Missing Racing

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This weekend there are a couple races that I would normally be doing.  I’m missing it.  But I understand that it isn’t quite the right time to be doing them.

The first one is the Gravelluer’s Raid, a 100 mile gravel race in Lawrence Kansas.  I’ve done the race the past two years and ridden the whole day with my friend and team mate, Brian Jensen.  We’ve always had pretty tough conditions, either from storms with wind or just plain wind.  So it is an effort.

My highest wattage reading has been from this race.  Plus it has been good mileage.  After I finish, I eat a piece of pizza, drink a beer and do the 30 miles home on gravel.

The 2nd race, which is conflicting with Gravelluer’s is Joe Martin.  It is the 40th year for Joe Martin and I really enjoy that race.  I haven’t done the race every year, but I’ve ridden it a lot.   I did it maybe 38 years ago, when Joe was still around, so that kind of dates me.  Last year I rode just the 1/2 race, not making up my mind to go until last minute.  I really enjoyed that race.  It is much less controlled than the Pro race, thus more interesting.  At least to me.  Plus, it gives you a big boost in form early season.

Anyway, I knew I probably wouldn’t be racing much by now, even though I have already done one race.  I’ve been riding okay recently and feeling better day by day  Not necessarily feeling better riding, but feeling better in general.  The symptoms from this TBI are slowly, but surely going away, which is sort of a relief.  You never know how it is going to turn out.

My shoulder MRI could have been worse.  I have a tear, I think 6 mm, in my supraspinatus tendon.  At least it isn’t severed.  I have to go back to the doctor, here in California, after he sees the MRI himself.  He suggests I try to rehab it and if I can’t stand the pain sleeping or doing everyday activities, then get it fixed surgically in a few months.  I have no intention of doing that.

LIke I said originally, I’m going to miss being in Lawrence Saturday.  Brian is coming back from Colorado.  Bill is racing.  Even Catherine Walberg signed up for the 100 mile adventure.  She is apprehensive, but will be great.   I wish them all good luck.

 

Tour of Flanders Media

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I like to hear the rider’s views on their specific form and thoughts about upcoming races, but the new way that these guys talk seems a little weird to me.  There seems to be way more confidence exuded when maybe there should be a little more modesty during the interviews.  I don’t know exactly, but I do know only one guy wins the race and the other 199 guys lose.

I think it is fine for someone to feel confident.  But cycling isn’t the sport where the strongest guy wins the race.  There are so many things going on that saying that you are the outright favorite is a little naive.

Take Greg Van Avermaet’s interview about the Tour of Flanders.  He has had a pretty stellar early season, winning 3 very important races.   He is so happy that he says – “I don’t think I can say anymore that I’m not the favourite.”   At least he doesn’t exactly say that he is the favorite, but it is really the same thing.

Then there is the DS of Quick-Step talking about Peter Sagan and their tactics.He said, “We try to win… but if we don’t win then he loses,”     I get the tactic, but being public with that tactic is just wrong.  Sagan, in my opinion, is the “race favorite” and of course, a team would be remiss if they didn’t take him into consideration when it comes to tactics.  But to outright say that if we don’t win, then he doesn’t win, is bullshit.  They must be really scared of him way more than GvA.  Again, in my opinion.

Anyway, Flanders is a beautiful race.  Better than Paris-Roubaix because much of the bad luck doesn’t exist.  It should be a exciting race, since so many guys seem to think they are going well enough to win the race.  Even Phillipe Gilbert is coming onto form now.

Maybe some of the riders, and directors, can just tone it down a notch and act a little more modest or civil, considering?   And just let the race on Sunday decide who is the best on the day.

 

 

Big Gear Climbing

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I have been riding some and have pretty much had to stay seated nearly the whole ride because my left shoulder has been hurting.  That isn’t “my normal” climbing position.  I can climb seated, but tend to stand pretty often.  I think that is to relieve the pressure and to add more power.  It seems like the older I get, the longer I can stand, which seems counterintuitive.

Anyway, I haven’t been climbing all that much, but enough.  And my knees seem to hate me for it.  Both my knees have been a little achy recently and I am sure it is from riding too long seated. Yesterday I couldn’t stand it anymore and started riding some standing up.  I was mildly surprised that my shoulder was somewhat working.

