're on track to have the Chicago national championship finally happen.
More important than the results, it was great to see so many familiar faces. There are many whose actual names I don't know, we just give the familiar, knowing nod because we've rubbed elbows before. There are also some I didn't see. Perhaps they stopped riding, or moved across the country for a new job. Two years is, after all, a long time and people have lives outside of cycling.
Frankly, it was great to just have a race at all, regardless of the weather, course, or the scoreboard. Amateur cycling, on life support, has a pulse again.
Thanksgiving coming up, then next weekend another double at one of my favorite local courses in Costa Mesa; Christmas, and maybe a better 2022 with better health and a more open world.
It was great to see you all out there. Let's keep it going!