Chasing Dardini

When you race in a small age group like mine, you never know who you'll be up against. At the Sarasota Race for Life it was the ultimate mixed bag of young rockets like Joey O'Connor, my good friend female rider Jada Webb and a man who helped teach me how to ride BMX - Larry Dardini Sr.

Larry and his son Pro racer Larry junior were both assistants at my very first skills clinic. The two of them introduced me to jumping and pumping and learning some of the basics. Back then I was very squirrely but at Sarasota this past weekend I was reminded that I had come a long way.

Larry is an older Expert who has tons of experience. On the first moto he blasted out of the gate and I found myself struggling to keep within 6 bike lengths. It was one of those nights were I used the motos to warm up and get used to the faster pace. Since I was relegated to 4th place, my goal was to catch Dardini. 2nd moto, 5 lengths back, still not warmed up. 3rd moto, we were even up to the first hill then he started pulling away.

Sometimes you have to change your expectations mid race. Thomas kept telling me that he was making minor mistakes but even so, I wasn't gaining by much. In the main I decided that there was no risk is going for broke. I tore out of the gate and chased him as hard as I could. The added speed sent me airborne over the double and again on the 4th straight. Despite the bonks I made headway staying within 3 lengths.

My race philosophy held true - No race is ever a waste,
there is always something you can learn.


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