Monday, March 2, 2015

The Daylight Savings Time At The End Of The Tunnel

You only do two days, the day you go in and the day you get out. – Avon Barksdale, The Wire

With Daylight Savings Time less than a week away, I’ve been thinking about the above quote and somehow trying to make it apply to winter, the annual prison sentence of cyclists. The fact of the matter is that the quote just doesn’t make that much sense. I think it’s about suspending belief/disassociating during one’s prison sentence, but is that really the best way to handle things?

Regardless, it seems that winter may finally be coming to an end. My mere hour of outdoor riding yesterday while having icy slush spray my butt the entire time might not be indicative of that, but the fact that I got a different hour in after work on Wednesday and only needed my lights for the last five minutes was. As for the fact that I only logged two hours of outdoor riding this week, that’s not such a great sign for the spring to come, but the fact that I didn’t have that slow, weak, “I’m going to die” feeling that has plagued me all winter seemed like the light at the end of a different kind of tunnel. When I said my Wednesday ride didn’t suck, Frank’s reply was, “I think that’s the first positive thing you’ve said about riding all winter.”

I successfully completed my planned weight training this week, and my two hours of outdoor riding was supplemented by a trip to The Wheel Mill in Pittsburgh, since it was still a little too cold to accomplish much outdoors on Saturday. I was hoping to get more out of this trip, but the place was much more BMX oriented than what we were expecting. I’ve never been to Ray’s, so I’m not sure how it compares. We were definitely the only people there in spandex on XC bikes with clipless pedals, though, and that was a big mistake. Early on in our adventure, I lost momentum on the wooden pump track, slid backward down the whoop, fell off onto the concrete floor, and cut my elbow pretty badly.

My confidence was pretty low after that, and we spent most of the rest of the time in the “basic skills” room after the five-year-old birthday party that was in there when we arrived had cleared out. It at least gave me a time to work on my front wheel lifts which I have managed to remain pretty terrible at despite mountain biking for nearly nine years now and having become pretty decent in other technical areas. I have managed to get by pretty well with my “monster truck” style, but I know that I could be a lot better if I ever developed some more fine-tuned front-end control.

So fast I'm blurry...

Despite my continued low volume of training this week, I guess I’m more focused on the positive than the negative, which is a good sign. I feel like winter will finally end soon and that I will get back into shape eventually. I realized that the first MASS XC is only eight weeks away, and I’m still a little worried about being in shape for that. Really, though, if I don’t feel up to racing by then, I don’t have to. Nothing really matters until September, where I’m determined to make a better run at the whole #eastcoastcross thing in my second season here.

The cycling year ain’t nothing but two days: the day ‘cross season starts and the day ‘cross season ends. I think that may be more true than the prison thing.

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