Getting back on the bike...getting back on track
This morning I got back on the bike.
It can be tough to motivate myself without any specific racing goals directly in front of me, on top of that there is something about the Shenandoah Mountain 100 that acts in unicensce with the 24 Hours of Snowshoe to create mountainbike racing bookends. Somehow it just feels like the season is over after the SM100, not sure why, yet for some reason it just does. Sure Cyclocross season is upon us, but it is not the major focus for my style of riding. Yes, I love Cross riding, cross racing, and cross dressing; but it does not grant me the same pleasures as mountainbiking thus does not offer the same motivation (perhaps that has to do with my lack of success or lack of skill in this discipline.)
At times it is just tough to continue riding the same paths to and from work with the same level of desire and intensity. After all...everyday is a stroll down memory lane as I do live in my hometown.
Perhaps I am suffering some burn out....a cyclist version of training ADD?
I basically took the month of September off from riding. I rode to work, but did not stress about trying to get in a post work ride; when I did ride I was not focused on much more than having some fun and blowing some steam. Riding took a back seat to some of my other priorities in life; family and such. Managed to finally get the Permit for the deck, got a DC drivers lisence, bought a NEW car (Honda Element; burtn orange) and currently working on selling my old Toyota Landcruiser. Got home and hung with Lisa, the dogs, and the kids; and even managed freeing up Lisa to do a few Wednesday night Yoga classes (which gave me some personal time with Dean and Grant.) With all those things together it was a great month, only one race, but still a great month.
With the month of September behind me and the October upon me I figured I best brush the dust off the cross bike. Shamefully so there was no dust on this bike, too much mud caked on it for any dust to gather on it. My old Jamis Nova was covered in mud from whatever ride I did last year before hanging this thing up for the year. To get the bike ready to ride I removed my Shimano 105 wheels with the TUFO Tubular Clinchers and pulled out some crappy old Shimano Tiagra/Mavic wheels and mounted some well worn Specialized Cross tires for some commuting miles. (no need to waste the knobbies on the moderately expensive TUFO tires on asphalt miles) This task took a few minutes longer than expected, had to replace a few spokes on the rear, and had a hard time finding any nipples that were in good enough shape to set the wheel true. In the end I set the bike up and accepted the up and down hop on the rear wheel, the lateral repair is demanding enough for me. Slapped the wheels on and figured that this machine was ready to ride.
Immediately on my ride to work I noticed two things.....road bikes are fast (even with knobby tires) and that this bike is too small for me. The Karate Monkey and its primium fit has ruined me on my previous fitting style, this 58 cm cross bike is too small...even for cross. I am dwarfing this machine. Early in the ride I was feeling it, my legs and lungs were not feeling as strong as they had just a month earlier. It was not clear if it was lack of riding or the bottle of wine from the night prior. Either way I felt that my pace was not as spry as I had expected. The bike felt fast, but my body felt slow. Lucky for me I was riding during some off peak hours and there were no cyclist passing me heading the same direction....that can really play upon my male ego. Eventually my route to work put me down the Capitol Crescent Trail. From Bethesda to Georgetown the path is a slight downhill, slight, but enough to give the rider the illusion that they are fit and speedy. I enjoyed the illusion and allowed my fragile ego to rebuild itself.
Upon arrival to work I was pleased with the time it had taken me to do that loop. The morning had taken longer with getting the boys dressed and sipping my coffee, cutting into my intended morning ride. To my pleasure I was only 2 minutes late for work, but after dressing and chatting up some co-workers I did not enter my actual office until nearly 10 after, lucky for my boss is not a bean counter or a pencil pusher....he was just happy to have me back so I could do all the shit work that he was forced to do in my absence. As for me, I am just happy to have a job.