Posts

Modernizing.

I like my LeMond Revolution trainers. The "road feel" is second to none, and I've never really cared about the jet engine noise level it produces. That said, not everyone at the radar sites could ignore it as easily as I can. When I'm getting on the bike around 3:45 AM, this becomes an issue. I needed to do something, but most quieter trainers either are too heavy or too bulky for air travel when in a case. The ones that aren't usually give the impression of riding through mud.

Wahoo came out with their Kickr Core, and I tried to research it to see if it would work for me. After less-than stellar answers to my very specific questions, I just went ahead and ordered one from Fall Line Fitness because they're local, they support local racing,  and everyone sells Wahoo products at cost anyway. Justin was cool in letting me weigh each piece and see how it fit in the case before I laid down the cash.

The good news? It fit in the Pelican case my LeMond travels in. The…

Return to the Suitcase of Quit™

It's been a few years since I participated in the Tour of Anchorage, much less competed in it. Injury, lack of form, and other reasons kept me away. I knew as soon as I heard about the stages that I wouldn't be participating this year, either- even if I was in town at the time. Even at what I would consider peak form, it wasn't my cup of tea. Given my current sad state of fitness, the climbing-heavy TOA was just wasn't something I am capable of.

As it turned out, I was home during this year's event. I chose to go camping with the family and ride the hills around Homer instead, missing the first three stages. After driving 5 hours, I made it home in time to shower, change, and load up my bike for the crit. As the only flat stage, it sounded like fun. After hanging with the pack during my last foray, I figured I would follow some wheels, jump for a prime or two, and get in the race intensity I've been missing the last year. That was the plan.

I got there early and …

Back in the Wheels.

I jumped in a crit tonight.

I wasn't dropped.

Despite what the results may say, I call that a win.

I hung in there, mixed it up when the urge struck me, and most importantly, finished with the front group. That's all I wanted to do. 

I have to be honest with myself. I've been gaining weight and bleeding fitness while the competition has been putting in the miles and putting down the fork. I'm not the rider I was last year, and he's not the rider I was the year before... I can track about a five year decline in Training Peaks (if I had the energy or motivation to do so), and this last year has probably been the most signficant dip. At a certain point, you can't fake it anymore with douchy wheelsucking and a mind for kindergarten-level race tactics. You have to have something in the legs and the will to mix it up with the pack between the ears. The last crit I entered, I had neither. This one? I dunno. Maybe it was the luck of the draw or the mostly flat course.

It wa…

Less of Me.

In less than a month I lost 10 pounds. That would be great, except it wasn't planned and not exactly healthy. I basically stopped eating and sleeping from a combination of heat and stress. When I actually try to lose weight through diet and exercise, I can sustain a loss of about a pound a week over several months. This was something different.

When I got home, I slept for most of two days. I started eating again. I gained back some of the weight. Oh well, can't win them all.

Still, I'm trying to make the most out of this. I still am way too fat, only slightly less so. I'm trying to get out and ride as much as I can stand, without trying to train for anything in particular. I may line up for another crit or two while I'm home to get my teeth kicked in properly. I need it. I deserve it.

It's a work in progress, one without any clear idea of what it's supposed to look like when I'm done with it. Maybe I'll get in some sort of race shape for next season. …

Learning To Crawl

I've been trying to make myself hurt. I used to be quite good at it. Not the falling down kind of hurt. That came later. The kind of hurt where you bury yourself in an effort, ignoring all of the signals to back off or stop. I used to know how to ignore them. These days? They dictate my riding.
I'm a slug. So, I have to work my way back into it. For the past month I've been at a radar site near McGrath, Alaska. Friends of mine that ride fat bikes know it as a waypoint along the ITI course. That's in the winter. Right now it's not at all like that. For one thing, there are four major wildfires in the area. Lots of smoke. Today visibility was less than 1/4 mile. Great for the lungs, even indoors. Then there's the temperature which has been around 90F for over a week. If everything wasn't already burning to the ground around me, the oppressive heat would just torch it. And me. I grew up where temperatures were like this in the summer, and used to deal with it (like…

Who Am I?

Bear with me.

I jumped into a crit a week or so ago and was shelled on the first prime lap, then lapped a couple times by the lead group. I knew the prime was coming, and jumped with the hope of doing something. When I hit the wind, I knew I had made a terrible mistake. I sat up and let them blow by. I probably could have held on and stuck with them until the race split, then hung onto the second group, hiding in the draft and being a douche. Instead, I sat up and waited until I could latch on and catch a free ride. for a while. When the last lap came, I sat up and let them go again. No need to mess with their race. I was Dead. Fucking. Last.

I knew it was going to happen. I'm 25 pounds heavier and my FTP is 25 watts lower. Race shape? Not even close. These guys have been putting in the miles and taking care of themselves, and I have been skipping workouts/rides in favor of the fork.

Faced with that hard reality, I really buckled down and skipped riding the next couple days, despite …

Enough.

Yesterday I sold a bike. I built up the Russian titanium frame and sold it at the bike swap. To be honest, given the amount of new parts on it, a little math would probably reveal I practically gave it away. That's why I don't keep records of what I spend on most projects. I just don't want to know. Hopefully the new owner will ride the hell out of it and enjoy it.

That's really what's it's all about, and that's a lesson I never seem to learn. I just want more.

I've been looking at Moots frames all over the place. Specifically Moots Compact and Compact SLs. I don't need another one. I now have two, in addition to the Vamoots RSL.

The first Compact is the only bike I've actually melted into. I've come close before, but somehow through dumb luck I've managed to hit on a combination that just works for me in a way that no other has before. It just feels "right", and I'm smitten. Other than the odd component in the future to do a …