Like losing more than myself, pushing thru the boundaries, real and imagined.
Guilt is easier than success, it brings more good work.
If it were easy the guilt would evaporate, I like that it doesn't.
A random thought I had a while ago 'self loathing is a better training tool than an SRM.'
Pleased, insofar as a candid snapshot mid stream, not quite able to touch either side,
But in the middle I swim.



For all of my life, especially as a kid I had want, whether birthdays or Xmas, I wanted. Silly, materialistic, things I had no business desiring. Perhaps that's why as an adult (read-parent) I have had to come around to liking the holidays/birthdays, no kid wants a curmudgeon for a father, baby steps. Not that I was alone in wanting- I just never quite managed my expectations, something as an adult I have become quite adept at accomplishing. Presents or less concrete, ethereal goals were commonplace. Now, as I place more of my life in the past than the future I want time. Time, to climb passes I cannot pronounce so well. Time to have the fortitude to ride too far and come home shattered. Limping in on fumes, so blown food is an after thought. Chipping away at the pile of stuff that becomes more of who we are than who we are is cathartic and cleansing. Personal space in a shrinking world.


New leaf

Trying to push thru what is left of the cross season and get thru the holidays has me coming to terms with the fact that - though I may try otherwise- I am at best a club cyclist. Diminished returns, unrequited lust for bigger races and better results has left a mark on my season. I know now that I do need better rubber for certain heavier days and the preparation will begin sooner in 2011. Also looking ahead while looking over my shoulder has me setting unrelated to CX goals. I think the idea of a century a month will get me out for some real base work thru September, that'll be 9 of them before the first CX race. The Rapha crew's Festive 500 inspired this idea. Trying to get in 500km (310 miles) at 9800 ft in a ski town over Xmas week is not only unrealistic it borders on suicidal. Between altitude sickness addled Texans and txting teens my ass would certainly not make it to the new year alive. Instead I'll try to do a festive 310 mi on my own schedule before January 15. Start the year off right!
I guess on some level the fact that I am putting this out to all 4 of you that read my drivel has me thinking I may follow thru on this one. It might suck but isn't that the idea? Cross is about done so how else to suffer than in the wind and motor-wash of winter. Expect more crappy reporting on my efforts to get it done. I figure the first 3 months will be the hardest, after that slightly easier.



I'm off the teeter totter and on the merry go round, you know the one, around in circles and you don't get anywhere. That's what it's like, a little bit "Groundhog Day" and a little bit Sisyphus. Trying to be happy about the holidays while looking ahead. Always ahead, but savor the now all the while.



Riding around pretty much aimless with maybe 2 landmarks I could use to get me back before I was deemed missing. Not that I was going to be missed, that's different. I knew of a few high points with which to see how far off I was, then I could find my way to the central TV tower. And, from there the way back. All on a pre sunrise ride on a 3 speed early 80s era city commuter bike. I couldn't have asked for more.


Video is cool, good audio is great but good words go a long way.



Over your shoulder

He had been climbing trees since he was 3, nothing too high until mid elementary school but then it became a game. She hadn't walked around the woods too much aside from hiking with her father. Now into the their late 20s they both found themselves camping and enjoying what the other knew. He was afraid of the dark and she was afraid of heights. Together they went on overnight trips and conquered their fears. Nighttime was tough for him, at least she was there-to rub his back and tell him the forest was not going to cave in on him. The trees and heights stopped scaring her very soon, it gave them smiles to help the other get over childhood apprehensions.



There's nothing ideal about the situation as it stands only that it offers free time, free? Semantics aside I can't do anything about this other than look and see what else is out there. I'm happy when I walk in the door, home is tranquil and makes me smile, the time thing will be good in that I have plenty to do, plenty of projects to busy the head when the legs are recovering. But, legs are screaming to be pushed through to the spring. Wasted time is never coming back. Made time is good.



