Tuesday, March 1, 2011


This is the first winter in nine years that I haven’t trained for the road or mountain bike season ahead. Although I finally reached my long time goal of moving up to pro (on the mtb), I have decided to put racing away for a while (I did, however, purchase a license just in case). It was a difficult decision, and I know it will be especially hard once racing season begins, but I think it’s time to switch gears (no pun intended). Over the past nine years of racing I have made some incredible friends, and pushed myself to limits I never thought possible. And now I think it’s time to redirect my energy in slightly more selfless ways. Now that I’m not trying to cram sixteen to eighteen hours of training into a week while at the same time working a full time job fifty miles away, I have found that I have far more time and energy to pour into my friends, family and community. This is not to say that racing is an exclusively selfish endeavor, I just think it's time for me to move on.

It's also looking like xc mtb racing has decided to move on, at least the East Coast mountain biking I knew when I first transferred from road to dirt in 2004. My second mtb race ever was at the 2004 NORBA Nationals in Snowshoe, WV. This was NORBA at its height. Kabush’s sideburns were in peak form, Alison Dunlap had not yet retired, and Dara Marks-Marino was my favorite underdog. My initial intentions for traveling to Snowshoe were to follow-up on a crush I had on a certain semi-pro. The crush never went anywhere, but my love affair with racing in the dirt had just begun. Although my chain broke on the first lap, I felt strong and was eager for another shot at the podium. And that’s how I ended up traveling to Mt. Snow the following weekend. I know, a little over kill for a sport racer, but I’m glad I managed to experience NORBA at its peak. Looking at the 2011 calendar, it seems that the only Pro XCT race to hit the East Coast this year will be the Hoo-Ha.

But the void left by the glory days of NORBA (and 24hr racing for that matter) has been filled by the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series …slightly ironic when you consider that the NUE is the bread and butter of my husband’s racing career. The hundred miler scene is pretty healthy these days, and continues to grow with each additional season. This year the NUE has grown from 8 to 11 races, many of which sell out early in the year.

So, I’m still not exactly sure what this blog post is about. Is it about my own personal decision to stop racing and reinvest in forgotten pockets of my life, or is it about the evolution of mountain bike racing on the East Coast. I’m not quite sure. Maybe it's about Pareto efficiency. Pareto efficiency is that point of minimal efficiency, where supply and demand sort of meet, but have yet to arrive at that sweet spot where a socially desirable distribution of resources has been found and the overall well-being of society has not yet been satisfied. We're all just doing the best we can, trying to make the best decisions we can with what little information we have. Someday we will finally reach equilibrium. And this blog post is already too long


Rob said...

from Lorena: Your pro license looks very pretty. :) Congrats on getting there but not being so obsessed that you forgot about other aspects of life when the time came...even if it came in the wake of finally making it pro!
p.s. My word verification word is COOGYGON. That is a pretty awesome word and I think I'm going to start using it.

Anna said...

I'll expect to see you use it in your upcoming blog posts.

Richardo said...

Nice graph! Giving up racing was one of the best decisions I've made in cycling. It took all the obligation out and put all the fun back in. I hope you find similar gratification in your decision....and we should still ride one of these days.

Anna said...

Thanks Richard! Good to hear from you! I might have to look into treating myself to a custom frame as a retirement gift to myself. Where might I be able to see your collection? Definitely let me know next time you're in the area, we even have a guest bed now!

Richardo said...

I post most of the frames and other nonsense I build here along all the other musings. Sorry I missed you when I was up yer way in the fall...it was all pretty haphazard. It would be sweet to ride again someday though.

Anonymous said...

try kayaking? good to see you writing again.