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Author Topic: Not really a rant, more like a vent.  (Read 610 times)

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Online miles

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Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« on: May 20, 2020, 12:00:22 AM »
Well, the covid-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things for a lot of people, but for the most part I'm not one of them. I've been a little inconvenienced at worst, for which I am extremely grateful.

No health problems, no loss of work at this point, never even ran out of TP even though we never panic bought.

One way that my life has been rearranged, although inconsequential in the big picture but important to me, is that my plans for the year have been shot to hell.

Some of you may know that I'm a bike racer. I started in the early '80s in the velodrome, then raced road and once mountain biking became a thing raced those, too- all with some degree of success.
I had pretty much hung it up in 2007, more or less done with everything I felt I needed to do in the sport.
Last year, though, I recaught the drive and started riding again, and soon enough got past the "Oh my god, this is so hard and I'm going so slow!" phase and back into some degree of form. I did a couple of races and the legs cooperated and I was happy with my return to fitness.
This season I had a good, solid calendar full of 50-140 mile races planned out and had worked up a really solid training plan...

And then a global pandemic hit. Every race I'd entered got canceled for this season. Every single one, and honestly, I'd skip any that didn't at this point. I have no need to get myself sick, as I've seen how covid can wreck peoples' shit hard-core. I'm not even sure that I'd be in any hurry to mix in with hundreds (or possibly thousands, in some races) of other racers in close proximity even once the are allowed to occur again.

So now I'm feeling a bit adrift. My training plans were completely geared towards peaking on certain days, dates that are now meaningless. I'm still enjoying riding, and my form is coming along fine, but without any sort of goal it's hard to even care much.

I'm clearly going to have to reprioritize away from racing.  In fact, it may be that racing is simply no longer in my cards at all. But now what?
Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries

Online Flyer

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 05:08:14 AM »
It’s not an elbow to elbow adrenalin rush, but Zwift races seem to be all the (indoor) rage.
Turbo trainers are in critically short supply...
https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/vermaerke-rates-everest-challenge-one-of-the-hardest-things-i-have-ever-done/
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Online Vulcanbill

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 06:17:49 AM »
Become a virtual trainer for others to help drag them up to the next level.  I have no idea what that looks like but I suspect you'd be more inclined to do your own thing than go to work for that exercise bike company.  Either way, it's an option for using your fitness for good and helping out others to get or stay fit.  All it would take would be one person to lose a bunch of life ending fat and get into some kind of decent condition to check your making a difference box.  You could even organize local rides and still maintain distance and safety.  The right people would flock to sign up for that. 
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Offline naustin

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2020, 06:49:34 AM »
Only takes 2 guys and a stop watch to make a race.   Pick a road, pick a date, invite a friend or two who could honestly beat you and who you trust won’t give you the plague and organize your own race.   

Online miles

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2020, 08:15:11 AM »
It’s not an elbow to elbow adrenalin rush, but Zwift races seem to be all the (indoor) rage.
Turbo trainers are in critically short supply...
https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/vermaerke-rates-everest-challenge-one-of-the-hardest-things-i-have-ever-done/


Heh.  I've been looking at local roads I could use for an Everesting attempt.



I do have a Kickr but I just can't bring myself to set it up in front of the TV.  Seriously, I'd rather go outside for a ride.
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Online miles

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2020, 08:18:10 AM »
Become a virtual trainer for others to help drag them up to the next level.  I have no idea what that looks like but I suspect you'd be more inclined to do your own thing than go to work for that exercise bike company.  Either way, it's an option for using your fitness for good and helping out others to get or stay fit.  All it would take would be one person to lose a bunch of life ending fat and get into some kind of decent condition to check your making a difference box.  You could even organize local rides and still maintain distance and safety.  The right people would flock to sign up for that.


A few years ago when I actually had free time I coached a high school mountain bike team. That was a lot of fun and extremely rewarding, but ultimately just too much of a time commitment and scheduling that I simply couldn't get my work day to accommodate.

As for individuals, I've done that, too, and am trying to cajole a few friends to get out and ride.
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Online miles

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2020, 08:20:24 AM »
Only takes 2 guys and a stop watch to make a race.   Pick a road, pick a date, invite a friend or two who could honestly beat you and who you trust won’t give you the plague and organize your own race.   