Saturday's race didn't hurt that bad- the suffering is easy it's the remainder that's rough. If getting there, pinning the number, pumping up the tires and racing is the hard part then racing is easy. It's all of the other stuff that washes over as soon as I leave the venue, roll away and my head turns back on. I have about 2 hours to take a vacation while kibbutzing, racing and packing up to leave. I rode hard and even mid race my head was telling me things I didn't want to hear. Sad stories of conflict and unsolved unrest. Slamming the door shut by riding harder was the one solution I had for about an hour.


Sunsets Earlier

I feel the knots untie and the chill grip the muscles tighter,
Winter in full effect, affecting my own clear vision with frozen tears.
Cross is fading into Nordic skiing but I'm still hungry. I'm not done eating
Tubulars and vibrations up through the bars into my still damaged shoulders.
I am looking down the tunnel of winter into the cold long rides with the Sun 
Low in the sky, at mid day.
Even as another season goes by I smile knowing I did what I could, 
Always wanting more.
I'll push through another next year.


Extra Gravy

It's not all doom and gloom, sometimes a little light shines through the clouds. The idea of the hours of sliding solo through the trees on xc skis or the bundled tight winter rides listening to the studs grip the snow-packed roads is getting through my cross focused, eerily centered head. I'm ready for winter and the next step.


On Cross

It flashes past in a blink. Cross is so fucking hard but then over too soon. Power-sapping grass and long laps put the hurt in front. You're not thinking about refueling or much beyond swallowing the blood in the back of your throat. The subtlety of the bike on off camber grass, the feel of the planned drift setting up the next turn before the one you're on is done...all of it rests in your brain like a bee hive. Buzzing with doubt, brimming with questions about how much is left in the tank. Did that last effort empty it? Are there any chasers knocking on the backdoor? Then you get the bell and whatever-it's over. But I want more! I'm not done. What about the pain I haven't yet had? I want that. I paid good money for some abuse and god damn it I want my fucking pain!



Pressing into the mud and the snow leaning into the sweet spot was easier on Sunday, race reports bore me, especially if I'm in them. Instead, I stayed in, as long as possible until the bike said enough. Washing away fails to compare to what it feels like to stop. That's where it gets rough on the system and creeps in that the season is sinking. Only now I have the reasons to pursue, pleasure is mine.



I want write a postcard and put in a time machine, and send it to myself, I'm not looking to change the world, maybe alter mine a bit. Less hand-wringing than you'd think, more educated guesses and a few more successes. I have the mistakes, they are clear, the victories are few and far between. More often than not you float to the middle, rare occasions are up or down. The meat of the curve, thoroughly mediocre and passionately average.



Looking outside at the gathering snow while I feel winter creeping into my bones the constant urge and regret covers me like a cotton t-shirt mid way thru a roller session. Did I ride enough on the nice days this summer/fall? Was I doing enough to not only quiet the head but to also prepare for the rougher cross races? My mind races faster the legs ever could, the visible wear is nothing compared to the desire to do well.


Spinning Plates

I see a typewriter when I close my eyes, the click-clack rhythm of my typing soothes the sleep deprived, the clear landing of the key on the platen sandwiching the paper between, leaving it's mark makes me smile. Instead of going slowly across the bumpy field I went fast, the goat head came to rest in my tire instead of where it was attached to it's plant. I see the chilly lake as I roll past, my crystal clear breath forced out into the cold air as the path rolls under my wheels. Tired to the point of sleep, paying my bill for a few days of not listening to the body's scream, whispering all the time to take what is mine. My ownership, control what you have not what you want.


Let Go

The fact that America spends twice as much per person on healthcare as most European countries factors into whether or not I should have a snickers bar after my lunch ride draws an uncomfortable nexus between my fear of being fat and/or out of shape and the general state of my country. Should any of this concern me? I know that the line isn’t direct but I am a prisoner of my own thoughts. Can I do anything to fix these things in my head? Doubtful. Will a win this weekend change the chemical composition in my head to allay these fears? Perhaps for an hour, then it’s back to the obsession machine.



