It's coming, the harder days to get it done while the weather is friendly. Today knocked open that door a bit, not quite cold but snowy and wet, better legs than I have had, better from yesterday's work and this weekend's goals. Modest at best, ambitious at worst. Trying to stay out of the candy plate is really hard, callow, weak-willed, institutional life solves this, this weekend allows for solutions, solutions make me sleep better. Out in it, a part of it, mine for the taking. Ready?



I like institutional life, a little too much sometimes, even it is self imposed. I respond better to a loose program, sort of institutional. I like that much structure, just a bit more than not. 



music-Yesterday I didn't hear the music in my head the whole race. Usually I have a song going to help me keep my rhythm and avoid falling out of sync. Some guys race with a shuffle or something like that. I couldn't. 15 years ago when I first started bike racing I had a song in my head the whole season, one song, the bangles doing "Walk like an Egyptian" every race I'd start and sure enough about 5 minutes in the internal speakers would begin " and all the cops are hanging out in the donut shops" mmmmmmm donuts. That didn't happen yesterday, I'm paying for it today, it shouldn't be but it is. I'm only as good as my last race. Bad mindset, bad way of thinking. I will get to 10 wins, it's hard knocking on the door and not getting in two weeks in a row.

I was out of step the whole race. Not putting the pedals right, missing out on the important moves, trying time after time to feel the race in the legs. Pedaling one legged didn't help, my right side is so jacked I can't put my shoe on today. I need to listen better to the sounds of the race, put wheels to right at the right time. Maybe I got all of my good rides out this summer and I need to start from the beginning and create new ones. Rethink and re-evaluate the program.

Now I'm listening to the sounds of the computer and the heater system and the hum of the monitor, tuning in to the whole orchestra, trying to figure out if it's a minor or a major, happy major, down minor, in my head it's a bit of a minor third today, the interval is working out as the day gets started. The tonic is playing as I try to get going.



Better, coming through the turns slicker than the ice, upright for most of the icy riding on the soon to be frozen roads. Dirt roads make me happy. Drivers too fast to notice. 42:16 up a 10% grade for 2k. Moonstone brings smiles mistaken as grimaces. Suffer slow race fast.


Full head, empty

The full moon usually makes me happy except when I get in this mode where sleep is harder to find, constantly wondering if I overslept, or not being able to gauge how much time I have until I need to wake up is skewed by the bright moonlight. I can tell if it's really early, or late, and know I can fall back asleep and get some more time. But, the full moon gets me every time. I don't know what my head does, even if I did have a clock or a watch the effort of looking at it would wake me to the point of getting me up anyway. I let it happen and enjoy what I got and relax. Hoping my body got what it needed and is now ready for the day. Chemical sleep aids scare me, I have been offered Ambien, Lunesta, not really my thing I think tonight I'll try Keller's suggestion; Porter. That'll work better than that other stuff.


Two Days

Rocco, Brett and Matt O heading out to recover from the hell we put ourselves through yesterday morning. Bike practice lends itself to very easy pedaling after it's all over. No feeling guilty that you aren't doing the work, you did it, it's over, time to get the shit out of your legs and get over the fact that it's wednesday morning and you just did two mini-races.



Thanks Dieter, I love butter as much as Tavin, this might be the best one yet:

Bike Practice

I made it to my second Wednesday Worlds CX Race, most of the Boulder area fast guys, a lot of people makes me want to live in Boulder if it wasn't for all of the Boulder People. They're everywhere, with this over-medicated, over-rested look on their faces that makes me happy to visit and ride away.
John has it right, he can visit the city, or whatever played-out name they are currently calling it (The Republic) and be home in 20 minutes, I too prefer to enjoy it from a distance, get the hell out, and head home. The athletes there are the redeeming quality. They make the trip worth it. Friendly faces to train with, suffer and get home. Life is Good.


B bike

The gears weren't really working anyway. The new version of the B bike will be better for training and better in the slop. Maiden voyage today was sweet. Perfect 42:16 is fast.
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Inattention and I got the wake up I needed. No more half-way, half assed set-ups. Go or don't, this is the shortest season we have and where I want to be. Almost there, the fitness grows and the legs are responding when I give the chance to open. If I don't capitalize, my own fault. They tried another move on me yesterday that I didn't get a chance to counter. Send one off the front and chop me at the end of the start straight. Force me to chase, open up the gap and let it all happen. My fault, my mistake(s) I know better and I didn't use all of my tools, I missed the chance to give them an f-u, you can't pull that shit on me. Now, I have the hunger back and the legs are ready for more work. Better days to come, double digits for the year. No more, next week begins the second half. Ready?
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Pushing myself out the door, lots of snow tonight, foot plus. I
wasn't going to do anything to open for tomorrow, it's going to be
one of those days. Bags are ready, mud, snow...oh yeah, real cross.



More ghosts at 5 am. Good news is: THIS hopefully more next year. Waking up to a few more inches of fresh snow will make the commute that much nicer today, the silent glide through the path, car-free, poach a little cream, good day to come. Two hours in the snow today will feel good, better than not. I understand the where it fits now, mix the different drinks and put it out on a platter.



