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SHOULD WE LEARN TO TUMBLE?

LIKE MOST OF US, we have a group of regular riders.  So far, 3 of the 10 of us have broken bones this year.  One hit a tree skiing, one crossed wheels today...

... and, well, you know my saga.

I was off the back over the top,
and rolled up on the mishap.

If you're a real rider, 
you've broken your collar bone.

Ok, I don't know if that's 100% true.

But, I have broken one,
while riding.

So, it's common.

And I gotta ask...

... Should we take tumbling lessons?

Would it help?

Would it keep us from doing the natural thing vs...

... rolling out of danger?

Maybe, sometimes.

Not a guarantee,
perhaps a skill worth...

  • learning
  • practicing
  • investigating

... got a thought on this?

---

166.7
7.5ish hrs Sleep
No Strengthwork today
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
82


>

IS THIS THE BEST RIDE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?

IMAGINE A RIDE THAT FEATURES all the beauty and wonder of Southern California.  The beaches, the shaded prairies, the tall forests with ski runs...

... covering all of it in a single day.

Oh, and almost no traffic.

Impossible you say.

Not.

100% possible.

It took us years to scout it.

Here are some pics from 2023... route below.

Here's the route: https://www.strava.com/routes/3216181932420212282

It's 120 miles, 15000' of climbing.

We start at Doheny State Beach and wind up in Big Bear, refueling at convenience stores and restaurants along the way.

It's almost all dirt most to Corona, then a 35-mile bike trail across the Inland Empire.  At the bottom of the mountains, we jump on an abandoned logging road, and it's nearly all dirt to the top, and down into Big Bear.

Epic.

Insanely epic.

Are you game for the ride of the year?

Click here: https://pedalindustries.com/products/free-registration-for-the-surf-n-summit-california-5-18-24

---

Some of the FAQ's from a Zoom call yesterday.

Logistics:

      1.    Where to stay Friday Night?  Dinner plans?  Stay as close as you can to Dana Point, where we start… it’s only a few minutes drive to my house.  We’ll have dinner at my place and go over last minute specifics.

      2.    Ride start time?  Official Start is 6am, I highly recommend slower riders leave earlier to make sure we all get to Colton at the same time for the flat 35 miles across the Inland Empire – much easier in a group.

      3.    Where can we store bags? My van… Susie will drive it to Big Bear.

      4.    Confirm - unsupported?  Any plan B options for repairs, crashes, etc.? It’s self-supported, be prepared.

            a. Anyone we can hire to assist?  Is there a way to transport overnight bag? Susie will drive it to Big Bear.

      5.    Big Bear

            a. Anyone staying the night?  TBD on this.

            b. Transporation back to Orange County?  TBD on this.  Some ride back, some Uber back.  We need a final head count.

      5.    Snow blocking trails? Currently yes, but it’s getting warmer and it’s a south facing climb, we should be fine.

People

      1.    How many people are coming and their capabilities?  Unknown, people always commit and don’t show, others never commit and just show up.

            a. We are locomotives not goats:).  Likelihood of creating riding groups of different speeds (any forecasted pacing / finish times)? For sure start early, and KNOW HOW TO UPLOAD A ROUTE to your device.  Any regrouping points?  One for sure, in Colton at a convenience store… depending on pace, we might all meet up at Seven Oaks restaurant about 1/3 up the climb… some of us will do some extra climbing and single track at end of 35 mile bike trail, others will go straight to the climb, which is why we might end up there at roughly same time.

Nutrition

      1.    Where are the nutrition and water stops? ONeil Park is about 2 hours in, a campground with water and bathrooms.  Do NOT dillydally at any stops.  Next stop is Colton, about 4 hours away.  These are my estimates for your speed.

      2.    Water stops on the final climb or is two bottles sufficient? At Seven Oaks restaurant, we can get water, soda, hamburgers, fries… depending on heat, 2-3 bottles.  My bike holds 3.

      3.    Nutrition recommendations? 300-400 calories per hour.  Whatever you like and sits well in your stomach. I like CarboRocket, 333 calories/bottle.

Equipment

      1.    Tire recommendation? I am running Continental Terra Speed 45s, with 32lbs in the rear, 28 in the front.  Lots and lots of sealant before we roll. 

  What are the gravel sections like? Pretty nice, a little more rutted from rain run-off, but totally 100% ridable and fun.  There’s a little single track where trail is currently flooded close to the start.

      2.    Other gear that would be helpful (e.g. hydration pack, lights). Lights for sure, early start, and maybe a late finish.  Be able to carry 3 large bottles worth of water. Get a BLACK  mosquito net, bugs can be nasty… we learned the hard way that the white nets reflect light which was blinding as the sun was setting.

                3.            Clothing recommendations?  (Temp change to expect)?  May is a tricky month, I’ll carry my KOM Jacket which is great for wind and water and small enough to go in my Barrito Bag … my bike will have a Barrito for the KOM jacket, and food and drink mix supplies in my Day Ripper bag.  Only other item I’d carry would be arm warmers… but highly unlikely we’ll need them.  My Wahoo died 30 minutes from the top… bring a battery booster.

---

166
7.5ish hrs Sleep
Pushups and Pullups
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
78

 


>

ARE YOU STRONG ENOUGH TO BE...

I POLLED THE RIPPERS and 100% of them lift weights or do resistance exercise year round.  Well, I was shocked by that.  I had no idea if we rubbing off on each other...

... just hope.

In the beginning, after our first day with real weight, we often echo the great Cheryl Crow song...

... God, I feel like hell tonight.

Why do it?

  • Strong bones
  • Good posture
  • Improved ability to handle challenges

Why not?

  • Takes time
  • Potential to get hurt

Here's my current program,
takes about 15 minutes.

  • 6 pullups
  • 18 pushups
  • 10 shoulder press
  • 5 pullups
  • 15 pushups
  • 6 squats
  • 4 pullups
  • 12 pushups
  • 20 toe raises, 10 heel raises
  • 3 pullups
  • 9 pushups
  • 10 curls (vanity muscles)
  • 2 pullups
  • 6 pushups

In other words, mainly pullups and pushups with something extra to break up the sets.

The focus is on large muscle groups.

In Natural Born Heroes: Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance, there's a strong emphasis on tendon strength being key to true athlete prowess.  We develop that moving heavy weight with large muscle groups...

... the stuff we need to be fast.

For the bar...

  • Jump up to the bar, and let yourself down slowly.
  • Use a pullup assist machine
  • Giant rubberbands

For pushups...

  • Figure out hand positions that are comfy on the shoulders
  • It's cool to start on your knees

Squats...

  • Do air squats and put that arse in the grarsse
  • Go half way down

Start somewhere,
just start.

---

166
7.5ish hrs Sleep
20 pullups 60 pushups 15 shoulder presses + other stuff
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
79


>

HOW TO OVERCOME INJURY

I'VE BEEN ASKED TWICE TODAY if I had any feelings of Why me? after my brain injury.  And, how did I overcome that?  Well, good questions because...

... we all gotta battle through the shiz.

During the darkest days, I only had one thought.

How can I fix this?

We've all been dealt multiple bad hands over the years, and if we think about it...

... we often come through them stronger, better.

It never seems like it at the time.

Our challenges, I believe, are our challenges, for a reason.

As rotten as they appear...

... they are personalized gifts.

If they weren't for our benefit and didn't totally suck,
they'd be easy to overcome,
requiring little effort,
personal growth,
or change.

With that in mind, I set about studying and researching how best to recover from this unplanned set back.  

There's plenty of improvement still to be made...

... and that's exciting as hell!

---

166.7
8ish hrs Sleep
20 pullups 60 pushups 15 shoulder presses + other stuff
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
79


>

GIMME SHELTER

THERE AIN'T NOTHING LIKE A TAILWIND to blow the group to pieces.  The palms were bending, for sure...

... this one was gonna hurt.

It's counter intuitive.

But, it goes like this.

Alone, a tailwind feels nice.

A chance to tap lightly on the pedals and fly along.

In a group, it's whole different game.

The strong go to the front and drill it.

'problem is, there's no draft,
no place to hide,
no rest.

Which is exactly how it went down today.

Three of us were rotating.

Hard pulls.

It felt terrible,
and great.

Nobody else was pulling through.

I didn't blame 'em,
it was hard as heck.

I glanced back...

... gap was 30 feet.

Then 300 feet.

Then, a slight bend in the road,
an every so tiny gap opened, and...

... I was ejected.

Just couldn't close it.

No draft.

How was the ride back up the coast into the wind? 

Well, alone it woulda been a bear.

In the group, much easier.

Sure the brief moment pulling through stung a bit, then...

... it was right back to the shelter.

So, there you have it.

Tailwind, get on the front and get a gap.

Headwind, take it easy, nothings getting away.

---

168.4
9ish hrs Sleep
20 pullups 60 pushups 15 shoulder presses
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
78


>

DO LESS, AND OBSESS

CAN'T GET THIS CONCEPT OUTTA MY MIND, not because I've never considered it, because it's so darn rhymey. I coudn't say it better...

... Do less, and obsess.

Maybe I just needed to hear the message?

The idea of having 1 (one) 'A' race a year has always turned me on...

  • It's more fun to have one focus
  • dive into the nittygritty
  • get granular
  • geek out

... that's the shift I love.

Yeah, I might end up with a bike that's not good for much but a particular course,
training that is so specialized as to be worthless for everything else.

But, that's the point.

To be so singular,
to be uniquely prepared.

Then, and only then, I might have a chance...

... and that's all the hope I need.

When I'm that locked in, it's easy to treat...

... all other races as distractions at best.

Places to test...

  • equipment
  • strategy
  • training

... nothing more.

When I'm that locked in, it's easy to commit... 

... to training blocks and weight lifting.

When I'm that locked in, it's easy to see...

... the big picture.

To do less,
and obsess.

---

168.7
8ish hrs Sleep
20 pullups 60 pushups 15 shoulder presses
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
76


>

HE'S TRYING TO KILL ME

THE POOR WOMAN WAS RED IN THE FACE, if looks could kill her guide/date would be dead.  They'd just cleared a very overgrown jungle and were now pushing their bikes up a rocky stretch...

... who could blame her?

Who could blame him?

Sometimes our sense of adventure...

... is total nonsense.

I could only laugh.

Don't kill him here, you need to get home first!

They had a ways to go.

We have about 5 weeks to prep for the SurfNSummit.

Yeah, it's far.

Lots of climbing.

But, still I'm surprised at how many people misjudge what it takes.

Some, think it's just impossible to complete...

... usually my most fit friends.

Others, show up with what appears to be no business attempting it...

... but, hope and the desire to do something epic.

It's one of those Henry Ford moments.

Whether you think can, or think you can't...

... you're right.

So, if you think you can ride 100+ miles with 15,000+ feet of climbing...

... click here to check it out: 

https://pedalindustries.com/products/free-registration-for-the-surf-n-summit-california-5-18-24

---

168.2
9ish hrs Sleep
No Strength Work
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
76er 


>

AN OBSERVATION ON UNEVEN POWER BETWEEN LEGS

ONE OF THE SETTINGS ON MY POWER METER shows the power put out by each leg.  It can def ovewhelm for an entire ride, because we can...

... freak out about data we don't like.

It's on one of my Wahoo screens.

I see it from time to time on a ride.

Consciously trying to even out the power was annoying the heck out of me.

One leg was always stronger, unless I reallyreallyreallyreally focused.

Then, I had an idea.

Something to try, 
that I used to do.

This came to me when I noticed standing and climbing,
power was always 50/50.

Hmmmm.

What's the difference?

Then I noticed, 
same thing when it got steep and I really had to put out some power.

Well, that was nice to see...

... somewhat calming.

Hmmmm...

... how to do that all the time?

Welp, this is just an observation.

It might not work for you.

Meter could be mismonitoring, but this makes all the difference in the world...

... when I consciously focus on pedaling with the heels down.

What?

Really?

Yes.

What I think is happening is I'm eliminating a dead spot along the top of my pedal stroke...

... gonna verify with my genius bike fitter, Ashley.

---

167.3
8ish hrs Sleep
No Strength Work
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
78

 


>

THE WHAT AND WHY OF A PROPER EZ SPIN

I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET THE LEGS TO COME AROUND, which means I had to actually dedicate myself to do some easy spins.  Because, like most of us it's just...

... darn hard to go easy.

Or, is it just me?

First off, what constitutes an easy spin?

Two things:

  • Low effort
  • High rpm's

How low?

Very bottom of Zone 2, or anything in Zone 1.

How high?

90-100+ rpm's.

Why?

Well, one of my early coaches called it a Rinse Ride for a reason.  

If we are really doing it correctly, 
our legs feel all clean and springy because...

... we rinsed out the crud.

Why else?

  • It's good on the brain
  • Takes the pressure off, simply relaxing
  • Great time to catch up with friends and chat while spinning

How long?

45-90 min seems about right.

The things we think about when we're just spinnin' ez.

---

166.9
8ish hrs Sleep
Just PullUps and PushUps today
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
73


>

EVER HAD THE CRUD BEAT OUT OF YOU, FOR REAL?

GROWING UP, we fought a lot.  We were too weak to do much physical damage, but there was plenty of pride and shame on the line.  It's not much different now...

... when we race.

If we truly get the crud beat out us by...

  • the course
  • the competition
  • our worse, ourselves

... there is only one question.

Did we really get it beat out of us?

Or, are we destined to get pummeled over and over again because...

... the crud is still there?

Is our diet a joke?

Do our handling skills still stink?

Does our bike squeak and wobble?

'Cause if that crud is still there, then...

... it's not beat out of us.

We've just learned to live with mediocrity...

... and that's just plain cruddy.

---

167.8
8ish hrs Sleep
2 Rip On RaceDay Circuits
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
74


>

IS IT TIME TO CONSIDER ROAD PEDALS FOR OFFROAD?

WHEN I WAS PRE-RIDING LEADVILLE a while back, the phenom who would shatter the course record floated by me as I labored.  He made it look so easy...

... was it the pedals?

99% of MTB racers,
dismount on that course. 

There is no way they'd sport road shoes and pedals,
even though they are...

