Friday, March 30, 2012

Mojo Sauce

I watched the movie Warrior for the first time on itunes last night.  Didn't start it until around 11:00pm and it was long (2:16) so I'm kinda in a haze this morning and running an hour or so behind but no regrets.  It was a good flick, nicely layering noble cause, addiction, personal demon and relationship healing in the backdrop world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

The story takes form in Philadelphia (home of 'Smokin' Joe Frazier) then migrates to Vegas and does it in the same way 'The Fighter' portrayed the true life story of World Boxer Lightweight Champion Mickie Ward in his hometown, Lowell, Massachusetts.


What is it about fighters and the cities they come from?  There is a powerful connection unlike any other sport and it must be cool to have this identity bond.  I was born in Northern Virginia but like many I moved every few or more years to different places and while this has some pretty cool upside I wonder what it must be like to have one place to call home and a place that calls you theirs.

Anyway, I give this movie 2 thumbs up.  Check it out if you haven't seen it.  Nick Nultey won Best Supporting for his moving portrait of a deeply regretful and benevolent parent, recovering addict and world class trainer.  It also has the whole eye of the tiger thing which is always motivating mojo sauce for us pscho-athletics.

Peace and roll strong.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rose Garden

I was chatting life poetic with my friend Phil Hepburn a couple of days ago. Phil is many things including an observant student of honesty and can deliver unique and valuable insights around it.  Often times these insights are augmented liberally between us by the oily oral effects several bottles of lovely Bordeaux can provide.  But not this time, I was sipping coffee so I actually remember all of what he said.

He said 'Sometimes we hold one Rose so tight we don't look up and notice we're sitting in the middle of a Rose Garden'.  Damn, I laughed so hard when he said that.  Not just because it's true, but because it is abundantly true!  It is so true, in fact, that you have to be a village idiot not to recognize it.  And yet, we all still forget this obvious opportunity condition in life?

I've been brought back to Phils' words several times imagining the pathetic scene of some poor slob hovering over a single rose, watching in agony as each one of its pedals die off at an excruciatingly slow pace and with each of them a little piece of himself dies off as well.  All our 'Character' has to do is drop it and look up.  There's an entire Garden of Roses waiting there.     Peace & roll strong

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's here Marblehead

April 1 is fast approaching and for New England roadies this date represents the first  meaningful road race of the season.  It's noted on the calender as the Michael Schott Memorial Circuit Race but to guys in the saddles of NE it's known simply as 'Marblehead.'  

Marblehead is a Harbor town about 15 miles north of Boston and renowned as the Yachting Capital of America and also is the birthplace of the Navy.  The course itself is located on Marblehead Neck.  'The neck' is a self contained enclave of uber estates sandwiched between the Atlantic and Marblehead Harbor; Majestic, would not be an overstatement.  
 The neck

I like this race but more for it's esthetic than it's pedigree. The finish crests over a pretty sharp hill that doesn't suit me well or excite me so I don't get too Rammie for it.  That having been said, I love the kinetics and energy of this race. The scenery is cool and the course is very physical and extremely technical for a circuit race.   So while my result aspirations are just moderate, everyone clips in the same way at the start, so it's game on for few hours just like a target race and therefore requires respect and vigilance.

Marblehead can be blazing fast but is always dangerous. The field fills with 110 prepared guys slicing and dicing their way around a real curvy 2.2 mile circuit.  The race dynamic is kinda like a scramble.  There is nothing smooth about it.  Getting in position for a good line requires attention as does shielding yourself from a robust Atlantic cross wind.
(Segway...this song is a Harbor bring back for me )

These factors can be extra ordinary hazards.  Especially because the race comes at the earliest point in the season when skills are not as honed as they will be in a few more weeks.  So you have to be extra aware. Guys get out of position very quickly here and will make this up by diving into slots from the outside and chop riders off behind them.  Everyone has done this but it's not because they're a jerk.  The course almost demands it but it still makes for edging racing and people are much better off if they keep their composure.  I know several vet racers that refuse to race Marblehead for these reasons.  But my feeling is that if you go into it with this understanding you will enjoy the race, get the most out it and probably get a better result too.