Keys cooling off nicely in my pocket. Little knives of cold piercing the too thin Lycra that's between me and the chill. Pressed into the wind-the geese looked chilly sitting in the lake this morning. Me? I was pleasantly cold, pedaling, avoiding ice, trucks and hypothermia.


Sometimes I feel like my own beast of burden. The work I try, with even good guidance is limited, mostly by my own shortcomings, mostly by the puzzles I can't finish. I hitch the cart, plow the field, the more it hurts the better it feels.



Loads of laundry piled high in the basket, plain clothes mixed in with stinky lycra peeled off sore legs. Wheezing and pulling the body out of the hole. I put it there, I better do what I can to prop it up.


Ring my bell

Going into this fall I thought I had done everything right, no injuries, little or no sickness, diligent with my equipment set up and maintenance, all of it. Now at about the mid point I'm off the back. Derailed. I need to make some lemonade and get my shit together. It's not my first cross season and I hope it's not my last. Quitting isn't a good way to look at it, it's too important to me, I need this sport! I try to limit my wants, and there are only a few needs and cross is one of them. Besides shitty results and stupid mistakes the head isn't the quiet and centered place I'd like it to be on the last weekend in October, shit only makes more shit. So, I need to learn to race a new way, not from the front like I am so accustomed. Instead, I'll be the outlier, be the one trying to make the race, it's not mine anymore, I was on borrowed time and the bell rang.



The knife loses it edge about 3 hours in. I'm far beyond that, I feel a little worn, a little tired and the edge fades only so far, different degrees of dull, different edge to fade to the dull point. Worn thin by too many days in the sun, the sand, the wind. I wouldn't want it any other way. Pushing up this hill to find the newest challenge on the other side, hopefully more hills there to climb. Coasting makes me feel guilty.


icebergs flow onionrings.

I like not knowing the words sometimes. Letting the images take their place. Slower than words, pictures flow differently -like icebergs, blatant and deliberate. Words have a less distinct destination. They flow like a spring stream-crisp, plentiful, but still indeterminate.



"Who's going to cast the first stone? Who's gonna reset the bone?" Less pushing and more of what seems like a subtle pull backward, too many thoughts and lines off the course I need to follow-metaphors mimic the real, they lack the separation I need, too close for comfort, literally.
When the few good things get eclipsed by the too bright light of reality it all makes less sense, I want more clarity, not less, more direction- less loss. The darkness warms, instead of functioning in the bright light of day the shadows are more comfortable, either side, they're equally warm, get it right, it all feels that much better. Wrapping myself in the layers of wool and rubber, my days get longer, sleep becomes a more valuable commodity, more than heat, more than tires, more than everything. It's never enough to quiet the head's constant stream of useless shit. Push through it, then pulled backwards, a smile sneaks across my face as I know I get my chance to shut it all out.



A little oversight like not tightening a valve stem nut leads to filthy hands and a healthy amount of stoppage time on the side of the road looking for the offending staple, tack... debris. Clicking thru the gears forever searching the contact patch for the return of softening tire. Getting back after the tempo allows precious little rest, put away the past- look forward, we are only as good as our last result, mine sucked- so I train like the next is the last. 



When it's warm enough to not have any covering on his legs he always notices his knees, looking for that slight irregularity in the pedal stroke. Where that leads, tendonitis? Worn out too soon meniscus? All of it runs on a loop in the head, the wind and the cars, the trees and the trail isn't enough to distract the formation of doubt. The creation of problems that don't yet exist. Though they grow, steamroll, snowball into the invisible 400 pound gorilla.





Pouring rain didn't make getting out any harder today, the promise of mid day snow made mere raindrops easy. 2+ hours in a downpour, soaked thru put on more of a smile than a grimace. Rewards are a little way off but in the meantime I'll take my little mid week victories over laziness and ennui.