  • Lighter
  • More aero
  • Offer better contact and efficiency

... because once fouled they're VERY difficult to get engaged.

Gravel,
is another deal.

Unless we are pushing the boundaries,
ripping single track,
slaloming sand...

... we're not going to dismount.

The only time would be if crashed,
or unclipped to rutter a turn.

In most gravel races,
that's not likely.

So, should we run the road set up offroad?

I have multiple friends who roll the dice in local XC races...

... and even the long, epic stuff.

It almost always works out great.

Worth the risk?

Up to you.

Worth testing?

100%.

---

167.6
7.5ish hrs Sleep
2 Rip On RaceDay Circuits
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
74


>

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TRAINING BIG BLOCKS?

 A QUESTION CAME UP LAST NIGHT ON OUR ZOOM CALL.  Have you ever trained big training blocks like Keegan Swenson just posted.  Good question...

... does it work?

Maybe.

Here's what I can tell you from personal experience.

18 months ago, I was prepping for my insane time goal at Leadville.

I was really committed.

Holed up in Breckinridge all by myself,
for the month prior.

It's easy to be selfish with the time,
when you're by yourself.

The race is in August.

In July, I did..

  • 20 hours
  • 22 hours
  • 25 hours

... a lot more than my normal 10-12 hours a week.

It was very race specific training.

Lots of Zone 2.

Recovery
was key.

I came out of that in awesome shape,
and had the best race
of
my
life.

Does it work for everybody?

I have no idea.

But, I'll definitely do it again when prepping for a once in a life quest. 

----

168.9
7.5ish hrs Sleep
2 Rip On RaceDay Circuits
10 minutes recovery 
90 minutes reading + Journaling 
73

 

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 


>

THINGS TO CHECK FIRST...

 THERE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK a race, the chief being the bike.  Bikes don't win races, but they sure can make things a lot harder...

... or a lot easier.

As I went through my checklist, I found a few issues:

  • Rear brake pad smoked
  • Sealant dried out
  • Battery low

It's kinda nice to have brakes that work, especially with a ripping downhill like Saturday's.  

The course should be in pretty good shape, but that doesn't mean a small wire or piece of glass couldn't be a day-ender without sealant.

And c'mon...

... ya can't ride these modern bikes without good batteries.

And, I'm not just talking about the derailleur batteries.  Many of the shifters have their own small batteries.

I have made the mistake of not checking the shifter batteries.

Heck, I didn't even know about them until the start of the Filthy 50 a couple of years ago.  I didn't warm up, just saddled up and headed to the start.

Typically MTB XC start... everybody pinned to get to the single track first...

... I got there last.

Shifter was dead, I was spun out and then spit out.

15 minutes later, with some help from the mechanic on site, I was back at it.

Which is exactly why I came up with the RaceDay Bike Checklist, and made it into a sticker.

https://pedalindustries.com/products/raceday-ready™-checklist-stickers

For about a year now we've been shipping the stickers out with each RaceDay Bag purchase.  They're great for tool boxes and benches.

Here's a link to check 'em out: 

https://pedalindustries.com/products/raceday-ready™-checklist-stickers

----

168.7
8.5ish hrs Sleep
2 Rip On RaceDay Circuits
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
71

 

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 

 


>

THE HEROIC MOVE

THERE'S A LOT OF GREAT RACING GOING ON.  Locally, regionally, internationally.  Sometimes we witness the unfathomable attack from impossibly far out, other times...

... a second or third wind, for the win.

By inches.

We shouldn't be impressed.

I'm mean,
it's cool.

We all cheer.

But the truth is the victory was secured long ago.

When nobody was cheering.

It was dark,
lonely,
cold.

The alarm was more drill sergeant, than fan.

In those moments...

... the heroes make their moves.

If we're lucky,
we witness the results.

---

169.1
9ish hrs sleep
No strength work today
20 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
72


>

IT'S LIKE THE SUN GOING UP ON ME

40 DEGREES, 80% HUMIDITY ain't nothing.  Combine that with a dawn start, the sun hidden behind the hills, and, well, when you're going 20+ mph in your underpants...

... it's bonechilly.

I left the knee warmers behind.

No vest.
No jacket.

Just arm warmers,
a base layer,
skull cap.

It's risky,
we might freeze,
this is how we do it...

... when we know sunny times are ahead.

So are they?

Whether we are enjoying the longer days,
recovering from an injury,
just getting back at it...

... we hope and plan for...

  • better fitness
  • decreased fatness
  • all things to improve

... it's a process.

And, we know it.

Just like the sun coming up, 

we imperceptibly rise to the occasion.

That's how today was for me.

Still got dropped,
but made it a little further.

I'll take it. 

Here's a snapshot of where things stand.

There's nothing like a good fitness journey.

How's yours going?

---

168.7
8ish hrs sleep
10 Pullups 30 Pushups
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
73 (per training peaks)


>

MY DUMBEST PREDICTION YET

PARIS-ROUBAIX IS SUNDAY.  I can't wait.  It's always so fun to watch, and such a battle of machine, mind, and bike handling.  Lots of drama, and this year...

... is starts before the famed Arenberg Forest.

The forest is always crazy.

Mud.

Cobbles.

A massive battle for the front ensues for those who want the best chance of getting through with the lead group...

... unscathed.

This year, the organizers decide a chicane right before entering the forest would be a good idea.

Less dangerous.

I looked at the layout.

Here's my prediction.

Rather than racing for the forest entrance to avoid carnage...

... they will race to the chicane.

And...

  • have plenty of lycra on the pavement.
  • or in the barriers
  • or both.

... I hope I'm wrong.

Then, we have to wonder, at least I do, what is the point of racing?

Call me crazy, but I think part of it is to show bike handling prowess.

We're still gonna see it with the chicane.

Just seems like a little chicanery...

... to appease, who?

---

169.1
8 hrs sleep
15 Pullups 50 Pushups 40 Shoulder Press... no legs today.
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
69

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 


>

BLOOD. WORK.

DON'T BE LIKE ME.  Because I never get sick, I never go to the doctor.  Which meant I never had my blood work done.  You're too smart for that...

... here's why.

By regularly getting the blood work done, we have a baseline for "our" normal.

I don't have that.

When I had the brain injury a few months ago,
things changed.

The brain is our command center, telling the body what to produce and control and do, etc.

A brain injury often causes issues with how the body is regulated.

Today, we reviewed my blood work which was drawn a few weeks ago.

Some markers are out of range - too high on some, too low on others.

Bad news is...

... I have no reference point of "my" normal.

Could be genetic, could be from the injury.

Good news is...

... we know where I'm at, and have some corrective measures to take.

Bonus, most indicators are positive for my body, and with my overall health.

Dr. Cory King, my functional health doctor from Encinitas, went over it all with me.

Nothing too scary...

... but definitely areas to not ignore.

Things like cholesterol levels, vitamin levels, etc. that can have negative effects if left untreated.

So, we'll chock this up as another blessing from my brain injury.

Regardless of your awesome health.

Find out where you are at,
things can probably be improved.

Consider this a gentle and loving nudge from me to you...

... get the blood work done.

---

169.4
9 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
70

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 

 


>

CHEAT CODE

HERE'S A DIRTY LITTLE SECRET.  Okay, maybe it's not all that dirty but it is secret and fact is it's...

... a cheat code for life.

There's a reason we get out and do our thing.

Sure, it's great to be in shape.

Have that come what may attitude.

Fact is, even though the fitness is great...

... there's something better.

  • The problems we solve
  • Ideas we come up with 
  • Freedom to think

We often, nearly always, return...

... renewed.

Ready

To

Kicka$$

Even when,
especially when...

... we've rung out our body's energy supply.

---

169.1
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and pushups
10 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
70

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 


>

STRUGGLING WITH WEIGHT... TRY NOT

SINCE MY AWESOME START TO THE YEAR, knocking myself out and spending a 5 days in ICU, my metabolism has changed.  This is not uncommon, given the standard protocols...

... and now I'm pissed.

I didn't ask for this, and that is not the problem.

I haven't asked for a solution.

I have forgotten my own wisdom.

Well, on the eve of my bday, yesterday, I was asked...

... What do you want?

Get my lycracovered buns back in fighting shape.

I went to bed with a question...

... How do I get back to my normal, leanish self?

I woke up with an answer.

A book recommendation appeared on my Kindle.

Feast., Fast. Fit. by Fred Duncan.

It wasn't new information for me.  

Heck, I preach it.

It's worked in the past.

I believe it will work again.

The lesson?

It isn't get on the diet train...

... it's ask the right questions,
and expect answers.

  • How can I get lean?
  • How can I climb faster?
  • How can I stay cool in the blistering heat?
  • How can I complete a century without bonking?
  • How can I reduce the drag created by my bike and body?

Try not.

Ask or ask not.

---

170.3
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and pushups
10 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
70

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 


>

THOU SHALT CARE FOR THY HANDS

TAKING CARE OF THE HANDS is importante.  Road, is pretty straight forward.  So is MTB.  Gravel, well, it's got it's own challenges...

... what can we do?

I've seen plenty of ruined hands...

  • brutal gripshift blisters
  • palms filled with asphalt gravelly stuff
  • a thumb's skin pealed from under the nail past the first knuckle

... all of it could have been spared with gloves.

Personally, I prefer very lightweight fullfinger gloves.

But, that ain't gonna help on the gravel bike.

No suspension.

What can we do?

I double wrap my bars with a good soft tape.

  • helps with vibration
  • displaces pressure points across a wider area

I was reminded of how great this is just last week.

It'd been a while since I'd ridden the roadie, been riding the gravel bike on and off road a ton.

As soon as I got going the bars felt weird.

Sharp.

Oh yeah, the single wrap bar.

It's lighter.

More aero.

But, I'd never go back to a single wrap on the gravel bike.

---

170.5
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and pushups
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
67

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 


>

WHICH NUMBERS ARE WE CHASING?

THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE between the kinds of numbers some of us focus on putting up.  Some chase big power numbers, while others chase small numbers...

... what's the corresponding motivation?

You know.

Are we more interested in the low numbers: 1st, 2nd, 3rd...

... or, increasing our own personal power numbers?

Do we need everybody to see us on the podium...

... or, are we thrilled when we privately snag a new PR?

We can go out to the race,
or we can design our own incredible adventure.

We can train to beat everybody,
or our training can help us live our best lives.

They're not necessarily mutually exclusive,
there are four seasons for a reason.

---

169
8.5 hrs sleep
No strength work
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
67

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 


>

IS IT TIME TO STOP BINGING?

SATURDAYS ARE MY DAYS.  All week long, I look forward to getting up early and rolling out with no particular plan but wasting time via hours in the saddle...

... I call it binge riding.

Not today.

It was raining

When that happens on the 6th day of the week,
my day,
I'm typically grumpy.

This time,
I was looking forward to it.

Why?

Honestly, I'd been binge riding too much.

Too many days in a row spent
slipping out after work
staying out too long...

... the time change being my enabler.

I was unconsciously due for a break.

Some call it overtrained...

... overbinged is more accurate,
for me.

---

168.2
7.5 hrs sleep
Lots of pull ups, pushups and squats.
10 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
68

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 

 


>

THE OL' WHAT IF YOU KNEW...

THESE TWO PUNKS SHOWED UP TO MY HOUSE, and dragged their dear ol' dad out for his favorite thing.  Riding MTBs with them...

... that wasn't the best part.

Sure, it was fun to keep up with 'em.

Mostly.

Then, completely overdoing it at Cheesecake factory.

The best part was dropping by the Audi store...

... and hotrodding around in a $70k RS3.

So.

Dang.

Fast!

It's good to get in the dream car, and throw it around some corners...

... to keep the dreams alive.

But, what if it wasn't a dream.

What if... 

... you knew you could PR any segment, win any race?

What would it be?

If we don't know,
can't quickly answer the question..

... likely not going to happen.

But, 
what
if 
we
knew...

... then,
what would we do with today's training?

---

1680
7.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
69

Do you want to Rip On Raceday? 


>

JUST BECAUSE IT'S FREE MEANS...

SO MUCH INFORMATION, and so much of it free.  Free is a weird price, because we know it's gonna cost time and there's probably...

... an ask down the road.

Don't be fooled.

Sometimes the really expensive stuff is great,
sometimes it's terrible.

Same for free.

Price is a signal.

Should we be swayed?

I recently got an offer to save 30% on a $6000 frame.

6K!!!...

... must be awesome.

Maybe.

But, how do we know?

Really?

The glossy magazine ad?

The pro riding it to a win?

It can be frustrating.

When it comes right down to it, most of us...

... are swayed by our friends' reviews.

Like these -> https://pedalindustries.com/pages/reviews...

... which I'm extremely grateful for.

---

168.3
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
69

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?

 


>

DOES YOUR DOG BITE?

THE GREAT INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU encounter with a dog is classic.  The dog is off leash, he asks Does your dog bite? The answer is, No.  He bends to pet the dog...

... only to have the dog viciously latch on to his hand!

I thought you said your dog does not bite?

That is not my dog.

I thought about that since Surfergirl has...

  • demanded
  • pleaded
  • asked

... that I let her track me on my rides.

I feel like a dog on a leash.

The Jason Bourne in me wants none of that.

There's nothing to hide,
when I ride.

But, really?

She does have a point.

I often venture into the wild.

Signs with warnings of mountain lions and snakes about.

Trails are often treacherous to the bike, 
and potentially me.

Humans few and far between.

If, if, if I should need a rescue,
which I never have...

... I'll just need two things.

A cell signal...

... and a friend who cares.

It's kinda romantic when ya think about it,
guess we're doing all right. 

---

168.2
8ish hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
69

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?


>

HOW MY LITTLE PRACTICE LOOP TOOK ME DOWN

I SET OFF TO POUND MY PRACTICE LOOP.  The profile is jagged, lots of single track, and...

... I'm trying to crack 90 minutes.

Today's failure is why it's so important to practice racing.

Here's the dill.

This course is very hard to stay fueled on...

... almost impossible to drink, forget about eating.

Which meant I was tuckered out, with 4 miles to go.  The last 30ish minutes are pretty dern steep.

With about 20 minute warm up,
winging it on 1/2 bottle and 100 calories was a weak effort.

