The snow is falling again. The brief warm up that hosted our team training weekend consisting of my longest ride ever and the first race of 2013 was short lived. I’m staring out my office window in a Pittsburgh high rise at what is quickly become a near white out. I’m still digesting the good conversation, beautiful scenery, 10th place result, and all the perks of being a team rider for Dynamic Physical Therapy P/B Pathfinder. I’m feeling one of those perks now. As I type my legs are still screaming after completing my Wednesday trainer workout courtesy of my coach and team sponsor Rob from Performance Coaching Services. Riding in after that workout may not have been the best idea but I just hooked up my Ridley with a more commuter friendly Kenda tire and I wanted to put that new rubber to road so here I sit in agony. This past weekend was a great kickoff to the season. Good food and beer from the Morgantown Brewing Company on Friday, an amazing team ride on Saturday, and training race on Sunday.
It's hard to write a first blog post. Laying some foundation is probably important. I'm a Pittsburgh native that has spent the past few years living in New York. Professionally I have worked in the action sports world marketing brands like Salomon Snowboards and Red Bull before making a jump to the agency side. Emily (my better half) and I decided to start a family and come back to Pittsburgh in June of 2011. Emily and our Daughter Palmer provide a softness in my heart that all these tattoos can’t hide. With fatherhood came lifestyle changes and a bicycle. I spent years commuting in New York on track bikes and in March of 2012 I decided to pick up my first road bike. Back to the family, I ride for them. They are my motivation. My Road ID bracelet reads “everything for Palmer” so when I think I can’t make another pedal stroke up a gnarly climb I force myself to think about telling my daughter I couldn’t do it. I hope cycling seeps into her DNA naturally from exposure at an early age. At 15 months she already has 5 cowbells and a tiny pink bike. I pick my battles wisely and my family travels well. Race weekends now need to be sweetened up with a country town, bed and breakfast, nice restaurant, and a result that I can live with. After completing my first couple of races last year we took a trip to Lancaster PA for the Turkey Hill Country Classic. I placed 4th in the 4/5 category and I was hooked. Unfortunately for me, ABRA road races feature a lot more climbing.
Besides finding a new way to suffer through cycling, ABRA races have also provided me with a reliable family of like minded people from many different places. All united by pain, bikes, and…during cyclocross season, BEER. I remember showing up to my first few races so nervous that it took everything not to vomit and I had to force myself out of my car to warm up. Now I look forward to riding alongside the folks that I only see on race weekends.