That's what Strava is all about. I've been enjoying my gradual progress up the leaderboards in a handful of local segments, and in fact own the KOM (King Of the Mountain) title in one.
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Online melville

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 06:47:05 AM »
Interesting perspective.  I started on the roads in the 80s and took to the track when I moved to Seattle.  I 'quit' racing when my son was born, but I only really quit pinning on the numbers on Friday nights.  Until I moved to Humboldt and cell phones took off.  I had an injury and took a year off and when I came back it wasn't quite the same.  All I saw was people on phones weaving all over the roads.  And a couple riders died hit from behind in separate incidents.  One of the assailants did a year in jail. The other wasn't even prosecuted.  I was not encouraged by this.  I also took up surfing and yoga.  I've done maybe 20 miles a year most of the last ten years.

I'm about to move and one thing I've noticed about my new home is that the roads look more spacious, safer for bikes, better sight lines, all that.  There appears to be a strong riding community.
 I'm looking forward to riding again.  Not sure I'll race again, as it's still 300 miles to Alpenrose.  And I have yet to get my track bikes out of the ex's house. 
Call me Mel. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me at home, I thought I would ride about a little and see the other parts of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.

Online miles

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 08:36:35 AM »
Alpenrose is a funny little track. Having grown up on San Diego's 333M shallow banking, when I first raced there in Portland I couldn't believe how tight and steep it was.

Where are you planning to move?  The big deal these days in cycling is gravel riding, and my impression is that it's mainly spurred by riders such as yourself that don't feel safe on road any more.
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Online melville

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 09:10:55 AM »
Where I live now, there's lotsa gravel.  Most of the (little) riding I've done the last few years has been on the mountain bike in the city-owned forest/park.

I'm moving to Ashland.  There's enough population distributed enough that there are decent county roads, not just the state highways like here in Humboldt.  Where I am now, the county roads are mostly chip seal and neglected.  No shoulders, no sight lines due to our amazing forests.  I felt safer in downtown Seattle at rush hour than I do here on a Sunday morning.
Call me Mel. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me at home, I thought I would ride about a little and see the other parts of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.

Offline tankhead

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2020, 09:12:53 AM »
I gave up racing MTB in 2002.. Only did one races that year.  A couple 24 hours team races in 97 and 98.  A handful of semi local during those years.  I found out I really didn't like it. I certainly did not like the hours and hours of road riding I had to do to keep that kind of fitness. 
During this time of the COVID, I have really been enjoying my fat bike.  I have been training weekly to get some fitness back.  From zero miles a month to 250 miles of off road riding a month since Feb..  Where I live now there are miles of double track in the sandy pine barrens that make for endless exploring/training rides.  I really have not been this enthused about riding since 2003.  Feels good to be back..... but I have zero interest in racing. 
Best of luck.
Chris

Online miles

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2020, 09:21:57 AM »
Where I live now, there's lotsa gravel.  Most of the (little) riding I've done the last few years has been on the mountain bike in the city-owned forest/park.

I'm moving to Ashland.  There's enough population distributed enough that there are decent county roads, not just the state highways like here in Humboldt.  Where I am now, the county roads are mostly chip seal and neglected.  No shoulders, no sight lines due to our amazing forests.  I felt safer in downtown Seattle at rush hour than I do here on a Sunday morning.


I'd be careful road riding near Ashland.  If the drivers see you on a road bike they might just run you over assuming you're from Eugene.
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Online melville

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2020, 10:32:47 PM »
Where I live now, there's lotsa gravel.  Most of the (little) riding I've done the last few years has been on the mountain bike in the city-owned forest/park.

I'm moving to Ashland.  There's enough population distributed enough that there are decent county roads, not just the state highways like here in Humboldt.  Where I am now, the county roads are mostly chip seal and neglected.  No shoulders, no sight lines due to our amazing forests.  I felt safer in downtown Seattle at rush hour than I do here on a Sunday morning.


I'd be careful road riding near Ashland.  If the drivers see you on a road bike they might just run you over assuming you're from Eugene.