What's the matter with riding around a farmer's field? What goes better than peanut sauce and rice and hot proper jalapenos...the perfect dismount, getting over the fucked and getting the shit back together and lined up like the right way to move it. What is cross 5% racing and 95% preparation, maybe something like that. Don't let yourself get complacent and lose the opportunity you had close at hand. Keep your ass in line. Don't fuck it up again.

Mumford And Sons - Maroquinerie - Little Lion Man from valerie toumayan on Vimeo.



Limping thru the day without so much as a good warm thought, until I get it together and push the shit out and clear the mind thru the wringer. I like what I have but want more, not necessarily more of the same. Pleasantries aside, more, fucking more.

Sore Sunday

It's 4am, I've been up an hour and the soreness just kind of hovers over the outside of my wrists and the back of my neck. I hate the feeling, I'm not broken (wrists, that is) but the rest of me feels like shit. I think I'll skip the race today and live to fight another day. It blows, but with a broken bike and wheels to sort out-it's best. Not a good thing, I was comfortable riding in the front and then the bike and I split up, a soft Dugast and concrete. Ouch.


If I had to choose a new saddle over new pedals I think my feet would win over my ass. The feel of fresh meshing of the foot and bike, tactile sensation.
Legs twisted like short vines to warm up,
Racing the race over and over in my head,
By myself riding the course, vision of the root, the off camber stretches.



For some reason the races are silent. in my mind I know there were sounds but I don't quite recall what. I can hear the wood chips under my tires, and I remember picking up the nail in the brand new Grifo, the clicking it made across the seatstay brake bridge. But overall it's quiet. In my head the din of the week fades into a focus on the shifting weight left and right, fore and aft. Then later it gets quieter, the other racers are gone and I get my time. Front or back doesn't matter, time solo over the course. Ride at the hardest pace, left the din melt like shitty chocolate.
The feel of the embro stinging the legs as the cold air and warmth fight it out, hoping fresh legs rule the day. The gummy 2nd day legs for the first time since November are tested to see if the summer's work was up to snuff.



The file is wearing me down, taking away a little material every day.
Tonight I'll build it back up, not enough, we'll see it show,
But not until the weekend. The tests are taken in full sight.
No where to hide.


Clear Window

Sometimes It's like I went into the shower in a wool suit.
Others a neoprene suit, now wet, but not slow.
Today was a little of both, slogging through the race at my own pace.
All at once the end arrives, legs wanting more than the day could give.
Rolling away with a clear system and ready for more of the same.



Little bits of dark replaced by bright sun.
Squinting to clear the sunspots-Little stars float thru the haze,
Replace the dark with the light. Fresh underneath, crisp morning into bright sun, and random rain.
All in a day, an hour a second. At once clear.



Days that the music can't be loud enough, the din seeps into the thoughts, mixing the light and the dark the real and the imagined. Always trying to quiet the voice of doubt and capitulation. It's always possible, but sometimes you can't even lie to yourself. Pushing off the negative in favor of the one thing that shuts it all up and out. But, some of it gets through and sticks like the too heavy pack it is.



Rolling around in the woods in the middle of the day I guess is the good time to see a moose. He didn't seem too concerned with the creature that was rolling closer to him. When he turned and stared I went back the way I came. He followed slowly, I looked for denser trees to hide in/behind if he decided I was worth a charge. I got out OK.



Clawing thru what's left of the Summer season, the chill ebbs and flows like pushing up from the bottom after you've gone too deep. I need that extra spring off the floor to propel thru the dense to open into the light. At this point I think the light will be that first set of barriers in race #1.



Pushing the legs over 2 days with the first real test coming into focus on the horizon, a happy feeling that the work is going somewhere good. Inside the head an odd sense of peace, clear that the sacrifice is paying off and the pay off is close. Rain, thunder, yeah, late summer is pulling fall closer.