Anyway, any injury worries me now as I age.  Things just take longer to heal.  So I try to be observant and fix the problems before they become chronic.   Cycling is a pretty great sport because it is easy to fix positional and minor issues that arise.

I was thinking about my knees and wondering why they might hurt and then I remembered riding with Eric Heiden when he took a bet to climb Loveland Pass in a 53 x 12.  I wrote a few paragraphs about it a few years ago.   Eric climbed Loveland Pass, doing like 25 rpms and then a couple days later, had to go to Denver, to see a doctor, because his knees hurt.  Eric has unbelievable power, so that doesn’t surprise me so much.  But, I figure if Eric Heiden’s knees can’t stand too much seated climbing, overgeared, then for sure, my knees won’t.

I did a MRI on my shoulder yesterday and the results weren’t a surprise.  I have a screwed up rotator cuff.  It isn’t as bad as the right one I destroyed at cyclocross Nationals in Madison a few years ago, but it isn’t good.  I’ve felt the problem for a few months, but exacerbated it in Moab. Maybe that was a good thing, time will tell.  I wouldn’t have addressed it without making it worse.

I’m going to get a cortisone shot tomorrow and try to do some personal rehab.  Time will tell whether I get it professionally fixed, ie surgery, or just live with it.  The last time I can’t say I was all that happy with how it turned out.  Maybe it would be a good time to swing by Park City and visit Eric?

Eric Heiden leading me at the Coor’s Classic. Alexi is behind me.

 

 

Little Short of Time

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Gotta make this short.  I have a MRI scheduled for 8:45 this morning.  Actually, more accurately, Stacie has a MRI scheduled for me at 8:45.  I was having some trouble doing it all on my own.  I left Moab and drove to California to do it.  I have a few things to do out here all ready, so it wasn’t out of the way, really.

I am pretty sure what the MRI is going to say about my shoulder.  It has been hurting since I hit my head 5 months ago.  Little movement, etc.  It isn’t a bone.  I think I tore my rotator cuff, which isn’t new.

I added to that in Moab, but that is probably a good thing.  I wasn’t going to address it without it being like it is now, which is sort of unusable.

Trudi is back in Belgium after doing a week long stage race with the BMC Development Team. Now she has a day or two, then is heading to Spain for a stage race with the BMC Pro Team. Then back to Belgium/France for Paris-Roubaix, I think.  It took her a while to get used to the time switch this year, but seems all good now.

Okay, like I said, I have to scoot.  It took a lot of phone call and maneuvering to get this scheduled.  I somewhere lost my driver’s license.  I have no idea where.  Guess I’m going to take my little plastic passport card to prove who I am.  I have my insurance card, which is kind of all they really care about usually.

I usually just fall asleep in these things.

 

 

Lovin’ Riding More

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I really like riding my bicycle.  I thought about this after I saw an article quoting Bradley Wiggins where he said, when asked if he missed cycling – No. As much as I love cycling, it’s come full circle and I hate the thing now. I haven’t been on the bike since the Six Days of Gent back in November.

I never was a big Bradley Wiggins fan and this just confirms my overall view of the guy.

I guess he looked at the sport as a job and not as a life choice.  I have thought of cycling as a job, a very few times, when I was suffering miserably and could only try to justify that by saying someone was paying to do it.  But, I can count those times on one hand.

Since I had a TBI last October, cycling has been the biggest part of “the cure”.  I was sleeping less than an hour a night until I started riding indoors after a month. Instantly I started sleeping over 4 hours, which was a game changer.

Since then, always the best I feel is when I’m riding.  I have no idea the reason why, but it somehow makes my body sync better to the current situation.

Plus, I just like riding my bike.  I like riding it with friends, meeting other riders,  or just alone, checking out the surroundings.  There is no better speed to absorb your surrounding than on a bicycle.  Walking is too slow and driving is way too fast normally.

I’m a little tweaked right now.  I’m trying to address the minor stuff that is left over from October.  My shoulders were screwed up from October, but I hurt my left one a bit more in Moab.  Maybe more than a little more, but I’ll find that out soon.

So I’m just sort of riding around, enjoying the scenery.  That is fine.  I’m not really on a agenda.  I’d like to be, but I don’t think I am in control of that currently.  It is a slow process, but at least I can still reap the rewards from the freedom that cycling gives.

Guess I’m gonna pass 3000 miles today for the year.