April 28, 2014

Iowa 400km finished!

Probably already apparent should you be a follower on Twitter, but, figured I'd post a quick note for good measure.  Finished with plenty of time left on the meter, but, still one of my longer 400km times... Certainly not a complaint.  A lot of that time was spent at controls, sorta chillin' and having a good time.  Sometimes I'd ride slow, sometimes fast - but, sometimes the wind decided for me.  In fact, that was the case for everyone there this last weekend - more of the usual windfest, this time supercharging the outbound leg, to the tune of 8~ hours for the first 200km, and then 15 and a bit for the return.  Great day, though... Always is.  I love this route, and - as usual - the company was great.  I'll post pics later this week, perhaps.  Stay tuned

April 18, 2014

Solid Oak - the 2014 300k Report

   The Oak Grove 300k is in the books -- and while things genuinely seemed FAR better than last year's 'gale-force' edition, with winds likely 10-15 MPH less intense, it's still a brute of a route.  After a brilliant opening 27-miles (gee, Dude... repeat yourself much?), things began to settle -- but I didn't really want to let things go.  The recent weight loss, the cross-training, I felt amazing -- but, I really need to exercise these "uncorking" sessions for shorter, solo training rides, or a club ride perhaps - to help build a different kind of base for maintaining more speed for longer periods:  develop on that stamina, and perhaps a touch of self-control and smarter or riding.  It's still fascinating to me that riders like Gary D., Rod -- heck, nearly everyone else in the pack -- can maintain such a high pace:  a performance that feels EPIC to me is their version of "being sensible during a long ride."  I know I'm hard on myself, but I still have that desire to hang-in as long as possible.  I have no problems at all where or whom I end up with at the end of the day, to be clear -- these are personal goals, brewing at a slow simmer inside the soul or someone never quite satisfied with himself.  I, like other matters I've worked to set right, either need to start doing intervals and speed work, or just decide that where I am is where I am... and it's fine!  Because, really - aside from personal goals, everything IS fine

I have goals, not complaints. 

Del, Steven, Gary D., Jack, Rod, Spencer, Joe, Kier, David M., Josh, Mark, Paul.... It was a great day, but, I think everyone would agree, it was tough.  The section from Fayette back to Slater on the return was just as rough as before.  I only remember ONE year

April 11, 2014

Perspectives on Princeton - the KCUC 200k, 2014

It's another finish, another March, another one in the books!

It never gets old, somehow; however, I keep finding less and less to come to the keyboard with as this year unfolds.  I'm definitely going to stick to the photo-post idea, however... each ride does deserve its mention - but, I don't know if I need to dedicate as much time to it as I used to; especially on repeating routes.  I feel a finality approaching, something akin to a new frontier opening while many chapters of struggle close.  Not really sure what that's about - where it's coming from - but, it's great.  It's almost as if I've said all that needs to be said, I'd rather be riding than writing about it, maybe.  What I'm feeling borders on feeling personally complete.

  Maybe after all these miles, at last I feel as if I've found what I've been looking for.  Just in the last six or seven rides, and with the difficulty of the last year in general... There is a feeling that Del G. best submitted in the last few miles of this ride:  "(after all we'd been through last March, with the snow), what can't I do now?  I can do ANYTHING!"  This shouldn't be confused with a sudden, brash profession of superiority or cockiness...it is, instead, a long-absent feeling of self-worth, confidence, and empowerment.  Invincible?  No.  Hardly.  This feeling reminds me of how I felt after the 600k in '07... it's a natural "high" that one can ride for months afterward.

   There remain big milestones to reach... Another 600, another SR series, a 1,000, a 1,200...a 1,400km... Touring...   Wow... So, so much could be uncovered even on a short tour!  Then there's a pull toward another 24 hour race, just to try it again - to push myself.  Tejas, darn it.  Not to HAVE to do it over, but because I still

April 10, 2014

It's Dag Nasty.

One critical photo I'd indvertantly excluded from the 100km Ride Report.... my choice of jersey for the ride that day:   As the layers came off with the rising temperature, nothing could have prepared my riding counterparts for the sheer terror which awaited their retinas.  Pure, unadulterated, unfettered 1980's Italian glory, in original Spandex.  Size, XL... you know, for the Italians that are in the clydesdale-class of 120lbs.  LOL.  Euro-sizing makes me sick.  

