What do you think?
Thursday, April 26, 2012
In addition to the racing, it is that time of year when most of the snow has melted on the mountain roads and it's time to start heading uphill. I was going to try and write something about climbing. Something that could describe climbing on the bike. For me climbing is hard. It take a lot of effort and it hurts my legs. Also, just as with racing, I am very slow. But again, I am having fun and it is improving my cycling ability and for me I guess that is the point. Its hard to describe, however, so I will just post some pictures and maybe you will get the point.
Monday, April 9, 2012
racing my bike this year. I read somewhere once that the only reason you should race is if you believe you can win. I've been thinking about that a lot over the past month. Mostly because I don't believe I can win. I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to race this year. I knew I was slow but I didn't know I was this slow. I'm really slow. And so I've been wondering what exactly I am trying to accomplish and I tried to lay it all out for myself.
First I'm trying to be a stronger rider when the road goes up a hill. When I first got on a road bike I could barely make it up an overpass. The first time I did the City Creek Bike Sprint I was the very last road bike up the hill. After that I decided to ride up any hill I thought I could make it up and some that I didn't think I could. I figured that racing would help me get up the hills. Second I'm trying to make my longer rides more enjoyable with less fatigue and more hills. I have a series of 8 Dream Small Rides planned on various dates from May to September. All of them are long enough and all of them have a good amount of elevation gain. I figured that racing would help me with those.
Utah Tour de Donut and the Snowbird Hillclimb. And I know it's going to get me up the hill faster at this years City Creek Bike Sprint. So, is it worth it? Suffer more to suffer less? Does it make sense? I think it's worth it. And I know I'm having a blast doing it. A slow blast. I think it does make sense. Mandatory V. I may not win a race. I may not even finish with my group. But I know it will harden me up. I know it will make me a stronger and faster kind of slow.
It had been a long time since I had rode out to the old Ore House Saloon and I had never ridden there on a bicycle. Usually when I pedal out there I just take the turn and loop around onto the Old Bingham Highway before I actually get into Copperton, so yesterday I was surprised that the hill kept tipping up all the way through town right up the mine where it dips down at the end of the pavement. And when I got to the end of the pavement I was surprised again.
The old Ore House Saloon was gone. Someone had razed the bar. So I parked my bike next to the big chunk of ore that was still there and took a picture of what used to be. I chomped down a chocolate chip granola bar as I thought some more about suffering more to suffer less. I decided that it's OK to race. It's OK to be a faster kind of slow. It's OK for me to raise the bar. I figured that that is a win and I turned around and headed back down the hill and back toward home and Easter dinner as I continued to carefully cultivate my tan lines.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
|photo courtesy of AFP|
Yesterday I raced in the Hell of the North circuit race. This was my first ever circuit race and my first race that hasn't been a crit or a hill climb. It was a little cool with a slight breeze and sunny skies and the dirt and gravel section was fast and perfect. I came in last place. From the gun, the rest of the Cat 5s just kind of slowly rode me right off their wheels and I couldn't catch my wind or push the pedals fast enough to stay on. So I slowly faded off the back and changed my race tactics from trying to stay attached to simply not getting lapped. For me it has not been a few weeks of super strong performance.
|photo courtesy of Graham Watson|
|photo courtesy of AFP|
And you know what? That's OK because I'm having a hell of a good time being slow and spit off the back and apparently pedaling in quicksand. I'm having a hell of a good time being one of the worst, maybe the worst, guy that ever rode on these roads. A hell of a good time.
|stinking it up at the Hell of the North|
Monday, March 19, 2012
Marek said it and I believe it and it sounded cool. I can't remember what year that was when I read that, but right at that moment, I decided that I would race in The Hell of the North circuit race one day and that one day is coming up in a couple of weeks. I have got my Maxxis Re-Fuse 700X25s and I am waiting on my puncture resistant tubes with the 48mm presta valves to get delivered to me soon. I have been pedaling my bike around in circles, mostly by myself, in the RMR Crit Series and even though I am still slow, I am in the best cycling shape of my life. Basically I am ready.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
|click to enlarge|
If I don't obey the traffic rules then how can I expect anybody else to? If I can't stop and wait at a red light how can I expect Ricky Rednecky to give me three feet when passing me as I'm riding my bike? I can't and he won't. I learned that there is no relative safety. Safety is absolute. When I got home after rolling right through that red light I parked my big green van in the garage and went inside the house and I was sure glad that I wasn't doing something stupid like that on my bike.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
I've smacked the pavement a number of times over the years and each time it's my palm, wrist, forearm, elbow and shoulder that takes the brunt of the impact. I have the scars to prove it. Usually it's on my left side from trying to protect the drive side of my bike as I'm hurtling toward the ground.
My collar bone was wondering "is that all you got? Meh. Piece of cake." Got the bike fixed up enough and rode it back home. I was stiff and sore the next day but no real harm done. Except for the cracked open helmet and a few items of kit. Oh and the abuse to the bike. It made me thankful that I'm not a "real" cyclist. It gave me some consolation for always being the last guy up the hill and for being the big guy that's usually popping off the back. It made me glad (kind of) that you don't have to squint to see my upper body like you have to do with a "real" cyclist.
So, if you're a "real" cyclist, let ME inspire YOU. Do some upper body work. Eat something. Stat. I need you to slow down a little so I can keep up. I need you to get to a point where I can make it up the hill with you.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. Maybe I can share it with you "real" cyclists. The only thing that should be cracking is your helmet or your bike. Lift some weights. Please. Eat some food. Please. I'm getting tired of hearing your collar bones snap.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I spent most of the race in a one man break - off the back. The nice thing about these photos is that you really can't tell one way or the other. But I know. I get the feeling that I'm going to spend a lot of time this spring and summer doing intervals and hill repeats as well as the races and the Dream Small Rides.