But it turns out I want to. I loved all the gravel training I did last year; the thought of a winter without DK hanging over my head was bleak. My rides are measured in comparison to the race: "Hey, we rode 75 miles...we're only halfway to the second checkpoint."
I've met some awesome people because of and at Dirty Kanza. Even though I'm still in touch with most of them it's not the same as being there and being part of it again.
I've known for a while that I wanted to go back, but there were things to resolve. The first worked itself out when our vacation, originally planned to start that weekend, was rescheduled due to my nephew's baseball practice. The bigger issue, though, was that this wasn't going to be a big Team Virtus event as in years past.
I stood there like a little lost lamb until my friend Jim/Dave told me I could put my stuff at the Momentum tent. Even though I'd only met a few of the people there before, and I had a colossally terrible race that day, everyone was welcoming and friendly, and Laura and Mary both encouraged me to join the team. So that was June, and it only took me 6 months to make a decision. I'm still Team Virtus, but now I'm on Momentum, too: dual citizenship!
It's a little intimidating as a mediocre athlete to join a team, but the only major thing to change will be my jersey at bike races. Since Mickey is one of my regular training partners and I've been on rides with a few of the other guys, there's not the same level of worry about how I'll fit it; I'm nowhere near as fast, but it's worked out fine. And while I may be lacking in speed, I'm a darn good teammate.
I knew Mickey had his eye on a return to Dirty Kanza (and a potential repeat of his Racing the Sun victory), but it turns out Momentum is going to field a pretty strong crew at the DK start line. I believe there are 12 of us heading to Kansas in May, and only a couple have been there before. I guess that makes me the wily veteran or something. Weird.
So if you've been around this blog for a while, you know what to expect. Lots and lots of posts about bike rides, but you can look forward to a few new characters to supplement the main cast. And hey, maybe one of these days I'll finish my 2014 in review post and start something on 2015 goals before the year's half over!