Hello, again: 2018 prologue

 Hello. It’s been a while.

It’s been nearly two years since I used this site for anything other than having my own dot-com email domain. Let’s blame Medium for that. I got distracted by its fancy UI.

Anyway, I’ve found I miss writing about cycling, and though I’m not touring, I am spending an awful lot of time in the saddle. The pages of this site retell my cross-country trips, and going back and re-reading them is a fun blast of nostalgia.

I think it would be fun to document my racing escapades in a similar way. I love free-writing, but I also suffer from pre-publication anxiety. Thinking of stuff about which to write and then share is tough for me, but I am jazzed about this.

The story so far: last summer, I dove into the local race scene and had a bit of unexpected success. That landed me on the Sweet Spot Cycling team, which after some shuffling with the Richmond Bicycle Studio team, brings us into the 2018 season as a cat 3/4 team with about 15 riders, which as far as I can tell, is a pretty deep squad.

It feels as though empires have rose and fell over the course of this winter. A few  50° or 60° days on the weekends have been toupees on this bald head of a season, but the cold just gets me down, man. For me it’s a Herculean effort to sit on the trainer for longer than hour or ride in anything below 50°, so I’ve been trying to ride on the weekends while spending the weeknights mostly in the weight room, sometimes in the studio, occasionally atop the yoga mat, and sporadically on the soccer pitch.

Our first race as a team was a few weeks ago at Carytown Bikes’ Snowcone, a training race out in West Creek that was a great litmus test.

I felt stronger at Snowcone than I was expecting, especially considering it was a combined cat 1/2/3/4 field with some serious local heavy hitters in it. My rear tire punctured with ~5 laps to go which pretty much ended my race. Getting my heart rate back up into the 170’s after having to pause and fix a flat proved too hard and I fell off the back. Them’s the breaks.

Next on the calendar is the William & Mary Tidewater Classic on the 24th. I haven’t raced it before (which will be a common refrain this season) but it’s my understanding it’s a mostly flat course with a slight uphill finish, which I like the sound of.

As I’ve said previously, I feel very much among my people on the SSC team. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, yet race like we’re an animal that knows it’s halfway up the food chain. No less than two weeks after our shiny new team kits arrived in the mail, the studio announced it’ll be closing, which I choose to see as a type of gallows humor and not a bad omen. Ever since I got into Riding Bikes Fast™ I thought it’d be SO cool to be on a team and wear a team kit with matching shorts and jerseys. It’s pretty neat to have reached that point. A big thanks to Erin and Greg for allowing us to be the goofiest billboard imaginable for Sweet Spot.

In short, I’m stoked. I’m stoked for longer, warmer days, I’m stoked to travel throughout the state and region, I’m stoked to have tan lines again. And I’m stoked to archive it all here.

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