Sunday was a good day on the bike. Sometimes on the bike you just flow so naturally where the pain and effort is apparent but secondary. This was a similar situation when I was racing the Tour of Somerville and took 9th place overall. Sunday’s race was a decent drive to South Jersey. My friend and teammate Steve and I arrived with lots of time to spare. Usually I like to get to races early. I would rather sit around for a while before the start of my race rather than having to rush around going to the bathroom 5 times, pinning numbers, chatting conversations with strangers, and any other pre-race rituals that may come my way minutes before the start.
It was a hot morning. I was dumping water on my head a few times as I was getting my racing kit on trying to stay cool. I never let the weather get to me in a psychological sense. Over the years of training, whether running or cycling I have prided myself on adapting to the changes weather might throw at me. One conclusion I have come to is we need to continually adapt to the changing weather Mother Nature throws at us. You will be surprised on how your own body will change in a moment’s notice to cold air, humid temperatures and so on.
The race started off with fast attacks and pace-line riding. For a second I thought I was racing in New York City’s Central Park or Prospect Park! It was fast, aggressive, and raw. Just my type of racing! In cycling one needs to handle a great deal of pressure. Usually it is not that actual pace of the race that cracks riders but the anxiety of responding to repeated attacks, people cutting you off, riding too close to others, getting pushed, getting yelled at, ah it could go on forever. This is what makes cycling so unique to the majority of other sporting events out there. Not only does your body have to deal with a constant physical battle but it requires you to follow others wheels within inches, while going upwards of 40KM an hour. Sound like your cup of tea?
There is an inconsequential formality to bicycle racing. Many riders who are weak minded will either stay to the back of the pack, or constantly try and stay off the front when it is realistically impossible to stay away. I am not saying this is always a negative dynamic to racing because if there we never people off the front who would we have to chase? For a while when I upgraded to a CAT2 I felt like a CAT5 again having to go up against seasoned riders who have the “Been there, done that” attitude. Lately my mindset has changed. I am forcing myself to become a factor in ever race I enter, even if the outcome is not in my favor. Now I am seeing the light.

“Confidence is is not only portrayed through vanity and articulate language. It spawns from ones ability to transfer conviction spiritually.” – By Me

Specific people in each race portray this energy that can only be felt during hardships. Usually those are the people who come out on top or land somewhere near the top ten finishers. During the race there I worked with Steve to bring back breakaways and fight for position near the front. One thing I have learned is how important it is to stay near the front of a bicycle race but not too far upfront so you are working harder than necessary.
Efficiency Efficiency Efficiency Efficiency Efficiency Efficiency Efficiency Efficiency Efficiency.
To be totally honest I had no idea what I was doing at the end of the race. All I knew was I needed and wanted to be near the front come the last 10 mile lap. After 40 miles of racing I felt as if I was just getting warmed up. Especially since this was a almost totally flat course. With about 1K to go my other teammate Elvi came racing by me with another teammate Gill on his wheel. I looked back at Gill and he gave me the OK to jump in on the train between them. The next thing I knew Elvi pulls off yelling Vamos! I close my eyes, gripped the handlebars a little tighter and pushed for the line. I had a clear line of sight but I was overtaken by a New Zealand pro, someone else, and Gill who passed me at the line. No worries! I’ll take 5th! I believe I was 4th overall in the standings and as you can see from the picture I might be either 4th or 5th.
It was a good race and I felt like I could have raced again that same day. Steve and I headed back to Central NJ and then the fatigue started settling in. I’m very happy I’m coming to form at this time of the season. I’m learning a lot more about what my body needs to train and race at it’s peak level. One positive spin on racing constantly is how fast you go up on the learning curve.
There is no complete perfect balance.
There is no complete perfect balance.
There is no complete perfect balance.
There is no complete perfect balance.
Sometimes less is more. Sometimes more is less. Sometimes far is better while sometimes short is more effective. As I was talking about before it’s all about adapting to what life and nature throws at you and if you prepare correctly for each opposition then you are more likely to come out on top more often than not. Rest when you are hyper, ride when you are tired. Eat when you are full, and drink only water when you are hungry. Will it make a difference? Who knows but only you can believe in your own reality.
So think positive and positive things will happen!