Sunday, December 16, 2007

Somehow, it works.

My days have been somewhere between freezing and only slightly-uncomfortable lately. The last couple weeks have landed in the acceptable range as far as training has been concerned. Everyone here in the 'Burg seems to be pretty motivated. The calls start coming in "pretty early" everyday. The crew has been meeting at all the local baked-goods/acceptable coffee establishments. It's good but not without its pressures. I'd say on the leaner $$ days, we come damn close to loitering the shit out of these tolerant locals businesses. I kinda instituted a new rule: last person there, granted everyone has been waiting a while already and it's 15+ minutes past the planned departure, is obligated to buy an espresso for each one of us. The only one to actually follow through with this has been Jeremiah. So, I won a free espresso! Our mornings are always a crazy rush because we're are all so good at staying true to our morning routines. In my case this does not always mean preparation. Then again...I'm preparing to be myself, I guess. I'm the most hyper-productive person I know when it comes to squeezing EVERYTHING into the final 15 minutes before making the leap from comfort to action. My roommate acts annoyed but deep down I know he's impressed. I mean, golly gee, it impresses me! The rides have been really amazing, though. We've been hitting the mountains when the weather allows (even when it doesn't sometimes) and the rolling valley farm roads North and South of town to keep the engines at a good tick when it's too cold.

Harrisonburg has an eclectic mix of ego's when it comes to our cycling hardcores. They run the gamut from complete narrow-minded obsessiveness to lethargic contentedness. We have the aspirer's and the inspired. Everyone is making it work in their own right and no one really gets it. We criticize each other then look at ourselves and wonder WTF do we Know? No standard template, yet everyone keeps looking for one. It's a working art-form and completely situational.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

And now it's cold.

Been hittin' the cross scene lately with my teammate Johnny Sundt. First couple went pretty good. 2nd in Richmond in my first race effort post-surgery. That was nice and I got the bug. The Teapot called hard the next week so I could really revel in that nice piece of pre-season glory. A few weeks later Johnny (a.k.a Gato) and I went south for a double weekend of UCI Cross Madness east of Asheville.... Hendersonville?? Not sure but one thing was - a-typical cross weather. The competition was stiffer with legitimate cross talent showing up. Justin Spinelli, a KBS teammate of mine, was a dominate force all weekend taking first on Saturday and second, giving the win to a teammate, on Sunday. In-to-it. Motivation this time of year always impresses me this time of year since I'm usually hiding behind highly unfit base miles as an excuse not to be racing. Rad to enter a new scene, though. The Cross scene rules and there was even a random tailgate with a banner advertising free beer. I ended up 9th on Saturday and 10th Sunday justifying the trip with a respectable $166.00 for the weekend. Thanks to Gato and CGSM for covering gas, lodging and emotional support. Pretty much the only way this time of year. One things for sure, driving rules. Especially when it comes at ya 10 hours at a time. We stayed @ the Applegate's bike compound and that was a highlight if I've ever experienced one. Awesome hosts to all the poor racers looking for floorspace. Check out Cara's blog for some good shots of me smurfin' it up.

I botched the last two cross weekends (Massachusetts/Reston, Va) pretty good. Not for lack of effort and desire (maybe a lot) but I just didn't justify the suffering when confronted with actual competition. The cold definitely plays a role but really I've just not been entering the events in a focused state. Not because of any outside circumstance, really. More just general beast confrontation issues. The beast must be confronted every time regardless and I guess I'm just not up to it at the moment. No worries since the season has not yet begun so I'm just grateful that I'm cycling these issues through the system before they become detrimental. Word to that.

The regimen has begun in earnest. Not necessarily resembling anything from the past but new and exciting all the same. Besides, one must enjoy this insanity from all angles in order not to derail catastrophically. Sleep, ride, revel, Pay rent, repeat.

Mind in order. Question everything and fight complacency around every corner. The teapot enlightened my outlook with a great blog quote today. It read: "Don't be fooled, help is not on the way."

Home WV climbing when it was warm. The top of Sugarlands road for those of you with rad local knowledge. Two words: Compact-cranks.

Out for an early one with JB tomorrow. MTB suffer-in-the-snow style, big time. I'm packin' the space blanket and pemmican.