He puts on his glasses like he puts on a sweater. The full effort that comes with a familiarity not yet honed to efficiency. More colors than I’ve seen; a subtle hue new to my palate not yet identified as a shade of blue, green or beige. Not the stark white of fresh snow or the brown/black of a winter’s forest but that light at the margin of the day where earth, sky & light mesh into one common point on the horizon.


Temporary Change

I consider myself somewhat tech savvy, however the current iOS of the iPhone and iPad are not working/playing well with blogger. I'm hoping greater access will allow more and better posts. For what it's worth I'm going to use the tumblr I created a while back for most of my posts in the next few weeks and see if that helps me get the non-creative/creating monkey off my back and write/draft less shit and make something worth reading.



Warmth in the turns and warmer on the straights, the tires sing over the dirt and hum on the asphalt, finished for the day I tumble thru the race in my head, the result matters less than the disappointment of it. Hours later I'm figuring out what it was I lack and the answer is nothing, I gave it what I had, beyond that I'm just not capable. I cannot take the pedals back, without them I'd be screwed, instead I have my own modest goals, all in, every one.
Pushing thru the days hiding the disappointments,
Aging gracefully, or so I think.
Without a healthy outlet I fade,
Waiting for the bumper with my name.


The solitude of riding dirt roads for miles and miles is with out fail the best thing I can think of to clear my head. At this point I need other things beyond my music to limit the din.
MTB requires too much focus but 60 miles on dirt roads with the CX bike is quieting.
The brain finally shuts the fuck up and allows a subtle calm,
a peace not found as easily in the more populated aspects of life.
Trees, changing leaves, big elk being chased by hunters all slip through my bubble as I roll down the roads, inside a cocoon of my own creation.


Mechanical form

Sometimes emotional availability is on par with accumulation of things. A lack of satisfaction is maybe what drives the successful but also the journey isn't always the goal. What if you constantly pick up and go to the next place, mentally or geographically? What about the enjoyment of what's there. I'm shutting out more and more things, less attention paid to the newest and nicest two wheel oriented bits and more to the experience of using what I have. I used to lust after the fanciest things for the bike, ignoring that the bike is simple in nature, missing the point of the process, efficiency in it's mechanical form.


Chopping wood to prepare for the next set of barriers,
Pushing through the too late breakfast, not enough coffeets.
One in the books, the next coming up, thick and fast.


I'm outside all the time seeing the season fade and blend into the next and all the while reaching for what I'm not sure is there, not sure if it's mine but the only certainty is that I get there. No convoluted metaphor here; just the simple task of doing something for a lifetime. At least the next fraction of my own time here. My only saving grace is the therapy I get, self analyzed, self diagnosed and self medicated. "Well, Mr. Faia, it seems your levels are low today, I think 90 minutes at threshold will have you right as rain in the morning." If only it were that simple. Hitting the anaerobic lottery, winning one race.


I wish I had started chip away at all of it years ago, I can't figure out exactly when it began but since then it's all been better. With a few tools and a not too daunting pile I've found a pleasant stasis. Whatever it was that started the movement has kept me rolling thru all of my stuff. I've cut away and cut down, found light where I thought there wasn't. Now I went from an already small stack to a mini lump. Smaller is better, less stuff has helped immensely.
Walking home from a late evening party and seeing the sky light up with lightning backlighting the mountains 40 miles away is better than fireworks, almost as good as singletrack and not nearly as good as barriers at speed. Empty streets are like crowded trails, anathema to what seems right. Maybe if I were a city person I could see the beauty in it but instead it makes me uneasy, unaware of the subtlety that makes cities appealing, I'm clear to a point but beyond that I'm only as good as my next step, cup, pedal stroke. Lost is the default setting, confused with what it is I need outside my own walls, whether real or imagined I glide with all the friction of 40 years of wear and tear.


