Archive for December, 2008

Ah, My Governor

Posted in 1 on December 23, 2008 by bencycles

I found this little nugget on brewfection. I especially like how the dancers look like they are trying to push him away as he grabs some A$$. Oh, and teaching the local women English? priceless. I’m confident that as our state spirals into bankruptcy, we have a competent manly man on our side.

Go ahead, play it twice. I did…

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3 More Weeks

Posted in On the regular on December 23, 2008 by bencycles

Comparing ourselves to various animals is nothing new and I would bet any number of us have compared ourselves to different animals at different times. Having worked on a few ranches in TX, it’s hard not to compare myself to cattle when I feel my individualism has been stripped away.

Or having watched trout darting in and out of holes in mountain creeks while stream fishing in CO,  changing course so rapidly and so fluidly, I often try to emulate that when I’m riding a trail, or at least the state of mind when I’m racing. And I think the state of mind is one of the most important aspects of training and racing. So how do you keep that state of mind when you’re injured?

I sometimes think of bicycle racing as little more than a glamorized version of horse racing; just with people instead of animals. Though in reality,  we must be the less glamorous version of horse racing. Have you seen the crowds that show up at the Del Mar race track?

But what I’ve been wondering this morning is how the mental state of a horse would compare to my own mental state when it’s injured. Would the horse fair better; worse? I have more methods to communicate than a horse when I have a problem, being able to tell a doctor how I feel physically, and I can blog… I’d like to see a horse try to type this (he may spell better).

Competitive cycling is very consuming. Calling it a hobby is a bit of an insult. Losing it abruptly at the height of a season has definitely been  hard, weekends especially . It doesn’t really matter if there is a race or not. It has more to do with the time on my hands which feels directionless. With a full time job, family, house… there isn’t a ton “free time” on weekends anyway. But it’s enough. And because of the injury, it’s not like I can use the time to repair the retaining wall in the back yard or lay the flagstone patio I keep telling the Professor about. So with the loss of a defining daily ritual and no physical outlet for release,  I tend to get a little moody.  But at least it gives me the free time to contemplate the universal psychological parallels of horses and people.

My club, I mean arm….

Posted in On the regular on December 11, 2008 by bencycles

Just a little update on that left elbow iritation from a few weeks ago. Mainly, it’ s getting a lot better. I’ve started riding a bike on a stationary trainer in my garage. I can do about 30 minutes at a time. I’m not sure if it’s the pain in my arm or my loathing despise for riding a trainer (I swore I would never bring myself such misery again if I started racing again…), but either way, I do feel better after spinning a little.

There are some mellow B or C races coming up in January, and if I can support myself on the bike, I may giv’em a try. My form will be shit but who cares, I can blame my arm, maybe I could even race with my sling on so people would think I was totally bad-ass even though I came in last.  Yeah, that would be punk rock.

In the meantime, I’m glad I can touch my face with my left hand again, something I couldn’t even come close to a couple weeks ago. touching my shoulder is the next goal, but I’m still a couple brutal inches away. Oh wait, Ijust tried again after typing that last line and I can!!! woo hoo! I’ve been trying that for a week. Fucking hurt, though, but I’m there.

“Mountain Bike!”

Posted in Books on December 8, 2008 by bencycles

From William Nealy's book "Mountain Bike!"

From William Nealy's book "Mountain Bike!"

I’ve been pretty busy lately, even with the bad arm and all. But I think I’ve just about drained the “Watch it Now” function on Netflix and had to resort to reading again… Which brings me to one of my all-time cycling related fav’s: Mountain Bike! by William Nealy (RIP). Every time I flip through this thing, I find some little nugget. The book itself reminds me of The Karate Kid, sort of the wax on!…wax off! method of learning, perhaps.  The book is pretty dated now, with fully rigid bikes, steel frames, and cantilever brakes. Oh wait, that’s cyclocross. What’s old is new again my friends and a lot of the techniques described in this book would do a few of those roadies turned crossers some good. Need an example? Fine:

“If you find yourself among a bunch of  New Age Kooks, a skull-cap hastily constructed from aluminum foil will give the rider some protection from geek-wave radiation.”

Sage advice my friends, sage advice.