Monday, November 24, 2008

Better than DFL! LARPD Cyclocross Race Nov. 22, 2008

To quote one of the funniest lines ever spoken in a movie, "Well. That happened."

The race on Saturday went well. My main goal was to not die, not get injured and to remember that it's a minor victory just to be IN a race after such a long hiatus. So it was a success by those measures.

Actual placing was 29th out of 35th, though. I started off strong and was maybe 12th wheel going into the first corner. I stayed there briefly but a few bobbles later and I was getting passed. I stuck in there and passed about five people going through the second set of barriers when I decided to run the short hill following instead of remounting like everyone else. But shortly after that, I sort of blew up and for the final 20 minutes I just sort of "rode within myself" as they say. Unfortunately, I found myself in a no man's land with no one ahead to use as a carrot and no one behind me to egg me on.

And so it stayed until well into the last lap when a guy caught up to me. He rode my wheel and wouldn't come around. He even said something like, "keep it up and we'll hold off the three guys behind." (I think). But he wouldn't come around despite taking a few corners way wide and slow. So I just kept riding and pulling him along all the while thinking, "this maggot is going to come around me at the end..." I was much faster through the barriers and remounting so I gapped him pretty good in the last set of dismounts but he caught me anyway just before the last corner.

I had him on the outside so had the advantage on the final turn and should have put him into the barriers but instead I made it a fair sprint and he pipped me at the line. Maybe it's a loser mentality but I knew we weren't even in the top half so I didn't really put my heart into the sprint. As he won by inches, my foe let out a primal roar at the line and I couldn't help but laugh.

I've crossed probably four hundred finish lines in bike races and if there's one thing I've observed is that the race for 28th place can often be fought for as hard as the race for first. The other thing I've observed is that those same sprints for 28th place are often when the worst accidents and injuries happen. Most of the other racers, officials and folks lining up for the next race are all thinking "well, that's over" and then suddenly here come two geeks flying into what should be a closed zone and into a dangerous situation.

That said, I wished I'd dugged a bit deeper and finished 28th...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A return to insaner times...

Okay. This is it. I plunk my $90 down to USACycling tonight. I did the initial part of the application and was surprised to find out that my old racing license number will still be my number. I certainly hope they don't expect me to race as a Cat. 3 or I'm gonna be one fat old toasted man...

Racing again. I must be completely nuts to even think about it. Screw it. We only live once. On Saturday morning I will pin on the numbers of a bike racer for the first time in ten and a half years! It's just a little local cyclocross race but it will be a pretty big event to me!

(That's mr. bean in case you needed to be told...)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Let's Review

Let's revisit those goals...

Get down to 190 lbs. by October 1st, 2008 (rate of one pound per week). DONE!

Get down to 185 lbs. by December 1st, 2008. Almost there.

Maintain sub-185 lbs. Indefinitely. Eventual target is to get under 180. Time will tell.

Maintain a reasonable riding schedule (at least twice a week) of at least 3 to 5 hours per week for remainder of 2008. So far so good. Lunchtime rides work well. Had a couple of ten-day breaks due to traveling and work at home but no biggie. Feeling strong.

Ride to Bill and Audreys’ from home by Spring, 2009 DONE! Much easier ride than I thought. Now need to do it the opposite direction to feel studly.

Ride to Mt. Hamilton and back from home by Summer, 2009 Quite likely will have this heavy-climbing 60-mile ride knocked out by the end of the year, weather permitting.

Do a metric century by December 2008. See above.

Do at least one overnight trip (unsupported) by end of Summer, 2009 Have a trip loosely in the works being planned.

Enjoy cycling! It’s not work. If it feels like work, take a week off but ONLY a week. Roger that! I give myself an A+ so far. I'm very pleased with how much fun it FINALLY is to be back on the bike again. I guess time heals all wounds??? Time for new ones!

Monday, November 3, 2008

That which is the opposite of down.

Been very busy lately at home working on a little house to put our new batteries and inverter in. We're COMPLETELY starting over from scratch on our solar system including new batteries, inverter and panels. The only thing that will remain from our current system is the gas generator! Yes, this is an ambitious undertaking. We're contracting the electrical work out but I'm in charge of ditches, carpentry and generally everything else. It's been somewhat challenging, to say the least, to stay ahead of the electrical contractors but... so far so good. I've taken a ton of pictures of the progress with the intent to post updates here but I've been too busy. It's pretty damn fun building stuff, though. Too bad I don't have any photos in the computer yet or I'd post something.

Because of all the carpentry, building and ditch digging, I haven't had much time to get on my bike. BUT. I am seriously thinking about taking out a race license for next year!!! I won't go nuts like the old days (racing up to 60 days of the year!!!) but I would like to target maybe a dozen or so road and mountain bike races throughout the year. We'll see... The hard part will be to transition from riding casually (though consistently and with satisfaction) to actual training. I trained for SO many years, though, that it really comes naturally and without a heck of alot of effort. It's just time that's the constraint. Big constraint.