Monday, January 28, 2013

Well, I Guess THAT officially wraps up the 2012 Season

As the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and it proved itself accurate once again.  Usually the Allegheny Cycling Association's annual awards banquet is held in late October at the National Aviary on the Northside of Pittsburgh.  However, due to a change in management at the Aviary, the banquet was postponed a few months and moved to a new location, Latitude 40 in Robinson.  Admittedly, this was the first ACA banquet that I attended, but I can't imagine the old venue could be any better than the new location. It was impressive all the way around.

Typical of most females, Amber announced the morning of the banquet that she didn't have anything to wear. Having been around the block a time or two, I knew that meant if she was going to go to the banquet with me, we were off to go buy her a new outfit ASAP. So... we were at Robinson Center by noon to start sifting through the racks and racks of clothing. While she was trying on some of the various options, I stumbled across a dress that I liked and handed it in to her. She wasn't sure, but when she opened the changing room door, I knew we had the outfit. Sassy, Sexy and most importantly Sophisticated. I can't tell you anything about fashion, but I know what I like, and when I saw her, I knew that I liked what I saw. And the fact that it was on sale for less than $12... SCORE!

Back to the house to change and on our way back to Robinson, she confesses that she feels self-conscious in the outfit because she wasn't tanned.  The first thing through my head was how cute it was that she was concerned about her tan and being around a bunch of cyclists.  Apparently she didn't know what a "cyclists tan" looked like.

We sat with the other Dynamic Physical Therapy powered by Pathfinder teammates and showed off all the bling that we won over the past season. Pretty impressive display of hardware and the night was just getting started.

Dinner was delicious: grilled chicken, steak, or a vegetarian option. I of course, opted for trying all 3.  And after Chris Popvich presented a quick run down of the ACA, David Mitchell was introduced and he gave a little presentation on Pennsylvania Cycling Association. Then, it was what we were all there to see, the awards presentation. First up was the Women's and Juniors titles and then came the Men's Category C. Dynamic Physical Therapy powered by Pathfinder missed out winning the team title and finished second overall, by only 14 points. And that happened only after both Shawn and I, essentially took the month of June off from racing at the oval for one  reason or another.  Then came the individual honors and I was rather happy to see Shawn head to the stage to collect his 4th place series winnings. All season long, despite leading the series in points, I was always focused on trying to win the team honors because it really meant more to me in the long run. Sure, its nice to win, which I did twice at the oval last season, but I want to be the consummate team player and REALLY wanted to hoist the team hardware. I figured it was something the whole team could be honored with, not just me as an individual. So I was very surprised how happy I felt when my name was finally called as the series winner. I guess it was more important to me than I probably led on. I received an awesome etched glass plaque and a little cash to go along with it.

The rest of the awards for B's and C's were distributed, then David Mitchell got back up an passed out the awards to the local recipients of the "BAR" or Best All around Rider. It was great to see so many local riders receiving so many honors, despite most of the point races being held out in the eastern part of the state. David Mitchell promises more races in the western part and maybe even into WV (we know who's shoulders that is going to fall on, don't we JR). He also conceded that for some reason, there is an unwillingness for the eastern riders to travel further than Harrisburg to race. Some may argue that its the price of fuel, but I say its cause 5 hours is a long way to go to get your ass kicked by the local crowd.

And then the part that really excited me was when David Mitchell started talking about the state champions jersey.  I never knew a jersey existed, so when he said that ONLY the elites were given the jersey but the other classes could buy their own, well, lets just say the cash prize I received quickly became the property of the PCA. I texted my fellow state champion on the tandem and confirmed his interest in owning said jersey, and I left the banquet with yet another award.  That was probably the second best part of the whole night.

Without a doubt, the BEST part of the night was hanging out with 3 of the coolest cats in the Peloton... JR, EJ, and Shawn, and of course that meant Gina, Nikki, and Amber. Last night left me REALLY looking forward to the start of the team training camp in March. I hope they are all as excited as I am! After all, its only 40 days until ABRA Training Race #1!