18 January, 2007
begin the off-season
I used to live in Plano, TX and was a pretty dedicated road racer for 5 years. I raced for Plano Schwinn, ran by the father of a kid I went to HS school with. After I married my most beautiful wife we moved to Colorado, raised three kids, and began teaching. I was hoping my personal growth wouldn't include girth (30 pound gain). One day, in the classroom, I noticed as I was manually sharpening my pencil, there were parts of my body that were jiggling when I rotated the handle for the sharpener. Not good. Fortunately a colleague fresh from the University of Colorado was a bike racer, and he invited me for a few rides. Now, 30 pounds lighter, this is year three, racing in Colorado (where, incidentally, there is an astronomically high genetic freak to porcine ratio unheard of anywhere but here) with a local team called Vitamin Cottage. Officially I'm licensed and a member of the Vitamin Cottage Cat III (three) and IV (four) team. I'm a lifelong three with no ambition to upgrade due to familial and work constraints and my aversion to real training. When I tell people I have an amateur license they think I'm good; but I tell them, anybody can shell out bucks for a license and have their butt handed to them on raceday (as is my case). I'm currently in the off-season keeping my weight in check and riding the rollers about an hour every other day. This is about as appealing as repeatedly hitting ones head with a ball-peen hammer. Rollers, for you non-cyclists, are a treadmill for bicycles. A drum that is powered by the rolling of the rear wheel is connected to another drum connected to the front wheel via a cable. When torque is applied to the rear wheel (by pedaling)it rotates the front wheel in the same, equal, rotational direction/energy and the rider stays upright due to gyroscopic effects of this synchronized torque. Pretty nutty huh. Problem is, if you're not centered on the drums (by steering) you can fall right off. So this is pretty much what I do until the weather becomes cooperative for actual road riding. Colorado currently is in a wicked cold spell and there's nothing like riding in your own wind-chill induced training ride. My strengths on the bike so far: coasting.
The top most picture is round one of three (so far) blizzards rocking Colorado. 80 inches so far and counting. The middle pic is of me bra, Billy, at Moab near shrimp rock, and lastly, yours truly at a cyclocross race (racing on my yeti mountain bike).