Just not enough.

Strava called a Massive Relative Effort, 
giving the workout a score of 192.

I'll try it again in a couple of weeks.

This time with 400 calories, 
and 30 ounces of water,
in a Camelbak.

There just isn't time to suck on a bottle,
the bladder hose is easy to grab,
and once in my mouth,
handsfree.

Ya can't figure that out without simulating what ya might be racing...

... in real world conditions.

---

169.1 lbs (dropping some of these will speed things up, too)
8ish hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
67

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?

 


>

SPEED AND BRAKES, NOT ALWAYS OBVIOUS

THERE'S A TECHNICAL, ROCKY SECTION on part of a local trail.  First-timers walk it, new riders use a slow approach, locals...

... let it rip.

They know something.

Speed makes it much easier to glide over the the treachery.

It's counterintuitive.

Disc brakes are the same way.

They rub.

We pry 'em apart and reinsert the wheel.

Soon into the ride they are rubbing again.

Why?

The pads are worn out.

You'd think they would stop touch the disc or barely work when running thin.

That's the way rim brakes work when the pads are worn down.

Not discs.

Counterintuitive.

Which why we alwaysalwaysalways check our brake pads before a race...

... so we hit the tricky stuff with speed.

---

167.9 lbs
8ish hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
66

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?


>

DO YOU D.H.T.?

 WE MAY NOT BE PRO.  Our equipment may be lacking, our preparation woeful, our  focus far from singular...

... which makes it all the more impressive.

When we, you and me...

... Do Hard Things.

Just like the pros,
but on a whole other level.

They level up,
get a pay check.

Our objective has nothing to do with money, and...

... everything to do with commitment.

Here's the cool part.

People see it.

Our family, friends, work associates, neighbors, etc.

They get inspired.

Maybe not to ride 100 miles or run a marathon or do an Ironman.

Doesn't matter.

The ability to D.H.T. can be applied to anything...

  • changing diapers in the middle of the night
  • studying instead of clubbing
  • making 100 cold calls/day
  • working 80 hrs a week for a season
  • pushing a car off to the side of the road
  • leading volunteers to repair after a disaster strikes

... once we learn we have it within us.

---

169.1 lbs
8.5 hrs sleep
No strength work today
10 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
66

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?

 


>

WE NEED A METRIC FOR THIS

THE FIRST TIME I SAW SHIMANO'S INTEGRATED SHIFTING, dubbed SIS, I knew there was no chance in a sprint without it.  Sure we'd perfected the lost of art of...

... sprinting, letting go of the handlebars with one hand to shift.

But, what was the point?

It was useless.

Shimano changed the game, all because...

... Gripshift had changed the game.

Gripshift morphed into SRAM.

Shimano gave us electric shifting.

SRAM did it better with wireless.

How is that my new Kindle got me thinking of this?

Simple.

Kindle changes the reading game.

Which got me thinking about another game changer, Training Peaks.

It's pretty cool.

All kinds of data.

But, one metric is missing and would...

... be so funny to have.

A measurement for how bad a ride sucks...

  • Freezing rain
  • Frying pan heat
  • Mile long hike-a-bike
  • Gail force headwinds
  • Countless mechanicals

... indicating our badassness for getting it done,
not quitting.

For example, we rolled the dice this morning on a 38% chance of rain.

No big deal, right?

3 hours in, we face another hour of driving headwind and relentless rain...

... the suckometer was needling past halfway.

  • Hands were edging towards inoperable.
  • Too wet and involved to eat carbs
  • Feet sloshing

Not terrible.

But, somewhere on the ride data it woulda been nice to see...

... the badassometer read out.

Just fer fun.

See where the day's suckiness ranked against other such rides over time.

Time to go back the Kindle...

... under the blankies.

Me still cold.

---

167.9 lbs
7.5 hrs sleep
Just pull ups and push ups
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
67 

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?

 


>

LEARNING TO RIP FROM MARCH MADNESS

BALL AND STICK SPORTS are typically concerned with, and built around, offense and defense.  How do we...

... apply that thinking to our endurance addictitions?

Do we have offense?

Defense?

Yep.

Offense

  • Riding, running swimming time
  • Weight lifting
  • Racing and competitive group rides
  • Upgrading equipment - new, shiny stuff
  • Hiring a coach
  • Fine tuning the bike fit
  • Developing our handling skills

Defense

  • Recovery work
  • Sleep
  • Proper nutrition
  • Accountability partner(s)
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Stretching
  • Allies to work with when falling behind

And before you say I've misplaced one of those, we all know...

... the best defense is offense and visa versa.

That's not the point.

The point is to figure out...

... how to incorporate a great offense and defense in our limited time.

---

167.8 lbs
8.25 hrs sleep
Just pull ups and push ups
20 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
62

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?


>

TWO OF LIFE'S MYSTERIES

THERE TWO MYSTERIES THAT SCIENCE can't explain.  AI doesn't have the answer, either. But's they are facts just the same.  For example...

... why do beginners get all the flats?

Riddle me that one LycraMan.

You know it's true.

You know if you invite a new, excitedtobethere, rider along, there's gonna be a flat.

Waywaywayway more often than the experienced riders will experience.

Makes no sense.

Just like why more bike shops don't have a comfy couch to wait for that...

.... just a few more minutes...

repair.

Maybe a coffee table showcasing

  • A colorful catalog of their favorite products
  • Samples of their go to sports drinks or things to chomp
  • Gotta have tools to check out

I was thinking of another mystery as I swapped out my worn disc brake pads...

... why more of us don't learn the basics of maintenance. 

---

168.7 lbs (the struggle is real)
8.25 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and push ups
20 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
63

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?


>

THE PRIDE CYCLE QUEST

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT YOU'RE PROUD OF?  Could be anything, but let's stay on point with athletic endeavors because it's important...

... to harness this concept.

The Pride Cycle Quest.

It's also dangerous,
if we let it get the best of us.

For me, at least, it's all about the quest.

Can I do it?

And, it's a cycle...

  • Pick the outrageous result to chase
  • Train for it.
  • Do it.

... and pick another quest.

I don't really care if anybody else thinks it's cool,
so few understand us anyway.

It's internal.

Am I proud of that result?

It's only dangerous if we are chasing likes and kudos and cheers...

... from the world.

It's not about that.

It's about the quest.

It's personal.

I'm happiest when I have at least one per year.

That's my cycle of pride.

---

167.9 lbs 
7.25 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and push ups
10 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
62

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?


>

CHASING GHOSTS

PATHS BECOME TRAILS, trails become roads, roads become highways.  It's evolution, and underneath it all are the ghosts...

... who got it started.

We think we're blazing a trail,
when we are really just going along with the crowd.

I was thinking about the day my longgone granpappy came to watch me race a criterium.

It was all new to me.

We wizzed past him every lap.

But, the laps were long...

... and he could barely see at that stage.

Afterwards, he told me how it was years before, when he was young.

I thought it would be in a velodrome and I'd be able to see you entire race.

Clueless me had no idea velodrome racing was the only bicycle racing 100 years ago.

Prior to that, it was racing bicycles long distance, on dusty...

... gravel roads.

In other words, we gone from...

  • gravel
  • to velodrome
  • to road
  • to bmx
  • to mtb
  • to gravel

... so why is gravel "new"?

It's not.

We're all just chasing ghosts who've gone before.

---

168 lbs 
8.25 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and push ups
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
62

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?


>

THIS AIN'T NO TIME FOR FOOLING AROUND

WHAT IS THE BASELINE?  The minimum effort to do and consider the week a win?  It's important to have the least acceptable effort in mind...

... and make it happen.

Riding in the rain will make you think things like that.

Like, why the heck am I doing this?

Which is exactly what I was thinking as the skies opened an hour away from home.

Because I made a plan.

A public commitment.

Accountability.

Yesterday, in the sunshine and 72 degrees I committed to do the following this week:

  • 15 pull ups, 50 push ups, 10 squats daily
  • Ride 14 hours this week
  • Drop 3 lbs 

Easy to do when the weather is good, 
and the day lazy.

The public commit was to the RaceDay Rippers,
who also hold me accountable each week when we check in.

I'm two months out from my next quest, the SurfNSummit.

The plan is on my RaceDay Calendar. 

Some say Show me your calendar and I'll know what important to you...

... and yes, Date Night better be on there each week.

We have a few of the Giant RaceDay Calendars left, and you can save 25% since a quarter of the year is nearly past by using promo code:

CAL25OFF

https://pedalindustries.com/products/pedal-black-2024-giant-raceday-calendar

Here is the code:

CAL25OFF

Nod to the great Talking Heads for the inspiration

This is ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no time for foolin' around

---

168.9 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and push ups
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
59

Do you want to Rip On Raceday?


>

HOW TO STAY SLOW...

IT'S SUPER EASY TO STAY SLOW, and just as easy to stay fast.  To stay slow, do what your slow friends do and...

... expect to get fast.

The problem with actually getting fast,
nobody gives you credit.

For the most part, they can't see or appreciate, and will never know...

... how hard we work.

And, we've got to be okay with that.

To commence,
recognition be damned.

To be fast, do what you fast friends do...

... and expect to get fast.

Do.
Expect.

---

168.4 lbs 
7.5 hrs sleep
Push Ups and Pull Ups
10 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
58

Rip On Raceday

 


>

WWDGD?! - 25 WEEKS TO GO

I FELT GOOD ENOUGH THIS WEEK TO DREAM of getting my fitness back and setting unrealistic goals.  Is there anything better than that?  Getting to a place to...

... dare to go for it.

After pushing hard for nearly 3 hours, we had a choice.

Take it easy or do the hurtful climb?

500' in a mile doesn't sound like much...

... unless it's the last climb of a fast day.

We were gonna skip it, and then Love Watts yelled...

... WWDGD!

Huh?

What Would David Goggins Do?!

There was no choice at that point, because all of us have streeeeeeeeetch goals this summer.

It was fine.

Slower than I'd like...

... but, compared to last week waywayway better.

And so the journey begins.

The countdown to Gravel Nationals.

Here's where I'm at.

You can see my fitness score at the very bottom.
Down from over 50%, 18 months ago.

Weight, 168ish.
Up 10 lbs, 18 months ago.

Vision is still messed up.
Way off from what I considered one of my few advantages racing off road.

Can I be ready September 8th, 2024?

It's gonna be fun, 
and frustrating.

WWDGD?

Go for it.

Every
single
freakin'
opportunity.

---

168.2 lbs 
8 hrs sleep
Push Ups and Pull Ups
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
60

Rip On Raceday


>

WHEN THE RACE PLAN GOES TO HECK IN A HANDLEBAR

IT WAS A ROUGH START, things weren't going smoothly at all.  It was causing a lot of stress and internal turmoil.  Energy I'd hoped to reserve for...

... more important sections of the event.

Ayyyy, what to do?

What I always do... 

... but, forget to do.

Think of of the things going right...

  • I felt good
  • I'd started on time
  • My prep was perfect

... other words be grateful for the good.

My energy shifted.

I calmed down.

Focused on getting down to business.

Wound up having a spectacular day...

... at the office.

Tomorrow's race should go a lot better, and if it doesn't...

... I know what to do.

---

168.2 lbs 
8.5 hrs sleep
Push Ups and Pull Ups
20 minutes recovery 
600 minutes reading + Journaling 
56

Rip On Raceday


>

YOU INSURED FOR THAT?

WELL, THE BILLS ARE COMING and I'm thinking about you and me.  For years I've looked at health insurance as lame. Struggled mentally, sometimes economically...

... to pay that everlarger bill.

Why?

I never get sick.

Rarely, and I mean rarely, do I see a doctor.

I'm already doing all they would recommend to get better...

  • eat good
  • skip sugar
  • get plenty of rest
  • and workout regularly

... why would I spend the $ on insurance?

It feels like I'm being duped.

Well, there are these events called...

... accidents.

They happen,
and are almost completely unplanned.

So, yeah, my bills are coming in and I'm happy as being at the to of the podium at my A race...

... 'cause it looks like almost all of it covered.

Sucks to be out 1000s...

... but, way better than being out 100s of thousands.

Just putting this out there 'cause I love you...

... get covered, if ya ain't.

====

Side Note:  has anybody tried insurance for bike like BikeInsure?  Asking for myself, just found out about 'em

---

167.2 lbs 
7.8 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
56

 


>

DO YOU LET POWER OR HR DETERMINE YOUR HARD VS EASY DAYS?

I HADN'T WORN MY HR MONITOR FOR DAYS.  It wasn't working consistently, so I left it parked in the drawer. Until today, I gave it a shot and it actually worked...

... it got me thinking about the levels of easy.

There's so easy...

  • I can barely feel the pedals
  • I can sing a song
  • I can easily talk
  • I am not sure

... and maybe a few more levels.

My goal today was to ride as close to the top of my Zone 2 as possible, without going over...

... the I'm not sure range.

I wasn't sure, because my heart rate was bouncing at the top of the range.  Meanwhile...

... my power was definitely over into a higher range quite often.

This is how I trained for decades, when I just had a HR monitor.

What's more important then...

... HR in Zone 2 or Power in Zone 2?

I'm gonna say, for me at least, HR is more important.  It is more reflective of how all systems are working given the effort and absorbs the little efforts when the terrain or other elements require a few more watts.

Here's a real world application.

When I'm racing something epic, like Leadville, I'm going off heart rate for my pacing, and using the power meter to keep things in check when I have to dig a little deeper to close a gap or clean a technical uphill section.

The reality is, for peak performance on the long efforts...

... it's good to have both.

If it's a short race, under an hour, well, you know...

... put the dadgum gadget in the back pocket and race on feel.

Same for a long day of adventuring, who cares about the data when we're out there.

Enjoy the ride.

We can analyze later.

---

168. lbs 
7.8 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
57

Rip On Raceday


>

SHOULD WE DO A HUNDRED RACES IN A YEAR?

YA WANNA GET GOOD, be a boss, strike fear in your frenemies, be the maker of things that happen...

... instead of wondering what happened?

Race.

A lot more.

100 times/year.

Think I'm crazy?

Think it's immmm po siiiiii ble?

Then don't do it.

Don't even try.

Keep wonderin',
misreading the moves.

