Days are Getting Longer

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Yesterday, at 5:03 pm, was officially the Winter Solstice, so today is the first full day of winter.   It’s kind of strange thinking that it was really just fall yesterday.  But, the upside is that the days are getting longer.  Sunset in Topeka last week was 5:00pm and now my Garmin is saying that it is 5:03 pm.   I’m not really ready for a winter and, for sure, don’t like it getting dark so early.  For some reason it seems to make my day less productive.

I’m itching to get back to training full-time, but I’m still tweaked in a few different ways.  I’ve kept a pretty positive attitude, I think, but a few thoughts of doubt have been creeping in recently.   We’ll see.

I got in around 100 miles in last weekend.  It wasn’t really warm and was sort of breezy, but it was nice getting riding some.  Jason Sager, a MTB racer I‘m known forever, was driving through from Utah on his way to Louisiana for Christmas.  He met up with our group and did 50 miles yesterday.  I haven’t seen Jason for a few years, so it was nice catching up some.  I’m planning on doing some epic MTB adventures next year and Jason might be the most travelled MTB racer in the World, for sure the US.  He travels all over doing the weird epic MTB races.  He’s been to Mongolia, Poland, Chile, nearly every endurance MTB race on the planet.  He has skipped Leadville, which is a positive mark.  He is a wealth of knowledge in this respect.

I’ve been trying to get Vincent’s van up to speed for the big loop starting tomorrow.  We’re heading up to Chicago for Christmas, then driving the day after to Cable for the Double Birkie ski on the Saturday after Christmas.  I’m not really going to know if I can ski until I actually strap skis on and try it.  I very much doubt I’m going to be able to ski 90 km the first day I ski, but I’m hoping I can ski some.  My body needs the motion that nordic skiing offers.

Anyway, Vincent jerry-rigs nearly everything he owns.  Usually improving the performance of whatever he’s messing with, but he is the only guy that knows what he did.  And he gets bored with it eventually, thus it’s uninteresting to him, so he disregards it.  That means that no one has the knowledge of the “fix”, so it is sort of a puzzle.  Last night I was replacing fuses, trying to get the power outlets and interior lights working.  Today I’m putting on snow tires.  Big vans handle like shit in the snow, but Vincent says that the snow tires are a big improvement.

I have to go over to Lawrence this morning and clean up a little at the tiling job I’ve been doing over there.  It looks pretty good, but there is still some stuff to do there.

We’re going to stay up in Cable until after New Year’s, then head back to Kansas and keep going to Austin for cyclocross Nationals.  Vincent is driving there from Denver too, so we haven’t figured it out whether he’s coming here and we’re all going down together or we’re just meeting up.

Bill thinks I should race, he says I’m fit enough, but no, I’m not doing it.  For sure I could pedal around Zilker Park on the grass for an hour.  But, any quick movement, unexpected movement, could be a big setback for next season.  It just isn’t worth it.  I’d like to get back as close to 100% as I’m going to be racing cross unprepared isn’t a good way to try to attain that goal.

Okay, spring is the next season.  Just a little under 3 months until.  I think the next month is going to fly.  The holidays, then cross nationals and it’s only a bit until February.  Our normal highs in January is around 40, so it’s not that bad around here.  Not saying that it can’t be -15, but the average high is barely below 40, so it’s  pretty okay normally.

Only 3 shopping day until Christmas?  I haven’t shopped yet.  Pretty normal for me.  I’m not a big shopper.  I don’t mind shopping, I just don’t do it.  I was thinking a couple days ago that I don’t really just need anything.  I have about all I really need.  Of course, there are things I’d like to own/have, but don’t really need anything.  I’m very fortunate and appreciate it daily.

Jason, doing a little post ride posing.  He had 12 more mores to drive after the ride.  I bet that hurt.

Jason, doing a little post ride posing. He had 12 more mores to drive after the ride. I bet that hurt.

The bike club had a Christmas gathering on Saturday.  We do a gift exchange thing.  Bill ended up with these, a signed Lance book and a banana seat.  He said the seat was more valuable.  Funny how a signed Lance Armstrong book can end up in a gift give away now.

The bike club had a Christmas gathering on Saturday. We do a gift exchange thing. Bill ended up with these, a signed Lance book and a banana seat. He said the seat was more valuable. Funny how a signed Lance Armstrong book can end up in a gift give away now.

I changed the oil in the diesel van.  15 quarts.  The filter nearly holds a gallon.

