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Here's what I learned about racing today from my 13 year old...

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Here's what I learned about racing today from my 13 year old...

Old 04-25-07, 09:43 PM
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Here's what I learned about racing today from my 13 year old...

So I'm pushing 50 and trying to ride competitively again. It was never easy, now it's certainly harder than it was when I hung up my bikes due to injury back in 1999. I've gotten slower, the local peloton is a bit faster. I've only raced two times this Spring, finished in the field once, got blown out the back door once. Almost got killed in nasty crashes in both races (circuit races in NY's Central Park). So I sign up for this nasty uphill TT in early May to give me a focus for my training.

The past four weeks or so I'm training and dieting pretty hard, trying to get leaner and meaner. And it's working to some extent, but my interval times on my hill training haven't improved too much, and I know I'm may well be close to DFL (Dead Friggin Last) in this TT. So I start having second thoughts about even participating in this event, what's the point, yada yada, etc.

Then today my 13 year old daughter comes home from her 8th grade track meet in the pouring rain. And she's ecstatic. Why? She's not a talented runner, she's one of the slower girls on her squad. But today she switched to the 1500 meter race. And she clocked a 6:55 personal best time for the distance (her previous best time was a minute slower). She was a about a minute behind the winner, but she didn't care. She was focused on what matters - personal improvement and the love of running. She LOVES it. And that's what matters. Everything else is just static. And that's what I've been reinforcing for her when she particpated in Cross Country in the Fall and now that she's running Spring Track. And it's working. I wish my parents had given me that feedback when I was her age.

She knows I'm training for this TT. What kind of message do I send to her if I encourage her to participate in competitive running irrespective of how close to winning she is - and then bail on this race? I can't do that. I'll go, and if I finish DFL, so be it. Now I have another motivation - to back up what I've been telling my daughter sports are really all about - participation - and maybe to show myself. My problem is that I'm so competitive the thought that I wouldn't be in the top ten really pisses me off - but if I don't ride, that's the only way I really lose.

What's the moral of the story? We're not all National Champs, Dr. W, Cypress, or potential Cat 2's. Of the 45,000 or so licensed USCF racers, how many really are? But most of us pony up our fees and enter these events. Why? For the same reasons my 13 year old loved finishing way behind the winners in the track meet today. Because there are rewards from racing besides winning. If there weren't I suspect there would be about half as many USCF licensees.

I didn't teach my daughter anything today. She taught me.

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Old 04-25-07, 09:45 PM
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I'll bet my bike you don't get DFL.
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Old 04-25-07, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
I'll bet my bike you don't get DFL.
I don't need any motivation to be slower BD.
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Old 04-25-07, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
I don't need any motivation to be slower BD.
d'oh, that was not my intended outcome. Fine, how about this:

If you're DFL I'm donating my bike to ryanf.
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Old 04-25-07, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
d'oh, that was not my intended outcome. Fine, how about this:

If you're DFL I'm donating my bike to ryanf.
You should just donate your bike to ryanf regardless. You'll get a place in heaven right next to Marco Pantani.
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Old 04-25-07, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
I'll bet my bike you don't get DFL.
I hope your talkin about the felt

great story, patn
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Old 04-26-07, 05:12 AM
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Don't get me wrong boys. I fully understand the competitive side of the sport. I raced regularly for many years, was part of a team, got results in some races, etc. But I was never very good at it and it always came down to enjoying the peloton, the speed, the comraderie, and most importantly, getting fitter/faster as a cyclist. I keep telling my daughter to keep running, to learn how to train, to stick with it- and that she'll be amazed how much faster she'll get. And she WILL get faster. I think if her enthusiasm and enjoyment of the sport stays strong that she'll be able to get much closer to the competitive girls by the time she's in 10th or 11th grade - and become competitive. So I want to foster than spirit as much as possible, it's so important to her in so many ways.

That was my experience with bike racing. I started in my early 30's and like many new racers couldn't even finish a race or fast racer training ride. I stuck with it, learned how to train and by the time I had my USCF license for a year or so I stopped getting dropped - and was in the peloton regularly through 1999 and occasionally even off the front. I KNOW you can get faster, and I'm trying to impart that experience to my little girl.

At the end of the day THAT is 'physical education'. We want to encourage our kids to grow up like the people on these boards - with a love of physical activity that confers so many of the benefits that we all enjoy so much. Let's face it, here in the USA we live in friggin Twinkieland. 60% of us are overweight or obese. That's one helluva way to go through life. I think it's highly avoidable, and I hope my little girl will grow up to be a much happier woman if she learns to enjoy aerobic exercise as a kid - and how to incorporate it into her everyday life.

The part I'm most excited about is that she seems to LOVE the running, despite the fact she's not one of the team's stars, despite the fact that a year ago she never would have indicated an interest in this at all. I hope she and her friends stay with it...
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Old 04-26-07, 05:30 AM
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Been doing hill repeats much?
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Old 04-26-07, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
Been doing hill repeats much?
Correct.
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Old 04-26-07, 05:35 AM
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I love perspective...you are a lucky man pcad (forget the zipps!)...some never realize this and beat themselves (and others) up constantly.

Kids ought to win awards for reminding us of really basic and fundamental joys. Funny how adults claim sovereignty on the ability to focus...

enjoy!
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Old 04-26-07, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Correct.
Been recovering much?
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Old 04-26-07, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
Been recovering much?
Correct.