Harissa & Fuzzy Math

For the first time in a very long time I didn't eat too much Harissa. Over doing dinner isn't usually an issue but this Harissa, holy shit. Kind of a metaphor for my summer, too much on occasion spells crap for the following days. Like when you do 6-7 hour days and then expect the legs to show up on time when you want them to, as opposed to when they are ready. Miles doesn't always equal speed. And form isn't the sum total of your time and distance. This fuzzy math is always what slaps me in the face when I expect it to be hibernating. Like an ill-times encounter with a bear, only wrestling the bike up and over the hills results in less injury than an ursine encounter. I'm guardedly approaching cross, cleanly viewing my season as a total effort, not three separate ones. It's been winter melded into summer racing smeared into CX. We will see how that works out. I'm not looking to force anything, just hoping for good legs and clean, muddy races.



Somewhere in the pedals and away from the din today it all came clear. Clean and good with nothing much beyond a flat at 72 miles and rotten stomach around 102. Finishing made the head ground back to the beginning of the day and the other flat I had to deal with on the car and the picking up of kids. Equal parts reality and fantasy. In and out of the wind and crisp finishes to the day.



I lost the timfaia.com url because the email address attached to the godaddy account was cancelled when I lost my job. Bummer, I hope this post finds the very small group who read my words.
In the meantime it's now late summer and with cross coming I'm in purgatory, riding the mtb better than I think I have in a while and fighting the late season break down in gear, with the roads and bike paths too crowded to ride- it's dirt that's been the default destination, and last night's race showed just how much I've been riding the fat tires. A quick inspection after my legs earned a Stan's shower and I knew I pushed those tires one ride too far.
I want to have a good cross season but it's going to be battles better fought just to get there, I'm not really giving up on it just trying to justify the time gone and build up in my head for the intensity. I'm riding well and if someone decides to put on an uphill cross race, I'm in!
Please change any google reader feeds or whatever aggregator you use to the new timfaia.net link.
-Thank you for reading.



I'm listening to Pandora a lot lately, funny how your tastes are your constant even when switching up channels, mentally, musically or philosophically. The music that powers the time on the bike isn't the engine, it's the oil.
Riding the long miles in the sun brings on less fatigue than the shorter winter rides in the snow. The sun adds power, flattens hills, fills muscles, another day over 6 hours is easy, 2 hours in 15 degrees? Hard.



The early morning light has it's copper hue, not quite bright, and certainly not warm. While the rest of the country sweats I wake to a hoodie and the thoughts of my first hot espresso of the day. Maybe the -30 degree nights we had in February are still chilling things here, at least the snow is faded all the way and it only lingers in couloirs up at 11,000 ft.
My head cold has taken residence in my chest, maybe it'll just move out this weekend but truth is I've been abusing it too. Not really wanting to let up as the weather shifted to proper summer temps and no 3 inches of rain 90 minute deluge.


For all 3 people who read this excuse the mess going on at timfaia dot com while I figure what happened. Sorry.


After Firecracker

I love the crisp fatigue lingering in my legs right now, a hard earned discomfort that is forever mine. I can't take my head out of the good, the bad from yesterday isn't lingering the way it usually does. I went to the place and stayed there, largely in comfort, not knowing what the legs and body could do I just rode the bike and let the sticks fall. The rocks were kind, the shoes now smell like too many late night bar urinals. Easing into recovery is not an option, it all goes back up the tree for Saturday.


I wanted to pull but instead I pushed the whole way today. If this keeps up maybe I'll have some form for about 8 days in November. Unacceptable.



I keep wanting to go long on a single day, but it seems the cumulative total is getting the marathon closer than the one day sprint. It feels like a cop out though. I want to do the big day of 150-180 miles and days on end of 50-70 are weighing on the system. The legs, shoulders, neck, all of it is getting the work and wearing me down. I want to see the finish line through a telescope. not just up ahead.



Somewhere around hour 4 it hits me, that subtle hunger at first telling me I've pushed it pretty far but that it's not over. Battles between the hunger and the legs, the motivation and the crisp reward of too much food. After 6 hours a warm bowl of rice with crisp cold veggies and a bit of peanut sauce puts out the fire. Fighting with myself, the battle I KNOW I'll lose never ends. Legs quietly asking for a respite but it feels too good to go without a little longer. Cutting away, always eliminating the extra, cycling by it's very nature is prone to surfeit, extra wheels, extra bikes, extra, extra, extra, the more I ride the less I want in the garage, the less I want to need. The tools are there to cut away at the excess, a constant project of my creation. Off site storage, out of my sight, not pushed in the direction of more, always less, of everything.


