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Work 'n Ride?(20 posts)

Work 'n Ride?Jon
Oct 10, 2001 1:27 PM
Since Doug Sloan is soon to ride the 508, here's a question for all you ultra-wannabes.
How many people, besides Pete Penseyres, have worked a full-time job and successfully
trained for and completed RAAM solo? The downside of this for Sloan and his family, if the answer
is more than one, is that our intrepid trial lawyer with a soon-to-be-failing career will have to try it!

BTW Doug, all the best to you on the 508!
better yetZTre
Oct 10, 2001 1:53 PM
How many of you have worked a full time job, had wife, and at least one kid and done RAAM...I know Johnny G qualifies, but his full time job was fitness so I guess that might not count. Built the Spin bike so he wouldn't have to be away from the family for so long training. Imagine riding a Spin bike for multiple hours.
Oct 11, 2001 5:58 AM
From what I've read, Pete literally rode all the time he was not at work; work was merely his resting time. Figure work is 40 hours per week, and sleep another 56 hours, leaving a whopping 72 hours per week to ride! His family supported his riding. He would go on 400 mile rides on weekends, and then do several club races during the week. A totally dedicated riding animal. I really envy the guy.

I'm not sure who of the RAAM riders work full time. I do know that many do not, as they are actually semi-professional cyclists in a way.

One who comes to mind is Peter Pop, who I've ridden with a few times. He's done RAAM several times solo, and on a 2 man team. He is a full time radiologist.

To some extent, I suppose anyone who does this type of riding must necessarily be a bit selfish about it. But then, look at any serious athlete. Very few are doing it for the public good, or for anyone else's good. It is almost purely personal achievement, maybe even employment. Yes, it is selfish in way.

There are down sides, no doubt. There are down sides to any time we spend on recreational activities. I suppose everyone just needs to make their own choices about how they want to spend their life. People are different, and most of the time it's hard to understand why people do things differently from ourselves. I'm just glad we have the freedom here to make the wrong choices.


"I really envy the guy"Jon
Oct 11, 2001 6:31 AM
I knew you would, Doug. BTW you don't have to defend your life choices to me. But as you
are fast becoming aware, "out of the box" lifestyles bring with them a do all choices.

Given the time and resources I don't know if I could hack the ultra-distance lifestyle. I've thought
about it, but I think it takes a special kind of hardwiring to do that sort of thing. I've even found
double century training mentally tough.
Ditto....Len J
Oct 11, 2001 7:37 AM
couldn't have summed it up better.

Reminds me of the old Leonard Bernstein story:

A women was telling Bernstein that she would give anything to be able to play the piano like him. He responded."No you wouldn't!" She says: Oh yea, I would give anything to be able to play like you. He says: "No you wouldn't".
At this point she gets frustrated. I'm telling you, I would give anything!

To which he replied: "OK, Give me 10 hours a day practicing for the next 12 years!"

It does take dedication to accomplish any goal. The larger the goal, the more dedication. The real question for me is always: What am I willing to do to accomplish my goal and What am I willing to give up? Life is about choice.


Best of luck in the 508! I certainly am pulling for you. Just remember, showing up is more than 99% will ever do, everything over that is gravy.

How amazingly true...Kristin
Oct 11, 2001 8:45 AM
Len, thanks for that story. It strikes at the heart of many decissions people make.

I made a heart wrenching decision to quit vocal training this semester. I cried buckets over it. I had always wanted to be a professional singer; but I discovered that getting there required more effort and less reward than desired. Hours upon hours of practice that only produce marginal gains. That pitch I can never seem to nail. The realization that after all the hard work I would most likely acheive only odd jobs in advertising. Could I get there? My coach says, "Absolutely! With work." I needed to ask, "Is that where I really want to go?" I decided, "no"--for now. My coach thinks God has other intentions. Time will tell. But one thing is true: What you don't use, you lose.

On a cycling note. Lots of people have told me to do a century. Honestly, based on how I felt after the 77 & 65 mile rides...I don't think I'd enjoy one. I'm gonna wait. Cycling, for me at this time, needs to be something I enjoy.

So I'm wondering what the difference is between people like me--who choose moderation and ease--and people like Doug, who are willing to embrace the goal at all costs?
Oct 11, 2001 8:50 AM
For one thing, an extremely high energy level. Another, a singular, goal-oriented mindset.
Answer=Passion+Ignoring fears....Len J
Oct 11, 2001 8:55 AM
In my experience the difference is related to passion and choosing to not let the fears win.

When I am involved in something that I am passionate about, that captivates me, time disappears, effort (at the moment) is not noticed.

When I don't give myself 100% to something that captivates me, it is usually for one of two reasons: Either I choose that something else is more important or I am afraid of the outcome.

Trust me, If you find it, and it captivates you, and choose to go for it (damn the risks)(damn the fear) moderation and ease won't be part of your thinking.

My oponion.

Does reality need to be considered as well?Kristin
Oct 11, 2001 10:28 AM
So many good thoughts here. I'll be noodling on them for a while. At what point do you chalk up a dream because you've realized that you can't win the gold and the bronze doesn't seem worth it?
Choice again....Len J
Oct 11, 2001 10:41 AM
Its up to you.