Peace and roll strong.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Forced recovery

I'm back in pocket in Harvard after a week off with time spent in Philadelphia & DC. My initial plan was to visit a friend in Philly and my sister in DC, have some fun and do a bunch of riding in-between but it didn't work out like that.  I definitely had fun but only got one ride in all week.  It didn't bother me though.  Whenever I miss training days and it doesn't bother me, I figure my body is telling me it needs rest so it's a good thing.

The one ride I had was last Thursday in DC for about 7 hours.  It started with a group ride from the Georgetown District in the morning with guys from Cycle Life USA. This ride usually happens on Hains Point in DC but the National Cherry Blossom Festival was/is going on there with a bunch of tourists making it difficult for a large group ride.  The alternative ride headed west on MacArthur Blvd; rolling on parkway stuff mostly, it was pretty fast & fun; about 18-20 guys single file the last 10 miles or so. 


After that I chilled out rolling around the DC Mall for a while; visiting a few of the newer monuments, also checked out the Cherry blossoms on Hains Point (pictured above), had some coffee and then called my friend Chris Reagan (pictured below).


Chris is the reigning Masters National Points Race Champ & Team Pursuit National Champion.  His team also set a new Masters National Record.  Chris is a cycling Spartan in every good sense.  His training approach is super structured & disciplined (on and off the bike), which mine isn't, but I have great respect for his way of doing things.  Chris is also a very good dude and obviously a great rider and an even better competitor.  He lives right on Capitol Hill a few miles from  Hains Point, his preferred training ground, so I figured he might be around.

Turns out he was, which was cool because a month or so ago we talked about connecting for some training and this time it worked out.  We met at 3pm.  I was a little tired from the group ride earlier, so just sat on Chris as he rocked out a mighty impressive 40 min LT session.  I pulled a couple times but it was uncomfortable for me.  I could tell my legs were out of good stuff so I just spun on his six.  After that we rolled easy for and hour or so chatting, got caught up on backgrounds and the DC cycling scene and such. It was cool and I'm glad that I reached out.  Good stuff.


So all in all, it was a great time and a well deserved and overdue week away; with the hap's in Philly being the highlight (& good material for a later entry).  Today I'm feeling super motivated, refreshed and ready to get back in the saddle.  My Museeuw is calling!

Peace and roll strong.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sh*t people say to cyclists

Recently there has been a peppering of online video's themed around "Sh*t bikers or triathletes say."  They're pretty funny too because like all comedy there are many truths behind them.  It's good to poke fun at ourselves; especially our cyclist-selves because when you really think about it we say odd things because this lifestyle requires that we live in an extraordinary way.  I think that's why these video's grew to viral status pretty fast.

I was joking about this with Pete Custer, my nephew and local Washington DC cyclist strong man, over coffee this morning.  As we talked, it occurred to me that I personally have been asked some pretty random and odd sh*t  about my riding from people that don't ride.  Pete and I laughed our butts off so I figured I should put 'pen to paper' on this to display for posterity's sake.  So here's what I came up with.  Feel free to add your own!

Is that a 10 speed bike?
Why don't you have a kick stand?
While lifting it...How much does your bike weigh? (Me thinking,'Keep your hands off my bike!')
I do spin class with my personal trainer. (Me thinking, Ah-Huh)
Have you ridden in the Tour Day France? (enunciated like Dance)
How wide are those tires?
I use to ride 6 miles a day.
That saddle looks painful.
Where did you come from? (me thinking, You mean where did 'ride' from?)
Your shoes like elf shoes.
Riding will make you sterile.
Condescending....Aww, good for you!
I do the Pan Mass Challenge, Do you?
Does Lance Armstrong take drugs?
Are your bicycle pants spandex?
Why don't you ride on a bike path?
How fast do you go?
Whats in your water bottle.
Do you have a heart arrhythmia.
What are you riding away from in your life (Me thinking, 'People like you!) 

The sh*t people say to cyclists,  priceless.         
Peace and roll strong.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tuesday night worlds

Dover MA has some really nice roads. I use to ride them once in a while with some guys from CCB about ten years ago.  Yesterday's race was cancelled at the last min without enough notice to where many guys showed up prepared to race and loaded for bear.  A couple teams (Met Life & ZipCar) organized a 60 mile ride tracking through Dover, part of it traced the route known regionally as the Tuesday Night Worlds training ride.