I'm bargaining again, the not so subtle give and take between what amounts to desperation and success, the measuring stick is faded, about to be resurfaced and re calibrated. I have my own goals, not the regular year in and year out grind, these are coming up different, trying to crisply define a new view. Sleeping on the other side of my head, turning East for South to view my world not changed outwardly but viewed with a better clarity for the importance of intangibles.


Coriolis Effect

I could look it up on wikipedia or simply google it but I'd like to ride from a few hundred miles north of the  Equator to see exactly where the toilet water switches from going one way around the bowl to the other. At the geographical center does it just fall straight down the sides of the bowl? Or, does it go one way in one house and the other way in another house next door? Hmm, I think I could get my head around my quest to shit way to the Equator and beyond! Sure, Google probably has the answer but I'd rather go on a quest. I think South America is the best choice for the search, but then perhaps I could try it on all three continents that are touched by the Equator. How sweet would that be, make a documentary on the subtleties of waste water processing across the developing world. I think I'm on to something here.



Patterns repeat, that's why they're called patterns, I guess.
The texture changes only slightly but the weave, the essence remains.
No matter; sun, snow, rain it comes back, familiarity bred over years on crystalline layers of sweat, the by product of my work, wasted to everyone but me.
I leave behind a minuscule trail, forgotten tracks but clear and flashing like neon in my head. Never finished, never enough.


Aggressively Mediocre

Narrow road tires going thru freshly fallen spring snow, the offspring of a squall I'd been dodging for days. Always wanting a little more chamois time even if it meant a pair of burning feet in the post ride shower. Regardless of the weather I was going, it didn't matter to me. Only the feet. I should have worn better socks or winter shoecovers, gear is just crap, if they have it, it sucks, if they don't it's why they didn't go out. Mine is fine, no reason for being slow. Aggressive in my mediocrity, void of excuses for not being better. I'd like it less if it came easy. The wins or the time. If I was at sea level and warm all the time I'd feel guilty. I prefer my cocoon of vapor barriers, wool and synthetic armor to help quiet the wind, bide my time, hide out where it's warm only after the work is done.



In between dodging flu/cold bugs and the incessant snow the whole system gets loaded. The more I try the spring (late winter) gets harder each year. After all the pieces get fit and the order is taken I always realize that the one piece I needed has been left out. Time. Time gets subtracted, never added. Aside from throwing away sleep I can't find more. Gliding across the snow and the asphalt, looking for stashes of dirt I'm left pushing as I'm pulled the other way. Maybe next year, too many times that's been said. Too much in the queue, too little in trash.


An Emotional Robot

An emotional robot, stuck between 2 places, one side is soft the other analytical and eerily well, void. empty spaces filled with the 1000 yard vision, looking too close obscures the whole picture, the focus needs to farther down field, avoiding myopic thoughts in favor of long(er) views. Clear.


Short, Sharp

Listening to whatever weather phenomenon is happening in the darkness puts me back on the 3rd climb today as I rode out of the wind into the cold, knowing full well it was coming back at that same point, the swirling winds didn't change directions at all on the short 2.5 hour out-and-back ride. I can't really call it training because it lacked any structure, at all, if the hill seemed friendly I'd ride better, if it was an angry climb I'd react in kind.
Stopping to pee and adjust my stem (it's never truly straight) I wondered what it was that pushed my pedals, up thru the clouds and clearly not the work I was familiar with, this was real work just, ahh, unfocused-to put it nicely. Not far, not hard, not anything aside from my time, alone. I guess there was another cyclist on climb #1 who wanted to ride, he forgot the friendly disposition that climb has, it's friendly...I rode it alone.
The buzz of the embro on the legs only added to the comfort the snow banks on the road side on climb #3 gave me, as the line recedes uphill you know the climbs get better when the 6 foot bank mocks your progress and the mud is from the slowly melting snows more than anything resembling a recent storm.


