Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Michigan Hardcore

What does it mean to be hardcore?

No, this isn't another one of my punk rock posts. Hardcore means taking the hits. It means getting back up and doing it again and again until you stick the landing. Evel was hardcore. Had to be. How many times did he crash? How many times did get right back on the bike!

Hardcore means pain. Tons of pain. Trainloads of pain. Pain from one end of your body to the to other. You can't be hardcore until pain has crushed you. It means giving failure the bird and dealing with the consequences. It means breaking your bones and gettting back on the bike. Hardcore is the difference between ordinary or being fucking amazing.

My wife is Hardcore.

I'll leave all the details to her. She tells the tale of the 2009 Lumberjack like it was another day at the races. Like it was just another podium finish. But the truth is that the difference between a good mountain biker and a great mountain biker is that the great one can take a thousand times more pain.

Each lap was 25 miles long and after the first lap Scott informed me that I was in 3rd place and 4-5 minutes behind Betsy Shogren (the female race leader). I wanted to make up time in the 2nd lap and tried to pick it up a bit. I was having a little too much fun on the downhills and hit one downhill WAY too fast. The bottom of the downhill had a bunch of wet roots that you had to turn on and you can probably imagine the rest...

65 miles later she finished in third and after the obligatory podium photos we drove to the ER in Manistee so she could have the dead tissue cut away from her knee. 2 hours after that we were back in the cabin in Brethren with Jeff, Chris and Roger (from Trek) and Nam and Eddie (from Topeak/Ergon). Talk that night was about that long day, Jeff's second Lumberjack win in a row. How bad ass Danielle was riding 60 miles with a smashed knee. How great Michigan micro brew is. How Jeff and Chris are going to kick ass at the BC Bike Race.

You can check out my "official" full race report at mtbracenews.com .

Another day at the races. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary.


  1. Danielle is the poster child for hardcore. Her sufferability is amazing. And to be able to easily talk and laugh about it afterwards is inspiring. One tough cookie!

  2. I have taken Danielle to the emergency room at least 5 times. All but one of those times she finished the race before leaving for medical attention.

    When Chris Eatough told her that he would have quit the race saturday after an injury like that, I knew THAT was hardcore.

  3. Yeah she is! Danielle is a true rockstar.