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November-December 1999 Newsletter

LBC Mountain Bikers Are 1999 State Champions

by Bill Sanders


I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Thoreau, The Walden Essay

When you race a bicycle through the woods you quickly learn to focus on the essential facts of life, or you die. The 1999 race season began in the cold rain and mud of the Oates Farm spring race, and ended seven months and nine races later in the sun and fun of the American Mountain Bike Challenge. Your team went into the woods, occasionally suffered some painful lessons, and emerged with Kentucky State Championship honors:

1st Place, Sport 19-29 years - Patrick Henry
2nd Place, Sport 19-29 years - Nathan Jarboe
1st Place, Sport 30-39 years - Jeff Chambers
1st Place, Expert 30-39 years - Brad Wunderlik

Mountain bike racing holds a spirit of rugged individualism. No drafting, no team tactics, let the faster riders go by with no hard feelings. But it is still a team effort. A racer from another team once confided that he envied me the camaraderie of the LBC team. This statement made me think. Maybe the difference is that Team LBC is a club team, and while winning is great, it’s not the measure of a rider’s worth. On a good day Patrick Henry can beat every other rider in the Sport class. But he will still tell you that the team exists to help club members experience the joys of racing, to achieve their personal best, and to have fun doing it. We aren’t all Pros and a big part of the fun of racing is that we are all out there encouraging and helping each other to do our best. Yes, there is room for beginners on the team next season.

The truth is that the entire LBC club was part of the 1999 racing team. Endurance came from chasing the Ride Captains for endless miles. We discovered new levels of intensity because volunteers put together the heart-hammering time trials series. Our tired spirits were lifted by everyone who ever offered a word of encouragement. And without a VP Racing to take care of business we wouldn’t have had a team at all.

Mountain bike racing grinds up parts, people, and the trails we ride on. We get by with a lot of help from our friends, and they get the satisfaction of knowing that it is their equipment, and their maintenance skill that we put our trust in. Flying down the trail, trust is often the only thing between me and the tree. Nate tells us that it’s God’s love that carries us through the close calls. I’ll just say again that the people on the bikes would like to thank all our sponsors. Injuries happen, and this year we watched Brad dig deep and win the championship after separating his shoulder with two races left that he had to ride (not suggesting that God doesn’t love Brad too). Mountain biking can be hard on the trails, and the members of LBC should know that each racer devoted time this season to building and maintaining the trails we ride and race on.


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Copyright 1999 Louisville Wheelmen. All rights reserved.
Web posted: 17 October 1999
last updated: 18 October 1999
by Duc M. Do