Or, commit.

Do:

  • 2 zwifties 
  • 2 local races
  • 2 group rides 
  • 2 of your own personal courses for PR

We all have 52 chances a year,
to race twice a week.

No excuses.
Nothing but upside.

Heck, even a brain-damaged guy like me can do it.  

This week...

  • hammering my xc race loop Tuesday
  • group ride on weekend

... slaying myself today, getting crushed by the fellas Saturday.

Gotta start somewhere.
Gonna do what hurts and what I'm comfortable with.

Twice a week.

Oh... I know you're askin'...

... Why 100 times a year?

Because, every race is different.  

We'll see a lot of different situations.  

We're trying to see 'em all, or have a reallyreallyreally good feel for what is going to happen.

Simple as that.

Experience counts.

Get some.

It's free.

---

168.6 lbs 
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
55

Are you ready to Rip On Raceday?


>

NOT GONNA LIE

WHEN I FINALLY CAME TO, I had one thing on my mind.  Not after first being knocked out, not after the morphine and other meds wore off, days after being home...

... I wanted to say one thing.

Not gonna lie.

I was hurting.

Stunned.

How could my crazy good health take such a drastic turn in seconds...

... this wasn't what I had planned for 2024.

8 weeks later, I'm improving.

I'd leave it there, but...

... not gonna lie.

I'm nowhere near where I was just prior, nor 12 months ago, nor 2 years ago.

I'm off.

I can work 4-5 hours,
then my brain needs a break.

I can ride my bike,
but I have no power,
off-road vision is shift.

I can talk to friends,
until I can't.

Something even more weird happened though.

Something few will admit or acknowledge or maybe even notice...

... when I took that blow to the noggin' it felt like my spirit left my body.

There's a disconnectedness.

I know things aren't quite right.

Will they return or is life just going to be different?

Not gonna lie...

... this is new territory.

Now, I'm being as honest and transparent as possible in all I do.

My friend battling cancer taught me that,
the freedom of being honest.

Yes, I hid it from Surfergirl that on one of my first bike rides alone I was going down the road and thought I saw 4 ducks crossing the road in front of me...

... it was just two,
that's troubling.

Not gonna lie.

I kept riding.

Lying to myself it was all good,
hiding the truth if asked.

What is easier, being honest with ourselves and those around us or pulling the lycra over our eyes and theirs?

To remind myself of my new commitment...

... I made a special kit, see above.

That's the kind of thing I was looking forward to in 2024.

New designs, 
new patterns,
new fabrics.

The good newsy stuff.

If you're into the rawness of honesty, maybe you'll like this too.

It's patterned after one of my all-time favorite Porsche's.

Check the full kit here:  https://pedalindustries.com/collections/ngl-collection

Use this promo code on this kit to save 30%: NGL30

Code expires on 3.15.24.

---

168.6 lbs 
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
54

Rip On Raceday

 


>

HE SWITCHED TEAM, AND IT...

TODAY AN AMERICAN WON PARIS-NICE, an 8-Day stage race in France.  A youngun, 25 years old.  He'd never done it before, and wasn't picked as a favorite...

... except he picked himself.

A long time ago.

When riding for a less professional, less scientific team he was spending his own cash on equipment and training to up his game.

Something the top teams covered and pursued relentlessly.

He jumped at the chance to upgrade to the current dominant force in European road racing this season.

Would it matter?

I'd say it is clear.

What's interesting is how many of are trapped like a monkey...

... failing to let go, when we know we should.

Not only did he upgrade his team and training, but placed a huge bet on himself in a daring and startling breakaway with fellow US racer Brandon McNulty.

When you are a pro...

... winning actually is everything.

Way to go Mateo Jorgenson.

---

168.4 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
No Strength Work
10 minutes recovery 
20 minutes reading + Journaling 
53

Rip On Raceday



 


>

HOW TO GET FASTER FOR DUMMIES

APPARENTLY, LOVE WATTS FORGOT our commitment to go easy on the way up the coast.  Which meant we had time to do the biggest climb I've done this year...

... 2 hours and 2000' of climbing for our "warm up".

At the usual time, riders flocked in and we were off.

It felt good to do my first group ride of the year...

  • to see the guys
  • get whooshed along
  • and see some higher power numbers

... until the first overpass.

Where I was off the back.

Caught on at a light.

Off again.

On again.

My breathing and wheezing needed a muffler.

On the next power climb, normally 2ish minutes...

... I needed an extra minute or three.

They were gone.

Yeah, they are nowhere near as fast as I am...

... they're a heckuvalot faster.

Am I good with that?

Yeah, they've always been faster than lit'l ol' me.

Now I just need patience to close the gap to where...

... they are less faster.

So, here's the plan that I've used many a year...

... pick a spot beyond where I got popped today.

Make it just a little further each week.

Corner by corner,
Hill by hill.

Progress > Perfection

--- 

167.6 lbs 
8 hrs sleep
No strength work today
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
54

 


>

IT WAS ABOUT THE TRUTH, NOT ARMS RACE

I HATE TIMETRIALS.  I mean, I like 'em, but, yeah, I hate 'em.  It's not because I'm not great at 'em, and trust me I'm not.  It's because...

... they hurt so dang bad.

Not only that, it's...

  • lonely
  • painful
  • humbling

... is there anything more truthful than getting passed by your minute man?

No drafting.
No wily cunning.

Nothing matters except...

... who is the strongest,
and who can suffer the most.

Oh, wait, one more thing matters...

... who's got the most money to afford the most advanced gear.

When everything tiny thing adds time and seconds matter...

... it can turn into an arms race.

I'm okay with that to a point.

Butttttttttt, don't ya think participation would rise...

... if we raced Merckx-style?

At least at the amateur level?

On our road bikes vs tt bikes?
With road helmets?
And "normal" road wheels?
And... you get the point right?

As much as I hate/love a tt, I truly appreciated Tucson Bicycle Classic for making their tt be done on road bikes the last to years.

It's just a lot more fair/approachable/inviting...

... and equally miserable for all.

That's the truth.

Side note:  I think I love XC MTB racing because it's basically a mass start time trial.  The terrain naturally and quickly separates us.  

--- 

168.4 lbs 
8.5 hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
51

 

 


>

WERE YOU AS DORKY AS THIS?

WHEN I WAS JUST GETTING INTO THE SPORT, I was such a dork.  A small percentage of you will disagree, maybe even swear at me, but nothing says...

... stay clear, like a mirror.

I know, I know, some of us are damaged and can't look over our shoulders.

Too stiff,
crap balance.

I was neither of those.

I was a spry young newb.

Excited to ride and race.

And my girlfriend of the time wanted to get me something cool.

I quickly mounted the mirror to the end of my handlebar - see pic above.

I thought it was rad.

Perfect for the high speeds and shoulder banging of crit racing,
which I loved.

Rather than turn my head and telegraph my plans,
I could take a peek at my mirror.

Nobody else thought it was cool...

... and they made an obnoxious and clear point of it.

If my hairy legs,
questionable bike handling,
roadrashed arms and legs weren't a give away...

... the mirror, made it clear.

I was not to be trusted in the bunch.

Here's the dill.

They were right.

Because let's face it, anybody focused on the past...

... doesn't have a shot at a winning future.

--- 

167.8 lbs 
8ish hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
50


>

I DON'T ALWAYS RIDE IN THE RAIN...

I COULD SEE THE STORM BREWING.  Like a crazy fool, I rolled out anyway even though I was certain to...

... get caught in the rain.

Trust me, I am a fair weather rider.

Gimme 70 degrees,
and a lite breeze.

So why ride?

Two reasons.

One embarrassing.
One legit...

  • Poorly executed work day
  • It rains on raceday
  • Commitment

Yeah, I had all this work scheduled and a timeline to follow....

... and, well, ya know, things didn't go as planned.

That's 1.

Since it does rain on raceday, and I've never let that stop me from lining up...

... it's good to practice from time to time.

That's 2.

And I committed to myself to get my slothful self back in shape.

That's 3, a bonus.

So which one's embarrassing?

  • crap planning
  • useless prep
  • silly commitment

Well, I dunno about you...

... but, I'm cool with

  • keeping my commitments,
  • being prepared for all conditions,
  • even when things don't go as planned.

--- 

167.4 lbs 
7ish hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
50

 


>

IT FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME!

I WOULD CLIMB ANY MOUNTAIN, ride across the stormy sky.  It seemed like I'd waited a lifetime, spent so much time in recovery...

... it felt like the first time!

The MTB.

Like it never did before,
like I'd opened up the door.

Finally!

What is it?

I guess it's just the rawness of nature,
bringing out the rider in me.

Dawgawn I'd missed it.

Carving turns,
wiggling up technical sections,
brushing the thistles,
hanging my lycra off the back in the steeps.

Why today?

Well, to be honest, today was a breakthrough on my vision.

The double-vision I've been dealing with was greatly diminished.

Partly time.
Partly exercises for my eyes.

One of you loyal readers,
one of us,
took the time to share with me a gift for everyone.

Tools for increasing our eyesight,
the kind we need to quickly assess the best way to rip it up off road (on road, too).

You can check the tool out here: https://www.readbetweenthelions.org.  Go to the K-12 program.

It's free.

Thanks Rick!

Makes me wonder what else we can learn from each other?

Speak up y'all!

Let's get betterfasterstronger...

... together.

Have you checked out https://pedalindustries.com/pages/rip-on-raceday-network?

(yeah, this post is a nod to Foreigner)

--- 

168.2 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
48


>

WHADAYA THINK OF UNDULATING TERRAIN?

WE HAVE SOME WEIRD LINGO.  Have you ever heard any body, ever, use the phrase undulating terrain?  Why would they?  When you're motor-powered...

... who cares about the terrain!

Human-powered,
totally different story.

Every bump in the road and trail counts.

The longer we're out there,
the more it counts.

Sooooooooo...

... whadaya think of undulating terrain?

Do you love it?

Or, do you prefer...

  • flat
  • downhill
  • tailwinds
  • straight up
  • headwinds

... lots choices when we roll out.

Me?

Well.

There are times when I'd give my chamois pad for a flat road with a tailwind.

Days when I feel so amazing I just wanna climb and climb and climb.

But, faced with a choice...

... give me undulating.

Ups.
Downs.
Lots a turns.

That's the ride I choose.

--- 

169.2 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
48


>

ACTION WINS EVERY TIME

WHY WAS IT SO MIND BLOWING?  Yesterday's Strade Bianchi race was so shocking to me.  Because, to me, all the pundits...

... missed the point.

Sure, the favorite won.

This was the inspiring part...

  • he told everybody where he'd attack in advance of the race
  • made a decisive attack 81 km from the finish
  • never looked back
  • and won

... who wouldn't want to be able to do that?

What blew my mind 
was what the talking heads missed.

This athlete,
is a racer of action.

He had a plan,
and went for it.

Could it have failed?
Most definitely.

Could he have looked foolish?
For sure.

Could he have lost the race outright?
Absolutely.

Did he?
No.

Because he took action.

You miss 100% of shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

--- 

167.2 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
No strength work today.
10 minutes recovery 
90 minutes reading + Journaling 
48


>

QUESTION: IS THIS A HIGH DEMAND SPORT?

I WAS LISTENING TO SOME GUYS ARGUE about whether or not was their religion was high demand, and it got me thinking is ours?  Are endurance sports...

... high demand?

Yes.
No.

For me, and maybe for you, too...

... its high demand.

Just consider...

  • Training
  • Fueling
  • Resting

... these are the biggies.

They are priceless,
in a sense.

Which is why the are so easy to screw up,
and so misunderstood by lookers on.

We can't put...

  • Training time
  • Good fueling choices
  • Proper sleep and recovery

... on a credit card.

We've got to demand it from ourselves...

... but, is it really demanding when we love the results?

--- 

166.2 lbs 
7 hrs sleep
No strength work today.
20 minutes recovery 
90 minutes reading + Journaling 
48


>
SHOULD WE LEARN TO TUMBLE?

SHOULD WE LEARN TO TUMBLE?

Apr 20, 2024 TODD BROWN

LIKE MOST OF US, we have a group of regular riders.  So far, 3 of the 10 of us have broken bones this year.  One hit a tree skiing, one crossed wheels today...

... and, well, you know my saga.

I was off the back over the top,
and rolled up on the mishap.

If you're a real rider, 
you've broken your collar bone.

Ok, I don't know if that's 100% true.

But, I have broken one,
while riding.

So, it's common.

And I gotta ask...

... Should we take tumbling lessons?

Would it help?

Would it keep us from doing the natural thing vs...

... rolling out of danger?

Maybe, sometimes.

Not a guarantee,
perhaps a skill worth...

  • learning
  • practicing
  • investigating

... got a thought on this?

---

166.7
7.5ish hrs Sleep
No Strengthwork today
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
82

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IS THIS THE BEST RIDE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?

IS THIS THE BEST RIDE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?

Apr 19, 2024 TODD BROWN

IMAGINE A RIDE THAT FEATURES all the beauty and wonder of Southern California.  The beaches, the shaded prairies, the tall forests with ski runs...

... covering all of it in a single day.

Oh, and almost no traffic.

Impossible you say.

Not.

100% possible.

It took us years to scout it.

Here are some pics from 2023... route below.

Here's the route: https://www.strava.com/routes/3216181932420212282

It's 120 miles, 15000' of climbing.

We start at Doheny State Beach and wind up in Big Bear, refueling at convenience stores and restaurants along the way.

It's almost all dirt most to Corona, then a 35-mile bike trail across the Inland Empire.  At the bottom of the mountains, we jump on an abandoned logging road, and it's nearly all dirt to the top, and down into Big Bear.

Epic.

Insanely epic.

Are you game for the ride of the year?

Click here: https://pedalindustries.com/products/free-registration-for-the-surf-n-summit-california-5-18-24

---

Some of the FAQ's from a Zoom call yesterday.

Logistics:

      1.    Where to stay Friday Night?  Dinner plans?  Stay as close as you can to Dana Point, where we start… it’s only a few minutes drive to my house.  We’ll have dinner at my place and go over last minute specifics.

