used to be a racer

big events like last wknd leave a lot for the mind to chew on.
leaves a lot to wrap the head around.

why choose the rigid one speed?
why not the squishy comfy Dos Niner?

you'd think that maximizing the fun would warrant that choice. why minimize effective fun levels by choosing what appears to be the least effective tool.

big mtn ss'ing requires a bit of an off kilter approach. mellow social parade climbing with the bunch doesn't happen. solo off the front tempo climbing or slumming off the back in a 20mph spun out haze trying to keep contact on the road transfers. Missing out on the relaxing social time, only to be LoneWolf parade KOM chumpion when the earth tilts again. Regrettably, it's a selfish endeavor when cruising with a group.

Then, instead of reaping the glory of buff singletrack descending love, it's jackhammer time and excessive focus just to keep things in check, all while getting dropped. Find my own flow and maximize that instead. Fade to the back, mini sessions with friends before giving it up and letting them by.

Answering the question, "Is it possible?"

sure, anything is possible.

that was proven by the true pioneers of our sport, wayyyyyy back
in the day, when these modern gadgetary options didn't even exist.

"Is it possible, for me?"
"Do I have it in me?"

I remember Tim saying that when he first rode the Shen100 fixed, that he got into the best shape of his life to do it. That's one of the reasons it took a couple years to build to my first attempt. To even consider an attempt, after hearing that from someone that you hold a lot of respect for.

During conversation last wknd, Jake asked if I'm fitter than ever before. at 38, I dunno, I guess. I don't have the gadgets to quantify that. I don't really 'race' enough nowadays to post the results to mark a trend, to see where I rank amongst my peers. I'm still able to log that token win/podium each year, that's a good sign. My personal best 100 miler time is 9:13, on gears at the Shen100 about 4yrs ago. Now I'm trying to better that on a fixed gear, and getting oh so close..

So, maybe I am 'better than ever.'

The dilema, how to quantify, how to measure 'progress'.....I used to be a racer. That ego still likes to be fed, still likes to talk shit, obviously. Results and placings once mattered, still do in different ways, or at least had some sort of value attached. But I was never a 'sponsored racer' type, so what value was there to those results? Beating the privateer drum, writing just another dime a dozen underdog story. Nowadays, 'racing' for 20th or 30th doesn't do much for me, so why bother?
Just another pint glass, I have a cupboard full.

So, why not dance to my own rythmn? Continue my quest for whatever it is that I'm questing. Show what can be done with the bare basics in this day and age of excess. Remove the technological aid, so the only thing to blame is the motor. Get down to the roots, pare it down, make it as pure as possible.

Just pedal tha damn bike, and whoever pedals the hardest, the fastest, wins.

Just pedal the damn bike.

9hours, I'm gonna make you my bitch.


Brett said...

man, you're doing a lot of soul searching lately. my hat's off to you, btw.

Fxdwhl said...

sounds like the solo suffering gave you time to think a bit.

lot's o good points in the 'why' catagory. some of that chatters been in my head lately too. much less racing experience then you but questioning cost and travel vs. fun factor. better off just leaving the house at 5am and spending the WHOLE day pedaling rather then driving-racing-driving? don't know.

logistics of the big mt ride make racing seem justifiable with course markings and water/food there at the ready. otherwise i'd be happy with some long, fast paced hammering with like minded fools.

touched the podium once, would like to again, but don't want to drop a couple hundred to feed the ego.

with that said; bootleg fixie catagory at the stoopid next month?

CabbageHead said...

Maybe you should aim for 8:45. The reach exceeding the grasp and all that...

camps said...

One more reason,
your bike will break a lot less than others will. focus on motor and mind only