Since last month, our friends Scotty Carlile and Damian Schmitt have been hard at work racing and planning for and promoting numerous upcoming events for the Cyclocross Nationals.
Here’s the insider’s view, written by Scotty Carlile:
Just as you deal with the constant changes in weather, conditions, mental and physical challenges throughout a cyclocross race, we, Damian Schmitt and Scotty Carlile (of Damian and Scotty’s Super-Fun Cyclocross Team) have faced our own challenges throughout the 2009 cyclocross season. It seems as though every year there is this carrot dangling out in front of you, this almost dream-like vision of how your season will go, and you believe it, you live it, you train for it, and then . . . life happens.
The 2009 cyclocross season has started off just as any other ‘cross season usually starts for us, mentally mapping out how we won’t procrastinate this year, how we’ll be super-fit come October-December, and how we will give ourselves enough time to train, rest, and recover. Why is it that you can convince yourself of just about anything?
This season has brought us, and myself specifically, all throughout the Northwest covering all of the major cyclocross races with my part-time job, working for Visit Bend. I work as an independent contractor with them, hired out to travel to the pertinent ‘cross races and help promote, market, and simply be a smiling face representing the 2009/2010 Cyclocross Nationals, to be hosted here in beautiful Bend, OR.
This job has me either leaving most Friday nights (after I get off a full-time week at Jackson’s Corner) or up well before the sun to make it to whichever city is hosting the ‘cross race of the week. I set-up a 10′x10′ booth, talk to friendly folks and racers-alike about lodging, the venue, local restaurants and coffee spots (thump!) and field the inevitable question, “What will the weather be like in December?” I usually answer, “Well, it could be snowing and 5 degrees out, or it could be perfectly sunny and 45, but I can tell you one thing for certain . . . it won’t be raining.”
Although I always view life as being a glass half-full, we have definitely faced our fair share of challenges this season. Myself, I’ve had my cherished limited-edition Oakley’s stolen from my booth, then two-weeks later my almost $8000 race bike ripped off at the Single-Speed World Championships, then just this last week it took me over 11-hours to make it from Portland back to Bend, with the last 65-miles of that trip sitting inside of a tow-truck.
Damian has had numerous flats, mechanical issues, his own car troubles, being broken down in the middle of I-5, and traveling out to the East Coast last minute, only to have his legs not comply with his ambitions. I think it’s safe to say that we’re both almost completely broke every week, truly living paycheck-to-paycheck, fighting colds, almost two-and-a-half months without a single day off, and trying to manage happy and successful relationships with our friends, families, and girlfriends, and, oh yeah . . . we still try to find time in the day to ride our bikes (which most of the time means us getting in our interval workouts on the trainer at 11 o’clock at night). We also decided to undertake putting on several different events during the week of ‘cross nationals, one being hosted at Thump Coffee, the rest you can find on bendcyclingevents.com.
Why on earth would anyone want to put themselves through all of this for one hour in mud, rain, muck, pain, mechanical, physical, and mental obstacles, not to mention the actual obstacles in the form of “barriers” that we have to overtake each week?
Because we’re absolutely in love with the feeling we get when we’re connected to our bicycles. It keeps our blood-flowing, our minds active and alert, our lungs contracting and expanding, and most importantly, our dreams alive. See, I realize personally that I’m only Scotty Carlile, but in my mind, I’m up there with the ranks of Sven Nys, Niels Albert, and Lars Boom. My body might be in Bend, OR, but my heart and soul reside somewhere in Belgium, I’m pretty sure.
We want to thank Thump Coffee for keeping the dream-alive. Another season almost completed, and guess what, we’re not giving up the fight that easy. Remember to check out the Cyclocross Nationals here in Bend (December 10-13), and witness firsthand all of the hard work, time, money, determination, motivation, pain, sweat, mud and tears all burned-up in one-hour of racing, which some call an hour in hell. Whatever you call it, this is why we do what we do, we love cyclocross.