This was a unique training opportunity because while lots of group rides can be a blood bath effort, it is rare that Cat 1s will ever taper in any way for them.  But that, in essence, is what happened yesterday.   I was actually pretty psyched that the morning went down like this.

No one wants their race cancelled but we organized a selective group of 20 guys
(& Mary Zider, Colavta Pro) and ended up having a much more dynamic riding experience than if we raced.  There are several reasons for this.

First of all the playing field was even.  Group rides always have a big gap in abilities.  Secondly, everyone was fresh and mentally honed for a sustained maximum effort.  Additionally, a group ride is a safer place to take ridiculous tactical risks extending yourself in ways that would likely kill any hope of a good placing in an actual race.  This creates way more animation that forces you to make more decisions than normal, in a race fatigued state, which is different and a good thing to practice.

You think very differently when you're on the rivet and making precise decisions is much harder.  In fact I would even go so far as to say that 95% of race crashes happen during those situations where you have to be in the red-zone.  Composure in these situations takes practice and a ride like yesterdays offers a unique environment to accelerate this skill

So all in all it was a great opportunity on many levels.  The weather was 78 degrees and the roads were calling and we made more than the best of it.  If you get lemon's, make lemonade.  

Peace and roll strong.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cyclist racers' cool destination

Yesterday morning I overslept but woke up feeling a good groove about the day ahead; which isn't always the case.  Sometimes, in order to tackle the day, I have to take a deep breath and mind mantra something not unlike 'make it a great day' to myself in an annoying baritone whisper.  This wasn't the case yesterday which is refreshing and a nice way to be.

I'd planned to race my bike in Connecticut with some friends but I was way behind schedule and the thought of forcing a two hour drive for a one hour race tilted my decision to just stay local.  And I'm glad I did because through serendipitous circumstances and the need to burn up a few hours, I ended up just noodling around these parts and happened across Cafe La Mattina in Maynard, MA.


I've mentioned here several times; my enjoyment of blending certain excursions with a compulsory cafe stop. Yesterday turned out to be one of those days.  A new friend recommend that I check out la Mattina so I did and I wasn't disappointed.


As I approached La Mattina it definitely presented an agreeable European suave. Which was an unexpected pleasure given it's innocuous location in the heart of downtown Maynard, MA.  Maynard isn't a destination town, as per say but it does have heart and an unexpected pleasures, like this little cafe.

I introduced myself to the owner after I noticed him observing me taking a couple pictures of the place and spoke with him for few moments.  Turns out 'Samir' had previously owned three Cafe's in Darmstadt, Germany before opening La Mattice two years ago.  He mentioned that he had followed his wife to the States some time ago and after selling his European Cafe's he opened La Mattice.  Samir described to me his specialty in making exquisite Parisian style crepes, sandwiches and espressos using the finest ingredients and authentic round grills.  Guess they also have some killer ice cream in the summer as well.  

Anyway, my main things around Cafe's are two fold.  One, do they have a great tasting house blend black ?  And two, does it's ambiance have commensurate balance with my bike snob impressions as a cyclist racers' cool destination spot.  Cafe' La Mattin's meets both of these.  And while it's esthetic is very different, I would put it on par with Gula-Gula Cafe, in Salem, which is saying something.

Peace and roll strong!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Strategy St.Patrick

Tomorrow is St Patrick's Day and there is no better place on the planet for St Patrick's than the great city of Boston!  And that is a fact.  But I don't think I'm going out and getting drunk this year.  I'm temped, mind you, and if St Patrick fell on a Monday or even a Tuesday this year I'd definitely consider a proper buzz on (and a designated driver) but it doesn't. 


This year it's on a Saturday, smack dab in the middle of the weekend racing/training.  As such I'm not keen at all on going out because I want to ride strong on Sunday and I don't want to deal with the hangover.  Kickin back a copious volume of green beer with friends is great fun but also reeks havoc on my body.  These days I need 2 full days to clear everything out 100% and that's just not worth it.