Although I think there may be another dimension in this.
If you were sure you would win the Bronze, would you still "Chalk up the dream"? Or is your not continuing because you are not sure you will win any medal?

When I was younger, Goals were about being the best or not at all, if I didn't think I could compete for the top spot, I wasn't interested. As I got older, I was forced to confront the reality that age was going to keep eroding my ability to be the very best. (When sports heros are retiring at ages that are double digits younger than me, its time to face reality). Maybe it is a rationalization (I don't think so) but, I've reached a point in my life where two things have become my benchmarks: One, can I honestly say I've done my best? and two, have I enjoyed the process (or journey) that got me to this goal? If the answers to both are yes, then I believe that I am a better person for having striven for the goal, no matter the outcome.

Sorry for the soapbox ramble, but, your comment triggered this. Thanks for reminding me of it.

Choice again....harlett
Oct 11, 2001 2:06 PM
some embrace a simple definition of endurance "one capable of
enduring." others may argue that one must have internalized
the concept of enduring as a sport (ultra distance running or bicycling)implying a
responsibility for maintaining a certain level of speed/time/distance while engaged in the activity---
still others point to fairly complex "you-are-here" hierarchies: beginner, competitor, athlete, "the ultra cyclist/runner"

in my mind when i identify myself as a cyclist, it has more to do with the
assimilation of cycling as "a path with a heart" (a phrase borrowed from
carlos castaneda), filled with personal challenges and times for celebration---
realizing that every time i challenge myself to do more, struggle to get just a little faster,
or face the limits of my abilities, i am a cyclist.. a real cyclist.

after a number of doubles and a few triples i still haven't, by any means, learned all that much--- to each race i have brought a slightly different body, different goals--- but each time it is about bringing a body and mind that wants to endure.

at 28 or 29 and now 30 (oh god) i always seem to be amongst a younger minority doing a triple--- quads are even more prone to be ridden by those in there 40's and early 50's--- in my conversations with those others i have always seen minds attune to physical, mental, emotional, and some cases spiritual, challenges--- there is something in life experience that must give the word patience the alternate definition of endurance/staying power.

there is something instinctive in all of us that always has to be really isn't about winning or being called an ultra's about testing our limits

life is a verb.....
Oct 11, 2001 3:44 PM
You use physco babble more than anyone here, You never talk about the subject just YOU. Get a LIFE and go torture someother board. You are not even liked here by anyone. GO TO AFGAN and be there!!
Oct 11, 2001 4:05 PM
You don't deserve a response, except to say that you are a rude, obnoxious, immature coward.

Some people improve the world and make it a better place, others do nothing but hinder, tear down, and get in the way. Why?

It's all in your view............Len J
Oct 11, 2001 5:30 PM
of the world & how you fit in it, isn't it?

Thanks Harlett, you expressed it better than I was able. The idea of integrating all the dimensions in a self challange really does crystallize the idea wonderfully.

How we act in the striving & the winning & the losing, really does flow out of how we answer these questiions:

What is your view of success?
What is your view of failure?
What is your view of you?

If success is in the trying, in the giving it your all, than external outcome is much less important than the internal outcome.

Life is creative......
Life is choice....

Thanks for the thoughtful replies. What I really need...Kristin
Oct 12, 2001 7:37 AM a new personality! I am a pure (i/e)NFP... unsettled... wrestless... wandering...

I think the heart of the matter for me--as I analyze all of this--is that I like options. I plan constantly; but, at the end of the day, make no determinations. The unfortunate result being that I become exactly the thing I wanted to avoid through keeping my options open: A person with a mundane, pursuitless life. Ironic, eh?

Thanks for sharing. I'm gonna go noodle now...
Don't need a new personality......Len J
Oct 12, 2001 9:18 AM
I also am a strong ENFP, And the Myers Briggs label for is personality is CATALYST. What I have learned is that personality types indicate tendancies, not certainties. Awareness allows me to make choices about how I want to be. Look on the following & you will see some of the people who share this personality type. I think you will agree that they did pretty well.

Good luck

some quotesDog
Oct 11, 2001 9:20 AM
Some quotes from people expressing these thoughts better than I can:

*If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise. Robert Fritz

*Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. Reggie Leach

*Before you begin a thing, remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead. If you could see them clearly, naturally you could do a great deal to get rid of them but you can't. You can only see one thing clearly and that is your goal. Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin. Kathleen Norris

*You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

*Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. Carl Sandburg

And finally:

*The words 'I am...' are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you're claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you. A. L. Kitselman

Thanks Doug! nmLen J
Oct 11, 2001 9:38 AM
Oct 11, 2001 12:28 PM
Len's comments and Doug's quotes for me sum up the whole reason and experience of
cycling for me--actually my whole life!
not that one is good and the other badColnagoFE
Oct 11, 2001 10:15 AM
Personally I'm very proud of all the things I juggle with a wife and 2 young kids and a full time job (~12 hour days routinely). Though sometimes I think it would be a break to be able to just chuck it all and train full time. the kids get bigger I'll get more and more time to train and it'll be fun riding with them when they can kick my butt!