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!
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?