When intervals are on the menu it a little easier if the weather sucks. It snowed all day, I felt like I was doing it when some people weren't up for it. Not tough, just a bit rough, big difference. I got in the work, now I can enjoy my Deschutes I'm lucky, good reward for good work. Nothing too heroic like Hinault at the 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Light snow but only 50k. I wish I had that drive at 18 or 19, might have been different, I could have been a rouleur for one of the big guns.


Not mine

I don't think they were that close, but at times I thought for sure any point, any spot like on the steep hike a bike out of a gully that I might end up with a big cat on my head. Tuesday afternoon, most people are working, the lions are eating, me!

I'm no expert on pumas, but I think this is one of his tracks. I had the feeling, being watched, he may have seen me, I wanted to see him. I like that, reminded me of surfing alone early in morning or just before sunset, enjoying being out there, knowing I wasn't on top of the food chain.

Mid-fall rides that aren't available at home, but perfect elsewhere. The trail was perfect, hiding in the brush, rolling over the gulches and under the cats dinner eye.

I don't think they were that close, but at times I thought for sure any point, any spot on the steep hike a bike out of a gully that I might end up with a big cat on my head. Tuesday afternoon, most people are working, the lions are eating, me!


The snow has me closed off from the dirt, the road is left. Going
lower to be warm, piece it all together. One is all you need. The
focus comes out of the blur, feeling the fitness arrive just in time.
Too much coffee to think more clear than that, maybe wasn't the best
idea. Paying the price for laziness on Sunday, yesterday's ride was
too hard for what it was. Gummy after two days on the mtb and one day
off, shit lingering in the legs to make for a rough day.


More trees come down, the forests will grow back, if not the trails
will be ribbons in a clearing. This picture is from last week before the snow covered all of the fresh stumps.


Ready, aim

A foot of snow had power and internet down all day yesterday and mid day today before the internet was back on. Trying to fire the furnace enough to draw on the motivation, skipping races is good, sit on the form, wait to open up the system for when it counts, wasting is not an option this year. I only want one or two, the rest is up for grabs. Eggs in a single basket. Nothing more than stripes. Last year was different, this season it's a rifle, not a shotgun. As bad as it looked, it was warmer than last week, stopping mid way to shed wasn't something common, warm and slushy. Good to be out better to be warm. I was.


Do Work

Leaving the house it didn't look too promising, traveling too light to be warm going easy or slow was part of the program. I was supposed to do work, no playing around, mucking about wasn't part of the program. Darron met me on the Blue Shiver trail, more climbing on the way up the ski area side trails. Now all I want is Sushi, nothing else sounds good, at all. Darron was far more bundled, I hope he got home before the snow rolled in, I think Brian is hungry for Sushi too, I wonder if that's how we met. The bright side is I don't get fat and he gets to eat mostly organic, hormone free food. Symbiotic I think is the name for that. The legs were good and the mtb was perfect as always. Fisher has the niner dialed, all season the Ferrous hasn't disappointed. I did the work it needed before the ride, I was going to take a picture of the EBB but I was ashamed of how dirty it was. 10 minutes of cleaning with Simple Green and a rag had it better than it was but still, I didn't need to wait that long to work on it. A fresh front tire to replace the one that flatted yesterday. All made the ride better, breaking in fresh rubber on a quiet machine, 10x quieter than yesterday. Perfect set up for the winter rides, good rubber set up for the long days coming through. I wish I had a lab to work on the bikes in. Instead I take the warmest part of the day and do the work in the driveway.



Flumes at breakfast, Peaks at lunch and Witch for dinner. Good work on great trails. Colder starts are tough but dry trails make it that much easier. Heat up the furnace and run it all day. Brett brought along a new belt to try out. Mmmmmm fresh stuff is always nice.



No racing this weekend, the last time maybe on the trails up above 10,000 feet, since there is no chasing of the points for any overall series I don't have anywhere to go but my friendly neighborhood singletrack. No need to drive that far for a weekend better spent at home. Get the work done that is prescribed, put it together for the fall final. About a third of the way thru cx season and the form is building, 5 races, 3 were good, only one really showed the potential. I hear the sound of Kansas. Listening. Too much in the head today, not enough sleep, the 4 a.m. wake up wasn't my idea, ran with it anyway. Putting in the pieces I didn't work in the days before the, puzzle fits.


I stole this from Big Jonny, a wise man laying out the sentiments of a good woman. Word. Listen, it's out there.


I'd like it to be that my R.E.M. sleep is taken care of and I'm just relaxing until a reasonable time comes to wake up. Instead, I wake up two or three hours early and deal with the fact that world here just isn't up yet. I get my head together to get out the door on time and make a coffee but I want more sleep. I'm not asking for 9 hours, but how about 7 or 8? The bike is feeling fine, legs are responding, work is good, WTF? I guess it's been in the teens lately in the morning, I pile on the layers and enjoy the chill.



Feeling out the subtleties, getting the tools in the right places, the socks count more than I want them to. Other numbers in the equation add up to more than 1, still trying to get the right numbers. I hear it all coming together, one weekend in December to get bundled tight.



