Reality Sets In.

The man credited with inventing the term “12k dreamer”, Chris Hipp, died today, apparently suffering an aneursym on the way to a group ride.  I only knew him through others, as a larger than life character, regularly taking it to guys half his age.   As we mourn the loss of our brother on wheels, remember to cherish each ride and each day.  Eventually you won’t have any more!

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I have been going back and forth on Tour of Utah since the announcement of the All-Star team a month or so ago.  I won’t lie.  My enormous ego struggled with the fact that I was not selected.  And with good reason.  On paper, I am definitely among the best Utah riders.  Off paper too!  Even throwing past years out, I’ve still won a couple races this year, which is more than most and that’s with intentionally letting some races go to give the young guys on the team a chance. 

On the other hand, I did drop out last year.  Early.  I get that.

If you really want to get to the heart of it.  I have a hard time with the non-selection of the team I put together this year.  This will piss some people off, but we are clearly the best team in the state.  Results don’t lie.  I am proud of what we have built. 

Again, there’s always the other hand and we only have 4 Cat. 1’s, and it’s a Pro-1 race, but there are plenty of teams that are taking on composite riders.  I would also point out that we started the year with only 1 Cat. 1! 

So, back to the beginning.  My enormous ego and I had been going back and forth.  I was tempted to find another team to ride with, to kind of prove my worth.  However, now that I am putting it out there, I think it’s probably a good call for me not to do it.  I am a racer.  I thrive on competition, and suffering it out just to finish doesn’t suit me.  Eventually I will clear that mental hurdle again but that’s where I’m at. 

I have the ability to compete in a race like this.  I know it.  But my current schedule does not offer the flexibility to prepare at that level.  And I am not willing to make the changes necessary to make that happen.  When you get to the heart of it, cycling is a lot about what you are prepared to give up.  And that was ultimately what lead me to give up the dream of pro cycling.  As much as I love it, I was not prepared for the sacrifices I needed to make to continue on that path.

Of course, I could still change my mind.  The 12k dream never really dies, right?

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17 thoughts on “Reality Sets In.

  1. even with the passing of the father of the 12k dreamer…the dream itself never dies. Hippstar would have wanted dreamers everywhere to continue the fight.

  2. Probably one of your best posts ever.

    I completely, totally understand the idea of sacrifices of life for racing and then sacrifices of racing for life. It is never something easy to give up, in either direction.

    Ironically, I was about your age when I went through this exact same realization.

    Off to get my 45 minutes of on bike time in…my own spirituality.

  3. Thanks, Nobody!
    So does that put me a step ahead of you because I made that choice 7 years ago? Or a step behind because I still struggle with it?
    Miss you, buddy.

  4. Whoever that was, came off as a little patronizing. I don’t know about anyone else, but I still struggle with the decisions I made at 14.

    I’d say “It’s all about the Struggle, Whatever that Struggle may be.”

    and let me say, “I’ve struggled with the idea that life is about struggle since 24.”

    but heck, maybe I’m wrong.

    Now if only I could come up with something about how we all walk a Razor’s edge.

    but… you are looking for Jrad feedback…

  5. It was Sandy, just FYI and I’m sure he didn’t mean it the way you took it as he’s only a couple years my senior.

  6. been thinking about it and really i have struggled with the same thing for years. at first cycling became too much of my life. then i went too far the other way. since returning i have tried to keep it balanced with other things–working on the house, my PhD, fishing, etc. bottom line tho is that when you are competitive by nature, you always want to win and be the best. so now i try to win the competition of being most balanced!

  7. Sometimes you choose it.
    Sometimes it chooses you.
    We chose it, then it chose us.
    The 12K dream died for us after we experienced the reality of the organizations of NetZero and Schroeder Iron. And it was a lot less than 12K.
    It was fun though, having done it.

  8. So the 12K Development Team IS for you!
    Do you have your fake ID yet? 23 seems to be a good age. No, 22. Hahahahaha!
    Oh, well. Nothing wrong with nostalgic flashbacks to the dream. I must admit I’m guilty of that myself. Every time I ride I feel it. Maybe you should rename your team the 80k Dream Team. That’s a number even Chris Hipp (RIP) would have shot for. Sign me up, we’ll get in some breaks, and win some races.

  9. I must admit, being in the east-coast bubble, I never got the significance of the “12k dream” catch phrase.
    Though I could hazard a few wild guesses (combined credit-card debt, number of people who will be permanently turned off from cycling, etc.) it certainly doesn’t hold any universal meaning to me… would anyone care to explain themselves?

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