Out of the woods, out in the woods

We've been terrible at blogging lately. That dip has had an apt analog in our riding over the past few years. Mike and I met through road racing, and developed our friendship and our business against that backdrop. Though our business and friendship have remained solid over the years, road racing fell away for both of us - me in 2017, Mike somewhat before that. 

As anyone who's raced road certainly understands, it takes a lot of effort and commitment to make any kind of a go at it. Even a raw Cat 5 does more, better training and is a faster bike rider than the overwhelming majority of people. The average USAC license holder has a tenure of something like 3.5 years at last check (their sometimes regrettable policies certainly weigh on this), and my take was always that it's just too demanding for most people. There's almost no way to do it without imposing on your family and social life, and unlike many/most other sports you need to be committed to the sport for a frightening amount of the calendar if you want to get anywhere.

Obviously a lot of us find it rewarding enough to do it, but how long you can do it is a question. I often considered that the 10+ years I spent very much enjoying it was largely because of a moderate approach. Some of the guys I started with instantly got into 15 to 20 hour training weeks and lived like monks and had total commitment. Some of them got great, but most of them burned out in 3 or 4 years. I never got great, but I had fun with it for a long time. I'm sure not saying one or the other approach is better, but there seems to be an "area under the curve" function here. And a lot of "normal" people would consider my "moderate" commitment to be some kind of pathological.

So after sort of riding around aimlessly for a few years, Mike got reignited in a pretty big way last year by getting back into mountain bike racing, and has a goal of success in the MASS race series this year. We're both signed up for the VT Overland, which is my "goal" event (goal being to ride toward the front and not be on my hands and knees halfway through) and more in line with the events I'm digging into this year. 

It's nice to have events on the calendar again, and be accountable to that. A lot of studies have shown that committing to events is one of the key external things you can do to reinforce a commitment to training, and I feel it already. Yesterday's rack of intervals would have felt aimless and pointless without an application for them, but knowing they can make the difference between maybe staying with the fast pack or getting my doors blown off at a critical section gives them tangible purpose. I should also note that this is much more motivating to me than the shiny new bike I got, for which I am still sourcing and waiting for parts that are in very limited supply. I started hunting this SRAM AXS group down in October, and I've got derailleurs and a (now wrong - hit me up if you need a 10-51) cassette to show for it. New wheels are great, new events are better. There, I said it. But if you need new wheels for new events, we can help. 


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  • Dave on

    What wheels go on the Bianchi? We need to post the Salsa pic, that’s a great looking bike.

  • Mike E. on

    I ordered my bucket list gravel bike last april, came in last month finally (Salsa Warbird + AXS). The AXS and other parts for my bucket road bike (Bianchi Infinitio CV) are all here minus the damn frame which we are still waiting for from last april as well. Amost there…almost.


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