Many years ago my track&field coach use to say that one missed day of practice put you two days behind where you could have been conditions wise.  And he was right.  So the reality is that one night out partying with friends; that takes me two days to recover from, will put me four days behind where my conditioning could have been.  Make sense?  Four days is a big setback and not worth it.

The next question is: Can't you just go out and have a beer or two and chill?  The answer is yes....but probably no!  A beer or two in the right environment like an amber lighted Irish Pub with awesome music, packed in celebration is nothing more than a massive gateway for me.  Better to never ring the bell because the gate is certain to be opened wide.  Know thyself.  Happy St.Patricks Day, in advance.

Peace and roll strong.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dragon Slayer

Call it what you want, juice for life, zest for living, carpe diem,  all these things are pretty much the same and similarly, we all want them.  I like to call it dreaming in color.  I woke up today in a better than good mood and motivated to slay the chosen Dragons of my self-designed routine and I quickly assessed how I could preserve this. 


I know as soon as I step out that door the patterns of necessity will demand all of my attention and while these things are a must, must I let them dictate the perspective(s) in which I disposed of them.  Obviously, there's no easy quick answer?  But I reckon a genuine place to start from is a standpoint of awareness.

Dragon Slaying would really, really suck for anyone that didn't love doing it. It would likely kill them. Conversely I would sooner open a vein than face the life regime many fine people I know live.  They gulp stuff everyday that would choke me and they would likely cower in the spaces I am very comfortable.  I think there is middle ground but it's shaky ground and not a good place to loiter for long.  It's a thousands miles of bad road (trust me) and you will lose yourself there, for sure!  Be true to thyself, is a cliche.  But as a new friend recently told me, cliches have core truths.  Living with power requires directed force in the spaces of your passions, applied with the coursing juice that is uniquely yours.  It runs through you, not anyone else.  Let it flow and life will give you what you want.   Peace and roll strong.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday, 3rd & long

Keeping on yesterdays theme around weekly training: today is Wednesday and Wednesdays are to my race training what third down & long is to football.  It's my last chance to keep the drive moving forward.  And by this I mean it's the last day in the week in which I can do high intensity training and still have enough time (Thur/Fri) to absorb it 100% before racing on the weekend.

Intensity training after Wednesday doesn't work for me. I go backwards and spiral into a state of creeping fatigue that leads to chronic over training.  I never over-train anymore, ever.  I've been doing this for so long now that I intuitively know when to back off.  I pay attention to my signs like the fuel gauge in my car, so it just never happens.  This is art, not science.


Looking back in the past to the times in which I was over-trained; these were categorically around doing too much intensity training after Wednesdays.  Pretty simple.

The other rule I follow around over-training is that I never try to make up a missed intensity workout.  I never try to squeeze it into the schedule after the fact.  I know many people that do this but it's a flaw in their typical type-A personality that appears to serve them well in other areas. They H A V E  to do everything, ALL the time, regardless of effect but this a huge mistake in an athletic lifestyle.  The only place it works is on their training software. The files' short term data 'looks' completed & on schedule but that's all it is. These are the same folks that complain about being flat or over trained.  I say, keep it simple, get to know yourself.  If you're a weekend racer, don't do intensity training after Wednesday.

Peace and roll strong.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Train refreshed.

Tuesday is the first day of my weekly training cycle.  It's the day I take stock in my training, assess my recovery, motivation and in an ethereal sense set up my week on la bicyclette.

I used to train straight through the hard racing on the weekends. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday were all hard training days.  I'd rest on Friday and race on the weekend.  I do the same thing nowadays but I take Mondays and Fridays for rest.

Back then (early 2000's) my training partner was Phil Fujawa.  Phil was  my best friend and the worlds best training partner.  We don't see each other that much any more.  He has put his racing on hold for a while.  He's the world's best Dad now but I miss him.  Phil is the funniest guy I know.  God damn would we laugh?  We laughed harder than we trained.  No joke!  My guts would be pouring out and I had a six pack to prove it from all the isometric ab training.  I looked forward to training with Phil in the same way one looks forward to a night at The Improv.  Levity is refreshing and good for motovation.

 Cave; 'refresh my broken mind'
 
I think the thing I miss most about training with Phil is his critical eye for; many things but most especially, all things bike racing.  He is super knowledgeable and current about stuff and could (& still can) wrap it all up in a hilarious sharp wit.  This made all the really grueling training easy and something I really looked forward to.

