Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Culmination

The dedication to a sport such as racing bicycles is a growing and somewhat elusive one to explain. Sure one can just ride their bike on nice days and only at decent temperatures. The rewards later on when races begin though will show and your own disappointment will knaw at yourself for not putting in the time. The pattern becomes apparent after some seasons and the balance is hopefully found between comfort with ones results and happiness on the other fronts of life. Such as having another life. Off the bike sort of fulfillment.
This predetermined course of mindset, the proper balance, is definitely aided by having a solid team to propel your riding. A solid team does develop ones individual talent, regardless of that persons age, by providing incentive, goals, and group support. There is monetary help. To be encouraged by many to get out and do some miles is support in the phisical department. The contagion of winning among a team can spread also to other riders of the same kit. These things are nice.
This structure is very different from one where the perks are rare and the rewards are always the same, regardless of output. Such as with government work. The culmination of your efforts are very visible in cycling. The congregation of talent on a particular team in a specific region is natural because of these dynamics. I am not mentioning specifics but outlining growth patterns. The bottom line here ?
I think it would be great for the sport if the area could produce a team that can really be a force on the big NRC circuit and any other events they come across. The limitation being a smaller budget as a regional powerhouse, but the team would then become a farm team for division three teams. In this sense age falls heavily into play.
An area farm team for the salary guys.
How could a hopefull contender in the area, not want to ride on a setup of that sort, which carries such potential ? Hate the game not the player ?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Haymarket Winter "league" ride

The first ride for 2011 that I participated in was yesterday out west in Haymarket. The night before I got out all the needed gear for heat preservation. I took care of the waiver and greeted some individuals and after a small run over of the basics by Jared Nieters the training ride was off.
The earlier departure of 8 am was tuff but once under way the pains were forgotten. The pace was somewhat sporatic but relatively survivable unless one is out of shape and if soo the "b group is advisable. Maybe around mile 20 or so the route hits gravel...a longer section then I expected to hit at this early a point for a projected near 70 mile ride. The gravel gave me a flat but not before suffering much pain trying to stay on....I kept having flashbacks of prior "Poolesville Esque memories. the Fuentes driven sag wag was right there and scooped me up. We then went and scooped two more flats. We caught the group where they stopped for a minute. The problems begin around here for me. The waiting group has people lingering up the road. These rabbits, that bound away early, create a tempting carrot for an immediate, insane speeds, persuit . After getting a flat and suffering up to that point, somewhat gratefull to be in the car because the dirt I was not pedaling was hilly, and sorta sketchy with bigger rocks mixed in with smaller ones ,I was on the bike again but the immediate chasing was too much for me and the wheel I was on dropped me. Well lets say he was going harder than I was willing to put out. Yeah sure.
El next rider to come by my somewhat sorry ass is Sean Barrie. He does fly by,but I does get on. The effort was pretty up there as far as pain goes but I rotate where it is feasable and we hitch back on. Fun stuff. Thankfully there must have been some barking by someone like Jared to alleviate the suffering and reduce the pace. January was a word that kept popping into my head and massochism and so on.
The midway or so, at Middleburgh is not for Coffee or Krumpets, but another stop for assurance as to collectiveness. The warning is put out that all beyond this point shall not see another regrouping so deal with it. I jest. The ride recommences. The pace is again too much for many very quick soo the "A group" from the" A ride" has thankfully detached. There are the fighters who keep up the hopes of getting across but they dont get there and are reabsorbed. My second group here consists of maybe 15 guys and one strong female named Monica or thereabouts and from Switzerland...i heard....We get to Aldie on rt 50 and enter the dirt section which goes into and over Bull Run Mtn. ( i am cooked ) I am unwilling to attempt to stay attached. A couple hang back like Soda and JDawg thankfully. I flat again and my teammate and new best friend J Dawg gives much assist with co2 and spare tube....amen,... I limp in behind the Artemis draft helping very little and into the truck I hit the heater. Frick n frack ...I thought my fitness was capable of dealing better with said ride but Cest la Vie , maybe next week ! It was epic and it was great to see soo many friends on the scene.