Behold.   Best $10 I ever spent.

Diggity-dank threads...  is that your wife's jersey, Nancy?

...the 300k cometh.... stay thirsty.

April 4, 2014

The Old KC - A Popular Populaire

Well, you'd been warned -- "this blog is about to get a LOT more boring."
That's sorta happened of late.  I've largely hung out a shingle here strung from the pegs of struggle, hardship, personal discovery, and self-loathing.  A lot of that has none-too-soon become water under the proverbial bridge.  Still, there remains much to share -- so, it's far likelier these pages will continue to amass, as opposed to the alternative.  Yet, sometimes I have trouble telling the GOOD story, as opposed to "whatever horrible thing" might have happened on the last ride.  The old saying goes "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst," So turns over my entire outlook on life... previously prepared for the worst and fully expecting it, I'm now focused on being prepared for the worst, but enjoying the NOW.  

To wit - this last ride went SO well, I'd nearly forgotten I'd participated in it until I stumbled over the photos I'd taken with the camera that day.  So, a quick post is definitely in order here -- to capture the essence of the great memories this ride produced --- sure, maybe they won't make for riveting commentary - but, hey, we can give it a shot.

Briefly grabbing the reigns from Bob and Spencer, our own Ron Alexander -- former Topeka perms coordinator turned OP resident -- came out and offered a few 100km rides to book-end Bob's usual brevet series this year.  I'm personally looking forward with great anticipation the August editions, later this year!  Even the cue card was unique, the usual boxes for signatures and time-stamps set opposite a nice write up

April 2, 2014

You want this...don't you?

I'm so excited for the 300k next week.  Yeah, I miss the old Albany route, but this Oak Grove ride is an instant classic; I think this is the third year for it now.  So...new goal is to make it back to the McD's at Higginsville, MO before sundown...or at least before they close!  Need shake!  Need fries!

I wanted to invite all our new riders off the fence and out to our 300km on the 12th.  There is something about this route... A classic, somehow.  Hills, but not too many.  Long, uninterrupted stretches to extend your thoughts and enjoyment.  A major river crossing of the muddy Missouri at Glasgow.  A chance to see the sunrise AND the sunset from the saddle ... Or, a chance to try and beat the sunset, for the spirited.

You've got the 200 licked... What's another 100k, right?  It's a great milestone, a full day of adventure, and a great test.  Hope to see you there!

The Shamrock Shakes at McDonalds taste awful good on the trip back west, by the way... 

Oooo, you're all in, now, aren't ya??
Yeeees.... Gooood...

"...but with the blast-shield down I can't see!  How am I supposed to ride?"

Reach out with your feelings, Luke...

Team 'Ride-to-Eat', mount up!

April 1, 2014

More riding, less writing.

While I do indeed have two ride reports in the hopper at the moment, one each for the recent 100 and 200k KCUC events, therein lay the problem:  I'm getting backed up.  Life is nuts, and I have finally figured out how to relax a little.... Which, in large part, involves not camping out in front of the computer until all hours.  Photos take care of themselves, and the ride reports will continue - but, they may involve captions and quick hits.  I've mentioned this in the past, and then immediately drop a 7,000 epic post on everyone... So, yeah; some rides will garner more than others.  I've also developed two rides for the RUSA catalog needing pre-riding.... And I can't do that if I'm sitting and typing.

  After last year, however, well ... How do I say this without it sounding like finality:  I have sorted out more, mentally, in the last 18 months than in years otherwise.  A lot of that unfolded in the saddle.  The last year in particular threw challenges at all of us, weather alone.  It changed me a little.  Even the recent high winds typical of spring are met with "hmm, that's not so bad."  My personal journey toward just being able to shut-up and ride feels largely complete...at least, very close to something resembling a complete transformation back to a place where I love riding more, and want to do more.  Maybe burnout lasts longer than I thought, but it's gone now.  I suppose I finally grew tired of hearing the constant string of beefin' from myself, so, there you have it. 

So, I'll knock out these next two photo-posts, and get back to riding.  I suggest you do the same, because it's great out there!

Thanks for reading