I traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, this weekend with friends to ride in a 150 mile race called Gravel Worlds. The country side was fantastic. The gravel was a funky mixture of what felt like riding on sand/fine gravel. The gravel is definitely not the hard chunky stuff we have around here. The guys of the Pirate Cycling League put on a great event and I’ll definitely go back next year! I had so much fun hanging out in Lincoln with friends for a weekend of cycling!!
How’d I do? First of all let me say congratulations to Tim and Kristi Mohn and Jeff Young. All three finished strong on a course that was 150 miles of nothing but rollers. Way to represent Emporia! Me? I rode 84.7 miles of the 150 miles and called it quits. I felt physically fine. No cramps. Butt hurt a little due to lack of seat time but really, no excuses. I was just…done. I tried to rationalize it. Every time someone asked me “why?” I came up with a different answer. All the answers sounded lame though. The same thing happened to me at Farmhouse Classic. Just decided I was done.
The answer finally hit me on the way home today and I’m not sure what to do about it. It’s a simple answer really and I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out. I simply need to get stronger and I need to get faster so I feel like I’m competitive. My bailout point the past two long races came at the point when my pace had slowed down to where the field was gaining on me, rather than me working my way through the field. I could still have finished the course but at such a slow pace…my fellow riders would have been waiting hours for me. I don’t need to be Top 20 faster but…I need to get faster.
So now that I have the answer, what do I do? No idea. Free time is something I treasure with my family so we’ll see. May have to start a Thompson Family cycling club.
Until then, I’ll keep going to these wonderful events and meeting some great people and great riders!
I’ve always been pretty good at this. Setting my mind to doing something and focusing so hard on accomplishing the goal that I can’t fail. The goal doesn’t have to be big. Sometimes it just involves brushing my teeth before bed. Other times it’s fixing the back screen door or doing some long bike ride. The journey is not always pretty. Sometimes it’s downright ugly, takes way too long, contains way too many cusswords, involves me making a temporary ass of myself, throwing down a hammer only to watch the hammer bounce into my shin, etc…but there is always a successful end result followed by a period of self reflection, apologies if needed to those within earshot or those who witnessed the spectacle and then finally the internal pride of knowing the job got done.
Any issues that arise from point A to point Z are 100% my fault and a direct result of procrastination. I set a goal, give myself a reasonable amount of time to attack the task…and then think about it until said goal is a few days away or in some cases minutes away.
I’m bringing this up now because I’ve decided to ride in a 150 mile bicycle race near Lincoln, NE in 3 weeks. I had an unsuccessful 100 mile ride last month primarily because I didn’t prepare and took it for granted. Three weeks is not a lot of time to prepare if I want to finish the race in a respectable amount of time BUT I’ve made up my mind to do it. So I will. I have faith that barring a mechanical failure I can mentally force myself to finish the race. Time will tell. I have no idea what my speed will be but I’ll ride until someone says, “Get in the truck we’re all waiting for you and want to go home now.”
Wish me luck. You don’t have to actually type it out or anything. Just whisper it under your breathe real quick. There. Was that hard to do? Btw…I don’t really believe in luck so I guess that might have been a waste of time for you. My bad. Brings up an interesting idea though. Quick! Look over your right shoulder real fast! Wonder how many of you did it? Wonder how many of you didn’t do it but are now thinking of doing it and will eventually cave and do it 30 seconds from now. Interesting.
Not sure where I was going with that but I just looked over my own shoulder…I’ll follow up in a few weeks and let you know how the race went. The link for it is here: http://piratecyclingleague.blogspot.com/