Time. As I am getting older I now see how precious this resource is. When it's all boiled down, it's what matters most. We are born, we die....and everything in between is a time continuum. It's the quality of how that time is spent in between those life markers that is most important.
But there's more to it.
I'm a pretty intense character as I've been told....and come to find. I like to win...in sport, in business, in life. Living this way created a vortex of self-obsessiveness. Obsessed with carving out 'my time'. The balance thing was in large part my mind struggling to ensure 'my' needs were met..while another bench of the teeter had my family on it (e.g. Work, Racing, Family) in its own compartment so to speak. And while I think I managed to ensure love, respect and quality all these years with that compartmentalized balancing act, it is time.
The time is now for pouring myself into these great kids. My needs are now focused on providing them a platform to feel their own successes. The only thing they want is...time. Time with mom and dad. Time to explore and feel safe and confident in themselves and their abilities. They do much of this on their own...but is intensified when a parent is with them to show them the way.
I will continue to pin on numbers and do what I can to go fast. But the joy I am having seeing these juniors learn, grow and thrive is in itself a new rush. All tempered with removing 'self' and any vicarious channeling of ego, but rather being their biggest fans and cheerleaders.
The time is right now. And it is so much fun.
Our good friend in Bahston, Chip Baker, master of Hup United and all things New Englad 'cross has a new gig at Honey Bikes and our man is stoked. I love hearing when people find that perfect/job/life fit and it's clear Chip's done that.
Honey has a new bike coming that I think you guys will drool over. A blend of old (custom steel tubing) and new (disc ready) to take you to your victories this season. Have a peek below...
Pretty sweet, huh? Have a look at their press release....
The family that bikes together...well, has FUN together! It's that time in our kids lives when we want to start looping them in to our passion...riding in the woods on fat tires. Problem is, the state of (really) small mountain bikes is a difficult one. It's not a very big market and rightfully the manufacturers mitigate their risk by not producing a ton of options. Buying off the shelf bikes for kids who are 'tweeners' (too big and advanced for off the shelf bikes and too small for 'adult' sized bikes) is really difficult but we were determined to get it done right for them. I want to ensure my kids could really 'feel' and control the bikes...so that meant careful choosing of frame and parts alike. WIth the help of Boulder Cycle Sport and some of my great friends and long-time industry honches, we were able to source and build up the following for the youngsters:
- Kinesis 'label-less' frames - 14" for 26" wheels
- Carver ridged carbon fiber front forks
- WTB wheels (tubeless)
- Shimano SLX group set
- 60mm stems & flat bars
- Old seat posts lying around
- Kenda rubber
- ESI grips ('suspension'...yes, these boys will learn tire pressure before suspension use)
- Cane Creek headset
Bikes came in about 17lbs and I can still move into lighter territory, but that will be the fun part. Some porn...
Extremely proud of my sons as they spoke for themselves and gave Denver Post auther Steve Lipsher their honest, organic opinions on the state of cycling, Lance and what it all means to them and "their" world of cycling.
Click the image below to read the full article...
It never ceases to amaze me, the inventive tricks the service staff at Boulder Cycle Sport have up their sleeves. I was in a pickle with a perfectly good pair of Mavic Furys...with the exception of a stripped cleat. I polled my internet friends with a tweet and I got many great responses...
Tips for getting a stripped/stuck bolt out of a cleat? Go internet! cc: @angryasian— Greg Keller (@mudandcowbells) March 15, 2013
But my man Zach Edwards at BCS had the cure. And it took exactly 30 seconds. Let me show you how he solved it.
Step 1: Here is the problematic bolt. Even with grease, over the past year the bolts seized to the mounting plates. I was able to get one out...
Step 2: Zach finds the right size drill bit that is just slightly smaller than the diameter of the whole head of the bolt.
Step 3: Braaaap! He drills straight through the head until it releases the cleat, leaving the bolt still in the plate.
You can see how the head sheared off here....
The remaining steps were simple: We pulled the plate out of the bottom of the shoe through the trap door access inside the shoe, under the sole (most good shoes have this access point.) Zach then used vice pliers to grab hold of the remaining bolt in the plate and twisted it right out! Bam! Total time was 30 seconds.
I reinserted the plate, greased up the threads and got my new cleats on. Like new.
Great tip from Zach and one anyone can do with a simple drill and bit.
It's time to begin to switch over the engine....both mind and body....to ride long, think hard and put in the time to re-charge. Rides with friends, rides solo...it doesn't matter. Just long and epic.
We started this past weekend...the "RTD' or Ride to Denver. Pete Webber has a phenomenal way to get to and from the 'big city', sending us on a Colorado Road Ride which is mainly dirt road and trail like you see above.
We trekked our way along this route, on our way to visit the NAHMBS which came to visit the Mile High City this year. Tons of eye candy which I'm sure you've seen by now all over the webs.
Most importantly, along with all these long rides, this time of year signifies reflection. And one of those reflections was the Boulder Junior Cycling 'CX Celebration' night where we honor the kids and their amazing season. It never ceases to impress me what they do each fall and winter. They're not like other kids...frankly like other adults! I mean, who in their right mind would intentionally choose to pedal their bike in 20 degree weather with ice and sleet raining down. Well, these kids do. With a smile.
