April 8, 2016

Blame Jeremy

My previous post probably has a lot of folks assuming many things about me beyond what the post actually describes.  I can imagine these culminating into a picture of an unshaven version of me wearing all wool, including shorts with genuine leather chamois, turn-of-the-last-century eyeglasses, suspenders, and riding a bone-shaker with oil lamps front and rear, because - dangit - that's how it's supposed to be done!  Well, not really... I'm not a knuckle-dragger about everything.  The backbone of that piece should have taken readers down a road of preparedness and redundancy, not to have them shun every gadget and convenience available to the modern cyclist.  

What "Golden Age"?  They still make downtube shifters in 10-speed, and there are rumors about demand for 11-speed downtubes as well, while at this writing they only make bar-end shifters for 11-speed, as the only "traditional" option apart from STI or electronic shifting.  

But, be it a cost concern, a reliability or field repair-ability concern, or simply an aesthetic concern, any cyclist can ride satisfied these days.  It's the continuous mix of old school and new school that keeps a lot of our diverse cycling market alive and well, even well into the 21st Century.  I dig that.  I can get modern parts that LOOK retro, but have benefited from lots of technical advancement compared to their decades-old cousins.  Chain-rings, down-tube shifters, pedals, whatever... "they" probably make that.  

Reminds me, I need to order up one of these babies:

www.spurcycle.com   I am not a
paid or compensated spokesperson - I just like this bell

It's a bell!  It's way awesome, eh?  Spurcycle, people.  DO NOT BUY the Chinese knock-off.
The real-deal is overpriced, you argue?  Ehhh, for American-made quality and a modern take on an age-old concept?  To help a start-up?  What's "price", anyways?  And, heck, it sounds good... 'scuse me while I dust off my vinyl and clean the volume potentiometer in my vintage '60's stereophonic amplifier... but sound & quality matter.

I digress...

SO.... what are you doing, dude?

No it's not a burning question, and goodness knows there are bigger problems facing our nation right now.  Prepare to vote, people.  PLEASE.

I digress...again!

Now, the WTF section.... 
Exactly... WTF, indeed.

Personally, I haven't been the same since Top Gear stopped airing on the BBC.  I blame Jeremy Clarkson... ... you know, no, no, no ...I can't blame Jezzah.  Honestly, I woulda socked the guy, too.  C'mon, dude, did you think you were catering to Wolf Blitzer or someone?  Good LORD, man.  Anyhoo... 

I've had a few people reach out to me about this blog, my state of mind, and why I haven't logged any "credit" miles since August.  Yeah... August.  I can't believe it.  Time does fly.

Well; I've learned to keep things a little shorter so I won't drag this out into one of those old school "woe to me" posts where I question everything, create drama, and wax on about the champions of old.  Sometimes, the truth is enough - and it really makes it easier to just get past this already.  We have stuff to accomplish, right?  Who READS anymore, right?  Yeesh... brace yourself for the new video-blog format, coming to a YouTube channel nowhere... like I got time for THAT.

SO, I'm not going to wax philosophical and get all "weird" - I haven't ridden a 200k since August of 2015.  My total mileage for March is about 140.  Pathetic... sure, whatever.  Not much can be changed about it, but, I'm officially done being and feeling "done."  That's enough of that.  

Most of it is bad timing.  I wanted to be ready for this season.  Unfortunately, the annual illness that usually socks me pretty good decided to show up in late March instead of January like usual... and I finally completed round 2 of antibiotics earlier this week, and finally stopped coughing like a 1840's coal miner a few days ago as well... plus, the neon-green silicone-consistency goobers I've been hacking up have abated.  All told, I'm grossly under-trained, under-prepared, and pretty embarrassed about it.  Showing up at tomorrow's 300k just isn't going to happen, which is hard to do because it's the return of one of my FAVORITE all-time routes; home to the worst day I've had on the bike, as well as some of the best days I've had on the bike.  Yeah, I could call it a training ride and just turn around... but, I don't show up at RUSA events planning to turn around.  It just seems ... wrong, somehow.  When I show up, I want to KNOW that I'm going to finish - and right now, I can't say that.  

Yes... challenges HAVE to have some element of doubt around them.  Some amount of unknown... otherwise, it's NOT a challenge.  Yes, I need some challenges.  I've missed the DK sign-ups for 2016, but instead of whining about it, I jumped on a personal bandwagon and signed up for the Pirate Cycling League's Gravel-Worlds event in August.  I bought a gravel bike, so I might as well use it for something besides winter-time riding and single-track, right?  Challenge accepted.  The 600K?  Yeah, I still want to do it... but, I need to finish the 400k on 4/30, and finish with some personal respect to know that I can actually salvage this season without the "shorter" rides included.

I've got 20 days from this weekend until the 400k weekend on 4/30.  The plan:
I will ride a 200k on Sunday to assess where I am.
I'll call that "basecamp"... once at basecamp, I'll acclimate with some focused, extended commutes, some gravel, some thrash, some speed... AND some tailored rest and stretching.  Ten days later, on or around 4/20, I'll ride another 200k for conditioning.  Then, more focused rides, commutes, whatever-you-wanna-call-em... making sure my body is up to these tasks, and not over-doing it... and then, 4/30, "summit" at the KCUC 400k.

That should at least improve where I am, even if it doesn't fully prepare me to excel at the 400k, it will be a far-cry better than - almost literally - crawling out of bed and dusting off the bike to try a very hilly 300k tomorrow.  THAT, I feel, would be a recipe for injury... and while starting right off with a 200k isn't exactly "ramping up", it's safer to do it closer to home if nothing else, just in case something bad really DOES happen.

This isn't over, and I'm certainly not "done."
I just fell down.  

You know what we do when we fall down?  

We get back up.

Stay tuned. 

After all, "Top Gear" - or whatever they'll call the reboot - is gonna be on Amazon Prime soon.  I mean . . . how hard can it possibly be?

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