Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Distraction, Procrastination and Projects

In between work, Christmas shopping and some occasional relaxation I've been making my way back into being an athlete.  Last week I got in four workouts in a row- some on the rollers, some running the river loop, but all quality.  Fortunately this time of year I can be unstructured, and I'm trying to use that to my advantage.

Riding over Christmas was a bust.  After fighting to stuff the RSL into the trunk with all of the clothes, presents and miscellaneous stuff for our Christmas trip I felt like I had to actually go for a ride.  I got off to a slow start after fumbling around for most of the morning, but I did hit the trail head with the intention of riding for about 2 hours.  After 40 minutes of riding I got a sidewall cut that I couldn't repair with my frozen CO2 cartridge and walked 4 miles back to the car.

During that walk I realized my current set of mountain bike shoes really suck unless you're clipped in and pedaling smoothly.  Had I known they were going to suck so much I would have taken my chances with some Sidi replacement lugs and JB Weld on an old pair of road shoes.  That may end up my solution if I can't line something more substantial for next year, and so far it doesn't look good. 

While looking into my pageviews last week it appears that the snowboard tuning bench setup I made for Carrie is getting some traffic- if you're looking for that post you can find it here.  It's interesting given that I only really gave that passing mention in the post, but if you have some ambition and a couple 2 x 4s it's pretty straightforward.  What's also interesting is that I end that post by rambling about how I should really put some time into getting the Redline ready to ride.  Funny how some things never change. 

I've been contemplating an order of Pro-35 hoodies.  Artwork would most likely be similar to the earlier t-shirt run, though I may change the location of the print.  In case you forgot, this is what it looks like.

I'm considering a slight color change that's in keeping with the 90's-era Mavic pallet seen above.  That means I might swap the pink for the green found on the Mach 2 CD rim shown below, but the jury is still out on that.

Unfortunately there is no shortage of things to spend money on this time of year with ski gear, cycling season pre-orders, and the various winter costs of extra fuel and propane just to keep things interesting.  This idea might not get off the ground, but the t-shirts were a hit so I'd like to do something long sleeve to go with them.  I might do zip up rather than pullovers, but there again it depends on cost, and if I can't get afford quality shirts I'm not going to do it.

For some 'cross season is still rolling, and the remarkably mild fall and winter have made that exceptionally easy this year.  Embrocation has some really cool 'cross articles including an interesting recurring feature about Jeremy Durrin found here.  It's worth a read as it's not just the usual "I went to Belgium and got my ass handed to me" race report that you find from Americans racing in Europe this time of year. 

Now that 'cross is mainstream there's no shortage of content, but I've found myself interested in some of the more retro stuff.  Things like this fan card of legend Klaus Peter Thaler for instance.

I did in fact get some 'cross fan cards of Albert Zweifel and Roland Liboton and I fully intend to display them in the basement once I figure out a clever way to do it. 

Of course mention of anything retro 'cross would be remiss without mentioning Alan.  A few years ago I was fortunate enough to race as part of the Alan grassroots 'cross program, and it was cool to represent a brand with such a rich history in the sport.  The US distribution has changed hands since then, but the bikes are all still handmade in Italy.  Around the time of Klaus Peter there were few companies who actually made their own 'cross bikes, so Alan made them for almost all of the European brands like Guerciotti and Colnago.  Almost all of the greats at that time rode Alans, and I can vividly recall BMW-ProFlex sponsored Henrik Djernis riding the '96 worlds on a bonded carbon/aluminum frame.   

Here's a shot of Don Myrah's Guerciotti-badged Alan 'cross bike that he still uses from time to time.  I'd be remiss to not mention his palmares either as a national 'cross champ and '96 Olympian in mountain biking. 

And of course when I do get back to competition I am going to get my ass handed to me.  I've been semi-active for too long, and now I need to put some effort into rebuilding my overall health and fitness so that I can achieve some sort of meaningful progression in 2012.  I felt like I got close in 2011, but was still just a half-step away from really kicking ass.  I was close to guys I wanted to beat but I just felt like I was slightly off the pace- and I want that feeling back.  There's no France trip to jump start my season this year, but maybe Wayward and I will get together for some ski-centric masochism to get ready for the riding season. 

Maybe tonight I'll actually get the shop setup instead of just talking about it.  Of course that will happen after I ride the rollers for a couple hours, so all bets are off. 

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