I changed the oil in the diesel van. 15 quarts. The filter nearly holds a gallon.

I have to put on these later today.

I have to put on these later today.

If you’re a little bored, with some extra time on your hands, maybe try this.  It only takes less than 3 minutes for this guy.  Pretty amazing.

17 thoughts on “Days are Getting Longer

  1. Jason

    While asking Jason about his wealth of knowledge of epic mtb races you should ask him about doping too. Since you seem to pretty vocal on the subject (in which i am very glad you are), why not ask Jason Sager about his past doping and 2yr ban?

  2. Greg

    I’m wishing you Trudy and Beaumont Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    I really enjoy your blog it’s educational and entertaining . Thank you for taking the time.

  3. James

    My xmas wish. Mild 3 months & no snows that take the roads out for a week plus. Come on my yogi Santa!

    Otherwise its a family trip to Az. Great riding but the recovery is hell.

  4. Doubting Thomas

    Jason Sager is a good guy, but he is also a doper, so I guess it is okto hang with him – come to think of it, what ex-pro didn’t give in and dope, nice guy or not- which brings us full circle doesn’t it? Most dopers, err, ex pros, are great guys and I really do believe they had NO CHOICE. So, let’s quit vilifying them as bad guys- the system was and is bad, the riders for the most part played by the same unwritten rules. So they are not villains, and they are not heroes- the heroes are the ones who didn’t give in, and there are not very many of those…

  5. JR

    Sager was suspended because he was a random for drug testing at a NORBA National and did not show up because he DNF’d and rode back to his house.

  6. db

    Hi Steve,
    I enjoy your blog and well rounded knowledge of cycling. I have questions in reference to your comment above on Leadville. “He has skipped Leadville, which is a positive mark.” I’ve heard others speak of Leadville with similar sentiments. What is it that makes the Leadville Trail 100 MTB an undesirable race?
    Is it the cost of entry? Too commercialized? Very little singletrack?
    Just curious.

  7. Just Crusty

    Doubting Thomas,
    You say “Jason Sager is a good guy, but he is also a doper, “.
    I suggest you google his name & do a little research. I’ve been following his racing career for quite a few years and am very familiar with his suspension some years back. He simply ran afoul of the lesser known procedural rules of USADA.
    Not saying he’s a “great guy”, “a doper”, clean, or anything else, just that the USADA rules can be pretty tough on a guy trying to race the right way. He NEVER failed a drug test. End of story.

  8. Jason Sager

    Oh man, I guess I’ve made it officially on the internet – I’ve been called out as a doper on Tilly’s site. I’d expect far more due diligence on the part of you guys calling me a doper and referencing a 2 year ban. I’d love to discuss the in’s and out’s of my USADA sanction in 2006. But, to call me a doper on any level is an insult and ludicrous. Not only was I never fast enough to be accused of doping, I was never that dumb, either.

  9. Just Crusty

    Mr. Sager,

    It took me all of 5 minutes go google you, get a more accurate/detailed explanation and post my response.
    I think that’s the least the original poster could do. Hence, my earlier response.
    I’ve seen you race the TMBRA series for many years. Lot of respect.

  10. reality

    Jason, that’s the strange conundrum of the sport. Where does doping begin and where does it end? In your case, sounds like you fell asleep in the getaway car in a sense. Vigilance is part of the job. The way the topic is anymore who even knows what the truth is and who can actually tell it, it sucks. Keep rockin but you’re going to have to jave thicker skin

    As far as gifts, if you have amazon prime there are still a few hours. Personally, I am a fan of small stuff that I think folks would like or need. A tempered glass cover for their phone, a funky bottle cage, colored cable ends, t handle torque key. Inexpensive yet crazy functional, but they never think to pick up for themselves

  11. Big b

    Doping won’t make you fast, only faster then you would be naturally.
    Maybe you DNF’d on purpose because you knew you were glowing.
    Everyone sanctioned is innocent just like everyone in prison is innocent.

  12. James

    Not sure what these guys are talking about, I just want to say Rotella T6 is a mighty fine diesel oil. And that is a huge filter…. . . .

  13. Bolas Azules

    Totally funny how a guy can get suspended for not showing-up for a drug test when the actual drug test has been proven not to work. . . you couldn’t make this up.

  14. J$

    and on top of that, the guy that won (Deer Valley, Ryder Hesjedal) was actually doped. The irony of that is pretty rich. Sager and 3 others there missed their tests, no doubt, but that’s about as far as I can fathom their guilt went.


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