I Ride 4 fun

I Ride 4 Fun – Mini Blog of Randy Minnich, Coach

In the winter, when trails are closed, there is nothing to do except work on you bike and dream about riding.  While tinkering, my brain starts to wonder.  The posts below are the results of my aimless mind.  I hope you enjoy them.  If you have a comment or question, please email me at Randy@CatawbaRidgeRiders.org.

Disclaimer to make everyone happy:  These posts are my thoughts/opinions only.  The do not reflect the position of the Catawba Ridge Riders, NICA, our sponsors or wife/kids.

Post 12 First Race of the Year – Randy Minnich, Coach

Today is it, finally here

The first NICA race of the year

I have practiced, sweated and trained

Through cold, dark nights and chilly rain

Months of labor, all for this date

I’m happy, excited and ready to race


Morning is cool, a little wet

Dew has settled on grass and tent

The bright sun peeks through morning clouds

Daylight streaming thru puffy shrouds

The clouds will thin as time passes

A great day to go my fastest


My team gathers around our pit

Most are antsy, a nervous fit

Some are chatty, talking a lot

Others are silent, lost in thought

Each racer must deal with their stress

In the moments before their racing test


Calm down, breath, clear my mind

Save my energy for race time

Task is easier said than done

Today, I’ll pedal my rookie run

Unfortunately, I must wait

Two hours till the starting gate


How can I pass this empty span?

Patience is not my strongest hand

What do I need?  Can I prepare?

Stay in the shade. Sit in a chair

Drink my water.  Eat a light snack

Review my pre-ride of the track


The course is fast and has good flow

Only a few quick climbs to know

It starts with berms, wide double track

I must start strong and pass a pack

Down the chute into the tree line

Start single track for a mile’s time


No room for passing, not this track

Ride the trail.  Staying with your pack

The course frees up, a short gravel bend

Gain speed for a punchy ascend

Up and right around the tall pine

The trail levels to an even line


Next is the most technical ride

Tight turns up and down the hillside

Down a drop to a banked turn

Climb back up, feeling your legs burn

Repeat this sequence few times more

The climbs and roots are a chore


The last section is surely fun

Once the final hill climb is done

Reach the crest and descend a turn

Over small jumps and a high-speed berm

Towards the woods for a final span

Single track until start/finish land


I know the course, ride it with flair

It’s simple sitting in this chair

What will the other racers do?

With 60 boys, Chaos will ensue

Positive that someone will crash

Each race starts with a mad dash


Enough thinking, race time is here

Stretch my legs, last check of my gear

Snap my helmet, don my glasses

With gloves, my safety gear passes

Grab my trusty bike from the rack

Ready to go, head to the track