As I sit here thinking about where this week is heading training wise I'm thinking to keep it refreshing.     Peace and roll strong.

Monday, March 12, 2012

ParisWells Ave

This weekend was the seasons first race weekend in the Boston area.  I passed on racing Saturday down in Plymouth, MA, choosing rather to ride locally with some friends in Concord.  On my way over  there I saw these two horses on hind legs kicking the tar out of each other like boxers.  I've never seen anything like that in person so I pulled over to get picture but they stopped just as I lifted my droid. You can see a hoof marks on the painted's neck. The black one bit onto my sleeve (when I looked away).  I had to land a short hay-maker on his snout to get loose.


Anyway, I got to the ride and thought about these horses as I watched the feisty body language of some of the the riders as we rolled out. Within a few miles there was some definite passive aggression flying around, mostly in the pulls that were too hard and race(y)...in the gutter stuff and this set a tone that just swelled to a full on race mode over the next couple of hours.  By the end it was a Japanese Keirin.  Not exactly what I was looking for? but that's how the group rides go once in a while.  Like the horses, I think we were just feeling some spring fever. 


Sunday was the Wells Ave race in Newton, MA.  Wells is as hard or as easy as you want to make it and that's what makes it such a popular deal.  That having been said, it's really hard to win at Wells because everyone knows all of it's nuances.  Many really good racer's current pro's included, have never won Wells.  That isn't to say winning Wells is their goal, per say, but they've raced it a bunch and never won it.  I'm not sure what that says exactly, but it says something?  Wells is especially competitive this time of year and most especially this particular year.  Our super mild winter has allowed everyone to train a bunch; much more than usual, and has produced a regional pool of guys that are race fast in March.

The weather yesterday was pretty nice. A little windy and about 45-50 degrees.  A lot of guys were there, maybe 80 in the A race.  The A race is mostly cat 1-2. The Pro's are off racing their scheduled stuff but many of the better regional amateurs were there.  I knew it was going to be a heated affair.  I warmed up laps with my bud Jon Lowenstein & Mark McCormack his Team Clifbar team-mate. Jon has been doing Wells since high school, some 20 years ago and commented, 'this is going to be a fast one'.  Mark knows a thing or two about racing too and said 'this is exciting, you can sense everyone's enthusiasm'. That's gentleman speak for 'people are amped & its going be a fckn throw down' ...and it was.  There was a lot of animated racing but it came down to a field sprint.  A fit Frankie McCormack lead it out.  Brother Mark won, I was second, Matt Cressy, riding for a new team Velocite Cycling was third, Patrick Goguen, Team CF forth and I think fifth went to Peter Bell MetLife Cycling?

After the race I headed to Panara Bread for some coffee with a couple friends, Team Embrocation riders Josh Gunn and Colin Murphy.  Colin is a good sprinter.  I think he got squeezed out in the final 350 meters but still got top 7.  It was good to hang with these guys afterwards and swop stories.  The ritual cafe thing has becomes more enjoyable to me year to year.  I suspect that in a few more years, it may be all that I will do in the racing scene.  Josh is a big dude and strong racer.  He trains and races with a power meter.  He said he was pushing 550 watts to move up the side of the pack just to get to the front of the race. That's a lot of effort.  I heard some other guy sort of boast a little bit that the race was super easy because he averaged just 180 watts sitting in, which, given his smaller stature, the dynamic's of Wells generally and the wind-cover of 80 guys around him is about right too.

Peace & roll strong

Friday, March 9, 2012

Certainty

A picture is worth a thousand words.  I took this picture in Ata Cycle a few weeks ago and have come back to it in my mind a couple of times since then. Not that this was an Inkblot test or anything but being a self confessed bike snob I was, at first glance, certain that theses two bicycle saddles personified obvious and vastly different lifestyles, priorities and perspectives of the people using them, but now I'm not so sure. 


Being certain all the time is a mistake, I think, because the more I thought about this example of the two saddles the more common ground between them I found and I became less certain of my initial certainly.  (make sense?)  Anyway, the point is I was wrong. 

