In the last post I said that I wanted never to be a race promoter but that if I had to do it once, I was totally happy with Lost River being my swing of the bat. As it turns out, never were truer words spoken. It's simply astonishing to consider the journey from our first team trip to the Barn 16 months ago when we started with the "there should be a race out here" talk to having done it. Yes it was often a total stressful and overwhelming pain in the ass. It's also been one of the more rewarding things I've done. I've met people who've blown me away and developed relationships with people who now feel a lot like lifelong friends even though I've known them for only a short time.
"Next year" is an 8 letter phrase made up of two four letter words. Sometime on Saturday I stopped breaking out in hives whenever this phrase was used. We'll see.
The cycling and outdoors subculture out there is obviously growing. There is a lot of support for it at both the official and popular levels. There is also resistance to it. Obviously I tend toward the support side, but I understand the people who've known the community to be about certain things for generations and are resistant to change. I can see the race being a catalyst for the debate on how the community sees itself going, and await reading how this plays itself out in the editorials in the coming weeks.
To everyone who came out, thank you. Everyone's behavior throughout the weekend was astonishing. Your enthusiasm and citizenship were observed and appreciated by all. The cycling community definitely put its best foot forward in the debate over whether we are a welcome change or an unwanted imposition. I couldn't have asked for more from any of you.
We've gotten a lot of feedback on how things went, pretty much universally positive. There are some things we know we have to tune if we're going to run the race next year. We have pages of notes, and before too long we'll debrief with as many groups as possible on how to improve a successful event for future iterations. That time is not now and that place is not here.
I'm definitely guilty of taking my team's support for granted at times, but holy cow did NCVC come through. Definitely a proud moment for the team.
My wife is my hero. To describe what her support meant to me and to the race would be impossible. How many other people would put up with what she did for the last 6 months and then dress up as a freaking witch to cheer people up the finishing hill? Incredible.