First Race of the Season Butterflies
by Marsh Cooper
The mix of emotions that come with the first races of the year are always
unsettling for me. A healthy dose of nerves, mixed with excitement, sprinkle in
doubt and a pinch of expectation and that is pretty much the recipe that turns
my stomach into jello. All of this was magnified as I had only been training for
the last eight weeks. Prior to that I hadn't touched a bike since the West Side
Classic. While I did focus as much as I could, would it be enough? Would I
embarrass myself? These questions played over and over in my mind like the track
stars turn laps in the velodrome.
Once I got to the start line I was fine. My nerves settle and doubts subside.
Meeting up with old friends after a long winter's hibernation is always calming.
Having race directors, yell 'friendly' reminders about yellow line violations
and the litter policy is re-assuring in its familiarity.
I check my tire pressure one last time as Jeff Ain ensures everyone is listening
to his last race instructions. Before I know it we are off. There is no time to
be nervous now. Bike racing has started!
Who knows what the season will bring. The only thing I can guarantee is that
there will be lots of pain and suffering followed, hopefully, by a few victories
as well. Oh and of course a few nerves every now and then.