The end of my race season is marked by the annual international travel with my wife! It never seems to last long enough. I don't ever take a bicycle so I am forced to do extended walking and hiking as a form of cross-training for the following year. I doesn't hurt that my wife can "walk me into the ground." She will power walk for 12 straight hours and I will be begging to take a break.
Travel coming to an end in Mid November leaves me excited to plan for the upcoming season and allows for some fun specific riding. I ride with anticipation for my final big "fun ride" of the season called the "fat boy birthday ride." A large group of guys and gals gather in West Virginia to ride and celebrate the birth of the "All Mighty" Jr Petsko. We endure the elements riding On and OFF road-usually in some wicked conditions. This year was no exception. I don't typically ride in these conditions but it is so much fun to get out there in a non-competitive ride with these peeps!
Serious planning starts to take place looking toward the New Year. Preparation for 2014 race season needs to begin. My favorite place to go and reflect on the previous year and plan for next is
the BEACH & Brunson Villa, Surf City, NC.
Two of Our Best Friends live here and love to have visitors! Lucky for us we love to travel; So serious training starts for 2014 here at their home in North Carolina were I ride all morning and walk the beaches with my wife Caito in the afternoon. The roads are flat here in North Carolina and you cannot hide from the wind. It is a perfect place to commit to the saddle and get in long steady miles.
Every day Chef Myrna would say that I can't go ride without a little something to give me energy! She always choose an international theme for the meals of the Day. This day she did a Turkish tribute meal in recognition of ours recent travels. It usually turns out that I'd rather to take a nap after the daily breakfast than ride! My wife and Myrna laugh and say that I'm breaking my daily bread before I leave with my mistress (The Cannondale EVO) for the morning.
GOOD MORNING and Thank You Chef Myrna!
As I prepare to get on the road, Caito and Myrna usually make a few jokes about my stretchy pants. I tell them that "sometimes when you are a MAN-you wear Zee stretchy pants!"
Myrna shakes her head while taking this picture and asks, "how can you sit on that seat?" I told her it is all about the cyclists Fizik Arione! She said that sounds sexy but she didn't speak Italiano!
When I'm lucky I get to meet up with some of the Southern competition to ride. It's great because they are preparing for early February racing so it forces me to push myself a little more. This is Ian having an easy time around the 50 mile mark forcing me on into the headwinds!
A few hundred miles later I am tired but relaxed. The stresses of days passed are replaced with optimistic day dreams of the season to come. I sometimes reflect on the reason why I put myself through the pain of training and cycling competitively. I always come back to a similar answer...
... I like to push myself. I love to test myself. I like to belong to something bigger than just me. I love the responsibility that comes with being a team member. I like to be a better me. I love to help the people around me be a better them and somewhere deep down inside I don't want to smell Roses. I still wonder what it would be like to be fit enough to smell the Lavender Mid-Summer with these guys!
Thank You to all those that help Our Dreams become one step closer to Our Realities. We cannot do it Alone...