Crossing the finish line on top of Pikes Peak is very emotional. Many riders and even car drivers can be heard through their helmets screaming woo hoo, or FUCK YEAH, FUCK YEAH!! For some reason I was very calm after reaching the summit this year. Perhaps I am becoming used to it after reaching it seven times in the seven years I have competed. Perhaps it was because I knew my run was not blisteringly fast. I did beat my best time by two seconds but a jetting miss-calculation left my bike so fat up top that I was not able to pull top gear on the last few straights.
I did however experience some strong emotion on top. After taking off my helmet and doing the usual TV and radio interviews I decided to walk over to the finish line to watch some bikes catch the checkered flags. The second bike I saw fly by was a Triumph speed triple. The rider bravely celebrated across the line with a one handed peace sign. As I watched him pass I knew he was headed to the dangerous outside edge that have pulled racers off before. I watched him slip off the edge and then I saw the most violent thing I have ever seen as the bike and limp rag doll body bounced back up into sight, pinwheeled, bounced and repeated several times before coming to rest in a cloud of smoke, steam and granite boulder dust.
I have seen a rider cash in before on a dirt oval in Kansas. I have plucked a crushed toddler out of a crashed van in Mexico. Growing up on a ranch I have seen and been forced to take life and bring it in my own hands but watching chest compressions in the back of a flat bed pick up was a very chilling scene.
The mountain demands much respect. Anything that can take so much is also capable of giving great glory. Nothing worth having comes easy and rarely does anything that comes easy ever worth having. I have five trophies from the peak and I respect what they represent. They remind me of what it means to finish 16th out of the 70 or 80 bikes there this year and know that I built my bike from salvage and scrap. That I spent as little money on the whole thing as some spend in tires in a week. They remind me of what kind of people such a prestigious event brings. Getting to associate and hang out with these people is icing on the cake. I all ready am looking forward to next year. Thank you to all who support me. Without the people I choose to surround my self with I would not be the man I am.