Jeremy Powers reports on how he knew he had hit the big time in cyclocross
The many questions heard at the ‘office’
A lot of similar questions come along when you’re out at the races. One question I hear frequently is some variation of the famous “How do you know when you’ve made it big?” I usually give a good P.C. answer and move along, because who really knows the answer to that question!? It’s something I’m too humble to try answering.
But two weeks ago, it stunned me, even jolted me. It was right there in front of me. I came up over the horizon to the parking lot on a nice Sunday in Ohio and I had my own big orange parking cone with my last name on it!
Mitch Graham, the promoter of the three back-to-back Ohio UCI ‘cross races last weekend, made me an ‘exclusive’ cone to prevent a parking fiasco for yours truly. After the shock subsided, I just wanted to fill the shoes the infamous cone left me with. This meant trying to pull off the Ohio Tri-Fectah! I did win all three days in Ohio and I felt like I did a mini-‘cross stage race when it was all said and done. Three ‘cross races in three days, it was hard to not call it the triple crown of ‘cross. I’m hoping my cone finds me again next year in Ohio and brings me the same luck and good legs it did two weeks ago!
I had the week relax at home in Massachusetts in between Ohio and the Mid-Atlantic races that concluded a couple days ago. Which brings me to my next famous question:
“Why do you live in Western Massachusetts?” Well first off. I’m a native of Connecticut and my acceptance into becoming a true Mass-hole has been difficult, to say the least, even after I got my license, registration, address etc. changed I haven’t truly been accepted by my peers.
I’ve taken a lot of crap from my fellow Massachusetts friends Jesse Anthony and Tim Johnson. hopefully I’ll be worthy some day. But, I’ll say it, Massachusetts is an amazing state. It’s got some of the most amazing roads I’ve ever ridden, some great short ten- to twenty-minute long climbs, the drivers are friendly and conscience of cyclists (usually!)
Plus, the cycling community is huge, group rides are abundant, there is a Wednesday evening ‘cross practice held in a huge, rolling field with barriers, run-ups the whole sha-banga-bang. I can’t forget Joe’s Garage, which is a great local shop I frequent and swipe Sport Beans and Gatorade that I periodically drop off by car for those days when I’m starving on the long rides!
It really has everything you could ever want as a professional bike racer: Desolate roads, good resources and that little bit of city that we all want every once in a while. I better mention where you could find me any given day of the week; Whole Foods and/or Trader Joe’s. It’s a love hate relationship I have with the super markets here, it’s just one of the things in life, like coffee, ya gotta have it.
Right now the foliage is amazing and it’s pumpkin and apple pickin’ season. I went with my mom last week to pick apples and I don’t want to eat another golden delicious anything until next year. After the assault of the apple trees I showed her one of the highest points in the area with an amazing lookout! You can see wayyy south, past the capital of Connecticut and wayyy north to Sugar Loaf Mountain in Maine all from Skinner Mountain right here in my backyard. Now that you’re all booking your tickets out here, I’ll finish this up.
As you read, my rest week came and went and I headed off to the mid-Atlantic for the UCI races in Delaware and Philadelphia. These races are staples in the American cross’ calendar and I ended up with a second place on Saturday and the win on Sunday. Now I’m getting ready for this weekend’s USGP races in Kentucky and hoping for good luck, good legs and maybe, if I’m lucky, another orange parking cone will be waiting for me …
Jeremy Powers is a member of the Cyclocrossworld.com-Cannondale team.