• Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills, MI

  • Racing the Provincial's Crit 2014

  • Forest City Velodrome - London, ON

  • Larkenville Challenge, Buffalo, NY

  • Winning the Sprint at the ForestCity Velodrome

  • Track Nationals 2014: Keirin

  • Track Nationals 2014: Points Race

  • OCUP #1: Feb 2015

I was asked today why I train/race/ride. I spend a lot of time and effort getting faster, working hard, etc.. Let's face it, at age 45, I'm not going to the Olympics or even the Pam-Am games. It's not unheard of for someone 40+ to make it, but everyone else has been training their entire life, and I started 3-4 years ago. There are masters categories for the provincials, nationals, and worlds, but I still have some work to do to reach the world class calibre even in the master's divisions.

I think this photo sums up why I spend so must effort:

mark-10

(Press CLOSE INFO above, left to see the whole photo) 

It's moments like the one above that I will never forget. This photo was shot in the Nith River Road Race where I fell off the front of the pack for half a lap. Yes, I fell off the front of the pack. Really, I train to be fit enough to have fun during a race or a fast paced group ride. To be able to keep up on Jane St. on the Donut Ride. Yea, I might remember my moment of glory stepping on the podium, but last season I spent so much effort trying to get to the podium, I lost focus of why I ride: to have fun. The most fun I had last season was sleeping the day away, the day after breaking my collar bone. It's moments like above I want to be to remember. It may not be a big deal to anyone else, but it's what drives me. 

 

Here is another moment:

MLandry Centurion BMR-110917-00149

Killing it in the Centurion C25 riding the completely wrong bike and getting put on a two page spread in Canadian Cycling Magazine. This photo also made Eon D'Ornellas a happy man. It's another race I'll never forget (and nevermind I flatted about 10secs after the above photo was taken).

Maybe I am a bit of a glory hound, but all the training and time spent on the bike is so I can be fit enough to race competitively, and enjoy it. I see a lot of guys show up to the race, and never finish or fall off the back of the pack, and I just can't understand why they do that. I want to be able to hold my own in the pack, ride at the front if need be, and be able to see the finishing sprint first hand if not be that guy that crosses the line in the top five. To me, it's no fun to be dying through the entire race to finish near the bottom of the list or to DNF. At the same time, I want to be able to ride stupid long rides like the Hairshirt or to ride to Niagara Falls because I can, go do a slow group ride on a Sat because I'd rather socialize than train, and basically remember why I start all this: to have fun. I want to be fit enough to have fun.

So, the goals for these season are a bit simpler:

  • To have fun.
    • When riding stops being fun, I have to remember to take a week (or more) off, forget about that race on the weekend, etc..
  • Keep up with the track.
    • I want to kill it in the Track Provincials. You'll find me there more often on Wednesday nights. I also want to race in the US at some of the outdoor tracks in the Northern US and maybe make a trek to L.A.
    • Being able to race competitively in the A category at the FCV. This is as much a mental thing as a physical one.
  • Focus on Crits which are more closely related to track racing.
    • I intend to race at Speedweek in the US.
    • Try and win the Midweek 1st race and still have enough in the tank be able to race in the second race.
  • More focused training and less racing including keeping up with strength training through the summer.
    • I want to be able to squat twice my body weight. 

My longer term goals currently are:

  • Race in France.
    • I don't care if I win, I just want to be able to race on the hills to say I've done it. This is more of a bucket list item. Anyone can ride/race a Sportif.
    • This may happen in 2014.
  • Give up on road racing. Assuming there is a good program for track racing year round at the soon to be built Milton Velodrome, I'll use race the track and ride the road. I find track fun. No gears, no brakes, no limitations. My daughter keeps telling me if she wins the lottery, she is building my a velodrome.
  • Race the Track Worlds before I out of the 40-49 category.

 Speaking of glory, check out the Jan/Feb issue of Bicycling Magazine to see my tips (and a lot of others) on how to use the bike to lose weight.

 

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