A Sunday In Hell

So there’s no money in pro cycling?  Look back 40 years and re-think that.  Rider X is so stylish?  Look back 40 years and re-think that.  Todays racers are so much stronger?  Look back…

…this movie is awesome.  It’s art.  It’s history.  And it makes me want to ride like a Belgian.

sunda

 

When Every Trail Reminds You

Big, long road trip today.  Utah bound.  Kids are graduating from “the BYU”… 31 years after The Old Diesel – now that’s wild to me. It seems like yesterday, but…

…I’ve packed a lifetime in my lifetime by taking lots of detours.

Some detours are good enough to repeat, like today’s hike in Kolob Canyon.

Other detours become journeys.

And some are duds.

Keep barreling down the highway in a hurry, trying to be somewhere, and you’ll get there.

kolob cabin

Fife cabin, built in the 1930’s  Most likely a summer home, to get out of the heat.  Talk about a piece of heaven on Earth.

kolob trail

Which trails are you taking?

graduates

The graduates, Shane and Abbey. Abbey starts her Masters at Long Beach State in the Fall. Shane is off to Deloitte, the consulting side (Trevor is on the accounting side, the brothers are excited to be working together.)

It’s never boring.

14 years later and The TMWC is as fresh as ever.  Today “Young Kevin” knifed his way to his first V, by perfectly executing his simple plan.

While I whipped up the pace on Antonio, he sat in.

While Peter blasted up the A climb, he conserved.

While Sean got us moving up the bike path, he surfed up through the shelled riders.

While Mike shot us to the wall, he slipped by me like a silent assassin.

While Chris launched vicious attacks along the valley bottom, he watched.

While it blew to pieces up the corkscrew, he left the best behind.

Nice job kid.

It’s anybody’s guess who will be the unOFFICIAL Tuesday Morning World Champ on 7/11/17… but I’m putting my money on one of the regulars this year… so much talent is showing up these days.

Check out Pete’s most excellent video

never old

Sea Otter Takeaways

Generalities:

  1.  Sea Otter is an awesome event.  There’s every kind of racing and riding imaginable from Gran Fondos to Downhill MTB.  All kinds of new products from vendors you know and never heard of.
  2. Camping at the venue is the way to go.  Whether you’re in a tent, a van, or a motorhome it’s much nicer to stay at the venue vs packing up every day and making the long journey from Monterrey to the Laguna Seca Racecourse.
  3. The public showers are perfectly hot.  Use ’em.
  4. Sometimes the portable toilets are out of t.p.  Be prepared.

Race Specific:

  1. You won’t be racing with the usual suspects so try and get to know the players.  I should have/could have predicted the players better with a little research on RaceResults.  It was great to podium at the circuit race, but a little more research would have told me who’s wheel to be on.  Could have I have won?… doesn’t matter – couldawouldashoulda.  Same thing on the road race.  The results might have been the same, but we shouldn’t have let the winner get away with 15 miles to go.
  2. If you’re lucky enough to podium, the medals are super rad… and you get to kiss a girl – almost never a bad thing if you earned it.
  3. Camping at the venue made for a much more relaxing race day.
  4. The circuit race is PERFECT pavement, you will nevereverever find a better surface to race on.  Plus, it’s superduper wide.  Do it!
  5. The road race was nice pavement on a rolly and twisty road.  If someone/you get a minute up the road the pack can’t see you anymore.  Also, the entire road is closed to traffic.  It’s the most pro experience I’ve ever had.  The finish is a 2.5 mile climb that is a lot like the last 2.5 miles over The Wall on the TMWC.
  6. My friends that did the MTB XC gave it raving reviews.

Next Time:

  1. I’d like to arrive a day earlier to have time to walk the entire vendor village.
  2. I’d like to stay a couple of days longer and ride up there more.
  3. I’d like to get 3 spots and bring in more motorhomes and get the whole gang up there.

    Exhausted and Thrilled after the road race... pretty much sums up the weekend.

    Exhausted and Thrilled after the road race… pretty much sums up the weekend.

If You’re Shiny And You Know It

Warning:  the following information is not for bikes with matte finish.  If you’re bike is shiny then read on because I’m gonna share my little secret for keeping the shine shiny.

Go to your mom’s cleaning supplies and grab the Lemon Pledge.  Now, I know it’s a stretch but in case you’ve never heard of this amazing product, it’s furniture polish that probably has a lemon citrus base.  If you don’t live with your mom (congratulations on that) you can pick this up at any grocery store.

Spray it liberally on an old t-shirt and wipe down your bike – don’t get it on your brake pads or rims.

It’s fast and easy.

It will tear through that unsightly grease and grime and leave behind a beautiful shine.  Plus, if you live near the beach it will also protect your parts from rust.

Spray it liberally on an old t-shirt and wipe down your bike – do not get it on your brake pads or rims.

It’s fast and easy.

You’ll probably forget you did this until the next time you grab your bike and it feels so “oulala!

lemon pledge

Better Than Most, Not As Good As Some

There used to be this guy on the air during my evening commute who I loved to listen to, he was really smart, really interesting and really polite to his callers.  We never learned his name because rumor had it that he’d “served time”.  HIs name was Mr. KFI, and his signature saying when asked how he was doing was “Better than most, not as good as some”.

