Monday, November 9, 2009
Cyclo Cross (CX) season is well underway and my Evolution Cycling Club (EVO) Brothers and Sisters are making it happen in mud, blood, and spades. My list of excuses for not participating was about as long as my rather stickly legs. As many of you know, last Spring I allowed peer pressure (in truth it was my vanity for the camera) to drive me to stand with our CX team on photo day. This was hung hard over my cranium by SUPER CHICKEN (I’m told the cape is an optional uniform item to his CX skinsuit…it even has a quick break away feature to ensure no increased drag). So being of very weak an impressionable mind, I signed up for not just one but two CX races…
Having missed formal CX practices I turned to Computer Based Training (CBT) efforts (READ: Email and YouTube). That’s how we do a lot of things now anyway. Virtual CX here I come. Video makes everything look so simple so after a failed attempt to make CX practice on 1 Nov, I began my trash talking Mon (2 Nov) on schedule. I bounced around my office explaining the art of CX and how I was going to play in the mud and drink beer with folks cheering all around. The grand life was just ahead. Bike(ROCK)Star status was near…
Well, a week of mental gymnastics crushed my spirits by Friday mid-day. Planning to race on Sat (and Sun) I set the alarm to make it happen. My body just said "NO" to the early wake up (0400) and 3+00 drive for Sat's event. I rolled back over in bed, turned off the alarmed and set (closed) my eyes and rested my legs for Sun. I think I woke up at noon…
Having not raced since Aug, I began to really ping Sat night. As the Summer ended I had my race prep, to include a pre-race Martini (or two) down to a science. Not the case this weekend. I ran around my place adding and subtracting kit and stuff from my cycling bag. I was back to being a serious rookie. It seemed that all I learned since Feb was now gone. I was back to square one…
Temps were in the 40s with estimates near 60 at race time. Believing I would keep my leg warmers on I did not even shave my legs. I was going to go at it with natural stubble…
I took advice from the team and showed up two hours before my start time. I rode the course, practiced the barriers, let some air out of my tires, and told myself, this is not too bad. I can do this. I can make this happen. I can race CX. My TURTLE shell will protect me. I want to be a Bike(ROCK)Star!!!
I ran into a few of the Brothers (and one Sister) and gained motivation from having the team round. Chris Larsen told me that after today I will have the knowledge and experience to see that Road season is just prep for CX season. I was looking forward to it…
So, with the festivities (I did like that by the way…music, beer, fries, beer, laughter, beer, sausage, beer---YES…this was my type of party!!!) underway, I lined up to start my first CX race.
I lasted 100m and I hit the ground. They guy in front of me seem to hit the brakes hard. I hit his rear wheel, three others rolled up on my back wheel leaving fresh tracks across my TURTLE shell and down I went. I sprang up as fast as I could, grabbed the bike and tried to get going. The back wheel was taco’d bad. CRAP!!! I was rubbing the frame!!! I made it half the way around the loop, over the barriers as I just had to do it once and off the course I went. I was done…
With head hung low I walked back to the car. Joseph Kontun (Jeff Erler called him CROUTON---that name has to stick---hint, hint, EVO Super Secret Nickname Committee) met me along the road and yelled, “TURTLE, I have a spare wheel, go register for the next race!” CROUTON grabbed my bike up and over his bike and rode to his car. I ran to my rental car, grabbed my wallet and ran to the registration table. I got there just 5 min before the time cut off. I had a friend pin my number on and there was Jeff Erler and CROUTON w/ my rig. I was back in it…another case of peer pressure that I could not avoid.
With a short delay to evac a guy that broke his ankle (that should have been a warning to me), I rode the course again. Jeff Erler decided to hang back and ride w/ me and coach me through the effort. That was certainly KOOL ‘n da GANG!
As we started I was just happy to make it more than 100 meters. About 2/3 around the loop Jeff stood up to wait for me. He was good to his word. He could hear me giving birth to a lung and tried to calm me down. I could not settle in. This was serious work and I was not cutting it.
Each effort over the barriers was greeted by an SPD pedal in the shin. Having removed my leg warmers (as the temps were no in the 70s…WX men SUCK!!!), my stickly, stubble covered (next time vanity wins and I shave!!!) shins were taking a beating. Being passed by almost everyone on the circuit, my ego was taking even more…
After a few laps, Jeff could see where I was struggling. I had a death grip on the brakes that just pushed me further and further back. He told me to trust my bike. OK, I do…when I’m on asphalt!!! This was different. With two laps to go, I finally listen and let the bike just roll. It worked. It was much easier. However, the beat down I was experiencing had taken its toll fare in cash. I was TURTLE TOAST and there was no recover insight. At least in a CRIT or circuit race one can sit in and recover after an effort. This was more like a TT on grass and mud. And we all know TURTLE only “looks” good for TTs. Another vanity photo spread it is…
I heard the announcer say last lap for the leaders. I told Jeff I wanted a beer…actually I said I want two beers. So after getting passed by the leaders on their final lap, Jeff picked up a beer as he went past the pavilion. I heard, “We got a beer up” and I managed a little laugh through the pain thinking that is so freaking KOOL ‘n da GANG!!!
