Since returning from my cross country adventure, I am once again gainfully employed and making quick work of yet another 'cross season. As I pedaled into Boston on August 6th, it seemed like cross season would never arrive and yet now it is almost gone. Somehow three and a half months and 16+ races later there is little to look forward to. The days are shorter, the temperatures are staying lower, and soon enough the roads will be littered with sand, salt, ice, and snow reducing my bike commuting opportunities.
As I rode in to work this morning I was thinking about why this year's 'cross season hasn't really thrilled me quite like years past. The results have been good and there certainly hasn't been a shortage of racing. I think the biggest difference this season compared to years past is the lack of camaraderie and the almost routine feeling of doing some events for the 4th or 5th year in a row with the same dry conditions as last year. The last two years I was fortunate enough to travel to some big events (USGP in CO in 2006 and USGP in PDX in 2007) and enjoy a lot of time with new and old friends in the process. This year I missed out on the travel partly because I couldn't justify the cost after 4 months without a paycheck and partly because it is not fair to my family after being away for 2 months this summer.
It's rare for me to be looking forward to road or mtb racing with 'cross races still on the schedule but I've found myself doing so this year. Most of all I'm looking forward to the return of my buddy. His presence was sorely missed this fall. He and his wife have been the glue that holds together so many New England friendships and they are without question the best teammates I could ask for. Without Mr and Mrs Zanconato I would not have met great people like Kenny and Matt. Heck, without Mr. and Mrs. Z I might still be in the Cleveland IHOP. I'm looking forward to the triumphant return of the Zanconatos and the revival of our band of 'cross racing misfits. They will uplift the spirits of the whole New England racing community.
Is it time for the 2009 'cross season yet?