If you take the time to get good at something, like bike riding, you’ll get results.  You’ll improve.  You’ll be better than you were last month, last year, last…

Not only that, you’ll be a lot better than almost every single person you know and every single person in your city, state, country and planet.

The bigger the pool the better you will be compared to most people.

The reverse is also true, and I’m going to see that first hand this weekend at Sea Otter.

One of the races I’m planning on is the road race, where the best climbers in my age group will show up.  It has a 2 mile uphill finish.  I’m not a great climber compared to these cats.  Bitching an moaning about that won’t make me any faster…

… but it might ruin my weekend, unless I remember …

I’m better than most, not as good as some.

sea otter

Got To Get You Into My Life

I was alone, I took a ride
I didn’t know what I would find there
Another road where maybe I
Could see another kind of mind there
Then I suddenly see you
Did I tell you I need you
Every single day of my life
You didn’t ride, you didn’t hide
And had you gone, you knew in time
We’d meet again for I had told you
You were meant to be near me
And I want you to hear me
Say we’ll be together every day
Got to get you into my life
What can I do, what can I be
When I’m with you I want to stay there
If I’m true I’ll never leave
And if I do I know the way there
Then I suddenly see you
… The Beatles (slight tweaks by me).

We Gave Up A Long Time Ago

We gave up a long time ago and things got a lot better.  It didn’t happen over night, it takes discipline to realize where you can win and stay focused there.

Racing is always fun, racing events that suit our talents are more fun.  We perform better.  We connect better to the other competitors.  We enjoy the process a lot more.  Whether or not we actually beat everybody is not as important because we perform to our best level and that’s what it’s really all about.

The same thing has happens in business.  The more we focus on cycling specific products, the more we develop our own products, the more fun we have, the better we connect to our customers, the better we get with our processes, and whether or not we win all the business we try and get we are getting better every day.

It’s much better to focus on delighting ourselves racing and delighting our customers with incredible products.

(Some people take their customers golfing, we go riding.)FullSizeRender

 

 

How To Get Even

It’s so easy to get mad.  The more you do it, the easier it is.  More things that tick you off flow your way.  Getting even takes much more effort, but it stops there.

Squirrely rider up ahead?  Get even.  Pull up along side and lovingly share some pointers.

Getting beat in the sprint by a wheelsucker?  Get even.  Next ride just suck wheel too… there’s no need to waste any energy getting mad, plus it’s a valuable skill.

Tired of getting dropped?  Get even.  Ask the faster riders what their doing?  If you can add or delete something do it, if you can’t accept your fate.

Feeling proud of annihilating everybody else?  Get even.  Throw thirty pounds in a back pack next ride.

Gravity…

Hate gravity all you want, it’s still there… reminding you to eat better, climb more.

Hate gravity all you want, it’s still there… making you stronger.

Hate gravity all you want, it’s still there… pulling you down that favorite road/trail, making your eyes tear and your mouth grin.

Still hate gravity?

gravity

Why It’s Like ‘Riding A Bike’?

“It’s like riding a bike”.  Really?  It’s gonna be super awkward at first?  There’s a good chance I’ll get hurt?

No, not like that.  Like, once you do it you’ll never forget how to do it.

Why would anyone want to learn to ride a bike knowing the 100% certainty of pain?

Because we see our friends and family zipping around with huge smiles, and they believe we can do it.

It’s the ratio of small pain to huge pleasure that makes other skills unforgettable, “like riding a bike.”

little on a bike

10 year old Shelby, ripping Deer Valley… sure miss this little kid.

New Choos

Wow… what a difference a new pair of shoes can make.  Why do we wait so darn long to replace such an integral part of the ride?  This is where the muscle meets the metal.  It’s been 4 years since I’ve had new road shoes, and more than that for MTB.  What a dork!?… nah, I had just forgotten how awesome new shoes are.

I’ve owned lots of different brands of shoes over the years.  My feet are weird, which is why I’m in flip flops most of the time.  So, when I find something comfortable I’m reticent to change… a forgivable offense, no?

Anyway, the new shoes felt amazing this morning as I stomped up the 1 minute climbs on one of my new loops.  PR’d a few.

Why is that?

Well, these shoes aren’t the lightest at all.

The soles feel so supportive.  The dials are in a weird place, on the top of my foot… but, I don’t feel any pressure from them being there and the adjustments are very comfortable and even across my foot.

At first glance you wouldn’t guess they’d be airy, but wow! my feet were very cold on the ride this morning.  So the vents really work.

And let’s be honest, a sexy looking shoe is always good for a few watts of mental edge.

There’s supposed to get more comfortable over time… can’t wait for tomorrow’s ride.  Nigh-t-nite.

new choos

All Work And No Play

We were crammed into Terry’s basement, couches covered with kids.  Jack was running, ax in 1 hand, Shelley with a cleaver chasing, the little boy hustling towards the camera.  Snow, cold wind. The Shining climaxed and the volume maxed couldn’t hide my uncontrolled scream!