      2.    Ride start time?  Official Start is 6am, I highly recommend slower riders leave earlier to make sure we all get to Colton at the same time for the flat 35 miles across the Inland Empire – much easier in a group.

      3.    Where can we store bags? My van… Susie will drive it to Big Bear.

      4.    Confirm - unsupported?  Any plan B options for repairs, crashes, etc.? It’s self-supported, be prepared.

            a. Anyone we can hire to assist?  Is there a way to transport overnight bag? Susie will drive it to Big Bear.

      5.    Big Bear

            a. Anyone staying the night?  TBD on this.

            b. Transporation back to Orange County?  TBD on this.  Some ride back, some Uber back.  We need a final head count.

      5.    Snow blocking trails? Currently yes, but it’s getting warmer and it’s a south facing climb, we should be fine.

People

      1.    How many people are coming and their capabilities?  Unknown, people always commit and don’t show, others never commit and just show up.

            a. We are locomotives not goats:).  Likelihood of creating riding groups of different speeds (any forecasted pacing / finish times)? For sure start early, and KNOW HOW TO UPLOAD A ROUTE to your device.  Any regrouping points?  One for sure, in Colton at a convenience store… depending on pace, we might all meet up at Seven Oaks restaurant about 1/3 up the climb… some of us will do some extra climbing and single track at end of 35 mile bike trail, others will go straight to the climb, which is why we might end up there at roughly same time.

Nutrition

      1.    Where are the nutrition and water stops? ONeil Park is about 2 hours in, a campground with water and bathrooms.  Do NOT dillydally at any stops.  Next stop is Colton, about 4 hours away.  These are my estimates for your speed.

      2.    Water stops on the final climb or is two bottles sufficient? At Seven Oaks restaurant, we can get water, soda, hamburgers, fries… depending on heat, 2-3 bottles.  My bike holds 3.

      3.    Nutrition recommendations? 300-400 calories per hour.  Whatever you like and sits well in your stomach. I like CarboRocket, 333 calories/bottle.

Equipment

      1.    Tire recommendation? I am running Continental Terra Speed 45s, with 32lbs in the rear, 28 in the front.  Lots and lots of sealant before we roll. 

  What are the gravel sections like? Pretty nice, a little more rutted from rain run-off, but totally 100% ridable and fun.  There’s a little single track where trail is currently flooded close to the start.

      2.    Other gear that would be helpful (e.g. hydration pack, lights). Lights for sure, early start, and maybe a late finish.  Be able to carry 3 large bottles worth of water. Get a BLACK  mosquito net, bugs can be nasty… we learned the hard way that the white nets reflect light which was blinding as the sun was setting.

                3.            Clothing recommendations?  (Temp change to expect)?  May is a tricky month, I’ll carry my KOM Jacket which is great for wind and water and small enough to go in my Barrito Bag … my bike will have a Barrito for the KOM jacket, and food and drink mix supplies in my Day Ripper bag.  Only other item I’d carry would be arm warmers… but highly unlikely we’ll need them.  My Wahoo died 30 minutes from the top… bring a battery booster.

---

166
7.5ish hrs Sleep
Pushups and Pullups
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
78

 

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ARE YOU STRONG ENOUGH TO BE...

ARE YOU STRONG ENOUGH TO BE...

Apr 18, 2024 TODD BROWN

I POLLED THE RIPPERS and 100% of them lift weights or do resistance exercise year round.  Well, I was shocked by that.  I had no idea if we rubbing off on each other...

... just hope.

In the beginning, after our first day with real weight, we often echo the great Cheryl Crow song...

... God, I feel like hell tonight.

Why do it?

  • Strong bones
  • Good posture
  • Improved ability to handle challenges

Why not?

  • Takes time
  • Potential to get hurt

Here's my current program,
takes about 15 minutes.

  • 6 pullups
  • 18 pushups
  • 10 shoulder press
  • 5 pullups
  • 15 pushups
  • 6 squats
  • 4 pullups
  • 12 pushups
  • 20 toe raises, 10 heel raises
  • 3 pullups
  • 9 pushups
  • 10 curls (vanity muscles)
  • 2 pullups
  • 6 pushups

In other words, mainly pullups and pushups with something extra to break up the sets.

The focus is on large muscle groups.

In Natural Born Heroes: Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance, there's a strong emphasis on tendon strength being key to true athlete prowess.  We develop that moving heavy weight with large muscle groups...

... the stuff we need to be fast.

For the bar...

  • Jump up to the bar, and let yourself down slowly.
  • Use a pullup assist machine
  • Giant rubberbands

For pushups...

  • Figure out hand positions that are comfy on the shoulders
  • It's cool to start on your knees

Squats...

  • Do air squats and put that arse in the grarsse
  • Go half way down

Start somewhere,
just start.

---

166
7.5ish hrs Sleep
20 pullups 60 pushups 15 shoulder presses + other stuff
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
79

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HOW TO OVERCOME INJURY

HOW TO OVERCOME INJURY

Apr 17, 2024 TODD BROWN

I'VE BEEN ASKED TWICE TODAY if I had any feelings of Why me? after my brain injury.  And, how did I overcome that?  Well, good questions because...

... we all gotta battle through the shiz.

During the darkest days, I only had one thought.

How can I fix this?

We've all been dealt multiple bad hands over the years, and if we think about it...

... we often come through them stronger, better.

It never seems like it at the time.

Our challenges, I believe, are our challenges, for a reason.

As rotten as they appear...

... they are personalized gifts.

If they weren't for our benefit and didn't totally suck,
they'd be easy to overcome,
requiring little effort,
personal growth,
or change.

With that in mind, I set about studying and researching how best to recover from this unplanned set back.  

There's plenty of improvement still to be made...

... and that's exciting as hell!

---

166.7
8ish hrs Sleep
20 pullups 60 pushups 15 shoulder presses + other stuff
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
79

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GIMME SHELTER

GIMME SHELTER

Apr 16, 2024 TODD BROWN

THERE AIN'T NOTHING LIKE A TAILWIND to blow the group to pieces.  The palms were bending, for sure...

... this one was gonna hurt.

It's counter intuitive.

But, it goes like this.

Alone, a tailwind feels nice.

A chance to tap lightly on the pedals and fly along.

In a group, it's whole different game.

The strong go to the front and drill it.

'problem is, there's no draft,
no place to hide,
no rest.

Which is exactly how it went down today.

Three of us were rotating.

Hard pulls.

It felt terrible,
and great.

Nobody else was pulling through.

I didn't blame 'em,
it was hard as heck.

I glanced back...

... gap was 30 feet.

Then 300 feet.

Then, a slight bend in the road,
an every so tiny gap opened, and...

... I was ejected.

Just couldn't close it.

No draft.

How was the ride back up the coast into the wind? 

Well, alone it woulda been a bear.

In the group, much easier.

Sure the brief moment pulling through stung a bit, then...

... it was right back to the shelter.

So, there you have it.

Tailwind, get on the front and get a gap.

Headwind, take it easy, nothings getting away.

---

168.4
9ish hrs Sleep
20 pullups 60 pushups 15 shoulder presses
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
78

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DO LESS, AND OBSESS

DO LESS, AND OBSESS

Apr 15, 2024 TODD BROWN

CAN'T GET THIS CONCEPT OUTTA MY MIND, not because I've never considered it, because it's so darn rhymey. I coudn't say it better...

... Do less, and obsess.

Maybe I just needed to hear the message?

The idea of having 1 (one) 'A' race a year has always turned me on...

  • It's more fun to have one focus
  • dive into the nittygritty
  • get granular
  • geek out

... that's the shift I love.

Yeah, I might end up with a bike that's not good for much but a particular course,
training that is so specialized as to be worthless for everything else.

But, that's the point.

To be so singular,
to be uniquely prepared.

Then, and only then, I might have a chance...

... and that's all the hope I need.

When I'm that locked in, it's easy to treat...

... all other races as distractions at best.

Places to test...

  • equipment
  • strategy
  • training

... nothing more.

When I'm that locked in, it's easy to commit... 

... to training blocks and weight lifting.

When I'm that locked in, it's easy to see...

... the big picture.

To do less,
and obsess.

---

168.7
8ish hrs Sleep
20 pullups 60 pushups 15 shoulder presses
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
76

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HE'S TRYING TO KILL ME

HE'S TRYING TO KILL ME

Apr 14, 2024 TODD BROWN

THE POOR WOMAN WAS RED IN THE FACE, if looks could kill her guide/date would be dead.  They'd just cleared a very overgrown jungle and were now pushing their bikes up a rocky stretch...

... who could blame her?

Who could blame him?

Sometimes our sense of adventure...

... is total nonsense.

I could only laugh.

Don't kill him here, you need to get home first!

They had a ways to go.

We have about 5 weeks to prep for the SurfNSummit.

Yeah, it's far.

Lots of climbing.

But, still I'm surprised at how many people misjudge what it takes.

Some, think it's just impossible to complete...

... usually my most fit friends.

Others, show up with what appears to be no business attempting it...

... but, hope and the desire to do something epic.

It's one of those Henry Ford moments.

Whether you think can, or think you can't...

... you're right.

So, if you think you can ride 100+ miles with 15,000+ feet of climbing...

... click here to check it out: 

https://pedalindustries.com/products/free-registration-for-the-surf-n-summit-california-5-18-24

---

168.2
9ish hrs Sleep
No Strength Work
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
76er 

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AN OBSERVATION ON UNEVEN POWER BETWEEN LEGS

AN OBSERVATION ON UNEVEN POWER BETWEEN LEGS

Apr 13, 2024 TODD BROWN

ONE OF THE SETTINGS ON MY POWER METER shows the power put out by each leg.  It can def ovewhelm for an entire ride, because we can...

... freak out about data we don't like.

It's on one of my Wahoo screens.

I see it from time to time on a ride.

Consciously trying to even out the power was annoying the heck out of me.

One leg was always stronger, unless I reallyreallyreallyreally focused.

Then, I had an idea.

Something to try, 
that I used to do.

This came to me when I noticed standing and climbing,
power was always 50/50.

Hmmmm.

What's the difference?

Then I noticed, 
same thing when it got steep and I really had to put out some power.

Well, that was nice to see...

... somewhat calming.

Hmmmm...

... how to do that all the time?

Welp, this is just an observation.

It might not work for you.

Meter could be mismonitoring, but this makes all the difference in the world...

... when I consciously focus on pedaling with the heels down.

What?

Really?

Yes.

What I think is happening is I'm eliminating a dead spot along the top of my pedal stroke...

... gonna verify with my genius bike fitter, Ashley.

---

167.3
8ish hrs Sleep
No Strength Work
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
78

 

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THE WHAT AND WHY OF A PROPER EZ SPIN

THE WHAT AND WHY OF A PROPER EZ SPIN

Apr 12, 2024 TODD BROWN

I'VE BEEN TRYING TO GET THE LEGS TO COME AROUND, which means I had to actually dedicate myself to do some easy spins.  Because, like most of us it's just...

... darn hard to go easy.

Or, is it just me?

First off, what constitutes an easy spin?

Two things:

  • Low effort
  • High rpm's

How low?

Very bottom of Zone 2, or anything in Zone 1.

How high?

90-100+ rpm's.

Why?

Well, one of my early coaches called it a Rinse Ride for a reason.  

If we are really doing it correctly, 
our legs feel all clean and springy because...

... we rinsed out the crud.

Why else?

  • It's good on the brain
  • Takes the pressure off, simply relaxing
  • Great time to catch up with friends and chat while spinning

How long?

45-90 min seems about right.

The things we think about when we're just spinnin' ez.

---

166.9
8ish hrs Sleep
Just PullUps and PushUps today
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
73

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EVER HAD THE CRUD BEAT OUT OF YOU, FOR REAL?

EVER HAD THE CRUD BEAT OUT OF YOU, FOR REAL?

Apr 11, 2024 TODD BROWN

GROWING UP, we fought a lot.  We were too weak to do much physical damage, but there was plenty of pride and shame on the line.  It's not much different now...

... when we race.

If we truly get the crud beat out us by...

  • the course
  • the competition
  • our worse, ourselves

... there is only one question.

Did we really get it beat out of us?

Or, are we destined to get pummeled over and over again because...

... the crud is still there?

Is our diet a joke?

Do our handling skills still stink?

Does our bike squeak and wobble?

'Cause if that crud is still there, then...

... it's not beat out of us.

We've just learned to live with mediocrity...

... and that's just plain cruddy.

---

167.8
8ish hrs Sleep
2 Rip On RaceDay Circuits
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
74

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IS IT TIME TO CONSIDER ROAD PEDALS FOR OFFROAD?

IS IT TIME TO CONSIDER ROAD PEDALS FOR OFFROAD?

Apr 10, 2024 TODD BROWN

WHEN I WAS PRE-RIDING LEADVILLE a while back, the phenom who would shatter the course record floated by me as I labored.  He made it look so easy...

... was it the pedals?

99% of MTB racers,
dismount on that course. 

There is no way they'd sport road shoes and pedals,
even though they are...

  • Lighter
  • More aero
  • Offer better contact and efficiency

... because once fouled they're VERY difficult to get engaged.

Gravel,
is another deal.

Unless we are pushing the boundaries,
ripping single track,
slaloming sand...

... we're not going to dismount.

The only time would be if crashed,
or unclipped to rutter a turn.

In most gravel races,
that's not likely.

So, should we run the road set up offroad?

I have multiple friends who roll the dice in local XC races...

... and even the long, epic stuff.

It almost always works out great.

Worth the risk?

Up to you.

Worth testing?

100%.

---

167.6
7.5ish hrs Sleep
2 Rip On RaceDay Circuits
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
74

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HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TRAINING BIG BLOCKS?

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TRAINING BIG BLOCKS?

Apr 09, 2024 TODD BROWN

 A QUESTION CAME UP LAST NIGHT ON OUR ZOOM CALL.  Have you ever trained big training blocks like Keegan Swenson just posted.  Good question...

... does it work?

Maybe.

Here's what I can tell you from personal experience.

18 months ago, I was prepping for my insane time goal at Leadville.

I was really committed.

Holed up in Breckinridge all by myself,
for the month prior.

It's easy to be selfish with the time,
when you're by yourself.

The race is in August.

In July, I did..