Late Day

I liked it while I had it but now a few months on I'm not so sure. I'm on the next stage and the reflections are past looking forward is better than back. Last Sunday cleared a lot and made me realize how far away I am from form. It's comforting, I haven't been cold since; knowing that good legs are 6 weeks way and I didn't overdo anything too much since January. It keeps me warm to know I have this heat built up, it's warming me from the inside. I'm excited to smell pineapple and look at cliffs instead of cornices, green not my monochrome late winter landscape.


Long View

To ride clean right now is to lie to yourself, fake form you know deep inside isn't there and will not be for a long time. I am a liar, my rides already done since December are a farce, smoke and mirrors to quiet my head and ease my legs away from the ledge. Zoloft for the lazy, feckless winter rider. More miles could have been mine but I succumb to the draw of warmth and shelter. I had it all for the taking, instead I failed. Sunday calls for penance for the work I didn't do, the cold I couldn't take, the dedication I wanted. I wanted it that way maybe, I needed a cold winter to realize my errors, breathe in my weakness and smell more failure. Without that why keep going? If it came without time and effort would October feel as good? Would the blood in my throat be less sweet?



I want to be more grounded, sometimes I find myself feeling much too up in the air. I am constantly looking for solid ground, whether I slip for real or metaphorically I lack good footing. A product of poor planning no doubt. In the end (sooner?) I'll maybe know what that is but until I can't find an answer. Maybe that's the trick, try to find your ground, your cleats, the special traction that is uniquely suited to fill the grooves that belong only to you. I know mine to be different from most but also a similar pattern to a few. As I watch the calendar move it only muddies the water adding to my slippery footing to where they've not yet been. I think the key will be to understand that the ground moves, not one way, many.



I missed the timing Thursday, I thought it was going to get worse, it didn't. Mid afternoon sun instead of more snow. Instead I skated and slid across the paved road to the plowed dirt road, all morning until I pulled the plug. The pedals and the snow worked in harmony, what I assumed was going to be shitty was better up higher, less sitting slush, more firm snow.


Friday made me feel better about the world, finally the first ride without slush in about 2 weeks. The dichotomy of drawing motivation from riding in shitty weather so I can enjoy the longer days in the sun. I think if the weather was always good I wouldn't appreciate the beating I get from grapple, and being soaked thru from the road spray around my fenders. Being out for almost 4 and a half hours settled me, not only the legs but further up from there. Breaking a few dishes in the process but not crushing. The subtle humming in my legs is an alarm clock, waking up the lazy bones.



Lately for whatever reason I have been lusting after the experience way more than the constant effort to keep up with the latest technology. I'm not driving anywhere to ride, I'm kitting up and riding out my door, bundled almost as to test the limits of the so-called winter gear. One tip from me for all of the companies out there; make your shit breathe. We generate plenty of heat in the winter but the moisture lingers, and I'm not a big sweater. 
When I was in high school I had a few years of riding already in my legs on a hand-me-down Ross 10 speed and I finally got a pair of road shoes, I couldn't afford Sidis (not much has changed) so I ended up with a sweet pair of Dettos.
These lasted years, I used to re-glue the upper to the sole every month and the toe clip strap wore a hole in the side of the shoe next to my pinky toe. Everyday, about 2 hours before school and then another 90 minutes after school. Only using old issues of Winning to figure out what training was. Dodging stoned classmates and wanting to be Dave Stohler out on the roads made me smile, usually alone, who else rode before Lemond and then Armstrong put road cycling on the map in the Eastern US? I had a wool jersey and 1 pair of shorts I washed every day. Not much else was needed, I'd wear jeans if it was cold and/or long underwear, who could afford tights back then, coming from a traditional sports family I would've had better luck asking for a new baseball glove (I didn't play baseball after age 10) than help getting me winter/cold weather cycling gear.



