At the end of the sprint, you’ve given it all you’ve got and just as you hit the line you shift your weight back pushing the bike out ahead of you. If you’ve done it right your front wheel will cross the line just ahead of the rider next to you. Mistime it and you’re second place. Either way if you did it right you won’t know until well after its over because you put your head down and went for it.
Which brings me to last week.
I did something I’ve never done before.
I quit my job. After 21 years working in the meat department at the Real Canadian Superstore.
Lots of reasons really, Bored, stressed, not enough hours in the budget, too busy, not enough free time etc etc… I could go on and on.
Mostly though is bike racing. Over the last few years I’ve become more and more involved with the local bike club; Mid Island Velo Association; first as a board member, then as a race director setting up and running most of the races. Just this past year I was also voted in as President of the club. In addition to that a couple of years ago I bought an electronic timing system. It was something the club had been looking at doing for a while. The problem was that as a volunteer organization with different people coming out each night. The learning curve for a system like that would be pretty steep and put a lot of pressure on the volunteers. The other side of it was the cost, depending on the complexity of the system costs could range anywhere from 6 to 20 grand. There was no way the club as a non-profit could swing it. But if someone was willing to spend the time, invest in the equipment and sell their services as a way to recoup that investment……
I’d also heard that Cross on the Rock, run by Norm Thibault was interested/looking for someone to electronic timing/results. They had been 7 or 8 running races with up to 300 riders and doing all the results manually on paper and excel spreadsheets.
So with a potential customer I took a chance, bought the equipment and made a deal. The first year there was a lot of learning. A lot. The second year I took the lessons learned, made some tweaks and things went better. There’s still room to improve but there always will be.
Which brings me to this year. I’m still doing the MIVA races twice a week. I’m working with VI Endurance on his trail running series. I’m working with the Victoria Cycling league on their several road cycling series this spring/summer. And I’m already planning and prepping for another season of Cross on the Rock.
I had a fantastic team at Superstore, I was good at my job and I loved helping our customers. But the store is open 7 days a week from 7am to 10pm. That doesn’t really fit with the race schedule, most of them on Sundays or evenings. So I pulled the plug and called it a day. I’ve put my head down to throw myself at this opportunity working for myself doing race timing and I won’t really know if it’s going to pay off until it’s over.
It’s a huge change for me. It’s scary and new but sometimes you’ve got to gamble.