Riding just to ride.

I am supposed to race later this month. I really don’t think I can hold a wheel right now so that’s going to be interesting. I rode yesterday and to be honest, I was in more pain than average during the day. Still Cole and I went on a chill ride not planning on anything crazy. We chilled most of the ride but when we pushed it and that’s a stretch because our bikes don’t haul. I was gasses right away. That felt discouraging but what else should I expect after 2 months without intensity. Let’s see how things go with pain management. So far not much more than normal.

Don’t call it a comeback.

Don’t call it a comeback, mainly because it is not. February was to mark my big comeback into cycling competitively. Instead I’m nursing a back injury, frequently sick, and super busy at home. I hear the jokes at work and although they don’t really bother me, is that I am NOT riding. Plans are a strange thing, will you make them, we strive towards them, sometimes even write them down, but the reality of actions are not those of plans. I now have to balance more than I have ever balanced. Every new day I’m thinking maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow I’ll feel better, maybe I’ll be healthy, and the other reality maybe I’ll be motivated. 2 things are true, 1, I’m getting fat, 2, I’m getting slow. I plan to race  (there’s that planning again) soon. As soon as probably March, the big question is will I be ready? That’s the thing isn’t it? Will I be ready

? At this point I need to start at Step 1. That means base miles, a lot of base miles. I have hopes for this weekend. I’m noticing now that I’m not even saying plans just hopes. Let’s hope I’m able to my first actual ride of the whole year this weekend. I guess all I can do is plan for it.

Life laughs at your plans.

My monster day on my 1×8 hardtail didn’t happen. I had planned on exploring Turnbull until every crevice had been seen and felt like new lovers. My plans fell through but I still had to get on the bike so I took on Greenleaf.

The entire climb felt like one long f bomb. Spinning up Greenleaf on 35psi and platform pedals was not fun. Dressed in shorts, a t-shirt, and a sweater given to me on Christmas made it magically uncomfortable.
I left the house to ride around the block just to get my daily ride in and continue my new year’s resolution. The moment I turned onto the street I could hear the steep 12% average of Greenleaf calling out for me, almost heckling me to try to tackle it’s half a mile of suffering. Or maybe I was calling for it?

I made the left onto Greenleaf and knew what I was in for. It’s a climb I’ve done before, plenty of times really. But this time up felt different, every pedal stroke was in retaliation of the days changes in plans. Every turn was a chance to turn the page on an extremely difficult day. I was getting closer to clearing my head from the demands of the day ad I came closer to the top. How is it possible to find out that you can live for years and not find clarity yet find it in 0.5 miles uphill? I’ve always felt better after a ride but never in a ride this short. In only 2 glorious miles I felt release from the 6 hours of difficulty that I will only categorize as parental.

This is my year. I know a new year is only the day after yesterday as Knarf said but I have been working towards what I can see achievable this year for years. This is the year, my work will showcase itself, I won’t succumb to laziness, and I will earn what I’ve been working for; working for even before I knew I was working for it.

Time management.

I had so many opportunities to get fit. I also had so many excuses, I would get lazy, busy, not wake up, or get occupied. I honestly thought I didn’t have enough time. Now that I have a real responsibilities it puts things into perspective. All the time I didn’t think I had I really just mismanaged it. Before I start to do the exact same thing with my new responsibilities, I’m going to just acknowledge that if I  want to train it’s more about time management than what I have going on.
I might miss some rides here and there but my training will happen.

Stuck in a mesophase while trying to push pedals.

Yesterday I rode a very cold one mile. Not the most impressive ride but a ride that would never have happened last year. My new years resolution was to ride every day for a year. I’m still not sure how I’m going to accomplish this but I’m going to let the details work themselves out.
Today’s ride was originally 150 miles but I double booked and had to be back super early. Last year this would normally mean that I would cancel my ride and keep my original plan but not this year.
I was rewarded with 40 degree weather not the coldest but certainly enough to make the toes and fingers get rock hard and feel like they are getting stabbed like Montoya Santana in American Me. After awhile it was a combination of freezing and melting at the same time.
Ultimately I got in 30 miles more than I would have if I would have stayed home.
To me that is a successful day.

Future Plans

I’ve been wanting to do an epic ride for my birthday since I started Cycling. It seems this year, my dirty thirty will finally be the year. Plans are still being made but it is looking like a one week trip to Davenport and back. Give or take a train ride. I don’t see this as a want, this is a need.