I'm out on the road, hiding in plain sight, putting in my early miles thru the late winter sun/sleet, instead of complaining about it all I'm instead closing out the noise, pulling on the shoe covers everyday to clear my head and fill my legs. No feigning apathy or ennui, just a clear determination to make the most of the good weather. No car time to ride, there are roads at 9000 feet that are out my door. Not going for the roads that are at 5000 feet that may be cleaner, warmer and more hospitable. At least the pedals are turning.



Negotiating with myself to get the most time I can for the window with which it needs to fit. A bit more of a buffer than I have had in years past but nonetheless I welcome the time and subtle ache after a few consecutive hard(er) days. I know the acid builds like water behind a beaver dam until it breaks, whether I opt for time off the bike or the weather beats me to the punch. Train with the sun right now and when the snow comes an hour on the rollers feels earned. Work done, not a source to walk through kitchen empty handed, for fear of slowness later in the spring. Bargaining with the head in place, so the legs to go fast later.



The ache from yesterday sharpened overnight into the unclear fatigue that comes from nothing. I mean nothing- as in I didn't do a goddam thing. Weak and tired I limped through the day chased by the hunger that comes from a bigger week. Today is better, happily pseudo rested and ready to start digging another hole.



Crisp, but not fried... Broken dishes, clearly there is much more work to be done before number 1.  Listening to the wind quiets and drowns out the negative, leaving more than just good and bad, happy to be pedaling and feeding the addiction of the nightly ache in the legs. I don't know what the substitute would be...without the bike I'd find something I suppose. At least for now I'm clear, not good, not fast, but I get to feel like I'm getting to that place.



All parts of the buffalo have a use, whether they are the offal cuts or the prime it all has a purpose. The work is finding them within the piles. Leaving behind heaps and mounds too thick that the sounds are faded and the rotting of the flesh mixes with the too sweet, the saccharine wafts out to leave the nose stronger than the shovel, more focused than the eye. I try to listen and fail, then the good pieces are left over where I haven't been, left in plain sight. Crisp and clear like a ribbon of asphalt pushed thru the forest, meandering where the topography allows, like a swiftly established stream, days or weeks instead of eons.



Monkey in the middle with who knows what on either side, I guess that puts me in the middle. I have the wheels and the long view. The edge, long point of the view isn't a sunny place, Sunshines only so far, so long and then it's light fades, the trick, the key and the solution is to get your own light on and clear the path, cut out a patch of light from the long night.


Seeing things quite close to what they really are

I see things that aren't immediately disparate. I always look for the negative space, waste makes me unhappy, food, resources whatever it is but I get bothered by it. I know surfeit is our undoing as a culture, as a world, but I can only control what is in my vicinity, I lack the power to change beyond what I can touch, only to get the most out of what I have. Sure, the activist sees everything as bigger than it is, I want things smaller, I want less, of nearly everything except miles. My pieces wilt in the shade, outside in the sun, snow and rain I thrive and the negative space fades into a clearer picture of my future, whatever it is it's better in the saddle, better inside my head and much better out. With the caffeine fading 10 hours after and my ears more full than my stomach I have a longer view than I've had in months. The longer days and shorter nights are good for the legs.



When I was in 2nd grade I became friends with a kid who lived real close by, only about a half mile, but it was across a cornfield, which was fine, it was a safe walk but since he was gone every summer I only had a few months of the year where we would play after school and walk home from each other's houses. The corn grew (it's now houses) and was pretty high by the time school ended and was about harvested by the time school restarted in the fall and he was back from summer camp. But mid winter I'd be walking home from his house in the dark and sometimes snowy harvested cornfield for 15 minutes of fear. You see, I am and always have been afraid of the dark, It's been a constant, that thing I can't see is going to get me and if it's dark-it's there. If it's light out-I'm safe. I've mentioned it before here but lately the situation has had me doing my skis and rides in the light. No operating on the margins. Free time, right?
I can't help but draw parallels between sprinting thru a cornfield after dark and where I am right now. In the dark but close to safety, only a little sprint to the warmth of the next step. I know support isn't endless and at some point I'll commit to a new path. Just like running in the dark across the cut corn it's a broad swath, I only need a narrow one cut out from the breadth of that field. I don't ask too many questions only giving myself answers to the ones I know.



