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Go Fast, Turn Right – Boise’s Twilight Criterium Looms

Summer is upon us in Boise, bulldozing us with multiple weeks of 100-plus degree weather. And that can only mean one thing: it’s nearly time for that annual summer cycling rite of passage, the Twilight Criterium.

For those unfamiliar with the Twilight Criterium, it is a race that combines one of the most intense, dangerous, and lung-busting race formats with the hottest time of the year and, for many racers, the hottest time of the day. After 11 years in a row of racing in “the Twilight,” I’ve found it to be the perfect recipe for inducing hypoxic visions of the afterlife and hyperthermic pleas of help to the god or gods of your choice.

As has been the case for the last handful of those 11 years, I now find myself sitting on a particularly narrow and painful fence. On one side of the fence sit race-retired legs, better judgment, fatherhood, and an assortment of titanium screws in my wrist from a past edition of the Twilight, urging me to just watch the racing this year safely from the sidewalk. From the other side of the fence shouts stubbornness.

Stubbornness shouts really loudly. He loves the feeling at the end of the race when the cheering of the crowd mixes with the fractals of anaerobic hallucinations. He loves getting dressed afterwards knowing he still had the legs, lungs, and reflexes to survive another year. He loves the cheapest-ever buzz from the post-race tallboy. But is that enough to overcome my better judgment?

I guess we’ll find out in a few weeks.

Mike Gerhardt | Jun 23, 2015