You can't get mad at the hill, the mud, the trail, the road, the lack of fitness, the flat tire, or the frustration- it is always yours. We go out everyday of our own accord, no one pushes us more than we do. Whatever it is; self-loathing, sore losing, or that extra few pounds, it all matters more to do it, than what results from it. 
Listening to the wind all night thinking it brought fresh rain made the dry dawn ride that much clearer.


Sprinting and Limping

Sprinting and limping trying to close the gaps I let open.
Closing in on the only real goal I can find.
All of the others fade into the miles around trees that they are.
A steady diet of nothing pushes into September.
Beautiful crisp air, darkness more than light.
Swap out the fast for the steady.


The whole time

How big is your bubble? When do you think it's going to pop? Are you functioning in an ever expanding, dense fog? Often the fog gets confused with the dark, the rare moment of clarity short lived. Suffering at 5 am for an ethereal, not yet determined goal; other than the obvious (trying to put the sand back into the top of the glass) gets heady when the only friends there are the bears and the darkness. My head wanders, thoughts go far and wide as the calendar sheets pass under me. One certainty that is unavoidable, one thing you can't escape, even if you are gifted, one of the fast ones, a club I flirt with yet can't hang. Instead it all goes in, the early rides and the constant thought, races are great but the work is where the clock stops, 5 am at 41 feels the same as 5 am at 16. I've been in the dark the whole time.



Confidence and fitness seem to run pretty close together. I was recovering between intervals the other day when I was passed on the singletrack by a less fit looking cyclist. If I were confident of my fitness it would have bothered me less or not at all, like how on an easy day on the road you don't mind getting passed by Pathletes. This bothered me, it made the next 3 x 20 minute efforts fly by at threshold, work gets done regardless of the mindset, it has to right now, if not I'll suck more come October. If it didn't eat away at me I'd be less motivated at 5 am to go shiver thru the first 15 minutes of the next workout. Always racing away from the self loathing.



I feel a little plush right now, the legs are a pleasant constant ache. Soft tissue beaten up like an old couch cushion. That meat tenderized feeling after weeks and days of closely monitored flogging. The season is knocking, the bikes are just about dialed and the crisp air appears and goes at a moment's notice. My vision is narrowing, every move seems more calculated, the current guilt level is pretty pronounced as the Breck Epic goes on without my lazy ass on the startline. Instead I see things not in days but in a 45-60 minute blocks of special, blood in the back of the throat, cross eyed goodness. Purging 8 months of decadence in favor of 4 months in my own choosing, my Penal Colony.



I saw a banner style vinyl sign today tacked up on a single wide in a trailer park that read "Join us for the Happy Activity Fun Club" aside from the natural assumption that it was a front for a meth addict social club, I wondered what activity lay within. Perhaps Bridge and Canasta? Maybe it's a front for a sex club. Either way I was fascinated, not enough to go in though.



Fighting for the hours when I began to try to get it all in, now it's the minutes, the endless minutes where once it was hours. Lines pulling one way then the other tangent off a different line. The process to accomplish what little I want is eclipsed by what chunk needs done.



Sometimes it's like the wind and my nose is running, sometimes it's like a waterfall and I'm right in the middle of the water's path. Sometimes it's like the pressure on the outside isn't anywhere near the pressure on the inside, equalize? I wish. Then the wind fades and the water is warm, and the pressure equalizes and it all lines up, orderly, as the trees in the forest have an arrangement, the chaos and randomness fade into a beautiful, quieting din. That din is all mine, for now it relaxes and soothes, earned nicely. A product of my own chemistry.


Open Eyes

Today I saw a woman walking a cat and a flock of nuns. It was weird, the cat was walking on one side of the path and the woman the other, the cat knew to get off to the side unlike most kids and dogs. Then an hour later I saw about 10 nuns, full on Sally Field (flying nun) white outfits with the habit and everything. The only thing lacking was seeing a midget and the Apocalypse would have been upon us. Not much else to see at that point, just watching the pedals go over the fluffy clouds in my head.



