Sunday, November 11, 2007


The last few posts have been fairly tech intensive. Rather hypocritical considering I started this as a means of at least partially divesting myself of excessive tech geekiness. Pics throughout this post are a random sampler from the last ~week worth of local riding.

The last few days have been, no surprise, just like the ~6 weeks that preceded them: light winds (or none), blue skies, few clouds, and ~60+ degrees. Joyous.

Spent yesterday with some good friends that are also great riders. Rode a loop that has fallen out of favor around here the last few years (or so it seems from my perspective) and seems quite disused by all but the motorheads. And the motorheads didn't seem very happy to see us. Or maybe it was just shock?

Many hours of grinding up a seemingly endless climb before my legs came around and got motivated and it went from painful, laborious work to somewhat less painful and somewhat less laborious. For a brief few minutes it actually felt good to climb. Couldn't tell ya the last time that happened. While writhing in misery on that climb I had lots of time to think. Many of the thoughts were self-abusive, as they have been more-or-less since I stopped racing full-time and started a business. While the business is thriving the fitness is not, and I haven't quite come to terms with that compromise. Or maybe I don't want to just yet?

Regardless, I realized that I've been a bit blind (denial? who you lookin' at?) to certain facts.
* I've never, ever been 'xc racer' fast. Even when I aspired to be 'that guy', I was never better than mid-pack in the sport class, and then only just. Expecting to keep up with even moderately fast guys is more ridiculous now than ever.
* The people that I ride with day in and day out are very, very strong riders, and some of them are very fast and fit.
* While I used to be able to keep up with them somewhat effortlessly for the first ~6 hours, and then even easier after that, they have gotten stronger and fitter while I've gone in the other direction.
* 99% of my rides these days last about 2 hours. For over a decade I barely considered that a warmup, and now it is the norm. No wonder that I feel like I'm suffering and slaving on every ride--I'm never quite getting warmed up before heading back to the barn! Thinking back to all of the ~4 hour or longer rides I've done this year, and many if not most were very different, with at least a short window of good legs somewhere in there.

After the ride I had a bit clearer focus on where I am and now I just need to determine if those are, indeed, the facts, or if I'm just rationalizing to save ego.


Guess I'll go wind out a long climb somewhere and give that some more thought...



  1. Welcome to the life of a non-professional cyclist with other responsibilities:) You just have to decide if it is worth it to you.

    My "workouts" consist of 20 minutes of hilly commuting twice a day. Throw a couple short intervals in there. This "base" allows me to get out for one, maybe two 2-3 hour rides per week on the MTB without suffering too badly.

    That is all I can do without other balanced areas of life suffering. I love bikes and biking, but I love other things(people) much, much more.

    The interesting thing about the compromise I have chosen is that among my compadres at work, I am that crazy fit guy who can ride anything. "Don't ride with him, he'll get you killed!" These are casual riders at best.

    Amongst the more hardcore folks I ride with here, I am usually dragging near the back of the pack fitness wise, with middle of the road skills.

    Meh, I don't think it's too bad for a guy who is physiologically fast twitch, and never was any good at a race over 45 seconds.

    Balance. Compromise. Life is like a bicycle isn't it. You have to find that compromise that turns you on, and live with it, because the perfect life like the perfect bike is an elusive beast. Best wishes finding it.

  2. great pictures as usual.

    figuring out where you're at now (even if it might not be exactly where you want to be) will give you a much better chance of figuring out how to get to where you want to be tomorrow.

  3. Good reading, I'll be visiting more.

    Striking the balance between work & rides has been my struggle this year. It's especially hard when you are your own boss... and you look back to the "old life" when responsibilities weren't all-encompassing. Show up to work, collect the paycheck, and ride on your time off.

    Nonetheless, this new balance I'm struggling with is something I'm pretty happy with, striving to become more efficient, getting more ride time (which sometimes enhances creativity & work time). It's all part of the fun.

    Geoff makes a good point. Kinda like mapreading!

  4. A loop fallen out of favor. . . No Mas?

    Nothing like self-abusive thoughts to kill a riding buzz, eh? Though the comment about not feeling good while climbing hits home. It's hard to think positively about your fitness/recovery when climbing feels bad.

    If it was No Mas, I'm not surprised. That place is a sinkhole of negativity and suffering. That's right about the place GLR racers (raises hand) start to bleed out of their eyes, right?

    It's always interesting to read about how 'slow' you are, when everyone I talk to raves about how fast/strong you are.

  5. Thanks for the thoughts, all.

    Scott, it was No Mas, and it's funny that you wrote what you did. I never really gave it much thought (that climb) but looking back it doesn't seem very negative to me. I'll hafta head back and do another sampling...


  6. Just look at the name - No Mas.

    I believe I wrote something about wanting to cut my head off out there. And that comment struck a chord with Jefe, as well.

    Just think of all the ocular blood left out on that climb...

  7. just read this one...

    Been reading through your blog tonight, been off the bike for a month or so, but just did an easy/fun/solo 2 hr ST ride down in Pueblo, and was thinking about what I might do bike wise for 08 so it was interesting to read your above thoughts…..

    As I blame you & your writing & picture skills (in a good way) for getting my old self out and doing some longer (even over night) endurance rides (ya so now anything under 2 hrs hardly counts)and a few relaxed attempts at the KTR, building up an endurance bike, getting into 29ers etc……….and this particular blog hit home, just had to say something

    Personally I have only been uber-fit a few/short times in my life but always daydreamed about maximizing my limited potential, but the sacrifice and loss of balance has always kept me mostly in the ‘daydream only’ mode.

    For what its worth after about 20ys of mtn biking your writing has given me a new way to look the whole thing, so keep ‘thinking and writing’.
    Your accomplishments are many, your insight is sometimes startling, and I for one will be interested to read your opinions on riding, racing, fitness, tech stuff etc as you continue to go forward

    PS: Did a solo GJ to Whitewater up No Mas over to Lunch trails back to GJ loop this summer
    Would have never even thought about it before I started reading your stuff,,,thanks