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Here we go again(27 posts)

Here we go againDougSloan
Apr 24, 2002 12:07 PM
Advanced disclosure: self indulgent, self-pitying rant; hit your Back button now to avoid.

As some of you know, my cycling and participating here has been a bit volatile in the past few years. I'd prefer not to get into specifics again, but suffice it to say that between pressure and circumstances at home and office, I have not been able to ride nearly as much as I would have liked (which is excessive, I realize).

Sooooo, I can recommend not attempting a 24 hour time trial after riding an average of 130 miles per week over the prior 6 months, especially when the bulk of those miles were fixed gear aerobic riding. After 130 miles and 7,500 feet of climbing into the time trial at 18 or so mph, when the planned pace through that section was 16 mph, I quit. Yes, quit. I had a bad attitude and realized my training was not up to it. Now I have a very bad attitude. I hate quitting, I hate competing with inadequate preparation, I hate not living up to my expectations; I love riding, I love my wife, I love the fact that we have a baby coming. I can't reconcile all that. My mind goes into an infinite loop and spazzes. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Anyway, no more events for a while. It's just too hard to do them sub-par. I'm selling some stuff off, keeping 4 bikes. Don't want to advertise here, though, just on my website. That will help to avoid temptation.

BTW, a full out time trial bike is not very suitable for 100 mile plus rides. It can be very fast, but sort of hard on the neck.

I'm no longer "RideLots", either. Back to the handle of the old days.

Back to work, now.

time to take up mtb racinggtx
Apr 24, 2002 12:21 PM
all you have to do is drink beer and ride a few days of week and it's still fun.
I hope you are joking (or talking about downhilling)!!!!!mtber
Apr 25, 2002 7:04 AM
I just turned pro as an MTB XC racer in Colorado and let me tell you it has taken many years of hard work. Competition is intense here in Colorado and many (most?) pros and even experts don't have what most would call a full time career type job. I train at least 10-15hrs/week (bike only, I also lift). Drink beer? Hah, I gave up drinking beer two years ago and have to watch my diet religiously, esp during the season, everyone in my class is 120lb/10% BF (I am female).

Not to slam downhilling, but your comment would be more appropriate if it were referring to them. I know a bunch of DHers and many at the expert level don't train at all except for shuttling once a week. They also don't seem to have a problem with drinking the night before their races (and smoking pot just before their races).
I hope you are joking (or talking about downhilling)!!!!!gtx
Apr 25, 2002 11:15 AM
10 hours a week won't cut it for Cat 1 or 2 road racing. The main difference is that in road racing if you're not fully prepared you will find yourself off the back. In mtb racing, you'll just be in the middle somewhere. I've found the mtb racing atmosphere to be a bit more relaxed--my point was that even if you're not fully fit/prepared, you can still have fun. Not so true for road racing. The main problem roadies have with mtb racing is the bike handling part on technical courses.
re: Here we go againJS Haiku Shop
Apr 24, 2002 12:29 PM
man, i was riding hard over the winter. pitying everyone else for either sitting in their house on the trainer, or getting fat with a tub of ice cream in the floor watching ally mcbeal. riding 65-70 on saturdays, 30-50 on sundays, 45-80 minutes per weeknight on the trainer, high intensity. all outside/actual road miles on the single speed. my wife knew she wouldn't see me from 5-7 on weeknights and for certain large time blocks on weekends. i was PUMPED and ready to decimate my summer and fall event schedule, and PILE on the miles this year. then, i had my little knee problems.

one week off, pacing a rut in the floor. two weeks off, relationship problems (wife says i'm a caged animal). three weeks off, i'm really getting pitifully desperate. PT fixes all that, and i'm back on the bike, stronger than before. push too hard, more injury. it was at that point that the realization of a shift in my priorities had slowly occurred.

what's really important? do(u)g, i think you and i (and many of us here) are cut from the same stone. i went through last year going from 30-milers to 125-milers, and came back this year looking for a double century, a 12-hour effort, and a 24-hour time trial, and maybe to start racing. but, to realize the amount of time and dedication to training and preparation versus the total time NEEDED by your family (which is about to quadruple, at least), have to STOP and reevaluate things.