To begin with; a) both saddles go on a bike that,  b) presumably somebody wants to get out and ride.  These two elements, in and of themselves, are basic and pretty linear.  Other similarities are that both saddles facilitate exercise, fresh air, freedom, fun transportation and the speed sensation.

One could argue that the only meaningful difference between them is the degree to which they apply; meaning that the people using them want the same things in a general sense but are just on different goal trajectory or perhaps they even have the same goals but are just at a different point in the same process.  It's all good.

Peace & roll strong

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beer League Ski Racing

I haven't been able to ski since my car accident four and a half years ago.  Every now and again I get thinking about it and miss it a little bit.  Last night was the local Beer League Ski Racing championships held at the Nashoba Valley 'resort' in Westford, MA. A couple of my friends, Robb Holt and Andy Levine, were racing so I decided to stop by on my way home from work yesterday to check it out.


Nashoba is a really small ski hill owned and operated by the Fletcher family.  It is so small, in fact, that if you stood the lodge on it's end, it would likely be taller than the hill itself.  Regardless of its size, Nashoba is really close to Boston which makes it an ideal midweek spot for Master Racers in the Boston area to augment their training. Nashoba is to ski racers what the indoor trainer is to bike racers; a great place to conveniently train quality vs quantity. 

I use to race a little bit as a teenager.  I wasn't that good but my room-mate Danny Simpson was.  He was a kid from Jersey, just insane for skiing.  He ended up doing the Pro Circuit out west.  I was thinking about Danny last night and I hope he is still racing.  He was a huge Grateful Dead fan but also loved Yes.  He use to crank 'Roundabout' by Yes through his 4 foot speakers in our room while tuning&waxing his skis.  I think if you had has to pick one tune to play while your tuning skis, it would be Roundabout.  It's just The Anthem, for ski tuners everywhere!

 

The dual slalom course at Nashoba is short but has pitch.  The top few gates heading over the knoll were pretty technical & curvy, so it was fun to watch. The forerunners did it in like 21 seconds. A couple pro's ripped it in 20 seconds flat but most of the guys were doing 22-23 seconds.  That's short but exciting to watch.  There was some excellent ski racing on display and also what we could say was 'not so good ski racing'; but that's what you get in Beer League.  There were a couple of really big yard sale crashes, cartwheel stuff; which you don't 'like' to see but can't take you eye's off either.   Adrenalin... the risks we take?

Peace & roll strong

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

POV Life as an interval session


Balance seems key to a comfortable life.  I'm not great with balance though, but I do try; to a point.  It's like that saying 'all things in moderation', this feels way too much like sensible slacks and Dock-sider shoes for me to ever be comfortable!  So the the whole idea gets a little lost on me.

In retrospect I've always been more of a focused ebbs and flows person, living my life in a pattern of intervals (like training) with real highs and patches of low.  Highs and lows reveal unique perspectives that I appreciate.  My highs yield higher things than I could ever achieve living my life moderately.  And my lows, I have come to believe, help me to recognize & celebrate my highs more than I otherwise would.  When you're looking straight down or straight up at something you see things through a multidimensional lens and discover things that you wouldn't on a horizontal plain and that's pretty cool because these insights help to formulate a more unique point of view. Ie. POV

Some people are gifted at a managing a very balanced and moderated life and I admire them a great deal because they actualize and scale the conceptions of the idea makers. They maintain a state of steady pace affirming that if you keep your nose to the grindstone, things will generally work out. That's huge.

It's cliche to say 'Life is a gift' but it really is.  Having said that, people have very different gifts to be celebrated but it's the way that you use them that matters most.  Clapton hits the nail on the head with this one.   Peace & roll strong.

 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bad fatigue makes you feel bad

'Sometimes you do a ride that you really wish you never had to do again. Yesterdays ride was the opposite of that.  In fact every mile, all 102 of them were perfect, even beautiful.' -Jughead51


That was my thought last night lounging on my couch, legs kicked up for recovery, eating a luscious cantaloupe.  I can't recall feeling so good about being so fatigued. I was digging it.  You may have heard me say this before; I believe a positive emotional state is the best training indicator ever invented,,,wait a sec?  Kidding aside, there's a difference between good fatigue and bad fatigue.

