For About 9 months out of the year my happy place is where I go to slow down and think about stuff. Or just kill some time.
But to do that I need my privacy and for 9 months out of the year I pretty much get it. But for about 3 months in the summer I gatta share this place with many others. On weekends this lot is packed with vacationers. And while its expected and I for sure don’t mind it does put a dent in my H.P. time. At least the quality time. Its never to the point that would make me stop my daily trek to this spot but it does alter my times and length in doing so.
Had a great ride on the cross yesterday. The last time I rode it I ran into a 35mph car. Hour on the road, hour in the woods. No music.
Looking ahead (as I always do) I have set my return to racing on July 25th at the WORS race. Also starting then will be my first track race on July 27th and running weekly after.
In less than two weeks I will be spending a well deserved week in northern Wisco on our yearly family pilgrimage up there. Except this year its not called vacation, I’m calling it training camp. From July 10th thru the 17th. Miles and miles of beautiful northern country roads makes any training scenario tolerable. And while I never really actually train per say, I will be riding a shit ton.
And I say close enough.
So part two is what can go wrong with a cycling obsession (oops, I said the “o” word out loud!).
Strangely, due to Google’s “post later” feature, its only five minutes after I typed my last post. Its still Sunday and its still raining. But its Tuesday morn to you guys.
My cycling passion has not only hurt me in the past but is hurting me in the present.
Lets start with my family. My immediate family never understood my cycling hobby. But with my motto being “nothing in moderation” I jumped into it 110%. For awhile I tried to include them with my cycling adventures but that turned out to be a bust. So, naturally when I was off on a cycling related activity, either riding or racing, I was not with them. And that was a lot. In time my family started to complain about all this. In time they started to resent my bikes, races and the people I ride with. In return, to get away from all the complaining I naturally spent more time with my bike buddy’s than my family. It was a big snowball that exploded (me more than them) in 2008 and I spent one full year living by myself. Divorce papers were file. These issues were entirely induced by my new hobby. Of course it was not all my fault, it was for sure two sided. They could have had a little understanding and cut me a little more slack and I could have been a lot more understanding with their feelings too and spent more time with them.
However both sides did not see the others point of view at that time. Thats the short story. Things got better in Spring of 2009 and my wife now rides with me now and then. Things remain good to this day.
With that behind me I now turn to a new chapter in my cycling adventure. The store. Every cyclist dream? Every kind of bike and accessory at your fingertips? Bike porn 24\7? Yes and no.
There are two ways a business needs to be successful. Financially and personally. I have owned several business’s and none of them have ever been successful at both. That said, the store is profitable.
First off, dont get me wrong. Im not gonna ditch it my any means. In fact, its not the stores fault that Im struggling a bit right now. Then again, it is.
My problem here is that I have a ton of money invested in a cool bike store that I cant work at. Its a time issue between my day job and store. I underestimated my time needed to manage this thing and its killing me right now. Its tough mentally. Now my passion is also my burden. I have to be careful here or I could risk damaging my love for the sport.
Rest assured that I would not let that happen. Bottom line is I have a bike store that I have thousands invested and my house for collateral, and I have a day job. If push came to shove and I had to ditch one it would be a no brainer. But the longer I can put that off, the more debt I can pay off and the better it will be when I do pull the trigger. Time is on my side here.
Then theres the myth about shop owners pulling high dollar bikes to ride anytime they please. Thats half true. While I do have some fancy bikes I am currently riding, I still buy them. They are just a lot cheaper now. Just like the story of the alcoholic who owns a bar, one has to always look at the business side of things. What I ride is not only a decision based on what I like but bottom line practicality. Most people find a bike they like, save up and hopefully can afford it, buy it and love it. Even tho my standards of equipment have risen 10 fold, I still cant ride what I want because I always need to think of the “re-sale”. Everything I buy I eventually need to sell cuz as a store owner I need to show off the latest. For instance, do I like Di2? Yes I do, several guys in our group now have it. Can I afford it? Sure. I can get it way cheaper than they paid. Can I resell it? Probably not. That driveline is so expensive that maybe 1 in 500 road bike sales could afford it. So…… I ride Ultegra cuz its easy to sell.
I know its hard to feel sorry for me. I still do ride good stuff for way cheaper. When I was picking and choosing my rides two years ago I just never had all this to think about.
So going in this deep is not all gumdrops and lollipops. At least not right now.
So here’s to the future. It still looks bright!
It’s still Sunday, stopped raining and between the two posts have been typing about 3 hours.
Time to ride…..
Another wasted day. Sitting in the store this morn, watching the rain. Its dark and quiet back in the office area and just thought it would be a good time to think about stuff while I wait for the rain to end. I guess I could take a minute and pick up these bikes.
Lets talk about a dude like me. I guy who loves bikes and everything about them. I love high end bikes but still have a good time on a old beat up single speed. I love riding bikes solo with tunes ( a practice I now use off road only). But love a good group ride and all the social aspects that come from cycling. Very rarely do I meet another cyclist that I do not like. If its ever happened I cant remember it.
Im not sure why I like it. Its fun but so is a lot of things. Its good for your fitness but so is a lot of things. It gets you outside and even out in the woods but so does a lot of things.
So what is it about a bike?
First off its all of the above for me. Plus…..
I think its a speed thing. I like going fast. I like the constant changing scenery while on a bike as opposed to say…. running. You see more on a bike. You can travel much greater distances than running or hiking or something like that.
Then, there’s the cool toy factor. Shiny bells and whistles. Flashy colors and dual suspension. I love cool looking stuff. Weather its a bike, car, scooter or washing machine. If I had a choice to race a boring looking 14 pound bike or a cool looking 18 pound bike I would take that latter. I just feel better on a sharp machine.
Then you have the solo rides. The stress relievers. Thats huge for me. My best ride is a nice jaunt into the woods on a beautiful fall day. Maybe somewhere in northern Wisco. When all the elements hit for a ride like that its pretty much a religious experience for me. By myself, in the woods, its quiet, its sunny and I ride and do not see any signs of other humans. Ive had several of these rides that I have actually teared up a bit.
I would love to go out west and hook a Bob trailer to my MTB and head into the mountains for a few days. I dream of that. I’m afraid I might not want to come out……
I’m glad I have this hobby. A hobby that I would call an obsession ( but I would not use that word out loud). Its actually incredible how deep I’m in considering I have only been riding consistently for about 8 years now. And how late in life I was when I started (42).
But as in everything, theres a price to pay when you get in too deep.
I’ll talk about that next…..
All the roadies are at the Downer Ave Classic in Beer Town.
All the MTB’ers are at the Subaru Cup National.
I’m at home doing nothing so I am hanging out at the store reading all the Facebook updates from both races.
I cant believe Im home with the two biggest races of the summer going down on the same day.
I have yet to hop on a bike since I got home late yesterday but since I am not at either races I might as well this aft.
Another wasted weekend for me.
I gatta stop that.