Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Race of Truth

Most people either love them or hate them.  I happen to be one of those who love them.  The individual time trial (ITT) is a race against the clock.  In French one would say: “contre la montre” and in Italian: “tappa a cronometro”.  Basically it is all about pushing your body to the point just below your anaerobic threshold until near the end of the race. 

The ITT is the most personal of all cycling events because it is just you, your bike, and the clock.  It is all about how well you optimize your energies to finish in the quickest time possible.  It all comes down to how willing you are to push yourself hard and endure the pain that comes from the effort.  For me personally a time trial is an epic fail if I bonk before arriving at the line or arriving at the line feeling like I could sustain the effort for another few minutes.  The best feeling in the world for me when crossing the line of a time trial is a mixture of feeling like I am going to vomit, which I have actually done on many occasions, my eyes burning from sweat, my legs on fire and feeling like they are about to pop out of my skin, and suffocating from lack of oxygen. 

If I feel this way when crossing the finish line of a TT then I know I gave it my all.  It doesn’t matter if I am standing on the podium or clapping while watching others climb onto the podium.  If I don’t have those particular feelings that I pushed my body as hard as I possibly could then that means I left something out on the course and to me it’s a major disappointment. 


At my last TT in July I was pleased with the effort I gave forth given the conditions.  Although I was a handful of ticks away from my PR I was pleased with the effort I put out.  It is always an honor to represent the Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling Team powered by Pathfinder and all of the great sponsors that we have.  I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this team.  And on this particular day it was a great feeling standing next to these two very fast guys. 

However, this was not the highlight of my day.  After crossing the line of my solo run instead of cooling down I rode straight back to the car to switch bikes.  I jumped off my fast aerodynamic TT bike and onto a heavy steel single speed with a tag-along attached.  And that is when the real fun began.


It was time for the stoker / kid category and Addie girl and I was ready to have some fun.  However, with my legs already buried deep in the hurt box I was really relying on her to give a strong effort.  Addie said she was feeling good and ready to rock n roll so we rode up to the start house, said a quick prayer for thanks and safety, and got ready to get our ride on. 


On the way out we were riding strong as Addie was spinning her little legs off and giving me encouragement to do the same.  This helped because my legs were feeling like bricks.  We hit the turnaround keeping a steady pace and then an unfortunate thing happened.  Addie yells in my ear, “Dad, I dropped my chain!”  The one thing a bike racer never wants to happen during a race and especially in a time trial. 


She then asks me, “What are we going to do?”  I think for a quick second about how long it would take to stop and get the chain back on and then blurt back out “Nothing!  Just stop pedaling and enjoy the ride because we’re NOT stopping!”  Then in the next few seconds I realized how much effort Addie truly was putting forth as I had to pedal for both of us. 

Things happen and today was one of those days.  But, hey, that’s bike racing right?  I am just glad it was the chain on the tag-along and not on the single speed because this allowed us to continue on to the finish without the delay of stopping to put a chain back on.  And the most important thing was that God gave us the ability to be out there doing what we love and kept us safe and we had fun.  I know in a short time I will not be able to do this with Addie as she will be wanting to compete on her own so I am going to enjoy it while it last. 

 (With our friend Jack)
In this blog I would like to give a big shout out to one of our main sponsors in particular, Pathfinder of WV bike shop.  Unfortunately I do not get to visit the shop as much as I would like to living in Ohio.  However, for those of you living in and around Morgantown please visit them for all your outdoor needs.  They don’t just sell and repair bikes.  They also carry canoes, kayaks, skis, snowboards and the equipment used for all these outdoor sports.  They are located at 235 High Street, Morgantown, WV.  You can reach them at (304) 296-0076 or stop by and see them from 10am to 6pm Monday through Friday or 10am to 5pm on Saturday.  I can guarantee you that if you stop in you will be greeted by a friendly sales staff and there mechanics are the best around.  And if you are looking for someone to ride with there is a good chance you will find someone at the shop.  So go see them!