there's a direct correlation between the behavior of my "terrible two" toddler and my presence at home. i'm convinced of this. my wife and i have been pretty much strictly business since he was born, and rightly so--it's rough stuff, a huge responsibility raising kids. to some, it's just another part of life. to me, it's THE MOST important thing i'll ever attempt.

on that bike, you'll leave your mark on the world through a few events. you might have people talking about you for awhile. through your family, through your kid(s), you'll leave a lasting mark on the world, and on the future of, well, everything. sounds dramatic, but it's true. think of all the hardships you've gone through in life--this is all relative, of course. now, can you prepare your kid to address these and others, with the things you've learned?

what's really more important?

i'm riding at a level i enjoy right now, but it's just on the cusp between fast recreational and slow/semi-serious racing. with a little push, a few more miles, a little more dedication, and some barf-level training, i could be right up there with the cat 3/4s. but--what's more important?

i'd sell the bikes, grow long, curly leg hair, get fat and die of heart disease if that's what was required to give my son a good future. for him to go through life knowing that he is *the most* important thing to his daddy is my #1 goal.

think about it. raising kids is the ultimate endurance sport. i want to amaze him with my cycling masaochism. more importantly, i want him to be amazed my ultimate love for and dedication to him.
I knowDougSloan
Apr 24, 2002 12:47 PM
I'm with you. There really is no choice.

While the most difficult choices in life are not between right and wrong, but between two rights, here the choice is obvious, but still hard.

There is a reason for only 130 miles per week. I've been going to all doctor's visits, preparing the baby room (nesting), taking care of mother when on bed rest, and generally being "there."

The closer the baby is to being born, the easier it gets, though. He's now even playing with me by pressing back on mom's tummy when I poke at him (gently, of course). Yup, I guess we're making a person.

I can't wait to get him on that childback. :-)
you have no idea the gravity of that statement...JS Haiku Shop
Apr 24, 2002 1:07 PM
you're making a person. going to the doc's visits and playing homemaker, well, that's one thing. but, when you hear your child's voice for the first time, that's another. it's (not like, but it IS) stepping into an alternate reality. maybe it's stepping into TRUE reality, who knows. i'm telling you, reading and preparing, going to class and watching the videos, it's like buying a bike and watching tour tapes, reading the magazines and talking to your racer and ultra friends, reading the board and browsing through the baby store...but when you get that little sucker out for a ride, well...

so far, you've been making changes in your life to prepare and accommodate. soon, your life will *be changed*, regardless of what you've done, or of your wishes. it's like you're going along a grassy trail, picking the daisys and trimming the weeds to prepare for the road're doing what's now within your power to get ready, but soon, they're going to bulldoze through and follow with hot asphalt and a steamroller. seriously. ;o)

and, by the way--the strongest guy in our little recreational group has three kids and one on the way, a garage full of bikes, and is currently putting together a sweet I-talian AL bike. four kids=three too many, for me, but that's his thing. point is that he's not only still going strong, know. and, some unsolicitied advice: i used to obsess about stuff, and get upset when things didn't go as planned. that changed a few years's good to "go with the flow" with kids around. you can help steer, but it's like trying to dam the ocean.

all my positive energy for a healthy baby boy or girl for you. sounds like mommy's in good hands. daddy evidently doesn't need any help, he's already ready, already! now, get on with it!

(sorry about all the analogies)
ps: wanna buy 115 pair of "J's Haiku Shop" defeet socks? nmJS Haiku Shop
Apr 24, 2002 1:09 PM
you guys sound like wivescyclopathic
Apr 25, 2002 5:45 AM
trying to pitch kids vs bikes.

