I'd talked about writing a blog to chronicle my antics and adventures as a competitive amateur cyclist for a few years. I decided that this year, 2011, I'll actually do it. This post will serve as something I (and you) can look back to over the course of time and remember what my intentions were at the onset of this little endeavor. Simply put, I wanted to combine two of my strongest passions, writing and cycling, and this seemed like a good place to start.
So...2011. This will hopefully be a very big year for me. I've got a great new team with tremendous talent and experience, and I've set some pretty challenging, but not unrealistic goals for myself:
1) Upgrade to Category One; 2) Improve my Time-Trialing; 3) Five podiums with at least 2 wins.
I know, I know...everyone who has ever asked me for training or racing advice (you guys really need to have better role models...seriously) has heard me preach, "Don't set goals that revolve around numbers of wins or podiums". To those people: Do as I say, not as a I do. Honestly I think that advice is still very valid when you are starting out, racing as a Cat 4 or 5, and just getting into this crack-like addiction. However, as you progress to the higher ranks, and winning becomes the primary focus, having quantifiable, measurable results-based goals can be useful. You just have to be sure you possess the maturity to understand that you might not achieve those goals even if you do everything right..
In efforts to achieve said goals, I am continuing to work with Kevin, my coach from Carmichael Training Systems, whom I started working with in October of 2008. I've seen my ability and success sky-rocket since we started working together, and based on my latest field tests last week, it looks as though I'm reaching even newer heights this year. I'm still debating if I'll post my actual statistics here such as power, weight, etc. I'll probably just post race data once we start racing. No need to give the competition a look at my strengths and weaknesses...that's just poor Operational Security (OPSEC--hey, I was in the military so I'm going to use military jargon and acronyms...deal with it)
My racing schedule for 2011 is going to primary revolve around the Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association(MABRA) series since that is the team's focus, but I'll also be traveling to a few of the higher-profile out of area races for more experience and competition. Those "big" races so far are: April 10 - Tour of the Battenkill in Cambridge, NY (www.tourofthebattenkill.com) and May 30 - Tour of Somerville in Somerville, NJ (www.tourofsomerville.org).
Since I've moved up to Alexandria I had to leave my beloved, glowingly-green Fat Frogs Racing brethren down in VA Beach and Chesapeake, and seek new colors to wear and new faces to ride with. After a couple months of meeting local riders, going on various club rides, and talking to various teams in the area, I was graciously invited to race with the National Capital Velo Club / UnitedHealthcare Elite team. (www.ncvc.net) Now first off let me explain something for the non-cycling initiated. This is NOT a professional team. We don't get salaries, we all have real jobs, and we aren't nearly as cool as we all think we area. Do we have matching team bikes, helmets, shoes, jerseys, socks, etc? You bet! Did we have to buy all that stuff? YOU BET WE DID. (ok ok we got a free jersey and a free pair of shorts) Did we get some great discounts from our fantastic sponsors like Specialized Bicycles and Spokes, Etc? Indeed we did.
Now don't let any of my ranting fool you into thinking we aren't fast, or that we don't race with vicious tenacity and jump at every opportunity to make our opponents cry as their legs melt underneath them, but we'd do that even if nothing matched and we were on 30lb rusty Huffy's with playing cards in the spokes...
This post grew lengthier than I had anticipated. As my training and season progresses I'll continue to update. I'll also post about non-cycling topics too along the way. Off to hydrate and sleep.