Crossing the start finish Jeff surprised me and handed me a beer. He was the beer up . . . NO WAY!!! I sat up, took a gulf and asked were we done and before he even replied, I had half the beer in my tummy and pulled off the course.
Walking back to pavilion, after being scolded for taking a beer at the finish, a friend of mine met me with another beer. It was over and my thirst was being quenched. My shins felt like TURTLE cube steaks. The music and the beer was helping some. I need much more…
So my first CX race is complete and I have to be honest crew, I believe this may just be my last. I’ll come watch, cheer, and drink (I do this better than most anyone I know!!!) at a future event but for now I humbly request someone to please Photoshop me out the team CX picture. I admit that I am a shaved leg Roadie to the bone. Bring on the Spring and a good CRIT--back to BAD ASS BASE BUILDING I go . . .
Monday, August 31, 2009
"No campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy"
- Helmuth Graf von Moltke, German Generalfeldmarschall.
Well here was my plan for the week. I put a great deal of little TURTLE brain bites in it and even sent it to my couch Bill Gros (Pyramid Training Systemsfirstname.lastname@example.org) so we could begin TURTLE Development in earnest beginning tomorrow 1 Sep . . .
MON: FC x 2; small chain ring / Gym . . . one rep maximum test to determine workout weight;
TUE: FC x 2; small chain ring . . . test to see if I can do two days back to back--have not done that in a while
WED: MC x 2 / Gym (week 1 program)
THUR: MC x 2 / may try RBC ride if I can make it out of my meting by 1600. It takes almost 1+00 from desk to Dunn-Lorring Metro and another 1+00 to the RBC meet point in Herndon. That includes transition time. I can always bail on that ride as it gets close to my house.
FRI: MC x 1 and pick up rental car for the weekend . . .
Here’s what the codes FC and MC mean:
(42K) FULL (PENTAGON) COMMUTE (FC): http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/va/sterling/669124927245977844
(24K) METRO COMMUTE (MC): http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/va/sterling/495124173919732297
So, the plan was set and at 0400 I was up and ready to execute a 0500 departure. My only worry was if my one headlamp would last the commute. The second bulb in my NiteRider Classic burned out last week and I had no spare. Order three last night before going to bed.
But then I believe someone set off an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) device at my place around 0430. My laptop crashed with the MAC version of the Window’s Blue Screen of death. That is not supposed to happen!!! After a few minutes of trying to get it restarted—they all failed, I pushed for the door. I had a 42K ride to work and needed to get going into the sunrise . . . ah the nostalgia. NOT!!! I was !@#$%^& already late!!!
Then my Garmin Edge 305 did not turn on! Where were the @#$%^&* gremlins??? And why were my two cats laughing so hard???
Yet into the darkness I pushed and at 5K down the road I remembered I left an item that I needed for work. Back I went. More gnashing of teeth. More crushing blows to the TURTLE shell. This just about eliminated my desire to get to the gym and start a weight lifting routine. Why was someone trying to take away TURTLE joy??? Who did I piss off now??? I already told my Boss of my plans to retire . . .
I was starting to get crushed mentally. Then I really thought about it . . . I don’t need a HR monitor or computer to tell me how to pedal fast. Back to old school I go. And the laptop? Well, I had 2K set aside for a PowerTap or a beater pick-up truck. Both move down the list now . . .
So att this point the one piece of working technology…my iPod, was in full throttle. I matched the hard rock with the quickest cadence my little TURTLE stick could muster. OK, stop laughing . . . it was more than 50 rpm. I don’t know how much more (remember…no computer) but it was more!!!
With about 12K to go, I rolled up a guy at a light. We traded passing each other for a bit and then decided to ride and talk to each other. He pushed the tempo a bit (he was on a clock and I was trying to stay in the small chain ring) but I hung in there.
Turns out he is commuting the National Defense University (NDU…I worked there this past summer) and even better, he is in the USAF (graduated 2 years ahead of me at the Air Froce Academy) and did an exchange tour with the German Luftwaffle (Air Force). It was just the words I needed to break me out of my electronic funk . . .
I fixed the Garmin when I got to work this AM. Jeff Erler (I bought the Edge 305 from him) told me it would happen and I found the trick to restart it posted on the web. Could not do it this AM…recall—no laptop.
However, I am on it and although it is only 1245 and I really need to get back to work, I am looking forward to the spin home. The Rabid TURTLE Development Plan starts in earnest tomorrow!
Life is still good!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
- ► August (3)