Friday, March 22, 2013

Transition Year

With everything that is going on we have dubbed 2013 as the Transition Year.

What do you mean?

Well, no matter how hard I try I can not seem to cut back my hours at work.  My weeknights have left me a vegetable lately which makes weekends even more difficult on me. We also plan on selling our house and moving to eastern CT a year from now and I still have a ton of projects to complete around the house.

To top that all off, quite frankly, I do not feel like racing my bike right now. Bicycling is supposed to be fun and the whole process of planning out a year of races with travel and such pretty much doesn't peak my interest right now. The plan is to get back on the bike after almost a 6 month hiatus and go out there and ride. Ride some new bikes and maybe even some new locations local to me. Ride with friends and just have a fun time not caring about fitness or who gets to the top/finish first.

There are two events planned thus far. I had so much fun riding my bike to Boston from Hartford and then riding around the Boston area with a huge group of such wonderful bicyclists and then riding home that I plan on doing it again this year. Yes. T-Hom has organized another SingleSpeed 29er posse to engage with all the people on cyclocross bikes and ride the Ronde 4.0. I can not wait for this one.

The fifth and final DarkHorse Cycles SingleSpeed-A-Palooza will also take place this year. As with last year, I plan on riding my bike out to Newburgh NY from Hartford to race. Not sure if I will sleep in 32F weather in a hammock again but I am quite sure I've recruited at least one other person to ride out to Newburgh with me. That makes me so happy. Not only did the experiment last year turn some heads and make people think twice but it actually got people interested in joining me or doing it for themselves. That is f'n awesome!

Transylvania Epic is out (even though I tried to get Kuhn to move the venue to the 49th state) and so is the Bearscat50. During that time we will be in Alaska exploring the glaciers and Denali National Park. This trip is so worth passing on a few bike races.

Last weekend I got back on the bicycle outside.
I really meant to go out for a road ride but the wind was hollowing and it was quite cold (35F?). I found the courage to get back on the trail. First trail ride in five and a half months and it was a great success (no broken bones)!

I rode the bike that I broke my leg whilst riding and took it up the street to the West Hartford reservoir. There were some patches of snow and mud but the ground overall was cold enough that my bike did not leave tracks and large ruts in the ground.

While a normal loop around the reservoir takes me 1.5hours on a good day this one took me over 2 hours. I was suffering. I noticed I had top end high cadence (probably from my winter of roller racing) but I did not have the fitness and endurance. The whole time I kept telling myself its the giant gear I put on the bike but when I came home I ran the numbers and realized the gear ratio (36x20) was very similar to what I normally ride (34x19). Yup. got a lot of work to do but regardless I had fun.

To my surprise there really wasn't much of a mental block to overcome on that ride. I thought I'd be paranoid about fallen trees and rocks and other obstacles but the first fallen tree encountered was met with a smooth bunny-hop right over it. I didn't even think, my body reacted after seeing the tree, and I went right over the tree and kept on down the trail. My balance was also there too. One trail had some planks down to get over a river and I rode them without thinking. This gave me great confidence.

As you can see, that is not a hardtail. Last autumn I put together a singlespeed full suspension (Gary Fisher Superfly 100) and only had three rides on it when I broke my leg. This winter I've tweaked it some and as a result it rode perfectly on this ride. More to come on this bike.

Not sure when I'll be back on the trail again. This week we saw a few more inches of snow so now everything's covered again. Ugh. This winter has to end.


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