  • 20 hours
  • 22 hours
  • 25 hours

... a lot more than my normal 10-12 hours a week.

It was very race specific training.

Lots of Zone 2.

Recovery
was key.

I came out of that in awesome shape,
and had the best race
of
my
life.

Does it work for everybody?

I have no idea.

But, I'll definitely do it again when prepping for a once in a life quest. 

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168.9
7.5ish hrs Sleep
2 Rip On RaceDay Circuits
10 minutes recovery 
90 minutes reading + Journaling 
73

 

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THINGS TO CHECK FIRST...

THINGS TO CHECK FIRST...

Apr 08, 2024 TODD BROWN

 THERE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK a race, the chief being the bike.  Bikes don't win races, but they sure can make things a lot harder...

... or a lot easier.

As I went through my checklist, I found a few issues:

  • Rear brake pad smoked
  • Sealant dried out
  • Battery low

It's kinda nice to have brakes that work, especially with a ripping downhill like Saturday's.  

The course should be in pretty good shape, but that doesn't mean a small wire or piece of glass couldn't be a day-ender without sealant.

And c'mon...

... ya can't ride these modern bikes without good batteries.

And, I'm not just talking about the derailleur batteries.  Many of the shifters have their own small batteries.

I have made the mistake of not checking the shifter batteries.

Heck, I didn't even know about them until the start of the Filthy 50 a couple of years ago.  I didn't warm up, just saddled up and headed to the start.

Typically MTB XC start... everybody pinned to get to the single track first...

... I got there last.

Shifter was dead, I was spun out and then spit out.

15 minutes later, with some help from the mechanic on site, I was back at it.

Which is exactly why I came up with the RaceDay Bike Checklist, and made it into a sticker.

https://pedalindustries.com/products/raceday-ready™-checklist-stickers

For about a year now we've been shipping the stickers out with each RaceDay Bag purchase.  They're great for tool boxes and benches.

Here's a link to check 'em out: 

https://pedalindustries.com/products/raceday-ready™-checklist-stickers

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168.7
8.5ish hrs Sleep
2 Rip On RaceDay Circuits
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
71

 

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THE HEROIC MOVE

THE HEROIC MOVE

Apr 07, 2024 TODD BROWN

THERE'S A LOT OF GREAT RACING GOING ON.  Locally, regionally, internationally.  Sometimes we witness the unfathomable attack from impossibly far out, other times...

... a second or third wind, for the win.

By inches.

We shouldn't be impressed.

I'm mean,
it's cool.

We all cheer.

But the truth is the victory was secured long ago.

When nobody was cheering.

It was dark,
lonely,
cold.

The alarm was more drill sergeant, than fan.

In those moments...

... the heroes make their moves.

If we're lucky,
we witness the results.

---

169.1
9ish hrs sleep
No strength work today
20 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
72

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IT'S LIKE THE SUN GOING UP ON ME

IT'S LIKE THE SUN GOING UP ON ME

Apr 06, 2024 TODD BROWN

40 DEGREES, 80% HUMIDITY ain't nothing.  Combine that with a dawn start, the sun hidden behind the hills, and, well, when you're going 20+ mph in your underpants...

... it's bonechilly.

I left the knee warmers behind.

No vest.
No jacket.

Just arm warmers,
a base layer,
skull cap.

It's risky,
we might freeze,
this is how we do it...

... when we know sunny times are ahead.

So are they?

Whether we are enjoying the longer days,
recovering from an injury,
just getting back at it...

... we hope and plan for...

  • better fitness
  • decreased fatness
  • all things to improve

... it's a process.

And, we know it.

Just like the sun coming up, 

we imperceptibly rise to the occasion.

That's how today was for me.

Still got dropped,
but made it a little further.

I'll take it. 

Here's a snapshot of where things stand.

There's nothing like a good fitness journey.

How's yours going?

---

168.7
8ish hrs sleep
10 Pullups 30 Pushups
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
73 (per training peaks)

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MY DUMBEST PREDICTION YET

MY DUMBEST PREDICTION YET

Apr 05, 2024 TODD BROWN

PARIS-ROUBAIX IS SUNDAY.  I can't wait.  It's always so fun to watch, and such a battle of machine, mind, and bike handling.  Lots of drama, and this year...

... is starts before the famed Arenberg Forest.

The forest is always crazy.

Mud.

Cobbles.

A massive battle for the front ensues for those who want the best chance of getting through with the lead group...

... unscathed.

This year, the organizers decide a chicane right before entering the forest would be a good idea.

Less dangerous.

I looked at the layout.

Here's my prediction.

Rather than racing for the forest entrance to avoid carnage...

... they will race to the chicane.

And...

  • have plenty of lycra on the pavement.
  • or in the barriers
  • or both.

... I hope I'm wrong.

Then, we have to wonder, at least I do, what is the point of racing?

Call me crazy, but I think part of it is to show bike handling prowess.

We're still gonna see it with the chicane.

Just seems like a little chicanery...

... to appease, who?

---

169.1
8 hrs sleep
15 Pullups 50 Pushups 40 Shoulder Press... no legs today.
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
69

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BLOOD.  WORK.

BLOOD. WORK.

Apr 04, 2024 TODD BROWN

DON'T BE LIKE ME.  Because I never get sick, I never go to the doctor.  Which meant I never had my blood work done.  You're too smart for that...

... here's why.

By regularly getting the blood work done, we have a baseline for "our" normal.

I don't have that.

When I had the brain injury a few months ago,
things changed.

The brain is our command center, telling the body what to produce and control and do, etc.

A brain injury often causes issues with how the body is regulated.

Today, we reviewed my blood work which was drawn a few weeks ago.

Some markers are out of range - too high on some, too low on others.

Bad news is...

... I have no reference point of "my" normal.

Could be genetic, could be from the injury.

Good news is...

... we know where I'm at, and have some corrective measures to take.

Bonus, most indicators are positive for my body, and with my overall health.

Dr. Cory King, my functional health doctor from Encinitas, went over it all with me.

Nothing too scary...

... but definitely areas to not ignore.

Things like cholesterol levels, vitamin levels, etc. that can have negative effects if left untreated.

So, we'll chock this up as another blessing from my brain injury.

Regardless of your awesome health.

Find out where you are at,
things can probably be improved.

Consider this a gentle and loving nudge from me to you...

... get the blood work done.

---

169.4
9 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
70

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CHEAT CODE

CHEAT CODE

Apr 03, 2024 TODD BROWN

HERE'S A DIRTY LITTLE SECRET.  Okay, maybe it's not all that dirty but it is secret and fact is it's...

... a cheat code for life.

There's a reason we get out and do our thing.

Sure, it's great to be in shape.

Have that come what may attitude.

Fact is, even though the fitness is great...

... there's something better.

  • The problems we solve
  • Ideas we come up with 
  • Freedom to think

We often, nearly always, return...

... renewed.

Ready

To

Kicka$$

Even when,
especially when...

... we've rung out our body's energy supply.

---

169.1
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and pushups
10 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
70

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STRUGGLING WITH WEIGHT... TRY NOT

STRUGGLING WITH WEIGHT... TRY NOT

Apr 02, 2024 TODD BROWN

SINCE MY AWESOME START TO THE YEAR, knocking myself out and spending a 5 days in ICU, my metabolism has changed.  This is not uncommon, given the standard protocols...

... and now I'm pissed.

I didn't ask for this, and that is not the problem.

I haven't asked for a solution.

I have forgotten my own wisdom.

Well, on the eve of my bday, yesterday, I was asked...

... What do you want?

Get my lycracovered buns back in fighting shape.

I went to bed with a question...

... How do I get back to my normal, leanish self?

I woke up with an answer.

A book recommendation appeared on my Kindle.

Feast., Fast. Fit. by Fred Duncan.

It wasn't new information for me.  

Heck, I preach it.

It's worked in the past.

I believe it will work again.

The lesson?

It isn't get on the diet train...

... it's ask the right questions,
and expect answers.

  • How can I get lean?
  • How can I climb faster?
  • How can I stay cool in the blistering heat?
  • How can I complete a century without bonking?
  • How can I reduce the drag created by my bike and body?

Try not.

Ask or ask not.

---

170.3
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and pushups
10 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
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THOU SHALT CARE FOR THY HANDS

THOU SHALT CARE FOR THY HANDS

Apr 01, 2024 TODD BROWN

TAKING CARE OF THE HANDS is importante.  Road, is pretty straight forward.  So is MTB.  Gravel, well, it's got it's own challenges...

... what can we do?

I've seen plenty of ruined hands...

  • brutal gripshift blisters
  • palms filled with asphalt gravelly stuff
  • a thumb's skin pealed from under the nail past the first knuckle

... all of it could have been spared with gloves.

Personally, I prefer very lightweight fullfinger gloves.

But, that ain't gonna help on the gravel bike.

No suspension.

What can we do?

I double wrap my bars with a good soft tape.

  • helps with vibration
  • displaces pressure points across a wider area

I was reminded of how great this is just last week.

It'd been a while since I'd ridden the roadie, been riding the gravel bike on and off road a ton.

As soon as I got going the bars felt weird.

Sharp.

Oh yeah, the single wrap bar.

It's lighter.

More aero.

But, I'd never go back to a single wrap on the gravel bike.

---

170.5
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and pushups
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
67

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WHICH NUMBERS ARE WE CHASING?

WHICH NUMBERS ARE WE CHASING?

Mar 31, 2024 TODD BROWN

THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE between the kinds of numbers some of us focus on putting up.  Some chase big power numbers, while others chase small numbers...

... what's the corresponding motivation?

You know.

Are we more interested in the low numbers: 1st, 2nd, 3rd...

... or, increasing our own personal power numbers?

Do we need everybody to see us on the podium...

... or, are we thrilled when we privately snag a new PR?

We can go out to the race,
or we can design our own incredible adventure.

We can train to beat everybody,
or our training can help us live our best lives.

They're not necessarily mutually exclusive,
there are four seasons for a reason.

---

169
8.5 hrs sleep
No strength work
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
67

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IS IT TIME TO STOP BINGING?

IS IT TIME TO STOP BINGING?

Mar 30, 2024 TODD BROWN

SATURDAYS ARE MY DAYS.  All week long, I look forward to getting up early and rolling out with no particular plan but wasting time via hours in the saddle...

... I call it binge riding.

Not today.

It was raining

When that happens on the 6th day of the week,
my day,
I'm typically grumpy.

This time,
I was looking forward to it.

Why?

Honestly, I'd been binge riding too much.

Too many days in a row spent
slipping out after work
staying out too long...

... the time change being my enabler.

I was unconsciously due for a break.

Some call it overtrained...

... overbinged is more accurate,
for me.

---

168.2
7.5 hrs sleep
Lots of pull ups, pushups and squats.
10 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
68

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THE OL' WHAT IF YOU KNEW...

THE OL' WHAT IF YOU KNEW...

Mar 29, 2024 TODD BROWN

THESE TWO PUNKS SHOWED UP TO MY HOUSE, and dragged their dear ol' dad out for his favorite thing.  Riding MTBs with them...

... that wasn't the best part.

Sure, it was fun to keep up with 'em.

Mostly.

Then, completely overdoing it at Cheesecake factory.

The best part was dropping by the Audi store...

... and hotrodding around in a $70k RS3.

So.

Dang.

Fast!

It's good to get in the dream car, and throw it around some corners...

... to keep the dreams alive.

But, what if it wasn't a dream.

What if... 

... you knew you could PR any segment, win any race?

What would it be?

If we don't know,
can't quickly answer the question..

... likely not going to happen.

But, 
what
if 
we
knew...

... then,
what would we do with today's training?

---

1680
7.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
69

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JUST BECAUSE IT'S FREE MEANS...

JUST BECAUSE IT'S FREE MEANS...

Mar 28, 2024 TODD BROWN

SO MUCH INFORMATION, and so much of it free.  Free is a weird price, because we know it's gonna cost time and there's probably...

... an ask down the road.

Don't be fooled.

Sometimes the really expensive stuff is great,
sometimes it's terrible.

Same for free.

Price is a signal.

Should we be swayed?

I recently got an offer to save 30% on a $6000 frame.

6K!!!...

... must be awesome.

Maybe.

But, how do we know?

Really?

The glossy magazine ad?

The pro riding it to a win?

It can be frustrating.

When it comes right down to it, most of us...

... are swayed by our friends' reviews.

Like these -> https://pedalindustries.com/pages/reviews...

... which I'm extremely grateful for.

---

168.3
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
69

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DOES YOUR DOG BITE?

DOES YOUR DOG BITE?

Mar 27, 2024 TODD BROWN

THE GREAT INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU encounter with a dog is classic.  The dog is off leash, he asks Does your dog bite? The answer is, No.  He bends to pet the dog...

... only to have the dog viciously latch on to his hand!

I thought you said your dog does not bite?

That is not my dog.

I thought about that since Surfergirl has...

  • demanded
  • pleaded
  • asked

... that I let her track me on my rides.

I feel like a dog on a leash.

The Jason Bourne in me wants none of that.

There's nothing to hide,
when I ride.

But, really?

She does have a point.

I often venture into the wild.

Signs with warnings of mountain lions and snakes about.

Trails are often treacherous to the bike, 
and potentially me.

Humans few and far between.

If, if, if I should need a rescue,
which I never have...

... I'll just need two things.

A cell signal...

... and a friend who cares.

It's kinda romantic when ya think about it,
guess we're doing all right. 

---

168.2
8ish hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
69

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HOW MY LITTLE PRACTICE LOOP TOOK ME DOWN

HOW MY LITTLE PRACTICE LOOP TOOK ME DOWN

Mar 26, 2024 TODD BROWN

I SET OFF TO POUND MY PRACTICE LOOP.  The profile is jagged, lots of single track, and...

... I'm trying to crack 90 minutes.

Today's failure is why it's so important to practice racing.

Here's the dill.

This course is very hard to stay fueled on...

... almost impossible to drink, forget about eating.

Which meant I was tuckered out, with 4 miles to go.  The last 30ish minutes are pretty dern steep.

With about 20 minute warm up,
winging it on 1/2 bottle and 100 calories was a weak effort.

Just not enough.