Summer is fading, it was been raining almost everyday and consistently chilly, when it does warm up I feel that chill creeping in. Fortunately I am almost always wearing wool. I feel rushed, hurried thru to the next thing without concern or shrift for the thing I'm currently doing. I want to spend the next month going slow, do a few 6 hour rides and clear the slate in time for cross. I hope I get to do it. Summer is short at 9800 ft and it deserves the ample attention it's not getting.



A few sections in tonight's race gave me tunnel vision, somehow years of abuse haven't left me foggy, I was able to look down at the rocks and the dirt laying across and see it for what it is; layers. I felt it all, a little bit of front suspension only goes so far, a singlespeed climbs nearly better than anything else if the gear is right, tonight I was close, 3rd on the night but a great victory over the creeping urge to quit because of rot-gut, I wanted to throw up and see if that helped, I didn't. So, instead I rode the bike and tried to climb well enough to enjoy the descents. I was OK on both accounts. the dirt pushed aside on sections revealed sharper edges, cutting and ripping at what little rhythm I could generate, in the end it was flowy, as much as it could be at least. Seeing the edges and flares where the trail opened up it's lines gave away a little, it shared more than I think it realized. I didn't take more than I needed.


There are so many clever metaphors for what we go thru to ply our past time. If it's cycling great, I know kind of what you go through and you know my struggle. The calendar doesn't lie, the date on our racing license is commensurate with years of dedication, escapism, and lies that we could attain some random far off place on a podium that doesn't relate to any other aspect of our lives. Lies that our body has the ability to get to that level never achieved. Look at all of the busy coaches out there, trying to manage our expectations, whatever goal it is we are trying to look forward to. Pick your goal wisely, don't lie too hard to yourself, it's unhealthy and could bring down the whole house of cards.



Wednesday night's battle with Hypothermia and lightning took more out of the tank than Mt. Evans. I realized this after the 4:30 am ride on Saturday, the tank was dry, it would take more calories than I deserved to refill the reservoir. Rest and food, repeat the same. The neuroses had me getting knee surgery for the achy knees the rainy/hypothermic race produced. Then, fear of ingesting bear/mouse/elk shit had me out for months with an infection, meanwhile all that was needed was rest and food. Yeah, stable, right?


Yesterday's Race


I am wondering where the singlespeed fits in with the geared bikes. I have a few results where the times were close but sometimes even under a great effort the time is modest. Time is really all that matters. If I was faster it would be good to race the geared guys on one speed. If there are laps without substantial extended climbing sure, but on true Colorado courses that climb for 20 minutes at a time I'm just over matched on the way down. It keeps the drive, it allows me to not measure up, keeps that self loathing turning over in my head, push, push, push.


PA Gulch Grind

Tunnels and rivers tonight in the race. I am a weeknight warrior, Saturday was OK on Mt. Evans but tonight in a full-on downpour I rode it like I wanted to. Not since some races eons ago in the East have we had these conditions, it's overused but I suppose you could saddle it with that word, alright I guess I'll use it...epic. Weather that makes you question everything, thunder and lightning too close, ride faster and hope you aren't in the bolt's path. I managed to burp a tire and not lose too much air/time and without a CO2 it was limp in and enjoy the earned hypothermia. High point of 11,129 feet, in a weeknight race. Pretty cool.
Leaping thru what should be longest days of the year have me wondering where it went. No injury so far in the season to take away weeks of pedaling. Just a steady grind on the system. Thoughts of an epic ride are at the front. How far can I go?


Originally uploaded by SF buckaroo


Freecaster helped me get away from the Tour overload today. Watching the World Cup from Champery was awesome, just a beautiful course, I pictured myself rolling thru the root sections and dreaming of the sharp climbs and techy descents. My legs feel beaten up and battered, Mt Evans saw to a thorough humbling.


