One my weekend riding pals, Giancarlo, is a pretty strong rider, and always willing to take a long pull in the wind or push the pace a bit. Traditionally, he & I will close out the Sunday ride with a sprint of a few hundred metres along Villiers St beside the Keating Channel on Toronto's waterfront. 9 out of 10 times he kicks my ass, but it's fun to see how fast we can go on a jump. (I'm happy if my max speed hits 50 km/h.)
Anyway, last year he started riding with a local club in our neighbourhood, the Dark Horse Flyers, and was bugging the rest of us to join too. I wanted to, but it got late in the season & it felt a bit intimidating. Though Giancarlo assured us we would be fine. But I never got around to it.
Then last February Giancarlo emails me to tell me there was a meeting for the Flyers racing team, and he was going.
OK, that was a throw-down. I had to go, or forever be a wuss.
So I went. And once you're there, you can't exactly back down. But the whole thing just jacked me up & made me want to race. The Flyers are a great bunch of people, well organized, friendly & welcoming. It all looked pretty cool to me.
The next day I bought my race license. Can't wait to use it.