Thursday, August 30, 2012

Attacking is fun

I'm talking about attacking during a bike race. Besides that i'm a pretty passive person so i cant speak to other types of attacking.

I attacked at the Tuesday night crit this week. It was the last one of the year, it was the last lap, i figured i should go out with a bang. Plus the pace on the last two laps seemed slow so it was much easier to attack. The attack didnt go anywhere but it was still fun. i was however disappointed with my poor showing on the 3rd corner on that last lap. Brian joined me and then took the lead going into that corner. I've always thought i was good at turning but that corner is my kryptonite because by the time i got thru it Brian had a gap on me.

Cest la vie.

Besidse, road is over for me (it's a major bummer that i cant go to Gateway cup, today i was dreaming about going to the downtown airport on Sat, Sun and Mon and doing a 40 minute interval to try and simulate race intensity. Last year i did all 4 days at Gateway and them Cross went great, so i feel like i need to do something like that again) so it's time to focuse on cross.

I'm very curious to see how these open cross races go. I exhibited nothing during the road season that tells me i'm ready for it but that was pretty much the same case last year and then cross went great. Of course last year i was in the 3/4 race and now i'm in the open. Still, i'm hoping to get lucky, find some fitness, and not get totally emberassed. Either way i'ts going to be a fun challenge. It's going to be a fun challenge. It's going to be a fun challenge.

That's my mantra.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bachelor weekend... day 1

X is in Colorado Springs, CO all weekend for a Roller Derby game so i've got the entire weekend to myself. Her game will be shown on the web on the Derby News Network tomorrow at 8pm. It's two super all-star teams playing so it should be pretty good. She's on Team Master which is a collection of top players from the Mid-West. This may be here last bout (i've heard that before) so she's pretty pumped.

Lately i've been worried about getting my butt kicked in the upcoming open cross races so i've been doing a fair amount of riding. I haven't raced in maybe 3 weeks but thats actually giving me more time to ride. These 50 min to 1 hr cross races are going to be longer than most of the races i do so i'm trying to get in some longer rides as prep. I'm also mixing in some running once or twice a week. I got home from work today and did both.

Brand new running shoes. The shoe gal took them out of the box and i said "good god those are hideous", then i put them on. It's like walking on a cloud. 

I came back from the run dripping with sweat so i needed 1 or 2 or 5 beverages to rehydrate me.

Tuna the cat.

After a 30 min transition i was out the door and ready for the bike portion of the evening.

So for my ride i did the Rocky Route. It's a ride i've come up with that takes you from the Plaza thru downtown over to the East bottoms, thru cliff drive, over to the west bottoms and then home... which for me is the south plaza neighborhood. I've always liked how Rocky used old school training methods and he always seemed to be running over train tracks. This ride has that feel. It's industrial, it's smelly, it's gritty. It's fun. I love it so much i'm going to share it with you, so here are way to many pictures documenting the Rocky Route.

Warning: this route goes thru some sketchy neighborhoods. You've been warned.

Departure time.

North on Ghillam and past Hyde Park. A personal favorite, mainly because of the cyclocross training we've had there.

North on Grand and past the white power, i mean power and light district.

Stay on Grand as it curves East thru River front park.

Right on Lydia Ave and left on 1st st. Hopefully you arnt delayed by the trains, but that's part of the fun with this ride. This is about where you start to hum the Rocky theme song. (The tour of Missouri stage went by here but they stayed strait instead of turning left on 1st.)

Working hard now!

Wont be long now!
This is the Local Pig. I keep hearing about it. Go left at the local pig and watch out,  another train crossing is strait ahead.

As soon as you cross the tracks go right on Rochester and theres Knuckleheads, a great local bar / music joint, on your right. Make a point to go there for a concert.

Keep wiggling to the right and eventually you pass Nicholson Ball Diamond Park, which to me needs to be featured in a movie. Soccer fields in the middle of a crazy industrial neighborhood with train tracks running immediately paralell. Cool spot. Rocky would totally so sit-ups here while suspended vertically from the bleacher seats.

The wiggle to the right continues until you wind up on Gardner Ave followed by a right on Chouteau Traffic way which turns into a bridge over this big railway mess. Lots of action going on here. I can almost see Rock jogging in sweats.