Now and then I meet a guy who is commuting on MUTS with kid in a trailer, ~20mi and a few moderate hills. Daddy is pulling him to next to work daycare, then back.
now this post could be carved in stonecolker
Apr 24, 2002 5:30 PM
at least for me it's the TRUTH.raising a kid is the ultimate challenge in life. everything else is second in importance and responsability. it sounds like a limit to one's achievement but it's freedom from ego and vanity.
at the same time, it's also a fine balance between changing your lifestyle and thinking too much of how you have to change it. as long as there is time to show your love and responsability over his/her well being it's ok be a kid yourself and ride your bike.
take a deep breathColnagoFE
Apr 24, 2002 12:41 PM
i wouldn't have a fire sale on your bikes just yet. family will always take time away from your riding, but won't it be cool when your kid is old enough to accompany you (and eventually beat you) on rides? you will be back riding before you know it. the time moves pretty fast when you have kids. it took me a while to adjust to not being in the shape i know i'm capable of if i had unlimited time to train, but i think it's possible to find a workable balance. hey lance can do it so it is possible--though that is his job and i imagine there are periods of time his wife and kids just don't see him that's never easy...
I wondered where you had gone.....JohnG
Apr 24, 2002 12:47 PM
Hey Doug

Didn't realize you were going by "RideLots". I'm sure I must have read some of your RL posts but I must have not made the connection.

IMHO, It's a prudent person who quits before hurting themselves. ;) At least that's what I always tell myself! hahaha

good rides to ya
re: Here we go againDINOSAUR
Apr 24, 2002 12:56 PM
I always liked you better when you logged under your real name.

Well, things good be worse, you could be into retirement and discover that you just can't go out and hammer with the big boys anymore.

How about just slowing down and smelling the flowers? You really don't have to log in those high milage weeks. We all can't be like the cannibal. Don't give up, just back up and regroup. You have a perfect schedule to cross train. Don't get so focused on cycling. Just put it on hold for awhile. Life goes on...

Ed (Dino)
Your website...? Where?MrCelloBoy
Apr 24, 2002 1:05 PM
You mentioned selling some stuff on your website.
Where would that be?
Ah come on, just one more itsy bitsy ride...Lon Norder
Apr 24, 2002 1:07 PM
Devil Mt. Double is this saturday. ;+)
Equally self-indulgent reply...MikeC
Apr 24, 2002 1:26 PM
I was, as they say, in-between marriages from age 34 to 39. During that time, I "rode lots," worked stupid hours, and built up a stereo system that had a price tag with four figures before the decimal point. You know, $600 cables and fancy tubes. I was really into "stuff" - doing stuff and having stuff, and I slipped into that dreaded male state of gearhead.
We had two children in the first three years after I remarried, and the stereo was the first part of my old life I began to neglect. Then I began to work fewer hours, and finally my riding slacked off.
I finally sold the stereo equipment last year, realizing that I wouldn't really have the chance to appreciate it again until my kids were older. The Austin Healey I never had the chance to restore is up for sale, too. And my riding has now leveled off to about 100 miles a week, mostly in the early morning hours, with a couple of non-competitive long weekend rides every now and then.
I'll be honest - I don't miss any of it, because something else has taken their place. I still love to ride, and I'm still fit, but there's no vacuum I need to fill.
Remember the Golden Mean: everything in moderation. There can be great joy in a balanced life. Extremes can be great, but there's always some form of cost involved on the other side of the scale.
It won't be long.............STEELYeyed
Apr 24, 2002 1:28 PM
before the kid is begging you to go bike riding,my kids and I rode our MTB's alot when they were young,they couldn't get enough. When they became teenagers,and did'nt want to be seen with me anymore,I took up road cycling,now my 17 year old daughter and I are going riding tonight! and she is going to do RAGBRAI with me this year. What goes around comes around,change is good.
re: take it easy..cyclopathic
Apr 24, 2002 2:04 PM
and don't give up! we all have the set backs.

there've been several times I've been close to quitting.

Story #1

On my first 400km brevet I got lost in downpour and made last check point 5min before closing. Last hour and a half I was riding and cherishing thought of quitting. Then I realized that I'd still have to get to checkpoint for pick up, and since I had to ride there anyways I decided to try it. Well I made it and there was 8 or 9 hours for last 60mi, so I got on the bike and kept going. It got dark and turned out my batteries got fried in rain, so last 4hr I rode in the dark (good thing blinkies were still working). At one point I stopped under street light to check cue sheet and huge 5' tall san bernard charged at me. All I could do is just laugh, a bit hysterically admit. Turned out it was 1.5 year old puppy who turned quite happy when I petted him and shared my food.

