In September, Martin implemented the third annual Umeå Bike Rally (UmBR) in Tavelsjö, about 40 km outside of Umeå. A bike rally is a very unofficial race, which consists of a number of special sections. Each section is timed and takes about 1 to 4 minutes to get down. The person with the ackumulated best time on all sections wins.
I hate races, I really do. Really, really. And I hate that I hate races. I really wish that I could be cool about it and rise to the occasion. Instead, I get completely overwhelmed by my need to live up to the expectations that I imagine others have of me. Of course, no one cares, everyone is totally focused on their own performance, but the only thing I can think of is how dissapointed everyone will be if I don’t excel. Blurgh, what an idiot. What is even more irritating is how I deal with competing with my girlfriends. I love them above everything, they are the coolest people I know, and of course, if I have the slightest chance, I want to beat them. I’m not ashamed of that, everyone wants to win, but what is so irritating is that I can’t take a loss. I want to feel like, “damn it, next time Gadget, next time :), but god damn it she’s good, hell yeah!!”. I do feel that to some extent, but what I mostly feel is, “GO DIE YOU MISSERABLE PIECE OF SHIT”. Not of them, but of my self. It is so incredibe improductive (of course, as an economist, I have to think of productivity). To make it even worse, if I by some lucky chance manage to beat my fellow girls, I feel even worse, because I know how they feel (since I’m, quite possible wrongly, pressuming that they are just like me)… Blurgh.
Most of all I hate that my fears and need to be perfect in the eye of my imagined beholders keeps me from doing things I really like. So I have decided to force myself do them anyway. I guess that if do that enough times, I’ll just have to grow up and stop this nonsense.
Last year’s UmBR was my first Bike Rally. I was so nervous that I, on the first special section (SS1) fell off my bike into a puddle of water that was so deep it took me several seconds to get up again. On the second section (SS2), I did a bit better, and on the third, I did pretty darn good. My participation in that race didn’t make me fall in love with racing, but in the end I did have a great time. I mean, who wouldn’t want to splash around in pouring rain at temperatures near freezing for 6 hours and then wait an extra hour for the barbeque smoke to actually turn into a fire?
By the time the UmBR 2013 was due, I had crawled back into my dungeon of self pity, firmly convinced that any type of race would make me miserable. Two things made me change my mind: 1) A whole bunch of people that I really like hanging out with signed up for the race, and 2) only one girl signed up. Since we actually have quite a few really really good mountain biking women (the one who did sign up is a world champion in mountain bike orientation!) in Umeå, I just couldn’t accept that so few were going to participate, so I signed them up. And since I did that, I of course had to sign myself up as well… Good, it was about time that I crawled out of that cave.
On the day of the race, there wasn’t a single cloud on the sky. Quite a change from last year’s conditions. I actually don’t think I’ve ever experienced sleeveless-temperatures in September here before, and I have definetely never experienced dry trails in Tavelsjö this time of the year. Of course, Martin was very dissapointed.
All in all, we were 16 happy mtbikers, of which three were girls, ready to explode our lungs and legs on three special sections. The first section was the most technical one; steep, rocky and with tight switchbacks and some smaller drop offs. The second section was more of a “pedal as hard as you dare and try not to crash” while the last section was mainly “pedal your heart out”.
Cissi managed to really get the true spirit of Bike Rally on photo. Yes, I wanted to die, multiple times. And so did everyone else.
Just like last year, I spent the first section being all nervous and shit. Thinking that the others would think that I was sloooow and lousy. And of course that made me bike like an ass and feel all grumpy. Gah! Can I never get over that shit?
But then I took a firm hold of my handlebars, grew up and rose to the occasion. I still didn’t excell in any way, but I pedaled my heart out and tried my best. AND I finally stoped giving a fuck about what everyone else was thinking about my performance. In addition, me and Marie (who just started biking and is SUCH a talent) really got into race mode against each others, and I actually enjoyed it. First she won by several seconds on SS1, then I won (by a split second) on SS2. We were so close! Although I managed to get a sufficiently good time on SS3 to “win”, and therefore cannot say with certainty how I would have handled to “loose”, I am pretty convinced that I would have taken it a whole lot better than previously. I think I would have thought, “fuck, I need to work more on my skills!” But I would have been ok. Victory!
We celebrated the day by a barbeque in the sun.
Nothing beats happyMTB days. A huge big thanks to Martin who organized the event, Cissi who arranged the timing and Marie who did the best prize ever.