I have discovered this thing where you actually don't ride your bicycle for a day (go figure). I think some of you refer to these as 'rest days'. Very strange, but effective. This is F-ing up my previous prodigiously mileage totals, but I should still might hit 11-12K miles this year despite all that. You can't have everything.

In the meantime I love the Zipps, but yes, tubulars are an incredible pain in the ass. Latest tubular tire pain in the ass: leaky valve extentions. My local Zipp rep and my LBS tell me I have to remove the Conti sprinters, wrap the presta valves with teflon plumber's tape to make the seal between the Presta and the extender air-tight, and re-glue them in order to get the ******** friggin things to function properly. Is it worth it? Probably. But it does take some getting used to all over again.

Hint to bicycle tire industry: somebody figure this incredibly stupid bullsh!t out already and come up with a product for this purpose that works without a trip to True Value friggin hardware.
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Old 04-26-07, 06:16 AM
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This is why once I travel down the road of tubulars....I'll buy 'em from the local shop and let them worry about that kinda ****.

You do recovery rides much?
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Old 04-26-07, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
This is why once I travel down the road of tubulars....I'll buy 'em from the local shop and let them worry about that kinda ****.

You do recovery rides much?
It's actually easier for me to at least get proficient in dealing with everyday mechanical issues like tire stuff. My LBS is 40 miles away. Oh well. It's not that hard. Just a pain compared to clinchers.

Half my cycling life is recovery rides. I go hard 3 days each week, max 4 days. But to really recover I need to do NOTHING. And 2 days is better than 1. A week is even better. But that won't ever happen. Gotta ride.
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Old 04-26-07, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Correct.

I have discovered this thing where you actually don't ride your bicycle for a day (go figure). I think some of you refer to these as 'rest days'. Very strange, but effective. This is F-ing up my previous prodigiously mileage totals, but I should still might hit 11-12K miles this year despite all that. You can't have everything.

In the meantime I love the Zipps, but yes, tubulars are an incredible pain in the ass. Latest tubular tire pain in the ass: leaky valve extentions. My local Zipp rep and my LBS tell me I have to remove the Conti sprinters, wrap the presta valves with teflon plumber's tape to make the seal between the Presta and the extender air-tight, and re-glue them in order to get the ******** friggin things to function properly. Is it worth it? Probably. But it does take some getting used to all over again.

Hint to bicycle tire industry: somebody figure this incredibly stupid bullsh!t out already and come up with a product for this purpose that works without a trip to True Value friggin hardware.
Just think, once you move to a power meter and are using CyclingPeaks for monitoring your training, besides complete rest days messing with your yearly mileage total, you can obsess about the rests "efing-up" your TSS (Training Stress Score).

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Old 04-26-07, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
It's actually easier for me to at least get proficient in dealing with everyday mechanical issues like tire stuff. My LBS is 40 miles away. Oh well. It's not that hard. Just a pain compared to clinchers.

Half my cycling life is recovery rides. I go hard 3 days each week, max 4 days. But to really recover I need to do NOTHING. And 2 days is better than 1. A week is even better. But that won't ever happen. Gotta ride.
Fortunately my bike shop is about a 5 minute drive from my house (only because there's a lot of lights/stop signs)....right around 2 miles away.

Sounds like you need an SRM and a coach.
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Old 04-26-07, 07:05 AM
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I am just wondering why 404s if you are doing uphill TTs. Damn man 202s for the hill...404s for the flats and rollers.

But seriously good on you...I need to keep that in mind and make sure I am doing the right show for my 5 yr old.
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Old 04-26-07, 07:07 AM
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Well...404 tubulars aren't exactly "heavy"....
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Old 04-26-07, 07:16 AM
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404's are one of the best all around wheelsets out there. Very light (1300 grams/set), very aero (58mm rim section). I mainly got them for the advantage they confer @ speed - they are slightly faster. But they're lighter too, so they help going uphill as well. I'll do 2 uphill TT's every year. I'll do fast group rides and races over flat to rolling terrain much more frequently. I'll train on the Zipps 1-2x weekly and ride or race them 1x per week, so maybe they'll see 2-3 days per week. That means my Cdale will have much lower miles - because I don't really want to swap out brake pads every time I want to ride my clincher rims. Still trying to figure out that equation. Actually I don't think swapping brake pads is all that tough, I just have to get used to doing it. I did it once and it seemed easy.

That being said, it's kind of fun to have the Zipps to ride on a couple of days each week - very different feel to Zipp tubulars from Mavic ES clincher wheels/tires.

One thing I've re-discovered upon my return to road cycling is that excellent wheels are a major key to cycling gear. It doesn't make sense to me to buy a $4000 bike and equip it with a $400 wheelset.
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Old 04-26-07, 07:45 AM
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So....now that we've gotten the whole 404 debacle out of the way....when are you getting an SRM?
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Old 04-26-07, 07:51 AM
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Very good story. It is important to keep things in perspective. No matter how good someone is there is always someone better.
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Old 04-26-07, 07:56 AM
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Yea but you know you want a lighter wheelset than those Ksryiums...you even made the post...it's only a matter of time.
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Old 04-26-07, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Grasschopper
Yea but you know you want a lighter wheelset than those Ksryiums...you even made the post...it's only a matter of time.
Yeah, but at least the ES's won't crack when you hit a frost heave....unlike the 202's
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Old 04-26-07, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by geraldatwork
Very good story. It is important to keep things in perspective. No matter how good someone is there is always someone better.
Unless you're my dog Sam of course.

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Old 04-26-07, 08:47 AM
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