When I finily got to the finish and took off front wheel I found it seized I could barely turn axle. That was a first ride on this touring bike. it was 46lbs at start point, panniers probably picked another 10 in rain.

Story #2.

BMB. I started ride with light cold (camped with family a week before) then rode a few hours in the rain and august nights aren't that warm in new england. By the end of second day I start feeling "not-so-good". I almost quit, then thought about living with it for the whole year turned me back to bike. At that point of time I had 2 full days and only 200mi to go, so I gave it a try. By the time I crossed Vermont I was caughing up blood I had pneumonia. It basically sucked and the worse part was that as soon as I'd start climbing my temperature would go up too.

When guys at checkpoint (second to finish, ~100mi to go) saw the blood on towel they got scared and almost called ambulance. I crashed for 2hrs then they found a doctor who got me antibiotics. After that I was riding really slow but I finished.

There've been times I quit. Still I had never regretted it. To tell the truth I am as ready to quit on last mile as I am on first. What keeps me going is a little rule I made up: "you can quit any time, you just have to make sure you did all you could". If there's still something, I am going. If you follow it you will never have second thoughts, really.

It is my understanding that endurance riding is more about mental preparedness then about physical condition. You've probably read about RAAM riders tying up gallon jars to helmet to compensate for failed neck muscles. THere's a lot things can happen on long rides.

take it easy.. and Ride Lots. congratulations on your baby and good luck!


PS. speaking of TT bike I know a guy who rode 750mi on his. He complained about his neck after ;)
Quit? Why, I have quit many times...Slipstream
Apr 24, 2002 4:01 PM
Not in cycling but in racquetball. There is nothing worse than thinking you have all the skills and then you get totally waxed by someone. It hurts; it pisses you off; it makes you angry--all that work, all that training, all that strategy, and for what? To get blown out. Man, its like starting all over, only worse.

But, somehow I have grown from those experiences, both as a person and as a player. I don't know how many times I had to rethink my entire game, try to understand where my weakness was and then spend the hours and hours necessary to correct a bad habit or overcome some lazy part of my play. You know what, this is all part of the learning process, it is the price you pay for setting high standards.

One of your truisms last week is, as I recall, that no matter how good you think you are there is always someone better. Maybe the corollary to that would be, "If you think you are good, you will probably beat yourself."

It sounds to me that you beat yourself and that is the worse kind of quitting. You don't have the luxury of training full time, so maybe your expectations were unrealistic. Hey, it happens to all of us. Deal with it.

You need a mental break.

Plus, you have other things going on in your life. Take a break, think about it, don't overtrain, and think--think about what is a realistic stretch. You know yourself that it takes years and years of effort to master what you are doing. How long have you been at this level? 3 years? I would think it is going to take longer than that.

Anyway, you are still a champion to me. And you're a pretty cool person as well. You just need to give yourself a chance. sorry for the long post.
You're OK Doug.Len J
Apr 24, 2002 4:27 PM

I'm sure that you wanted to go out with a bang (knowing what I know about your competitiveness from this board) so I can imagine what you are feeling right now. However, if you've demonstrated one thing over the lasst several months it is that you have your priorities in order, Congratulations!

Js Haiku expressed what it is like to look in your childs eyes for the first time, what it feels like to have your entire life really turned upside down and to not mind it at all. You probably are thinking and choosing to give up many things for this (as yet) unknown person and part of you has to feel that loss in order to not let it build up into resentment, It really is OK to feel bad about the loss. But let me talk for a minute about the gain. As you may remember I have 4 ranging in age from 17 to 22, and most of my activities got cut back from the time I was 25 to about 42,. As someone else said, I wouldn't change a thing. They have grown so fast but the gifts that I have received because of my sacrifices far outweigh any loss that I felt in cutting back on "My" stuff.

It's hard to describe what it feels like when your son comes to you with a real problem looking for advice and you know that he trusts you, that he genuinly knows you have his best interest in mind.

