RACE REPORT: Wednesday at Wakefield # 1

RACE REPORT: Wednesday at Wakefield # 1
Dean and Grant's Race... the 10 and under race

this Wednesday past was W@W #1
to my pleasure things were such that I was able to attend
better than that... I was able to structure things such that both my boys; Dean and Grant; were able to attend and race in the 10 and Under Category

school ended for the summer last week for the boys
this week we did not sign the boys up for camp which had them under my umbrella...
which did not work so well... as I was booked for three of the five days week days
not the best planning on my part

by chance things were such that I was off Tuesday and Wednesday...
I scheduled these days without any consideration of W@W

Tuesday was vital preparation... not so much for me... but for my boys

at the tail end of last week fellow DCMTB teammate Chris Clarke passed down his now college age son Langston's old mountain bike to my older son Dean

so... Dean stepped up to 26 inch wheels... which passed Dean's old 24 inch wheel bike to

I felt it was important for the boys to build some familiarity on the bikes before entering a "race"
they rode the bikes home from the last day of school on Friday and then a few short sessions in the alley over the weekend
and then when Tuesday arrived we spend a good part of our day in Germantown where the boys were able to ride their bikes on the new Germantown Pump Track and then also take a short spi
n in the woods at Schaeffer Farms

it was all good good fun... not necessarily training for dad.. but a good day just the same
as it turns out this life is not entirely about me

pause as I consider if this post is headed in anything other than
a long winded recap of something other than the race proper
wishing I had the results from Wednesday At Wakefield #1 so I could better understand how things went

jump forward to Wednesday afternoon...

we took the day mellow...
Tuesday was hectic and fun pack with the pump track and then the ride at Shaeffer Farms and all the driving up and back
so Wednesday before the race the boys messed around the house in the morning and then we went to the pool for a mid-day into afternoon
swim session
after some fun in the sun we left off for home where I let the boys chill-lax while I loaded up the car

in addition to bikes-helmets and such I also loaded a ice filled cooler with slices of watermelon, cantaloupe, and various liquid refreshments... NO! NOT BEER!... this cooler was for my 7 and ten year old sons... not me
remember... this life is not all about me
I also packed away a deck of UNO cards and a few books so the boys could have some non-bike activities while I raced

just as we were ready to get out the door young Grant asked if there would be a port-a-potty at the race... I replied yes... then asked if he had to go to the bathroom...he did
so... I sent him up stairs to "drop the kids off at the pool"

faster than usual Grant was done... more than likely he did not wipe and did not flush
not because he was in a hurry but because that is his style

we were in the car and pointed to Wakefield feeling as if things were timed a little tight
with Rock Creek Park one way the wrong way we headed through the city
to my displeasure there was traffic... lots of traffic... more traffic than usual.. more traffic than I anticipated
on 14th Street things were backed up... more like a parking lot than a street or a road

fearing that we would not make it I prepped the boys
alerting them to the traffic and the time
also reminding myself of the lesson that "if I seek to arrive right on time... I will more than likely arrive late"

Dean looked saddened by the fact that he would miss the first race at Wakefield... Dean was excited to race the full series
missing the first race would not be a good way to start things
I assured the boys that we would still be able to ride but this did not change the boys' emotions

I coached them to hydrate as we inched forward
there was nothing I could do to accelerate our momentum

FINALLY we got off 14th Street and onto Interstate 395
we dipped onto the HOV lane and started to move fluidly forward

I checked the clock and asked the boys to cross their fingers... letting them know that if w
e did not have any more traffic we should get there in time to register and race
Dean told me he crossed all his fingers and toes
Grant asked if there would be time for him to go to the bathroom when we got there

Interstate 395 standard was a parking lot... while HOV was moving at highway speed forward
I was relieved that there was a chance that the boys would be able to race

there was more inch worm traffic at Braddock Road... but by this time we were feeling as if we would arrive on time

at the race site I begged the PVC volunteer to let me on the dirt road so I could drop the boys and their bikes off closer to the staging area... he hesitated... but he let us through... there was in fact a space for us
out of the car and the boys each watered the trees and bushes after their effort to properly hydrate

with their helmets on their heads Dean and Grant took to the start line with the other children racers while I rode down to the registration area

a chicken scratch of a signature on the release waiver and the exchange of a money for race numbers and I was hustling back to the start line

