Monday, March 30, 2015

Every Dog Has Their Day

When I was in high school my parents—for reasons that still remain a mystery—bought a vintage Mercedes Benz. Appropriately named “The Panzer Mobile” this car came with all the amenities one would expect from a dilapidated tugboat—namely, it weighed an excessive amount, rarely started in a timely manner, and had an atrocious turning radius. As an added bonus, the interior of the car came with leather seats and a steering wheel that somehow had the magical power to absorb and retain every particle of energy emitted from the sun. On those hot July days sitting in the drivers seat was akin to touching the Bluth Cornballer—the only exception being you couldn’t let go or move without driving into a ditch. Perhaps the best feature of all, however, was the cars inexplicably terrible ability to accelerate and hold momentum. We often joked that by the time you got the vehicle up to the designated speed limit, you would have forgotten where you were going.

Over the last few years, there have been many days of training that paralleled the mind numbing miles spent driving around that old car. Often I’ve wondered where I’m going in this sport and how long (if ever) it will take me to get there. They say “not all who wander are lost” but let’s be honest, most are, and cycling has a weird way of making those who take it seriously feel a bit like vagabonds. Still, there’s something to be said for making your own path and giving your all to something—even when the chance of failure is ever present. Personally, speaking that has been a major driving force in keeping my in this sport. That being said, without validation of your efforts, maintaining motivation can often be hard. As many can tell you, cycling doesn’t provide such validation very freely.

This past weekend I won a pretty big race—for me at least—and it was a bit of a surreal experience. After years of looking at the results sheets from these races, it’s a bit odd seeing my name at the top of the list. Despite having the confidence of knowing I’m a good bike racer, a part of me still feels like these sorts of things only happen to other people. Having been humbled by this sport more times than I can count, I’m fairly certain this one result won’t blow up my ego (if it does, please let me know) but it does give quite a bit of confidence moving forward. Like I said, we all need a bit of validation.

New clothing day in the week leading up to San Dimas. Grazie mille, Pearl Izumi. These kits are awesome…seriously, amazing.

Hotel life with Mac Cassin. Bike racing requires a lot of sitting around. Clearly, we are rocking it.

First time pinning up for 2015. Crazy to think I won the first stage only a few hours later. 

Yea…this happened.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Not to be a sentimental wimp but...

Since my freshman year of college, I’ve made a point to call home everyday. I’m sure that may sound weird to some but it’s true—I speak to my mom almost daily.

“Mamma’s boy” jokes included, I’m proud of this fact and I consider myself very lucky to have this sort of relationship with my parents. For years my parents have been some of my biggest cheerleaders and have done more than anyone I know to get me where I am today. The way I see it, calling home to check-in is the least I can do.

With race season quickly approaching (my first major race is next Friday), I’ve been thinking a lot about where I want to go this season and, conversely, how I’ve gotten to where I am. It would be beyond self-righteous to say my progress in this sport to now have been an individual act (anyone who has raced can attest to this). The fact of the matter is, there are countless people--including my parents--who have helped me along the way and, sadly, I’ve failed pretty miserably at reciprocating their kindness. From George Sykes at Corner Cycle to Sam Morse to Roger Aspholm to Jon Bruno to Jeremy Powers to Nick Traggis (and many, many others in between) there just aren’t enough ‘thank you’ cards in the world to really show my appreciation. And yes, while I have blogged about this before, it bears repeating.

So, with that, I’d like to start this race season by saying a big “THANK YOU” to those who have helped me along the way. Your generosity does not go unappreciated.

Now go call your mother…