Monday, April 9, 2012

Razing The Bar

I spent 2 hours and 15 minutes out on the bike yesterday carefully cultivating my tan lines. It was a bright and sunny Easter afternoon and I can't remember the last time the weather was that perfect for a ride. The wind was magic too. It seemed to push me around most of the time changing direction as I did to push me on the flats or push me up the hill. The only time I had a headwind, I was heading downhill so it really didn't matter. I was going to take it real easy but I felt good so I decided to work a little harder than I had planned and ending up dripping sweat all over my knees and top tube on my way up the hill out to Copperton. I had decided to head up the New Bingham Highway and ride out to the old Ore House Saloon.

On the way out there I had a lot of time to think. I thought about why I am spending money and time 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.

And I think racing will help me with those things. In fact I know it will. And I know it will also help me improve my time in the 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.

1 comment:

  1. Alan S (Helment Fascist)April 9, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    I came in 21st out of 31. Blew it before the start by not getting up front. Prolly would have been dropped by the fastest guys anyway.

    But I didn't crash, and I didn't come in last. I executed my plan and I kicked ass on the sections that were the hardest until I cracked.

    Only 3 guys make the podium. The other 28 all "lose the race."

    [BLEEP] that. The losers are the guys who don't race.