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.