Monday, August 20, 2007

The End of an Era

I got an e-mail from Thad his morning announcing the end of Team 14 as we know it. It is sad day. But I know, I mean I really, really know where he is coming from. This sport takes a toll on any relationship that is not a cycling relationship. In order to succeed (or be mediocre, in my case) you must spend a tremendous amount of time on the bike year 'round. If you spend that much time on a bike, you are going to alienate a few friends and family members off the bike. I know that because I've done that.

And that only counts the time on the bike. There is a huge time committment related to running a bike team. I got a taste of that because Thad allowed me to manage the Team 14 mountain bike squad this year. It was great fun, but at the same time it was a tremendous responsibility, and more of a time committment than I had anticipated. So I can totally relate to where Thad is coming from.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in a hobby (after all, this is just a hobby, right?), and in doing that we neglect those that are closest to us. It is also difficult to find balance when you are also struggling with the desire to succeed. I've gone through it several times in my life with several different hobbies. It doesn't help that I have some OCD tendencies. When I get into something, I GET INTO IT.

Frequent readers will remember my TAGGED post from last winter. My MO with hobbies is to jump into them with both feet, then lose interest after a few years.

Am I in the twilight of my bike racing career? I don't think so, but time will tell.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Farewell Hollow Supplanter

I went for a ride this morning with Cory, Alex, and OP as a way to say farewell to Cory. He is leaving for Oregon tomorrow morning to follow his dreams. I admire that.

I remember first meeting Cory nearly two years ago. I was headed out on a training ride with another guy. We ran into Cory as we were leaving town, and invited him along. It was on that ride that I found out that Cory and I worked at the same place.
A short time after that I saw him posting on MTBR about TransIowa, and I suggested we do a few training rides. He was also the one that inspired me to start a blog.
It is sad to lose a local ridding buddy, but great to see him going out in to the world to seek his fortune. Such is life living in a college town. Sigh . . .
Good Luck Cory!

Coast to Coast Memoirs

Local fast guy and friend Andrew Carney has a write-up on his blog about he and his brother's unsupported coast to coast bike ride last year.

Pretty cool stuff. If I was about 25 years younger . . .

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm a Wimp

I bailed on the Webster City group ride tonight because I'm a wimp. I looked at the radar about 4:30 and it looked pretty iffy, so I pulled the plug. I called Nick and told him I was gonna be a no-show.

So I rode some local gravel, so that when mother nature decided to unleash her fury I could make a mad dash for home.

During the ride, things looked pretty ugly, but I stayed dry.

I'm a wimp. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

35W Bridge Collapse

The link below is an account from a Minneapolis cyclist that was one of the first on the scene at the 35W bridge collapse:

As some of you know, I work for the Iowa DOT, so this hits a little close to home.

BTW, I lifted the story from CVO's blog, 'cause it brought a tear to my eye.

Headed to the City

I'm headed for the city. Webster City that is, for the Wednesday night group ride with some Team 14 mates. If you were reading the comments (as if anyone reads the comments), you would already know that.

All are welcome. If you would like to go, let me know (515-290-7789). I'll be leaving from my place at around 4:30, in order to make it up there in time for the 5:30 start.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

On the Road

Here's shot of something a little different:

It's me out riding my road bike without a number on my back. I think that it has probably been a couple of months since i took my road bike and just went riding around. With the rains of the last two of days it will be another day until I can get back on the dirt, and maybe by this afternoon the gravel will be ridable again. So, this morning pavement was all I had. Not riding was out of the question, as I was already slipping into another lazy streak. A couple of off days of because of family stuff + a rain day = I have to ride today.

OK, I just didn't ride around. I did a warmup, and some tempo work on the Gilbert loop, worked on my tuck going into the wind, tried to attack on all the hills, and managed to close a 1/2 mile gap on another bike in a 3 mile span (the old guy on the trike never knew what hit him).

I also remembered my chat with Chris Hansen this weekend (he was trying to talk me into going to the state road race over by the Mississippi), and he was talking about the importance of sprint work when doing crits. Coming out of every corner in a crit turns into a mini-sprint just to hang on - especially if your cornering needs as much work as mine does.

So, when I was out this morning, I tried doing some sprint excersizes. After I had done my other work, and was already tired (like in a race), I put it at about 17 mph, and about 60 cadence. From there I did an out of the saddle sprint until I was out of gas. Rinse and repeat. After few miles of those, I was cooked.

I'll be doing that again.