Monday, December 30, 2013

A specific set of skills

...I don't know who you are...
...but I do know what you want...
...you want to beat me in a race...
...I can tell you that your chances are good...
...but I can also tell you that I have very specific set of skills...
...skills I have developed over many years of riding...
...a set of skills that will make me a nightmare for people like you...
...if you let me win now...that will be the end of it...
...I will not race with you...
...I will not pursue you...
...but if you don't...I will look for you...
...I will find you...
...and I will race you...
...and I will beat you...



I have been watching some videos that I recorded with my GoPro this year. I rode with a pretty diverse group of riders over this last year. The video I was recently watching made me smile. The rider in front of me crashed in the first 45 seconds of the movie. The rider also dabbed twice in the first 3 minutes. This trail was not technical...the rider just lacked skill. I have been told in the past few years that I have a solid skill set when it comes to riding. I even managed to transform those skills to the road. 

I did some group road rides with Velo City out of Holland. One day after the ride we were talking about the skill level of the group. They made reference to one rider in particular and I started asking questions because I wanted to make sure I wasn't "that guy". I was reassured that indeed was not "that guy" and that I was one of the people they didn't worry about in the peloton. Amazing to me to think that in my first few rides I had already gained the trust of other riders. That trust to me seems like it would take longer to build than a few rides. 

A few years ago at the State Games I met Brianna during the race. We rode together to keep each other company because we were both miserable. She made the comment on our very first ride that I had solid handling skills. Later this year we were on a group mountain bike ride with riders I trust and one guy we had never ridden with. He kept saying "watch out!" when we would fly around a corner or take a section faster than he was used to riding. He made the comments later that he was "amazed by the skill of the group"...and I am just a sport rider. So...my confidence in my handling skills is not the issue...

...my weight is the problem. I am working on that. I am a confident 260 pound rider. I know how much faster I can be at 240 pounds. I can only use my imagination to determine how fast I will be at 200 pounds, or even 190 pounds. I have the winter to drop as much as I can before my first race. Developing my handling skills even more the lighter I get. I will be dangerous on my bike...and there will be a long list of people that will see my specific set of skills....

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas....or happy holidays...whichever you prefer

Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays. Doesn't matter to me which one you say....just find some cheer! I did. We had a blast over this past week. It started with a Christmas party Saturday. Lots of good food and fun family. Then Sunday it was a mad scramble as our next party got moved to our house due to a power outage at my in-laws (which was restored yesterday!). We scrambled because our house is always destroyed...hahaha. Then more food and an early night as everyone went their own ways.

Back to work for a day and a half then a prime rib luncheon with my employer. Get home, loud up, head to indiana. Hang out with more awesome family. Head home. Put our santa pants on and get to bed around 2am. Up around 8:30. presents, get dressed...off to Indiana again...just a different family!!!

Got home around 11 and slept thru my alarm. awesome. There are only 3 of the normal 8 people in the office today so it is super quiet. I hope to sneak out early and enjoy more family time this evening.

So...what did I eat.....well....lots. Too much. After the luncheon we had a full blown dinner. I was miserable until we ate again the next day....after skipping breakfast. Just another learning opportunity...which I put into effect yesterday.....not eating nearly as much. I did have a bowl of white chili around 7 and it was enough to remind me that I was still full.

So...back to the grind.....I have survived the first rush of the holidays and just need to make it past new years day without exploding. Should be good. I am still full from Tuesday.

Going to spin off some calories tonight!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Weekly update

First things first.....this weather has been crazy...even for SW Michigan. It snowed all week and today it was 40...then it is going to be freezing rain tonight with winter storm warnings north of us. Still..I am hiding indoors.

I have done a few trainer rides mixed in with Focus T25. The last few days my feet and knees started to get sore so I just stuck to the trainer. Good news....body is feeling better and my mood is really good. Long time until the first race...but it happens quick.

Weight...well....I gained last week but I am hoping for a loss this week.

Might add the Lowell 50 into my season too. Just have to see how the cards fall.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A look ahead

I have been on the trainer twice in the last week. Also did a few workouts on the Focus T25 program. I am doing ok....plugging away. This journey is a marathon and I have taken a few steps....but I have a lot more to go. I have a lot of work to do and I going to do it.

That being said.....next year I don't know what I want to do. I am planning a trip to Georgia for a few days to get some solid climbing and training in. This trip will be early in March. Head down for a few days....ride like hell....head home.

The season...well....as usual in Southwest Michigan it starts in the end of March. The Barry Roubaix is the first race of season. It is a 36 miles gravel road race. Huge party. Awesome way to kick off the season. Last year, I didn't finish. Out of shape.

A few shorts weeks after the MMBA CPS starts at Yankee Springs. Always a fun race and close to home on a course I know very well means I need to have a good showing. Last year I wasn't in the right frame of mind to race....and skipped for the first time in 3 years. Won't happen again.

After that......there are a few races I want to look into. One is a road race called Fisk Knob TT. A roughly 15 mile Full out ride on my Defy. A road bike? wha wha? I would just like to give it a whirl and use it as a training race.

Some others are The Keweenaw Chain Drive and Ore 2 Shore as well as that one in November that I can't think of right now. Hopefully I will be competing and actually having a chance this year!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fort Custer ride

It was last weekend but I did manage to get out and ride. I missed the Turkey burner ride but after a stressful Friday I had to get out and ride on Saturday. Dan S. was there when I got there and rode with me for a few minutes before heading to the shop.

First ride in a while....but I was feeling alright. I knew it was going to be a slow ride and I was already prepared mentally for it. Temps were in the high 20's when I started. It is amazing to me how different the trails look with a little bit of snow and no leaves. The trails were frozen and fast....eh....felt fast....eh.....it felt good to be riding. I rode the entire red loop and then headed out on the red again. I was going to hit the Blue but missed a turn and went back to the red. I then headed down the green backwards.

This is what makes me smile about riding my bike. I know the green trail very well but riding it backwards is so much fun. I was keeping my head up and watching for riders riding the "correct" way down the trail. And that is when it happened. I saw a guy coming....so I bailed off the trail to the right to get out of his way. He nearly crashed bailing out the other direction...but didn't lose any momentum and he kept going. I hear "wrong way" in a quiet voice so I yelled "WHAT?!?!?!" and he says it louder "wrong way dude". I responded "I know" and muttered some other things under my breath. I gave him room because I was going the wrong way and i appreciate him telling me that I was going the wrong way, but he said it in a way that pissed me off a little. Last year we were riding out there and heard a group of 4 western students talking up ahead of us. As we flew around the corner they all scrambled to get off the trail. We slowed down and I politely told them "you guys are actually going the wrong way, so keep your eyes peeled for riders" and they had no idea they were going the wrong way. It happens. Anyway, the ride was pretty good. I mustered 15 miles and I felt really good.

Now....I am going to start something a little different tomorrow. I am going to post a short blog every day about how my exercise/weight loss/training is going. It will be full disclosure. I have a chip on my shoulder....and have more drive and desire than I have had in a while. That being said....it wasn't enough to get me out in the cold air today. I will hit the trainer tonight.