Nah, there's a roadie culture here.  Looks like actual racers and not your usual Cat 6 Strava junkies.
Call me Mel. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me at home, I thought I would ride about a little and see the other parts of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.

Online miles

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2020, 11:05:02 PM »
Things must have changed since I lived in Oregon in the early '90s...

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Online viffergyrl

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2020, 09:16:19 AM »
Things must have changed since I lived in Oregon in the early '90s...

Yeah... almost 30 years ago. One would hope.
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Online melville

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2020, 08:47:27 AM »
Things must have changed since I lived in Oregon in the early '90s...

Yeah... almost 30 years ago. One would hope.

Ashland itself is home to United Bicycle Institute.  My house will be just a couple blocks away.

Lotsa shops in and out of town, but I haven't checked them out in this COVID universe.
Call me Mel. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me at home, I thought I would ride about a little and see the other parts of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.

Online miles

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2020, 09:38:00 AM »
Things must have changed since I lived in Oregon in the early '90s...

Yeah... almost 30 years ago. One would hope.

Ashland itself is home to United Bicycle Institute.  My house will be just a couple blocks away.

Lotsa shops in and out of town, but I haven't checked them out in this COVID universe.


UBI has always been there.  The problem back in the '90s was that automation was putting all the loggers out of work, but they were easily led into believing it was the environmentalists shutting them out of the forests.  There were lots of "Save a logger- eat an owl" bumper stickers (referring to the spotted owl, an endangered species that only nests in old-growth forests).  in Southern Oregon, mostly around Medford but also to a degree around Ashland and Grass Pants, these loggers saw people from Eugene and Portland as 'the enemy'.  Since they all knew Eugene was bike crazy, the assumption was that any adult out riding a bike was a hippie tree hugger.

Well, 30 years later, all those unemployed loggers would have either died off or moved on with life, I guess.  But back then, a "Stumps don't lie" bumper sticker on your car parked out at a trailhead was an invite to come back to a burned up vehicle.
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Offline ChrisFZ1

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2020, 10:06:42 AM »
To be fair, the save the owl crowd engaged in some pretty nasty behavior themselves.

Offline Bounce

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2020, 11:08:38 AM »
Spiking trees was unbelievable.

Online miles

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2020, 05:02:38 PM »
Spiking trees was unbelievable.
To be fair, the save the owl crowd engaged in some pretty nasty behavior themselves.


It seems you two have fallen for the logging industry propaganda.

You know how many loggers were killed by tree spikes?  If you said "none at all" you were in fact correct. 

Tree spikes were never intended to cause any injury.  the whole idea is that spiked trees would be well marked, and loggers would avoid them not because they might hit the spikes with their chainsaws, since the spikes were well above the height any logger would ever cut a tree.

The threat of tree spikes was actually against mill saws, which are extremely expensive.  in fact, the only injury ever attributed to tree spikes in the US Northwest was in '97, when a millworker was injured when the mill saw hit a spike.

After that incident, Earth First! (which had been the main proponent of the tactic) publicly denounced tree spiking.  They'd never wanted anyone hurt.

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Offline ChrisFZ1

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2020, 05:40:26 PM »
Oh yes, loggers were Hitlers and save the owls were snowwhites.  C'mon, you don't expect anyone to believe that.

Online miles

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2020, 06:32:51 PM »
Oh yes, loggers were Hitlers and save the owls were snowwhites.  C'mon, you don't expect anyone to believe that.


Just because you said it doesn’t mean anybody is going to believe it.  :shrug:
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Online melville

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Re: Not really a rant, more like a vent.
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2020, 09:13:37 AM »
Oh yes, loggers were Hitlers and save the owls were snowwhites.  C'mon, you don't expect anyone to believe that.

I've been in logging country for 21 years.  Logging company management is the actual enemy of the working man.  I see the retired millworkers every winter, guys who put in 20 or 30 years at it, and they have company pensions for just $3K/year.  I don't even ask anymore after hearing some of them rant about how the CEO screwed them.
Call me Mel. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me at home, I thought I would ride about a little and see the other parts of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.