Eric Bostrom’s Big Bear 50 MTB Race Diary

Race Coverage

Being the motorcycle fanatic that I am, I was super stoked to recently get a hook-up with Eric Bostrom and his brother Ben. If you aren’t a moto-head, Eric and Ben are brothers from California who are professional motorcycle racers and have both raced at the top level of Superbike racing both nationally and internationally. Ben Bostrom is currently racing the premiere AMA Superbike class riding for Michael Jordan’s racing team (yes, THAT Michael Jordan!) But besides racing motorcycles, they also ride and race mountain bikes!

Here is an inside look at how Eric’s weekend went at the recent Big Bear 50 Endurance Mountain Bike Race. Read on:

Competition is a steam of emotion. Just two weeks ago my legs felt like pounding mallets, forcefully driving through the pedals. Now, as the pack accelerates, they are nothing more than the weight of a feather. Try pulling through the stroke, I tell myself… argg, nothing there. Stand! Don’t concede to this. Still, nothing… No drive, no forward acceleration. A gap is formed and I’m on the wrong end, it continues to widen.

As a competitor, we have all been here. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy (Well, unless you’re the competition that is ;). A deep, deep trough you can’t cheat, beg or rob your way out of.

Diverting my attention away from the pedals, I wander back to my youth; I’m chasing my older brother around on dirt bikes, and to my astonishment, I’m catching him. I thought to myself, this has never happened before, I’m actually faster! Does he notice me? It’s impossible not to. Inching up behind him I began taking the beating of rocks and dirt flung from his rear wheel. Can I find a way by? Stalking, several laps go by as I look for a weakness. But it’s only mine to be found, fatigue sets in.

Snapped back to reality, a chase group passes by. I dig in, but yet again am denied their rear wheel. I don’t recognize the cyclists passing me. This is not good. The bicycle is functioning flawlessly. It’s all on me; I continue to fall adrift.

My mind is back on the motocrosser. I pulled off the track and at that instant my brother did so as well. Ben says, “thank god you pulled off, I’m knackered”. Yea, “me too” I agreed. “Well, when were you going to pull off” I asked? “When the battle ended”, he bluntly stated. His delivery was specific, regardless of who had the speed advantage, he had “won”. When did it become a race I thought to myself? Clearly, it always had been.

This aspect of competition is more obvious to some than others. I can thank my ultra competitive brother for instilling this grit into my life. Every bit of preparation, no matter how daunting, is sweeter and more cherished with a goal in mind.

Todays race will be long and arduous, I will continue to chase, and ultimately, I will be beat. But like that memorable day on the moto, I’ve found the taste for victory. Something life would be ordinary and uninspiring without.

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About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.

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