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Showing posts from August, 2013

Rain

The joke is getting tired, but it really is true. Now that the rain is here and the temperatures have dropped into the 50s, it finally feels like summer in Anchorage. After a very dry, very warm summer, my body has gotten used to the good life. Now that we've returned to normality, I'm paying for it. 3 straight days of rides in the rain have shown me just how soft I've become.

It's not that I mind riding in the rain. It's not that I particularly enjoy riding in the rain either. Sometimes it's just what is required if you want to ride at all.

Properly outfitted, with my bespoke Rapha cap under my helmet, rain jacket, wool socks, overshoes, and fenders, I'm pretty much in my own little world out on the road. Even when the rain finally soaks through, I'm comfortable enough to keep the pedals turning. I'm not hammering away, doing intervals until I puke, but I can ride at a decent intensity and maintain some of the fitness I've earned. Compared to whe…

2013 Tour of Anchorage

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As it turned out, I wasn’t the only defector from the Sport Men field for the Tour of Anchorage. A total of five of us made the switch. With the exception of me and my teammate, Pete, none of us talked about it. It just seemed like the right time to make the move.

The first stage was a relatively short (less than 2 miles) hill climb up Potter Valley. The Masters field kept a solid pace all of the way up, steadily shedding riders as we crept up the 5 switchbacks. I managed to hang near the front without blowing up, which was a great source of encouragement for me. A skinny rider made a break towards the top, but we chose not to chase him down since he would give back any time he gained in the time trial. I was in 2nd place at the last switchback, before another rider’s family‘s cheers spurred him to sprint by me. Still, third place on the stage and a personal record for the course (by a large margin) was a nice way to start the race. The top 4 rankings were now held by Sport Men ex-pats…

Not Getting Any Younger

July 27, 2013.

This was the first time I had ever abandoned a race. I woke up that morning with a persistent ache in my right knee, but I was determined to race the Kincaid Road Race that night. After a couple warm-up laps before the race, it didn’t feel any better. After the first two race laps, it felt progressively worse. The pace was fast, but the engine was up to the task. The chassis just couldn’t handle it. On the third time up Chinaman Hill, I sat up, wished the pack well, and then soft pedaled the rest of the lap to cool down. Quitting is not easy for me, but I realized that this race really didn’t count for anything (not that any of mine do), and with the Tour of Anchorage less than a week away, destroying my knee was not among the smarter choices I could make. I ended up flagging an intersection for the rest of the race, wistfully watching others ride around in circles and inflict pain on their fellow cyclists. I’ve never liked the course, mainly because I have a long histor…