I don't know if Jared knows how much of a motivator he is, I train better and smarter knowing he is out there doing more. He keeps me honest, I know he'll be doing that from NC, but I'll miss the rides and the push of seeing him roll past the house when I'm still 15 minutes from getting out the door, I regret not getting my shit together earlier to ride the commute with him more often. Thanks, dude, you're a great friend and an amazing racer.


I'm getting a little OCD with the prep work. Socks are becoming an issue, I need the right ones, the first day of racing each week has to be the right ones, if not, my concentration is thrown. 5 races in the bag, the right socks were worn for two of the good days. But then yesterday I didn't put them on, and it still went OK, maybe I can let that one go. But they are always black, black socks offer a greater chance of success. These pics are from Breck a few weeks ago, go to Jared's site for pics of this past weekend, that's him leading me up the running stretch, if I was clever I would have a thought cloud over my head saying "Hmmmm how am I going to come out on top here?"
I'm trying to get control of the thoughts that cloud the results, too much on deck when the head needs to be clear(er). The more there is on the line the better it can be. Perfect Tommy had it down before I even knew what could solve the equation "No matter where you go, there you are." Too long to not know, All these years of cross makes it come a bit easier but not as easy as it could without the ghosts in the head.


2 Rows

Good days come on the second day. Yesterday was a bit harder, because they were closer until the final split on the last lap. Today, it was better, the legs responded early and allowed more diesel early. Moved through the higher effort with good sensations. Clean, except for a missed pedal or two, if that's the worst that happens...



I never like the sound of wind chimes in the fall, maybe the one or
two horror movies I watched as a kid had the evil whatever stalking
to a background of wind chimes. Still to this day they sound
different in the fall. Four cross races in the tank; 2 firsts, 2
seconds. It's adding to be a later peak. Good course today, they let
me lead from about the 20 minute mark, as in don't pull around Tim,
let the sucker pull till we figure out when to attack. Good course,
for me, fast techy bits followed by continuous pedaling, one spot to
recover if you could, or a great spot to push pace a bit. The more
the race wore on the better it felt to have them watching me, I felt
better about each time around the tight stuff and more confident that
it was MY day. Two guys from the same team were following me, each
time I'd open the door a bit to let one by, no takers. Slow turn was
enough to spring one off the back, last lap was enough to free the
other. Comfortable enough last time around. Not a bad day.



Not enough, the new gloves aren't cutting it the way I thought they would. Fox Antifreeze gloves get close but below 25 degrees, no go. Hearing the changes coming is building the fuel in the furnace, more is more. Rest, food, intensity, the spring is coiled and ready to pop. Dialing in the rest of the changes to get through the fall, one thing keeps in my head, one thing-one. One gear, one place, one race to get it all wrapped up into a little box to end the year. One day in December to clear it out for winter.



Breaking in and taking a break. It comes out as the temps go lower
and I try to get more in than I can. Racing comes thick and fast, new
gear soon, I hope. Next week more preparation for the big ones.
Getting it all together in one push, maybe PNW, certainly KC.


Blue Skies

Random shots from the last few days, as the cold in the mornings forces more and more warm layers to come out, changes are everywhere as the average falls. The fox was gathering his dinner, he didn't mind that I was there shooting, he just went about his evening. Biggest day in weeks today, almost 4 hours, good work and good recovery, thanks Jared I'll miss you when you go to the land of Phillip Morris. Commitment is growing as I hope the fitness does. Bed early, eat right, all in the puzzle as the pieces fit the way they should. Working out the ghosts to feel the legs breathe. New victories aren't far off, the old ones are gone.



Radiohead is putting out a new album next week. They aren't setting a price for the download, you pay what you want for it. Brilliant. I already have mine pre-ordered, I think $20US is fair, if it's really good I'll buy the hardcopy too when it comes out in December. I haven't purchased a CD in years, iTunes gets my money, more than I would care to think. Artists make their money on touring not record sales, maybe this will shift the paradigm.



I want more, not cross as a cherry on top, but fall as an extension of the summer season. It's not gravy, it all counts, I don't get out of anything because summer was good, it can always be better. This isn't gravy, it's still the meat.


Originally uploaded by Jared Roy
This is from last week's race, I like the tall grass and the solo, alone riding. The season heats up as the weather here goes cold. 23 degrees today, my new gloves were ok, but you can't put cold hands into a glove and expect them to warm up in less than 20k.

No new snow today, that was yesterday, the bike feels better, rolling on the road bike with 40 psi in tubeless was good for training but not for recovery days. Climbing Moonstone with 40 psi was great opener work I should have kept the focus through Saturday. Listening to the sounds of cross makes me hear the cracks in my armor. If it's lycra is it still armor?

Bear Creek

IMG_4819.JPG_s Originally uploaded by Jared Roy
Not exactly classic cross weather but a good course if you didn't have to deal with traffic. I had a few run-ins with lappers or riders warming up, that sprung a few extra seconds for Eric. Oh well, second place on a day I felt like crap is good. For now. Thanks Jared for the pic.