REDRUM.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Training day after day, without a purpose can make me crazy.

Too one-dimensional, ultimately making me neglect the basics and wind up hurt.

Finally surfed this week, coaches orders, to rehab my shoulder.

The super stiff shoulder (from last fall’s dork crash) slowly loosened up after about 10 minutes in the water.  I turned to catch a wave and that final power paddle shot lightening up my arm… it was delayed and hit me as I popped up, and I hid an uncontrolled scream.

$^&*!

$^&*!

$^&*!

I couldn’t enjoy the ride, I just cruised then turned out and lamely paddled back.  Determined to ease into the next wave, I failed.  Too many years of that final power paddle to pop up.

$^&*!

$^&*!

$^&*!

This time I just rode in.  It hurt too bad.  I could barely move my right arm.

But after the trauma… my shoulder was freer, moved better.  With some therapy today my mobility improved more.  Coaches orders:  surf twice a week, mainly paddle.

It’s good to cross pollinate the training with other sports.  Surfers have strong backs and cores, critical to sprinting and climbing for cyclists.  It doesn’t take much time to make a big difference to your overall fitness… just be careful, and go slow.

shining

Even Perfect Trails Have An End

On my mind today was the sudden death of one of my favorite bloggers, Steve Tilford.  Steve’s writing was pure, honest, simple.  He wrote about racing, his passionate opinions, and life stuff.  I never met him, but feel like I knew him.

Maybe it’s a little more timely, since I stopped in to see my dad yesterday.  His battle with Parkinson’s is brutal.  It’s just hard to experience for me… rather than complain, mixes jokes with genuine interest into our lives.

And so I rode and smelled the wild flowers and felt the wind knowing all perfect days and trails have an end.

IMG_2397

No, Does Not Mean “NO!”

A thousand years ago, I started racing while attending college in Utah.  It started at a local crit held in the huge football stadium parking lot.  I won a few, and winter came.  I purchased a trainer and rode it 3 days a week when it was too cold and snowy.  I skied on the weekends.  Every effort was planned around becoming a 3 before I moved back home in the Spring.

The work paid off, I got the points and I applied with the local  USCF rep.  He asked what was my hurry, and I said I was heading home.  They’re a lot faster down there, I’m not going to upgrade you.

It ticked me off, and chip on shoulder I quickly attained my goal of becoming a 3.  Back then, we’d have 80+ guys on the line.  I’m not saying it was harder than now (yes, I am), but it was very hard to navigate all that humanity and grab points.

Was the guy in Utah right?  Maybe, probably.  Either way, it reinforced a valuable lesson I apply to this day.

For example, today I stopped by the county offices to get a new course permitted.  “No.”  I’ve learned that’s a pretty standard answer from public officials, and I’ve learned what it means to me.  It means, other race promoters are going to have a hard time and most likely get discouraged and quit.  I’ve learned it means this public servant sees some flaws in my plan and that by improving my plan the event will be that much better not only for the next race, but for all future races.

For me, hearing “no” now makes me smile… No => less competition + better product.  It also means we’ll soon have a new venue.

We learned this as children, about the same time we learned to ride bikes.  Some of us haven’t  forgotten the lesson.

adult on bike

The Things We Tell Ourselves

We had a shirt that said “Ride Hard”.  Not a big seller… and not the first design I badly misjudged.  I changed the text to Ride Fast, for me… because while I like to ride hard, and be able to handle the hard ride…

…I’d rather ride fast, any day.

You’ll see that logo in little places on some of our products, because it matters… to me.

I leave notes to myself.

I name my bikes.

I blog.

I leave myself clues to tomorrow.ride fast

Fruit & Loops

Riding the same loops over and over gets old. Today I set out to find something new and totally scored.  Not that new roads magically appeared, it was me connecting them in a new way.  Kinda like when your bike’s tired filthiness sneaks up on you and you bust out the Simple Green and throw on some new GP 4000 S II’s or some new bar tape.

Here’s the loop: https://www.strava.com/activities/919557893 that made me smile.

As for the fruit, I’m trying something new for post recovery:  macadamia nuts and an apple.  Protein, fat and low-glycemic sugar.  Yum.

To make a new loop or route,  I roll out with a general idea and let it unfold… if I hit a light, I might turn right to keep moving and see what happens.  Basically, I just go “where the wind blows”.  It not always be good, but at least it’s a change.

(It’s always good to see the sea.)

new loop

One Man’s Fast Is Another’s Slow

Sean says we need to go faster at TMWC, Marek says OUCH! to today’s edition, Mike rode the course a second time solo and went quicker, I limped home.  That’s a group ride for ya… keeping us all honest with our effort.

Were it not for the weekly men’s support group/social ride we call TMWC, most of us who attend would have no idea where our fitness is, definitely we’d skip the extra mile or two and say yes to the cake and ice cream.

It’s not a cycling monk’s life that motivates us to keep at it, it’s the feedback on how well we’re taking care of our health during our weekly check in that keeps us on track.

If I can’t pedal fast, what else can’t I do to my best ability?

one ;man