Strava called a Massive Relative Effort, 
giving the workout a score of 192.

I'll try it again in a couple of weeks.

This time with 400 calories, 
and 30 ounces of water,
in a Camelbak.

There just isn't time to suck on a bottle,
the bladder hose is easy to grab,
and once in my mouth,
handsfree.

Ya can't figure that out without simulating what ya might be racing...

... in real world conditions.

---

169.1 lbs (dropping some of these will speed things up, too)
8ish hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
67

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SPEED AND BRAKES, NOT ALWAYS OBVIOUS

SPEED AND BRAKES, NOT ALWAYS OBVIOUS

Mar 25, 2024 TODD BROWN

THERE'S A TECHNICAL, ROCKY SECTION on part of a local trail.  First-timers walk it, new riders use a slow approach, locals...

... let it rip.

They know something.

Speed makes it much easier to glide over the the treachery.

It's counterintuitive.

Disc brakes are the same way.

They rub.

We pry 'em apart and reinsert the wheel.

Soon into the ride they are rubbing again.

Why?

The pads are worn out.

You'd think they would stop touch the disc or barely work when running thin.

That's the way rim brakes work when the pads are worn down.

Not discs.

Counterintuitive.

Which why we alwaysalwaysalways check our brake pads before a race...

... so we hit the tricky stuff with speed.

---

167.9 lbs
8ish hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
66

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DO YOU D.H.T.?

DO YOU D.H.T.?

Mar 24, 2024 TODD BROWN

 WE MAY NOT BE PRO.  Our equipment may be lacking, our preparation woeful, our  focus far from singular...

... which makes it all the more impressive.

When we, you and me...

... Do Hard Things.

Just like the pros,
but on a whole other level.

They level up,
get a pay check.

Our objective has nothing to do with money, and...

... everything to do with commitment.

Here's the cool part.

People see it.

Our family, friends, work associates, neighbors, etc.

They get inspired.

Maybe not to ride 100 miles or run a marathon or do an Ironman.

Doesn't matter.

The ability to D.H.T. can be applied to anything...

  • changing diapers in the middle of the night
  • studying instead of clubbing
  • making 100 cold calls/day
  • working 80 hrs a week for a season
  • pushing a car off to the side of the road
  • leading volunteers to repair after a disaster strikes

... once we learn we have it within us.

---

169.1 lbs
8.5 hrs sleep
No strength work today
10 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
66

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WE NEED A METRIC FOR THIS

WE NEED A METRIC FOR THIS

Mar 23, 2024 TODD BROWN

THE FIRST TIME I SAW SHIMANO'S INTEGRATED SHIFTING, dubbed SIS, I knew there was no chance in a sprint without it.  Sure we'd perfected the lost of art of...

... sprinting, letting go of the handlebars with one hand to shift.

But, what was the point?

It was useless.

Shimano changed the game, all because...

... Gripshift had changed the game.

Gripshift morphed into SRAM.

Shimano gave us electric shifting.

SRAM did it better with wireless.

How is that my new Kindle got me thinking of this?

Simple.

Kindle changes the reading game.

Which got me thinking about another game changer, Training Peaks.

It's pretty cool.

All kinds of data.

But, one metric is missing and would...

... be so funny to have.

A measurement for how bad a ride sucks...

  • Freezing rain
  • Frying pan heat
  • Mile long hike-a-bike
  • Gail force headwinds
  • Countless mechanicals

... indicating our badassness for getting it done,
not quitting.

For example, we rolled the dice this morning on a 38% chance of rain.

No big deal, right?

3 hours in, we face another hour of driving headwind and relentless rain...

... the suckometer was needling past halfway.

  • Hands were edging towards inoperable.
  • Too wet and involved to eat carbs
  • Feet sloshing

Not terrible.

But, somewhere on the ride data it woulda been nice to see...

... the badassometer read out.

Just fer fun.

See where the day's suckiness ranked against other such rides over time.

Time to go back the Kindle...

... under the blankies.

Me still cold.

---

167.9 lbs
7.5 hrs sleep
Just pull ups and push ups
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
67 

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LEARNING TO RIP FROM MARCH MADNESS

LEARNING TO RIP FROM MARCH MADNESS

Mar 22, 2024 TODD BROWN

BALL AND STICK SPORTS are typically concerned with, and built around, offense and defense.  How do we...

... apply that thinking to our endurance addictitions?

Do we have offense?

Defense?

Yep.

Offense

  • Riding, running swimming time
  • Weight lifting
  • Racing and competitive group rides
  • Upgrading equipment - new, shiny stuff
  • Hiring a coach
  • Fine tuning the bike fit
  • Developing our handling skills

Defense

  • Recovery work
  • Sleep
  • Proper nutrition
  • Accountability partner(s)
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Stretching
  • Allies to work with when falling behind

And before you say I've misplaced one of those, we all know...

... the best defense is offense and visa versa.

That's not the point.

The point is to figure out...

... how to incorporate a great offense and defense in our limited time.

---

167.8 lbs
8.25 hrs sleep
Just pull ups and push ups
20 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
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TWO OF LIFE'S MYSTERIES

TWO OF LIFE'S MYSTERIES

Mar 21, 2024 TODD BROWN

THERE TWO MYSTERIES THAT SCIENCE can't explain.  AI doesn't have the answer, either. But's they are facts just the same.  For example...

... why do beginners get all the flats?

Riddle me that one LycraMan.

You know it's true.

You know if you invite a new, excitedtobethere, rider along, there's gonna be a flat.

Waywaywayway more often than the experienced riders will experience.

Makes no sense.

Just like why more bike shops don't have a comfy couch to wait for that...

.... just a few more minutes...

repair.

Maybe a coffee table showcasing

  • A colorful catalog of their favorite products
  • Samples of their go to sports drinks or things to chomp
  • Gotta have tools to check out

I was thinking of another mystery as I swapped out my worn disc brake pads...

... why more of us don't learn the basics of maintenance. 

---

168.7 lbs (the struggle is real)
8.25 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and push ups
20 minutes recovery 
180 minutes reading + Journaling 
63

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THE PRIDE CYCLE QUEST

THE PRIDE CYCLE QUEST

Mar 20, 2024 TODD BROWN

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT YOU'RE PROUD OF?  Could be anything, but let's stay on point with athletic endeavors because it's important...

... to harness this concept.

The Pride Cycle Quest.

It's also dangerous,
if we let it get the best of us.

For me, at least, it's all about the quest.

Can I do it?

And, it's a cycle...

  • Pick the outrageous result to chase
  • Train for it.
  • Do it.

... and pick another quest.

I don't really care if anybody else thinks it's cool,
so few understand us anyway.

It's internal.

Am I proud of that result?

It's only dangerous if we are chasing likes and kudos and cheers...

... from the world.

It's not about that.

It's about the quest.

It's personal.

I'm happiest when I have at least one per year.

That's my cycle of pride.

---

167.9 lbs 
7.25 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and push ups
10 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
62

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CHASING GHOSTS

CHASING GHOSTS

Mar 19, 2024 TODD BROWN

PATHS BECOME TRAILS, trails become roads, roads become highways.  It's evolution, and underneath it all are the ghosts...

... who got it started.

We think we're blazing a trail,
when we are really just going along with the crowd.

I was thinking about the day my longgone granpappy came to watch me race a criterium.

It was all new to me.

We wizzed past him every lap.

But, the laps were long...

... and he could barely see at that stage.

Afterwards, he told me how it was years before, when he was young.

I thought it would be in a velodrome and I'd be able to see you entire race.

Clueless me had no idea velodrome racing was the only bicycle racing 100 years ago.

Prior to that, it was racing bicycles long distance, on dusty...

... gravel roads.

In other words, we gone from...

  • gravel
  • to velodrome
  • to road
  • to bmx
  • to mtb
  • to gravel

... so why is gravel "new"?

It's not.

We're all just chasing ghosts who've gone before.

---

168 lbs 
8.25 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and push ups
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
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THIS AIN'T NO TIME FOR FOOLING AROUND

THIS AIN'T NO TIME FOR FOOLING AROUND

Mar 18, 2024 TODD BROWN

WHAT IS THE BASELINE?  The minimum effort to do and consider the week a win?  It's important to have the least acceptable effort in mind...

... and make it happen.

Riding in the rain will make you think things like that.

Like, why the heck am I doing this?

Which is exactly what I was thinking as the skies opened an hour away from home.

Because I made a plan.

A public commitment.

Accountability.

Yesterday, in the sunshine and 72 degrees I committed to do the following this week:

  • 15 pull ups, 50 push ups, 10 squats daily
  • Ride 14 hours this week
  • Drop 3 lbs 

Easy to do when the weather is good, 
and the day lazy.

The public commit was to the RaceDay Rippers,
who also hold me accountable each week when we check in.

I'm two months out from my next quest, the SurfNSummit.

The plan is on my RaceDay Calendar. 

Some say Show me your calendar and I'll know what important to you...

... and yes, Date Night better be on there each week.

We have a few of the Giant RaceDay Calendars left, and you can save 25% since a quarter of the year is nearly past by using promo code:

CAL25OFF

https://pedalindustries.com/products/pedal-black-2024-giant-raceday-calendar

Here is the code:

CAL25OFF

Nod to the great Talking Heads for the inspiration

This is ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no time for foolin' around

---

168.9 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit + extra pull ups and push ups
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
59

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HOW TO STAY SLOW...

HOW TO STAY SLOW...

Mar 17, 2024 TODD BROWN

IT'S SUPER EASY TO STAY SLOW, and just as easy to stay fast.  To stay slow, do what your slow friends do and...

... expect to get fast.

The problem with actually getting fast,
nobody gives you credit.

For the most part, they can't see or appreciate, and will never know...

... how hard we work.

And, we've got to be okay with that.

To commence,
recognition be damned.

To be fast, do what you fast friends do...

... and expect to get fast.

Do.
Expect.

---

168.4 lbs 
7.5 hrs sleep
Push Ups and Pull Ups
10 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
58

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WWDGD?! - 25 WEEKS TO GO

WWDGD?! - 25 WEEKS TO GO

Mar 16, 2024 TODD BROWN

I FELT GOOD ENOUGH THIS WEEK TO DREAM of getting my fitness back and setting unrealistic goals.  Is there anything better than that?  Getting to a place to...

... dare to go for it.

After pushing hard for nearly 3 hours, we had a choice.

Take it easy or do the hurtful climb?

500' in a mile doesn't sound like much...

... unless it's the last climb of a fast day.

We were gonna skip it, and then Love Watts yelled...

... WWDGD!

Huh?

What Would David Goggins Do?!

There was no choice at that point, because all of us have streeeeeeeeetch goals this summer.

It was fine.

Slower than I'd like...

... but, compared to last week waywayway better.

And so the journey begins.

The countdown to Gravel Nationals.

Here's where I'm at.

You can see my fitness score at the very bottom.
Down from over 50%, 18 months ago.

Weight, 168ish.
Up 10 lbs, 18 months ago.

Vision is still messed up.
Way off from what I considered one of my few advantages racing off road.

Can I be ready September 8th, 2024?

It's gonna be fun, 
and frustrating.

WWDGD?

Go for it.

Every
single
freakin'
opportunity.

---

168.2 lbs 
8 hrs sleep
Push Ups and Pull Ups
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
60

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WHEN THE RACE PLAN GOES TO HECK IN A HANDLEBAR

WHEN THE RACE PLAN GOES TO HECK IN A HANDLEBAR

Mar 15, 2024 TODD BROWN

IT WAS A ROUGH START, things weren't going smoothly at all.  It was causing a lot of stress and internal turmoil.  Energy I'd hoped to reserve for...

... more important sections of the event.

Ayyyy, what to do?

What I always do... 

... but, forget to do.

Think of of the things going right...

  • I felt good
  • I'd started on time
  • My prep was perfect

... other words be grateful for the good.

My energy shifted.

I calmed down.

Focused on getting down to business.

Wound up having a spectacular day...

... at the office.

Tomorrow's race should go a lot better, and if it doesn't...

... I know what to do.

---

168.2 lbs 
8.5 hrs sleep
Push Ups and Pull Ups
20 minutes recovery 
600 minutes reading + Journaling 
56

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YOU INSURED FOR THAT?

YOU INSURED FOR THAT?

Mar 14, 2024 TODD BROWN

WELL, THE BILLS ARE COMING and I'm thinking about you and me.  For years I've looked at health insurance as lame. Struggled mentally, sometimes economically...

... to pay that everlarger bill.

Why?

I never get sick.

Rarely, and I mean rarely, do I see a doctor.

I'm already doing all they would recommend to get better...

  • eat good
  • skip sugar
  • get plenty of rest
  • and workout regularly

... why would I spend the $ on insurance?

It feels like I'm being duped.

Well, there are these events called...

... accidents.

They happen,
and are almost completely unplanned.

So, yeah, my bills are coming in and I'm happy as being at the to of the podium at my A race...

... 'cause it looks like almost all of it covered.

Sucks to be out 1000s...

... but, way better than being out 100s of thousands.

Just putting this out there 'cause I love you...

... get covered, if ya ain't.

====

Side Note:  has anybody tried insurance for bike like BikeInsure?  Asking for myself, just found out about 'em

---

167.2 lbs 
7.8 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
56

 

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DO YOU LET POWER OR HR DETERMINE YOUR HARD VS EASY DAYS?

DO YOU LET POWER OR HR DETERMINE YOUR HARD VS EASY DAYS?

Mar 13, 2024 TODD BROWN

I HADN'T WORN MY HR MONITOR FOR DAYS.  It wasn't working consistently, so I left it parked in the drawer. Until today, I gave it a shot and it actually worked...

... it got me thinking about the levels of easy.

There's so easy...

  • I can barely feel the pedals
  • I can sing a song
  • I can easily talk
  • I am not sure

... and maybe a few more levels.

My goal today was to ride as close to the top of my Zone 2 as possible, without going over...

... the I'm not sure range.

I wasn't sure, because my heart rate was bouncing at the top of the range.  Meanwhile...

... my power was definitely over into a higher range quite often.

This is how I trained for decades, when I just had a HR monitor.

What's more important then...

... HR in Zone 2 or Power in Zone 2?

