Monthly Archives: August 2011

Perspective

Rays of hope. 824am
Lets talk a little bit on how bad my perspective was pertaining to my time on the bike. And how it almost made me ditch bike riding altogether. Yeah…. that almost happened. Its tough to admit, even more so cuz I own a bike store but I’ll post this just in case others are at the same crossroad.
Its no secret Im over weight. Have been my entire adult life. Its kinda weird, I never lose, nor gain any more or less weight. Im always right around 258. Yes, I know I can lose. But weight loss for me is not easy. In some way I dont understand, Im not normal in that regard. What works for most does not work for me. Anyway…. weight has always been a challenge for me.
But what is a bit hard for me is that I am a fat guy living in a skinny guys world. For the most part, I make it work. I do my best to live with it but still get the comments or strange looks behind my back. Even at the store. Who is this fat guy telling me how to ride a bike?
In the past I have lost weight, and felt the impact it had on my riding. It was wonderful. It was fun to ride fast. And climb fast. To pull the group for extended time. To nail down rides at 20+ average. But the fact is that I suffered greatly to lose that weight and do not have the lifestyle to support it. It really hurt. So it was short lived.
Now that Im back to what I call “normal” weight I feel better, and strangely, my fitness level feels better, more power for sure, just with extra weight. But my mental issue is that I ride with some pretty fast guys and gals. Cat 1,2 and 3 riders. And I know Im going to struggle. And I do. Badly. I get dropped like a sack of dirty diapers. 
And that was all good in the past. Cuz I always had a “B” group to fall back on. But this year I have not rode with the “B” group. Its been all “A” group. So with the battering I took from these people all summer my self esteem on the bike plumetted. Keep in mind these riders could win a Cat 1 race at any givin time this summer. And worse was the routes that led us to the hills.
I was pounded in the ground and dropped ride after ride. Then I stopped trying.
Then….. I almost stopped riding. I was making future plans to ditch the bike, bike riding, even the store. Time to move on another chapter. I was miserable.

Then I came to my senses. Getting blasted on the group rides sure was disheartening but I had to remember who they were. Fast bike riders. Maybe the fastest within a 30 miles radius.
While in the back of my mind I knew that but it still didnt make me feel better to have to ride alone 40 minutes into a group ride. Then… enter Sundays race. Sunday I was put back in the fold of riders that in the past I gauged myself to. And was plesantly suprised that really I was not that bad on the bike. Self esteem was taken up a notch. And I feel much better now.
Now, when riding with the Cat one guys Im back to at least trying as hard as I can.
I hear others complaing about their bike fitness but please keep in mind you must compare apples to apples when you are struggling.
I cant belive how much better I feel on the bike compared to a month ago. And I gatta belive its more mental than physical. Zone 5 hurts just a little bit less now.
I think Im going to be OK.
DLD

I am a Clydesdale.

Fellow Clydes?
Today I have the luxury of actually having something to post about. I raced my bike. And had fun doing it. First off, you ever go to a race with someone and then on the drive home get a turn by turn recap of his\her race (twice)? I am not that guy.
The race was fun. I led my category from the first turn on. I rode as fast as I could at times. 5 or 6 guys from other category’s past me climbing. All skinny. The wide open, double track suited both me and the 29er Superfly. We worked together. I won. 
Thats it.
I will say something tho…. I always go back and forth on what category to race. Should I do Clydesdale or my age group straight up. Sunday I did Clyde cuz I was not sure of my fitness level. In May, I raced age group and finished 7 out of 15 and was happy with that having 80 pounds on some of the other guys. But racing and winning Clyde was good for me for several reasons. 
First off I was pleasantly surprised with my bike fitness. Way better than I thought and I think the bike tour a couple weeks ago helped a ton. And second, look at the guys who places second and third. Clydes? Maybe by numbers only. The guy on the right I consider skinny. Taller but skinny. The guy who took third on my left maybe just broke into the 200’s for weight. Not much more that that. I weighed 258 that day. And at 51 was the oldest. At first, winning Clyde was kinda sandbagging to me. I always feel like winning what could be the slowest class in WORS was kinda a bummer. Like it should not even count.
755am
But I dont feel that way about Sunday. Im kinda proud of that win.
Looking at the results and the podium, I am the oldest in my category. And while I cant say the biggest or Clydsdaliest of everyone since I didnt see them all, for sure I had a minimum of 50 pounds on the other guys who medaled. It just makes me feel better about my size and age. Im so used to our group rides all summer getting the crap beat out of me by the Cat one guys that after half a summer of that I start questioning why Im on the bike in the first place. And I know thats bad but that how I feel after getting dropped ride after ride.

So Sunday, racing well with my peers was the shot in the arm I needed. I guess Im the fastest old and fat guy I know and if thats all Im going to be on the bike, I’ll smile and take it.

DLD

More MTB

Sleepy

Yesterday I had the best MTB ride of the summer, maybe the best all around ride of the summer. Hit up the New Fane trails. This is a lesser known trail system actually designed by IMBA trail people. 

Saw this guy(or gal) sleeping. Its on the top of the door trim at the bathrooms there. This dude had to have crawled up the side of the bathroom wall to get there. he was six feet up. Anyone know what species? I do not.

The trails there are awesome. They are very close to our local trails in Greenbush but without all the rocks. These trails are way faster a flow smoother. I felt pretty good on the bike and could even feel the 10 pounds I lost last month. I think Im ready to do battle Sunday. The weather has been and is going to be beautiful for MTBing. I plan on having a good race Sunday but if you remember my standard for a good race is pretty low: 1) Dont fall down.  2) Dont finish last(in age) 3) Pass someone, anyone on last lap. Very simple and (almost) always doable. Especially now that I got my MTB mojo back.

Its game on. For real.
Have a good weekend.
DLD

Lake\HP

755am
When people come from out of town to the store to rent bikes the first thing they ask is how to get down to the lake. Its the first thing they want to ride to. Living next to one of the great lakes is a privilege I never take for granted. Its amazing how such a thing can become invisible to some.  Not to me, but I guess I can understand to some. I am still amazed, even after living here all of my 51 years, how this thing just grabs my imagination. At times, I cant take my eyes off it. And is part of why my HP is my HP. Todays visit was awesome. Sun is out. Saw an eagle. Good start to the day.

As I type Im waiting for my Trek rep to show. He will help take care of some store issues and then I will scoot him out the door so I can again grab my MTB for a few hour of practise. Its Thursday and Im still on for this race Sunday. It will only be my second race this year but this course is Clydesdale friendly and I should have fun. And the practise sessions are kinda fun too.
Bring it on.

DLD