I gave the boys each some encouraging words as I attached their numbers to their handlebars then left off with the camera t
o snap some shots of them on the course

ah... the anxiety
a parent always wishes for their children to be safe and secure
a parent always wants their children to get what they want

a parent always wants their child to succeed
I am a parent and I was anxious for my children on the race course

I waited patiently for them to approach and to pass me

the children racers started on the gravel road the runs along side Interstate 495
then drops into the singletrack at the same spot where the adults drop into the woods
this little section is neither free nor easy
then the man made rock section before the boardwalks... well... to an adult this section can be a bruiser

I was wondering how my boys would respond to the course

anxiously I waited...

then in the distance after the passage of some time I recognized my older son Dean headed my way
anxiety was replaced with pride
Dean rode by and I snapped a few shots as I cheered him on

then more time passed... maybe a little more time than I expected and Grant rolle
d up
Grant was behind another young child and an adult woman
sure enough... the man made rock garden was too much for the young lad with the small wheels
so... the boy dismounted and the woman along with
blocking the path of Grant who was still pedaling along


this effected me and my Type A Uptight protector of my children
I hustled to the young boy who was trying to get on his bike again, I helped him get upright, and gave him what I call a "turbo boost" so that he could keep rolling
but it was too late... young Grant was forced to stop and dismount

not only did Grant have to stop and get off the bike

there was not shot... I did not get a shot... because there was no shot

I gave Grant a "turbo boost" at the base of the boardwalk and cheered him on as he pedaled into the woods

after both the boys passed I left off to another vantage point
first I considered the creek crossing
then went into the woods thinking I could catch them on one patch of trails then bushwhack my wa
y to snap some shots of them at another point on the trail

again I waited anxiously...
it was not as if thoughts of "worst case scenario" were running through my head

I was not obsessed with "what ifs"
I just wanted to see my boys and snap some shots... I hate waiting

first the older kids rolled through... then the younger boys
I saw my older son Dean riding at what appeared to be a somewhat leisurely pace
Dean did not look flushed
Dean did not look tired

I snapped a few shots and tried to share some advice
letting Dean know that he should try to pass soon before the end of the race

then in a matter of fact sort of way Dean told me he was first in his category and that the guy in front of him did not matter... even if that rider was causing him to slow his pace

after Dean rolled off towards the creek and the final stretch of single track I waited for young Grant

I snapped shots and cheered for the other young racers as they passed
then there he was... young Grant was moving along at a pretty good pace for a seven year old... pedaling and smiling
Grant was being tailed by a Trips for Kids-Trails for Youth volunteer who assured me that Grant was d
oing well
complementing his strength with comparisons to her own son

I snapped some shots and chased Grant out of the woods
it pleased me to see Grant clear the stream crossing then almost mount the little hill

a glace at my watch and tried to consider the time
I rushed to the Finish area to collect my boys
per my instruction both the boys waited for me at the finishing area
they each got high fives and hugs... this time they were
more sweaty than myself

I instructed them to cautiously move closer to the registration area
having them take note of when they are on the race course and when racers are headed their way

with my race time rapidly approaching I raced back to the car and grabbed the cooler for the boys
inefficiently lugged the cooler down to closer to the registration area where the boys immediately started an UNO game using the cooler as a table

again with some parental instructions I was off

back to the car one last time
this time so I could suit up and get ready to race

the boys behaved as I raced... on each of my passes I was energized by the sounds of their cheering and a quick glance of their faces

after my race they were excited for me and my effort
we hung out and waited for awards
I shared the watermelon and cantalope that the boys did not eat
when the adults were finished racing the boys left off for the berm section
to my amazement they rode the berm and the hills to the berms THREE TIMES
on top of that... they attempted a mud puddle that resembled a pond

thanks for TRAILS FOR YOUTH the DC Metro Chapter of Trips for Kids for hosting this
Pat and Julie are strong contributors to the local youth cycling community

Podium Girl

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