I'm gonna say, for me at least, HR is more important.  It is more reflective of how all systems are working given the effort and absorbs the little efforts when the terrain or other elements require a few more watts.

Here's a real world application.

When I'm racing something epic, like Leadville, I'm going off heart rate for my pacing, and using the power meter to keep things in check when I have to dig a little deeper to close a gap or clean a technical uphill section.

The reality is, for peak performance on the long efforts...

... it's good to have both.

If it's a short race, under an hour, well, you know...

... put the dadgum gadget in the back pocket and race on feel.

Same for a long day of adventuring, who cares about the data when we're out there.

Enjoy the ride.

We can analyze later.

---

168. lbs 
7.8 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
57

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SHOULD WE DO A HUNDRED RACES IN A YEAR?

SHOULD WE DO A HUNDRED RACES IN A YEAR?

Mar 12, 2024 TODD BROWN

YA WANNA GET GOOD, be a boss, strike fear in your frenemies, be the maker of things that happen...

... instead of wondering what happened?

Race.

A lot more.

100 times/year.

Think I'm crazy?

Think it's immmm po siiiiii ble?

Then don't do it.

Don't even try.

Keep wonderin',
misreading the moves.

Or, commit.

Do:

  • 2 zwifties 
  • 2 local races
  • 2 group rides 
  • 2 of your own personal courses for PR

We all have 52 chances a year,
to race twice a week.

No excuses.
Nothing but upside.

Heck, even a brain-damaged guy like me can do it.  

This week...

  • hammering my xc race loop Tuesday
  • group ride on weekend

... slaying myself today, getting crushed by the fellas Saturday.

Gotta start somewhere.
Gonna do what hurts and what I'm comfortable with.

Twice a week.

Oh... I know you're askin'...

... Why 100 times a year?

Because, every race is different.  

We'll see a lot of different situations.  

We're trying to see 'em all, or have a reallyreallyreally good feel for what is going to happen.

Simple as that.

Experience counts.

Get some.

It's free.

---

168.6 lbs 
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
55

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NOT GONNA LIE

NOT GONNA LIE

Mar 11, 2024 TODD BROWN

WHEN I FINALLY CAME TO, I had one thing on my mind.  Not after first being knocked out, not after the morphine and other meds wore off, days after being home...

... I wanted to say one thing.

Not gonna lie.

I was hurting.

Stunned.

How could my crazy good health take such a drastic turn in seconds...

... this wasn't what I had planned for 2024.

8 weeks later, I'm improving.

I'd leave it there, but...

... not gonna lie.

I'm nowhere near where I was just prior, nor 12 months ago, nor 2 years ago.

I'm off.

I can work 4-5 hours,
then my brain needs a break.

I can ride my bike,
but I have no power,
off-road vision is shift.

I can talk to friends,
until I can't.

Something even more weird happened though.

Something few will admit or acknowledge or maybe even notice...

... when I took that blow to the noggin' it felt like my spirit left my body.

There's a disconnectedness.

I know things aren't quite right.

Will they return or is life just going to be different?

Not gonna lie...

... this is new territory.

Now, I'm being as honest and transparent as possible in all I do.

My friend battling cancer taught me that,
the freedom of being honest.

Yes, I hid it from Surfergirl that on one of my first bike rides alone I was going down the road and thought I saw 4 ducks crossing the road in front of me...

... it was just two,
that's troubling.

Not gonna lie.

I kept riding.

Lying to myself it was all good,
hiding the truth if asked.

What is easier, being honest with ourselves and those around us or pulling the lycra over our eyes and theirs?

To remind myself of my new commitment...

... I made a special kit, see above.

That's the kind of thing I was looking forward to in 2024.

New designs, 
new patterns,
new fabrics.

The good newsy stuff.

If you're into the rawness of honesty, maybe you'll like this too.

It's patterned after one of my all-time favorite Porsche's.

Check the full kit here:  https://pedalindustries.com/collections/ngl-collection

Use this promo code on this kit to save 30%: NGL30

Code expires on 3.15.24.

---

168.6 lbs 
8.5 hrs sleep
1 Rip On RaceDay Circuit
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
54

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HE SWITCHED TEAM, AND IT...

HE SWITCHED TEAM, AND IT...

Mar 10, 2024 TODD BROWN

TODAY AN AMERICAN WON PARIS-NICE, an 8-Day stage race in France.  A youngun, 25 years old.  He'd never done it before, and wasn't picked as a favorite...

... except he picked himself.

A long time ago.

When riding for a less professional, less scientific team he was spending his own cash on equipment and training to up his game.

Something the top teams covered and pursued relentlessly.

He jumped at the chance to upgrade to the current dominant force in European road racing this season.

Would it matter?

I'd say it is clear.

What's interesting is how many of are trapped like a monkey...

... failing to let go, when we know we should.

Not only did he upgrade his team and training, but placed a huge bet on himself in a daring and startling breakaway with fellow US racer Brandon McNulty.

When you are a pro...

... winning actually is everything.

Way to go Mateo Jorgenson.

---

168.4 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
No Strength Work
10 minutes recovery 
20 minutes reading + Journaling 
53

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HOW TO GET FASTER FOR DUMMIES

HOW TO GET FASTER FOR DUMMIES

Mar 09, 2024 TODD BROWN

APPARENTLY, LOVE WATTS FORGOT our commitment to go easy on the way up the coast.  Which meant we had time to do the biggest climb I've done this year...

... 2 hours and 2000' of climbing for our "warm up".

At the usual time, riders flocked in and we were off.

It felt good to do my first group ride of the year...

  • to see the guys
  • get whooshed along
  • and see some higher power numbers

... until the first overpass.

Where I was off the back.

Caught on at a light.

Off again.

On again.

My breathing and wheezing needed a muffler.

On the next power climb, normally 2ish minutes...

... I needed an extra minute or three.

They were gone.

Yeah, they are nowhere near as fast as I am...

... they're a heckuvalot faster.

Am I good with that?

Yeah, they've always been faster than lit'l ol' me.

Now I just need patience to close the gap to where...

... they are less faster.

So, here's the plan that I've used many a year...

... pick a spot beyond where I got popped today.

Make it just a little further each week.

Corner by corner,
Hill by hill.

Progress > Perfection

--- 

167.6 lbs 
8 hrs sleep
No strength work today
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
54

 

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IT WAS ABOUT THE TRUTH, NOT ARMS RACE

IT WAS ABOUT THE TRUTH, NOT ARMS RACE

Mar 08, 2024 TODD BROWN

I HATE TIMETRIALS.  I mean, I like 'em, but, yeah, I hate 'em.  It's not because I'm not great at 'em, and trust me I'm not.  It's because...

... they hurt so dang bad.

Not only that, it's...

  • lonely
  • painful
  • humbling

... is there anything more truthful than getting passed by your minute man?

No drafting.
No wily cunning.

Nothing matters except...

... who is the strongest,
and who can suffer the most.

Oh, wait, one more thing matters...

... who's got the most money to afford the most advanced gear.

When everything tiny thing adds time and seconds matter...

... it can turn into an arms race.

I'm okay with that to a point.

Butttttttttt, don't ya think participation would rise...

... if we raced Merckx-style?

At least at the amateur level?

On our road bikes vs tt bikes?
With road helmets?
And "normal" road wheels?
And... you get the point right?

As much as I hate/love a tt, I truly appreciated Tucson Bicycle Classic for making their tt be done on road bikes the last to years.

It's just a lot more fair/approachable/inviting...

... and equally miserable for all.

That's the truth.

Side note:  I think I love XC MTB racing because it's basically a mass start time trial.  The terrain naturally and quickly separates us.  

--- 

168.4 lbs 
8.5 hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
20 minutes recovery 
60 minutes reading + Journaling 
51

 

 

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WERE YOU AS DORKY AS THIS?

WERE YOU AS DORKY AS THIS?

Mar 07, 2024 TODD BROWN

WHEN I WAS JUST GETTING INTO THE SPORT, I was such a dork.  A small percentage of you will disagree, maybe even swear at me, but nothing says...

... stay clear, like a mirror.

I know, I know, some of us are damaged and can't look over our shoulders.

Too stiff,
crap balance.

I was neither of those.

I was a spry young newb.

Excited to ride and race.

And my girlfriend of the time wanted to get me something cool.

I quickly mounted the mirror to the end of my handlebar - see pic above.

I thought it was rad.

Perfect for the high speeds and shoulder banging of crit racing,
which I loved.

Rather than turn my head and telegraph my plans,
I could take a peek at my mirror.

Nobody else thought it was cool...

... and they made an obnoxious and clear point of it.

If my hairy legs,
questionable bike handling,
roadrashed arms and legs weren't a give away...

... the mirror, made it clear.

I was not to be trusted in the bunch.

Here's the dill.

They were right.

Because let's face it, anybody focused on the past...

... doesn't have a shot at a winning future.

--- 

167.8 lbs 
8ish hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
50

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I DON'T ALWAYS RIDE IN THE RAIN...

I DON'T ALWAYS RIDE IN THE RAIN...

Mar 06, 2024 TODD BROWN

I COULD SEE THE STORM BREWING.  Like a crazy fool, I rolled out anyway even though I was certain to...

... get caught in the rain.

Trust me, I am a fair weather rider.

Gimme 70 degrees,
and a lite breeze.

So why ride?

Two reasons.

One embarrassing.
One legit...

  • Poorly executed work day
  • It rains on raceday
  • Commitment

Yeah, I had all this work scheduled and a timeline to follow....

... and, well, ya know, things didn't go as planned.

That's 1.

Since it does rain on raceday, and I've never let that stop me from lining up...

... it's good to practice from time to time.

That's 2.

And I committed to myself to get my slothful self back in shape.

That's 3, a bonus.

So which one's embarrassing?

  • crap planning
  • useless prep
  • silly commitment

Well, I dunno about you...

... but, I'm cool with

  • keeping my commitments,
  • being prepared for all conditions,
  • even when things don't go as planned.

--- 

167.4 lbs 
7ish hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
10 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
50

 

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IT FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME!

IT FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME!

Mar 05, 2024 TODD BROWN

I WOULD CLIMB ANY MOUNTAIN, ride across the stormy sky.  It seemed like I'd waited a lifetime, spent so much time in recovery...

... it felt like the first time!

The MTB.

Like it never did before,
like I'd opened up the door.

Finally!

What is it?

I guess it's just the rawness of nature,
bringing out the rider in me.

Dawgawn I'd missed it.

Carving turns,
wiggling up technical sections,
brushing the thistles,
hanging my lycra off the back in the steeps.

Why today?

Well, to be honest, today was a breakthrough on my vision.

The double-vision I've been dealing with was greatly diminished.

Partly time.
Partly exercises for my eyes.

One of you loyal readers,
one of us,
took the time to share with me a gift for everyone.

Tools for increasing our eyesight,
the kind we need to quickly assess the best way to rip it up off road (on road, too).

You can check the tool out here: https://www.readbetweenthelions.org.  Go to the K-12 program.

It's free.

Thanks Rick!

Makes me wonder what else we can learn from each other?

Speak up y'all!

Let's get betterfasterstronger...

... together.

Have you checked out https://pedalindustries.com/pages/rip-on-raceday-network?

(yeah, this post is a nod to Foreigner)

--- 

168.2 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
48

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WHADAYA THINK OF UNDULATING TERRAIN?

WHADAYA THINK OF UNDULATING TERRAIN?

Mar 04, 2024 TODD BROWN

WE HAVE SOME WEIRD LINGO.  Have you ever heard any body, ever, use the phrase undulating terrain?  Why would they?  When you're motor-powered...

... who cares about the terrain!

Human-powered,
totally different story.

Every bump in the road and trail counts.

The longer we're out there,
the more it counts.

Sooooooooo...

... whadaya think of undulating terrain?

Do you love it?

Or, do you prefer...

  • flat
  • downhill
  • tailwinds
  • straight up
  • headwinds

... lots choices when we roll out.

Me?

Well.

There are times when I'd give my chamois pad for a flat road with a tailwind.

Days when I feel so amazing I just wanna climb and climb and climb.

But, faced with a choice...

... give me undulating.

Ups.
Downs.
Lots a turns.

That's the ride I choose.

--- 

169.2 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
PullUps, PushUps, Split Squats, Shoulder Presses
20 minutes recovery 
120 minutes reading + Journaling 
48

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ACTION WINS EVERY TIME

ACTION WINS EVERY TIME

Mar 03, 2024 TODD BROWN

WHY WAS IT SO MIND BLOWING?  Yesterday's Strade Bianchi race was so shocking to me.  Because, to me, all the pundits...

... missed the point.

Sure, the favorite won.

This was the inspiring part...

  • he told everybody where he'd attack in advance of the race
  • made a decisive attack 81 km from the finish
  • never looked back
  • and won

... who wouldn't want to be able to do that?

What blew my mind 
was what the talking heads missed.

This athlete,
is a racer of action.

He had a plan,
and went for it.

Could it have failed?
Most definitely.

Could he have looked foolish?
For sure.

Could he have lost the race outright?
Absolutely.

Did he?
No.

Because he took action.

You miss 100% of shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

--- 

167.2 lbs 
9 hrs sleep
No strength work today.
10 minutes recovery 
90 minutes reading + Journaling 
48

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QUESTION: IS THIS A HIGH DEMAND SPORT?

QUESTION: IS THIS A HIGH DEMAND SPORT?

Mar 02, 2024 TODD BROWN

I WAS LISTENING TO SOME GUYS ARGUE about whether or not was their religion was high demand, and it got me thinking is ours?  Are endurance sports...

... high demand?

Yes.
No.

For me, and maybe for you, too...

... its high demand.

Just consider...

  • Training
  • Fueling
  • Resting

... these are the biggies.

They are priceless,
in a sense.

Which is why the are so easy to screw up,
and so misunderstood by lookers on.

We can't put...

  • Training time
  • Good fueling choices
  • Proper sleep and recovery

... on a credit card.

We've got to demand it from ourselves...

... but, is it really demanding when we love the results?

--- 

166.2 lbs 
7 hrs sleep
No strength work today.
20 minutes recovery 
90 minutes reading + Journaling 
48

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