Post Mt. Evans I was isolated. Coming down to my empty house was harder than if I'd just sat at home and scratched myself while eating pork rinds, and my website would be about 1/10 the size too. It's the times when I achieve the most that I miss having that special partner in my life to share my joy with.
I'd had a blessed year of racing and was showing abilities I never knew I had. Having played catch-up on my Saturday morning club rides for years, I was now dominating every ride, and it felt really good. Unlike Korea, the competition here wasn't weak. At the finish of every single club ride, at least one rider would come up and ask, "Why don't you join our team? You have a lot of power!" On my last Saturday morning club ride I went a step further. It had been a truly hard week of riding, I knew the state time trial was coming up, and I needed to make a special effort. I did a race on Thursday night and the field broke up, so I ended up chasing for most of the ride--but that was the plan. I wanted to wear myself out, so I kept allowing the gaps to come, and then tried to chase back. Come Saturday morning I was so tired. I was ready to get thrashed.
My plan on this last ride was to make myself crack--to ride so hard and expend so much energy that my system would crash and I'd be forced on the defensive as the other riders attacked and attacked me. I wanted to be forced to dig deep and hurt. From the start I took charge, leading the group, knowing this would wear me out and keep them fresh. I had a small mechanical problem in the first mile and stopped, letting the other 16 riders ride away with about a 1 1/2 minute lead. Then I caught them, and then, five miles later when we hit the first climb, I went around all the riders, to the front of the group, set the pace up the hill, and broke everyone. This was unbelievable! Only two riders could stay in my draft and we rode off together, sprinting for the stoplight. I was the first there. For the entire ride I stayed in front and no one could handle me. Boy if Kenny could see me now!