Good fatigue makes you feel good!  Bad fatigue makes you feel bad!


This sounds like a massive over simplification but it's really not.  A sense of well being, that everything is going to be all right, after hard training, is your body telling your mind it can handle and absorb the training.  It's that simple, in my view.  Its a short explanation but most reliable indicator I have found.  On that short & simple note, I close this short and simple entry.

Peace & roll strong

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Every Irishman

Every Irishman knows this world will eventually break his heart.  Don't ask me why but its true. 'Trinity' -L. Uris presents Conor Larkin, the brooding poetic and reluctant hero, as the best example I can think of.  

The last couple days have been whack hard but I'm working through it.  I wish I were less contemplative. This world is easier for people inspired by acquisitions in life rather than it's real lessons. That said it doesn't come easy for anyone.  No one gets through it without wounds along the way.  Live long enough and these make up our canvas, like the scars along the bodies of Blue Whales, each its own story to become a part in the meaning of that which defines them.  People and whales are the same in this way, scarred everywhere.

I think a big part of the cycling is that it makes you feel better about your place in the universe and you forget about the scars, if only temporarily,  powering a simple machine, rolling out the miles to transport yourself to peaceful nothingness.  

My son Stephen loves North-Shore riding. He builds the berms, bridges and narrow ramps they ride on and then drop-off from. The cool thing about riding North Shore is building your own terrain and slaying it just how you want to, on the course of your own design, much like life should be.

-Peace and roll strong.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Broken crackers

Athletes need to know themselves.  It's impossible to know someone well without having conversations with them.  That's the way it is.  Taking this a step further; achieving a parallel relationship between mind and body is glue for your soul but there has to be an ongoing dialog of questions and answers.

Where am I going with this?  Not sure, other than to say I've been thinking about a velocity process of self awareness; as a bike rider and a guy on this planet.  I don't believe this stuff is static.  You're either moving forward or backward in all areas and I think it's a mistake to wait until you're in a state of broken crackers to think in this way.  I think the world is full of broken crackers. We just can't see them for the box they are neatly hiding within.  Its not cool because it's living just half a life.
                     
                                Segway... 'my mind is skying when I wake up'


As an athlete our body tells us stuff all the time. It screams at us actually, but that box we're trained to live in only likes its own brand and muffles our intuitive senses.

Listening to what the body is telling us is just half of the process though.  A relationship is a two way street. As such we should be unapologetic in asking it direct questions about what it needs. (What do you specifically need, body?  rest, nutrients, another hill repeat, honesty & liberation). Taking action to ask your self/body what it needs is universally different than just listening to it (thx&cred to SF). This is the proactive piece engaging the soul.  It's an epic stepping out of the box, where the process of self awareness on and off the bike gets enhanced and accelerated.

I think everyone wants a happier and more productive life. I feel bad for those that don't, I feel even worse if they know better.  I say live an epic life its a one shot deal.

Peace and roll strong.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Duvine Pro Series Bike Tour

The Duvine Pro Series Bike Tour is taking shape quickly.  We're looking at the first week in August.  Here's a sneak preview.  It's a first crack a vid so we're still tweaking.  You'll get a good flavor though.   I'm meeting w/ Justin and Andy today to review operations.   Stay tuned.

 

It was weird to wake up today and see a cpl inches of snow outside.  Its been so mild all winter I'd nearly forgotten what the white stuff looks like.   No riding outside today but I'm taking a rest day so no diff..  Well, a rest day of sorts. I have a deep tissue sport massage with Susan Feist at Concord Sports Massage later this morning and while relaxing, it's also basically much like a workout.  It takes 2 days for me to absorb it, so it's doing something strenuous, no?  

Susan was recommended to me by Karen Smyers, a friend and former neighbor. Karen is a World Class Tri Athlete, She's done everything.  She won Ford Ironman World Champ. in Kona but she also graciously and quietly overcame cancer and a brutal car accident several years ago.  So she has big street cred with me and pretty much everyone.  I called Karena couple of years ago to see who she would recommend for massage. Without any hesitate she pointed me to Susan.  The rest is history.

Have been digging this tune all week.  Roll Strong,  Peace.