Strava Challenge Accepted

The alarm clock goes off and all you want to do is go back to sleep. Until you have a day off. No alarm clock, no time to wake up, no obligations. So naturally you wake up earlier than you would have if you had something to do.
That was exactly my morning. I woke up without an alarm, then after finally falling back to sleep my neighbors woke me up about an hour later, then the garbage man did the job.
Finally at 9 am, I have no choice but to get up. I’ve been here so many times. And oh so often I chose to do absolutely nothing. Just lay in bed, maybe go back to sleep, maybe something else. What I have not been choosing is ride my bike.
Today I chose my bike.

I knew that I wanted to tackle the challenge purposed by Strava. 80 miles of riding. I didn’t want to just do 80, I wanted to do it with a purpose. My purpose was to ride like the rider you want to be, the rider that I once was, a rider who rides for the pure pleasure of it.
I got on my bike and just rode. I guess I should have planned my route out a little bit better as I had no idea how to get to the Rio Hondo river trail. After jumping two gates I finally found an “entrance”.

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I tried to make conversation with someone who snuck up on me. She was apparently in the middle of a workout. As mean as it sounds I really was not riding very hard but easily keeping up. She kept looking at her helmet mounted rear view mirror at me. Finally she waved me to just pass her. I was bothered by it considering that I was not bothering her what so ever but I sped off anyways. 
It’s been a good few years since I rode the RHRT all the way to the beach. I almost felt lost on my way there. That question in your head, “am I going the wrong way?”  was playing in my head until I recognized where I was.
I was not in any kind of hurry on my way to the beach. Once at the beach I was in chill mode. I was just enjoying the weather, the views, and most of all the ride.

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I ran into two riders who were doing the same route as me. We talked a bit then they stopped at a view. I made my way to seal beach and took the SGRT back home.
After having a headwind the whole way down to the beach, I now had a slight tailwind and took advantage of it. I just started looking for carrots up the road. I’d see a rider up the road and give myself a goal to catch them before an exit.
I remember smiling as I past my exit on the riverbed. At that point I guess I knew my route. Or at least I thought I did. After I climbed Turnbull I descended to Hacienda where I got the royal treatment from the mcdonalds staff.

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I contemplated waiting for someone to help me finish the rest of the ride but I found some motivation from a friend and just got on my bike and “killed it”.
After Hacienda I took East Road to continue with my ride. I was planning on doing my Friday ride, the Vuelta. But just as I started climbing the golf course Hill I saw a carrot up the road.
Bob was doing a few hard hills before his group ride. I decided to join him.

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After Ville we did a few other climbs some of which I had never even heard of. All of which were steep ass-kickers.
Maybe it was just meant to be but when I finished my ride I had almost exactly 80 miles. Sometimes things just work out.

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Now what?

New job.
More hours.
Rebuilt caad 10.
And no time to ride it.
There is a difficulty in racing for one bike shop and working for another. My new job makes me beyond happy. Most of the time I just build beach cruiser and BMX bikes. Still in building bikes! I go home feeling so good, so satisfied. I do miss racing in Tuesday’s park to park series. It’s tragic but I will have Sunday’s off soon so that is a plus. Sure I’m not going to be a fit but I just want to race with TRU, my team, with GLK, my friends, and now with The Cyclery bike shop, my employer. Soon I will have my butt handed to me but that will be worth it.

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March Madness

Hello long lost friend.
It’s funny how an open space of a virtual paper can be so comforting. So yet to be determined, so much potential. I guess that’s why I like new beginnings so much….
My riding has been improving and I joined a gym. March has been a long month for me. With my first race of the year, twice as many hours at work, hitting the gym about 4 times a week, and now a potential new part time job.
My new schedule seems to not leave time for one thing that I had unknowingly made a priority in my life, the bar scene. I know my old weight but I have not bothered to check it since January. I feel good and I’m more comfortable in my skin.
April is just around the corner and I think about potential goals. I would like to do a century even if I have no idea when I would have the time. I would also like to ride at least 100 miles a week. …funny, I remember when that goal was 300. I miss my team more than anything else so even though I really have no idea how I can ride with them, I want to find a way to ride with them at least once next month. I think one trainer session a week would be great.

In my head I’m saying all this while gazing up at an Arizona night sky.

Things are different than I thought. I’m lonelier than expected. I’m riding more than before and I’ve been much more active with my family and friends. Still I think the biggest problem is the loneliness.
Religion is just not an option for me. A new relationship is for sure not the answer. Something is needed, I just don’t know what that is.
People are so frail that they would rather throw their last quarter in a wishing well, rather than use it to buy dinner.
I have never been good at friendship, the few I hold mean a lot but it takes a special person to be my friend. I think only the best kind of person can be a friend to me.
I’m dragging in with nothing to really say. Goodnight.