Mt Evans

I wasn't able to get to the dark place on Mt Evans today, I was riding my bike happily uphill for a few hours. A little too much more than 2 hours though. I found a rhythm in the last 5 miles of 27. Better than going there in the first 5.



When so much of my time on the saddle is on the margins the day's light is precious. Now a month past the solstice it's clear what's coming soon. Somehow warmer days but less light in them. Pushing and pulling the margins out when they only want the opposite. I can't win but won't stop, can't stop.



The clock ticks in my head as the pedals are pushed into the fog. Time is getting shorter, the days are the same length but somehow there's less of them.




Seen on the road today:

Philadelphia Experiment


Letting the blood flow today, somehow yesterday it was blocked. All coming out in the wash. I know enough to know that it was a fluke. Bad days come in and can linger if you let them. This time it was a one day visit. I wonder if people who cut would get the same reward out of a proper climb?




Too much time open eyes,
Clarity fades as the road,
Rises to meet my tires.



Aside from developing a growing fetish for nicer tires (it's not entirely sexual) I dropped a pedal yesterday. No crash or real consequence other than scuffed pedal and little hop in the rear wheel. A moment's inattention. Not like I wasn't paying attention. Just rolling along but it made me think-stupid, I know. I have these wonderful bicylces to ride and I think I take good care of them but is there more I could do, either for me or the bikes? Right now I'm sleeping well, 15 hour training weeks take care of that. I'm eating well, not too much. Good coffee and treats as treats. Not daily, though more than I should, or deserve. The scent of cross is not in the air yet> I think the word is that CX this year is going to be big. Maybe a budget for travel, maybe nats in Bend? Maybe my ass on the line for a race outside CO? The equipment is shaping up, bikes? Check. Wheels? Almost. Tires? Yeah, those are the aforementioned fetish that develops in a head that is never clear of another thought of something that may or may not matter at least in the meantime but in the present it's one more fun thing to ruminate on. Now the Tour begins Saturday, evening TV for 3 weeks. All of the early rides are paying off. Form is here for summer stuff, singlespeeds offer precious little shelter, if you're sucking, it's clear. If you're not sucking- it's only slightly obvious. Last week, I didn't suck that bad. Always something else to strive for. One more reason to avoid the treats and get out of bed before a reasonable person should be out of bed. 4:30 a.m. rides? Check. It's summer, get out of the window now while you can.


Bits to chunks

The little pieces of pedal are getting bigger by the day, more and more time in the chamois has the head a lot more quiet. Sleep comes in welcomed chunks instead of bits. The pedals turn at a good pace and with the time sinks all around I manage my time.


Clearly racing and the time constraints it creates isn't for everyone. The more I prepare myself and get out and do the work the more I feel good about it. I know it's unlikely to make a dent in much of anything except for the bumper of that next car to pull out too fast as I roll by. I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't do it. I likely would stop sleeping all together, function in a sort of ether that consisted 20 minute naps and incessant nausea. Instead, I ride.



I'm not overly friendly when I ride. I try to be polite and respectful, try to show courtesy, while I enjoy the solitude. After all, I mostly ride alone and foster the sheer joy that I am out riding, again, mostly alone. Yesterday long was relative, not having the mid season form a lot of guys have I went up and over Vail Pass, into Vail and flipped, on the way back down into Copper I saw a guy on a singlespeed road bike (not fixed, single, silly) drafting the big fat guy I see around the county that has no sense of polite greeting. Mind you, he was sporting a 2010 BMC team kit. I passed the 2 of them up high on the path and descended down into Copper at what I thought was a good pace, 5 minutes later, half way thru Copper, Fatty buzzes me, no greeting, no polite wave, not a thing. Whatever, the fat clown passed the skinny one on a wide open section of road when he couldn't get his cattle ass around the tighter corners up high. I let them go, they began to descend into Frisco, I went and found a Nutrageous at the Conoco, I had earned it.