Hours before the sun comes up you can see that purple light coming out in pieces. Thru the snow, It's February, in August it pushes me out the door. Today it's different, today I have nowhere to go but where I am, comforting and defeating at the same time. No hats to wear, no lines to cross. Manufacture success and build a better future.


Hours before the sun comes up you can see that purple light coming out in pieces. Thru the snow, It's February, in August it pushes me out the door. Today it's different, today I have nowhere to go but where I am, comforting and defeating at the same time. No hats to wear, no lines to cross. Manufacture success and build a better future.



If you could go back, would you?
A left, not a right, up, not down, every reaction to the initial action.
I'd like to think I made the best possible choices because if not the pool is and I'm still struggling to swim, in water over my head. Treading water for that long-80 years +/- What else can you do?
Easy to say this was good, that was bad, sometimes. In the end you're left with the pile of good and the pile of bad. Does it matter which pile is bigger on the last day?


Taking Away

Early is relative. looking at clocks at the wrong times and without the right amount of fatigue eases my mind to a different place. I find myself here a bit more often lately, rested in the physical sense but battling the mental din. How do I rest that part? How is it that the two aren't woven together? That they coexist on different planes? The new order of days is less new and I press through, cutting away all of the time to a more simple, pared down pile of shit. Everything is reduced in my head, my own pile smaller so I may more easily see my own excess, the surfeit that I know is my own, and cut that deeper. I'm not seeing the result, only focusing on the process.



I have very few absolutes, the list of eventualities is seemingly endless even when the scope is narrowed and I look down my little tunnel. Nothing too broad, sharp surgical strokes, no great swath is being cut here, just pointing it straight as I can right now and taking my own lines, however skewed and varied they can may be. In the meantime several below 0 days have put the focus inside, doors and head, no dearth of introspection in these dark days. Managing nothing and accomplishing only slightly more. Roasting past mistakes on a spit. Restless and bordering on rested in the same breath.



I want the quiet of the woods more than the quiet in my head.
Listen to the noise too long and you start to believe in it.
You listen to the shit and then it gets too loud, superlatives aside
Be out and believe, it can't rain all the time.


Friday only not so much

I felt it yesterday, it wasn't the wind or the bike moving around under me or the too warm day outside of Denver, it was more the feeling I had in my legs, the feeling that I had too many days with skis and not enough with pedals. Tightness where there shouldn't be and short lived efforts that usually are longer. Maybe this is all a product of a 200 inch winter and a long list of XC skiing days coupled with a short list of rides. I know it's late January but I like the work, maybe I need more of the work with wheels and less of the pleasant and mind soothing sliding thru the woods on skis.
The wind was just right, no leaning into the cross wind to keep from getting knocked over, usually what a warm winter day holds, Finishing with a 7 mile climb and a mind quieting descent to the car was better than Prozac. I think.


Woods at night

Today the push was more about the loss than the gain. Inside my head I argued with the trees, the sounds, & the shadows, knowing I was only paranoid just to kid myself into thinking I wasn't going to get eaten, clubbed or speared. Sliding across the snow I argued with myself.  Forced my effort and made it through. Opening windows, turning up my headphones to not hear what isn't there.



I want to have new ideas, young thoughts, let them grow and mature, kids now to grow into adults later. Whether they be articles not yet written on prose not yet laid out. For whatever reason the well has gone dry. I know there is more warmth in thought and more food in ideas. I just need to find it. Keep with me, I have it somewhere in the head, it's just that that door is closed right now, I need to find my keys. Or, pick my locks and get in the kitchen, cooking up fresh thoughts while burning off the shit I don't need crowding out the goodness to see the light of day.



More clear that the vision is, and less voice behind the wind has the winter work progressing.
Trying to trade, bargain, the way in a second you lie to yourself mid race that if the body allows another few minutes of pain you'll be extra nice and give a rest, not do 3 hours and eat a half peanut butter sandwich, hydrate in favor of refueling. All of the white lies we tell inside our head, too many to list, to embarrassing to own up to. All of them in line waiting for the reward they were promised.