It's hard to express the pride I've felt at the people that my children are becoming.

It's hard to convey how much joy I have felt in those small, seemingly inconsequential moments of pure fun that have become family "Do you remember when" heirlooms.

It's hard to believe that I have had the amount of Love that has poured out of me for the last 22 years, it seems like a never ending fount.

I've rambled enough, it sounds like your instincts are right, trust them & get ready for a ride like you've never felt before. Remember going down that hill at 60+ mph, It's nothing compared to this. Hang on and enjoy the ride.

Let go & trust yourself & your wife.

Good Luck

re: Here we go againJohn Frank
Apr 24, 2002 4:55 PM
I believe that a person really doesn't know what love is until they have children. A least that's how it was with me.
unbelievable-my wife just sat me down for the talk...David Ho
Apr 24, 2002 6:49 PM
and I know she's right every time.Moderation,gone a little too much,she gives me an inch and I wont take the whole mile but at least half!

This is probably hitting a lot of us right now-daylight savings time is in for 2 weeks or so , we are gone more , frustration builds with our SO's, and reality sinks in that we just dont have the time to do this exactly right,thr real time it takes to train for racing.My wife wants me to race because she knows I love it, but doesnt realize that I ned to ride almost every day to be a decent racer.

Just like Doug, I just cant seem to let it go(racing).All of my riding buddies are expert/cat 3-4-5 good riders and my ego wont let me go out and get dropped.I have been racicg for 4 years now, and I dont really now how to ride just for fun-there has been some other agenda on every ride, recovery, racepace, intervals, whatever.

I am racing this weekend on Sat. and Sun. and I will bag it(i have preregistered).I raced this past week and I thought about my son more than the suffering and I raced home to see him after!

When I climbed off the bike at the last race in Oct. I told myself that was it-my son was due in Nov.and I would commit myself to that, but it has been hard.I have half assed my
training and it shows .I need to admit to myself that when my son was born I kind of lost my edge.

Im sorry about the long post, but this has been onmy mind all day and I needed to get it out.
Good for you!Jaybo
Apr 25, 2002 10:15 AM
I'm a freaking fitness junkie myself! I love to mountain bike more then life itself. I like road biking, but due to time contsraints have only been able to ride after work. This is pissing my wife off. However, after a talk, we have set a reasonable middle ground: I ride for 2 hours in the am before work. Did I lose? Not really. I still have an awesome wife.
I'm sure you'll be an enduring and enthusiastic father.dzrider
Apr 25, 2002 5:04 AM
It's every bit as gratifying and like so many things we do the reward is as much in the effort as in the result.
What difference does it makegrandemamou
Apr 25, 2002 5:28 AM
The most important thing is that you continue to ride. I have been riding since 84. I have had a high of 15k and a low of 1k. At times I quit racing or rode slower but I never stopped. It is now part of who I am and could not imagine not riding.

You have your priorities straight. My newest son turns one month old today. I rode alot during the winter but had to scale back just when the weather was getting better. My wife actualy encourged me to go out and ride but I knew that if she went into labor while I was on my bike she would never forgive me and I would never forgive myself.

I missed all of the early season races. Who cares!!! I have a beautiful healthy son and I plan to be a very important part of his life. I have accomplished some very important personal goals on the bike but I was never prouder than when I watched my oldest daughter pitch her first winning game.

If you plan on making cycling part of your life. A few missed races or rides won't matter that much 20 years down the road. Not being there for your family will. Don't sweat the load just enjoy yourself.
Welcome to the club!Nessism
Apr 25, 2002 5:31 AM
I frankly don't know how people manage to race with the house/children/career/wife all pulling at the same time. At least you warm weather folks can ride year round.

In the summer I have been forced to start my rides at 6:00 AM so as to get in some milage before the other demands start. I've grown to like it although it means lots of riding on my own. But even this is a burdon on my wife since I accept the early morning duty for the littlest one.

Doug, keep your head up. You are not alone.

so long RideLots, welcome back DougSloan (nm)gregg
Apr 25, 2002 8:27 AM