As the weather begins to cool and days grow short to where I'm finishing my training rides in the dark, the only thing keeping me and hundreds of other racers motivated is this little big race in a tiny corner of the Ozarks called the Berryman Trail Epic, or BT Epic for short. It's a fifty mile mountain bike race deep in the heart of hill country, where the locals' accents starts to draw out a little more, the smoked meat is other-wordly and there may actually be more flannel than in Colorado. Well, pretty close. For sure more beards.
This year's iteration of the race, for me, wasn't my best effort. I spent the good part of September racing enduros and not really training for long format XC, banking on the many hours spent in the saddle since the beginning of the year to get me through it. On top of that, I coughed up more mucus from my lungs in the 3 weeks leading up to the race than in my life so clearly I wasn't going to be heading into the BTE in top form but enough with the excuses. Those are boring. There's more exciting things to go along with this story.