Stay on Chouteau as it curves south and then take your first right. It's a hard right headed up to Indian Mound Park and the beginning of Cliff Drive.

Take Cliff drive all the way to the Paseo exit then go west on Independence  and follow it as it loops back north to 3rd st. Go west on 3rd for a quick trip back thru the River Market until you end up underneight the Broadway Bridge... then head right down the hill, along the Missouri River and into the West Bottoms.

I take Woodsweather road until it ends and then just make my South to Kemper Arena. 

This is so Rocky.

Kemper Arena. Danny Manning and the rest of the 1988 Kansas Jayhawks won the national champion ship here.

There are some options from Kemper Arena but ultimately you end up on Southwest Boulevard and all the sudden you're back in civilization.

I head south on Main St, past Union Station and all the way home.

Crown Center and downtown fade away as you climb the main st hill.

Once in a blue moon, if you really push hard and get lucky, you can make all the lights from the crest of the Main St hill all the way thru the Plaza. When it happens it's amazing, it didn't happen tonight.

The blinding lights of the Plaza tennis, home is near.

So thats the ride.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday evening in KC... on mountain bikes

Hey Gang,

My desk is recently rescued from a massive pile of papers so it's time to blog. 

Today was a good day. Work was stressful but it didn't matter. Some days you just seem to deal better than others. Today i could take all comers.

Great music in the car on the commute home primed the engine for what was to come, the wednesday night mountain bike ride. What was the great music? im glad you asked.

After that i geared up and hit the road. coffee, mountain bikes and beer, all in the span of 2 hours.... pretty good.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Growing up, time management, making adjustments,

I feel like doing a post on the Colavita mountain bike race from two weeks ago (great success), i feel like doing a post on the Springfield Crit from last weekend (Fun but not a great success), i feel like just riding around and taking fun pictures to post and entertaining you good people (no time for that).

Im getting married, did you know that? Getting married is a big deal. Unless you go to the courthouse and then have a reception at a bar. We're not doing that. For us there is lots to plan and attend.

It's taking up a lot of time. I accept it the best i can because i love the woman i'm about to marry and couldn't imaging my life without her, but it's a struggle. I want to ride my bike but i just dont have as much time as i used to.

In reality i probably have a sizable chunk of time every week where i can ride... but i'm not good with time management. I read stories about guys who graduate from Medical School and are still cat 1 racers. Granted they probably have a lot of natural ability but that still takes good time management skills. I'm lacking time management skills and natural ability so im left wtih frustration. Before i had so many other things taking up my time i would be very casual about riding. Sometimes, after work (i get off at 5pm), i wouldnt get out of the house till 7, then i would sit at a coffee shop till 730, then i would ride till 9 or 10. maybe I'd play ultimate frisbee at Loose Park on Tuesdays and then ride after. Life was simple and time managemet wasent an issue.

I try to keep it in perspective, riding a bike is fun but there are more important things in life. That dosen't make it any easier to accept the fact that my desire to ride is stronger than ever but that desire is running head first into an extreme diminishing of available time.

So i need to make some adjustments.

How the hell do you do that?

Part of the fun or riding my bike was the lifestyle. coffee shops. Late dinners. Forgetting all the other stuff in life and just riding (the laundry pile used to be huge). Now some of the fun has been taken away and riding my bike becomes about maximizing my time spent pedaling. I think i can get on board with that but it will be hard to bypass the coffee shop or forgo riding to take care of some real life stuff. thats an adjustment i need to make.

Somethign i've said for the past few years.... i will ride my bike.

it's kind of a personal mantra. When i stop to think about it it's a strange desire. i've never been a competative person. i always liked sports but i never had a passion for any of them. I've been known to be lazy. So where does this desire for bike riding come from?

Well i have no idea and i'm not that worried about analyzing it. it's about feeling, not understanding.

As Cosmo Kramer would say, "here's to feeling good all the time".

I guess this post is a stream of consciousness commentary as i see my life changing before my eyes. And i dont even have kids yet!

I will ride my bike. You should ride your bike, too.