A blog for a mountain bike racer that starts like this can’t be good.
I’m writing this blog because a good friend, Dan Marshall of Substance Projects, suggested I write about the challenges of being a working dad trying to fit riding into his life. He said people would relate to me, and it might encourage them to race.
Initially, I wasn’t convinced, so, I talked to Mark and Leslie Summers, the owners of Joyride 150, about whether to do it. They said my story might inspire other people like me to start racing.
I think it’s because my weak, lame, half assed, results, are easily achievable.
Can you eat too much, ride too little, weigh a tenth of a tonne, and place poorly in mountain bike races? Yes you can.
For this blog, I catalogued each of the 28 races I’ve done: distance, time, category and overall place, gap from the leader, and a few notes about my performance. Yeah, I know, how did a middle aged Clydesdale, with average riding experience, complete 28 races in three years?
Easy, I registered in 28 races.
So thanks to this blog, I now have an overall picture of how I placed in those 28 races? The picture is this…
I don’t know. I thought I was riding hard. I thought I was eating right. I thought I was getting better. But I guess not.
I’d like to say, “I guess I’m just a lousy rider”, but I know I’m hard on myself, and my friends hate hearing it.
I’d like to say “I guess I’m an okay rider”, but I just don’t feel it.
So I’m seeing this picture as a living image. Always changing.
However, I think human nature is taking over a bit, and I want to see some improvement in my riding. Some improvement. Any improvement. Plus, I’ve devoted a good chunk of my disposable time in the past four years to riding (and a good chunk of my disposable income–my mini van is 10 years old, but I have 7 bikes) and still, I was almost last place in the Snophy.
I know that every race has it’s own DNA, and that even the same race course from year to year can be totally different, so it’s tough to gauge my progress through the years, but I have noticed something. Regardless of the course, the trail conditions, how much my damn back ached, the skill of the other riders, whether I slept the night before, the bike I was riding, or the weather, my results just aren’t very good.
I know it’s not about results. It is about riding: the thrill of a trial; the freedom of two wheels; the pride of achieving something; the log overs, rock gardens, the berms, and the list goes on, but still, I want more.
So, here’s what I want to do. I have a limited amount of free time and poutine is sooooo good, so I know it’s not as simple as saying I want to eat less and ride more. I want to understand how to make a few small changes that will garner bigger results.
I’ve got four ideas. No they’re not resolutions, they’re ideas.
1.) Ride four times a week, even if it’s my spin bike in the basement.
2.) Find out how to use my heart rate monitor (and then actually use it)
3.) Eat nothing after 7PM on week days, and remove cheese and sweets from my diet.
4.) Find out how to train smarter.
I think it’s time to call on Team Colin to help me. They’ll know what to tell me.
Wait a sec, maybe instead of no cheese, less cheese.
250 pounds, here I come.
PS. The picture above is from The Snumbler, Dan Marshall’s 45NRTH Ontario Fatbike Series. Ted Anderton from Apex Photography took the picture. There is no race report.