It ended today. And when it ends, it ends hard for me. One would think after so many years doing this that the last days are just part of the calendar. Closing time. Knowing full well that we’ll get back to it after a break.
But when cyclocross season ends, I take a hit. The planning. Some new goals. Camaraderie. The five months traveling with my teammates. Meals. Some cramped car rides. The time spent at all the race venues. And the Sunday afternoons when we say See Ya’ and look forward to the next Saturday.
Our week in Hartford is over. I raced Wednesday. The others Sunday. We spent the long weekend together thinking about the fall and places we’ve been. We talked about the high points and, like all families and self-selected groups might do, we looked in the mirror and saw some new wrinkles.
The National Championships are always that last event for us. We come together to do our best one more time, and rarely articulate our deepest feelings about the separation soon to begin. It began today.