I'm afraid, everyday I see the fade coming, whether it's the car that passes too close or the cyclist coming the other way on the path, always wondering what's going to take me out next. Maybe it's more of a slow burn, slow to fade out, time expires and I'm left there, caught out, somewhere in the middle between the family, the bike and the job. making the best decisions with at least the first on the list. Touch the fade and it clears up, like an instant photo on an old Kodak. Slowly focusing and slowly becoming clear, what passes as crystal clear these days. They say a baby sees everything without a tint because new vision is the clearest, all these years I'm sure have fried mine, I can only see as clear as I can. It has to be enough.


Turn around

The motivation is like a revolving door, always bringing in new air to mix with the stale stench of what didn't get done. The faster the door turns around the slower I seem to go. I need more time at my time, this whole getting up as the coyotes and fox go to sleep gets tough. Bed feels good even at 5 am in almost broad daylight. The door turns again. I wish the pedals turned over so easily.


Some days you just can't go far enough away from the center, Looking out at the horizon, it moves away as fast as you go. Never getting quite there, I want to get it just once. Once.



Rolling around on one engine that is slowly failing, The other seems OK, ticking thru the motions at it's own pace. Crisp sunny days grow appreciation for what is now, what is here. All along the cold days were building to this, slower than I want to be, The warm days pass too fast. Lines being drawn across weeks of sun, Leading to the Season.



Unclear eyes and too many creatures going to bed when I should still have been in there. I was out already as the raccoon the size of a 1st grader was going back to his.



I don't want to have an excuse, and I guess by merely saying that I lack any. My races and training stand on their own merit, I don't have any kickstands, crutches or subtle push on the small of my back. I do what I can, when I can, and go from there. Nearly 20 years of chasing something I can't quite identify isn't slowing the drive, I don't feel like giving up, I relish the suffering more now that it is slightly less frequent. Riding up another pass, watching the marmots watch me, spotting the big horn sheep farther up than I care to go on a road bike I let my mind wander away from the wheezing in my lungs and push to go deeper and detach my head from everything else. Turn up the headphones, let it fall away and pedal higher. I like the simplicity now more than ever, the inner dialogue is not visiting a quieting place, I look for more challenges to pedal through, to go deeper into what I think I can do. Anonymous as a shadow rolling, the pedals that put the head at a little bit of rest, let the legs try to quiet it down this time. Next time it might be the other way around.


I found a little bit out there the other day, somewhere near the end of the 5th hour a light went on. It was clearer than I have seen in a long time and the bulb shone brighter than I even expected. Something about going out that far knowing full well when I got back in the day wasn't done. It added up to a great effort and the pedals and wheels turned over in my head to be. Not being a distance guy this made me want more, always more.



What am I doing here? Mid way up the climb, the ferrous taste creeps further into my mouth from my throat as the climb kicks, and kicks me again. I know better, too many years of the pedals on my feet, I know what the equation looks like; go out, break a pile of dishes, try to eat as little as possible to put them back together-and repeat. Simple right? It's when the work ceases to be work, it's just part and parcel of the routine. I know I'm doing it and my competitors I think are doing it too, but who are they? Do they function on the fringes of the day? Lacking the door at noon to get the most work at the best time? Do they get to repeated black in the ledger? Is it even worth the effort? I don't know what ledger I'm scribbling black ink in but I do know what it takes to just get out the door. It's not just kitting up and walking to the garage. I think I would have grown bored with all of it by now if it was simpler.


A few days running around on wheels nearly in the dark the light has shone on the clear days. I don't know what the finished product is but the works are going to pay off at some point. I can't call it crystal clear yet, opening the blinds to see the hints of better things. Plenty of time in the wind, lots of it dead on. Easily the best days so far but that isn't saying much. Hours turn over easier right now. Hour 4 resembles hour 2 a month ago.