It also deeply re-enforces to me how kids feel success and the role we play in helping them. It's never about the results...only about their personal progress. Did they make mistakes? Was each lap smoother? Did they bobble? Were they able to bridge to another faster group? Progress. It's like a little microcosm of life they're learning and all the coaches are so proud to be a part of that.
On to the spring.
It's finally silent in my head. The thrashing going on inside was like none other I'd experienced before, during or after a race in an attempt to separate the signals from the noise on what I'd witnessed and felt. The success from the failures. The amazing experiences to the let downs. Trying to parse out what 2013 would be like for me after this experience. I needed a few days to separate myself from Louisville. And days later after re-entering the atmosphere of home and work, I am still tired to the bone. My ears still ringing from the roar of the crowd all day Saturday at the elite race. My vocal chords still shredded from screaming my guts out at my friends and racers streaking by us lap after lap. My legs and soul equally cashed from the racing we did the week before. A needed few days of separation between all of this and my last race season, the Master's World Championship. I learned so much this trip…like I continue to learn year after year. But the questions in my head I intimately know the answers to still surface. Why do I still feel impulsed to put my hand back in the white hot flame? I know what the results will be as I watch my own flesh bubble. But why do I put back in again? And again? I'll answer that.
So much was different between this race and the first Worlds I'd done in Mol, Belgium a few years back. Quite honestly, this was more like "U.S. Nationals Part Deux" than a World Championship...although the lone Euro from Spain in our group (40-44's) Marco Prieto, who I give props to for making the journey over to participate, certainly was a worthy World's challenger as we'd come to find.
That's it. As far as training is concerned, 'what's there is there' and 'what will be will be', given good luck and good legs on the day. We are amped here in Boulder. AMPED to race, see our friends from around the country and abroad and celebrate our sport.
Four months. Four months of racing for me and I'm still hungry given a truncated season. A season that again seemed to challenge me in so many ways given yet another broken collarbone in late August and a resultant season of hurry-up-and-try-to-get-fit-along-the-way. Nothing was going to stop me from crawling back on and doing what I love so dearly.
And now we're here. Just days leading up to our trip to Louisville, KY and the Masters World Championships followed by the biggest cyclocross event this nation has ever seen: the Elite World Championships. At this moment I still can't believe I'm here, that I'm going and have enough motivation to tear legs off and go and do my best.
It's incredible when I step back and look at all the support I have in my life to do what I love so much. A few shout outs...
- My wife and family: who deeply understand the teeter totter and how the bike, my sport and my friends balance my life and bring me great joy.
- Brandon and the crew at Boulder Cycle Sport who take such great care of me. I'd love to bring them National Championships (but I think Pete and Brandon have that covered! ha!) but they know how proud I am to wear that Orange we wear and coach all the folks new to the sport who I see fall in deeper love race after race as they see their own improvements the 'Ambassadors' and I teach them. I'll never forget walking in the first BCS shop near my house the day they opened in 2005, seeing Brandon stocking shelves and saying: "So, do you guys do cross?". The rest is history.
- Pete Webber for spending his valuable time convincing me I can compete at the level I know I can compete at, coaching me to keep a hurting engine to keep going and mainly believe I can flow again. You all have no idea how disciplined Pete is with his preperation and focus to the sport but most importantly how much time he spends helping this community to do their best individually and show the country how we love this sport collectively.
- Ridley, SRAM, Bell Helmets Clement Tires Anthem Branding, Harshman Wealth Mix1 and Mavic who graciously support this old man and allow me such amazing communication lines to provide feedback and help evangelize such incredible products. I can only do that because they are 'the biggest little companies' on earth who relish these racer channels.
- Our community of 'crossers here in Boulder. This is what we do. From our juniors to masters, we simply live for cross and live to shout our guts out at each other to race, do our best and represent where we're from proudly.
The bikes and equipment are packed an in-route at this exact moment. We're going to go celebrate cross, race, spectate and come back to our respective homes and evangelize what we've seen to anyone who'll listen. But for now, we rest and think about the week to come.
It's only a matter of days now. My head is spinning a bit given the maelstrom of things going on from business to family to training...all leading up to the big show in Louisville KY. My last foray at a World Championship was in Mol, Belgium some 5 years ago. The lead up then was intense....although almost all self-imposed stress. This time it's sort of a good 'stress'. Much positive energy coming from all seats of my teeter-totter. It's just a lot of energy to handle at the moment!
We're still staying on top of it here in Boulder. We went from sub-arctic temps and snow we trained in to 60deg temps and blue skies. Lots of great miles and lots of large smiles as we slay each other to ensure Colorado represents well in Louisville.
Our training rides have consisted of a lot of mock racing. Shorter/wicked intense efforts combined with long dirt miles on some of our favorite loops.
The Ridley X-Fires are also getting their final preps.The cabling is still spot on after a full season due to it's 100% sealing so only things like brake pads are getting re-freshed. These bikes are literally build and ride. Very little maintnece thankfully.
One final addition I am making however comes by way of my friends at K-Edge. They are such great supporters and want to ensure I have a problem feree ride in their own unique way...but ensuring I have thier K-Edge Double XL Chain Catcher is affixed to both bikes. Such huge thanks Tim and Team K-Edge!!
One week to go. One week filled with immensely important business meetings, travel and in 7 days time, my first heat race. I am so amped for it all and the celebration of the most elite-level cross in the world right here on our soil. It truly is like a dream come true after devoting so much of my soul, my life and my time to this sport that I love.
Wish us luck and more from the road in Louisville!