Cycling Inquisition Socks

These showed up today...  Love the little extras, ate the Colombian candy before I could take a picture.

Cycling Inquisition has an amazing interview right now with Bart Wellens regarding CX and is simply my favorite online blog.

Untitled: come ride February 16th and/or 17th

These CRS files can be downloaded and then dragged and dropped into your garmin device



I'm planning on riding both days and will have GPS routes posted plus basic cue cards.  Everyone is welcome.

Overall itinerary-

8 am Saturday and Sunday leave from Quarry Hill's main parking lot and ride 60-80 miles with a full on lunch stop (routes will be adjusted if weather is ridiculous).  Here are the routes-



            View this Course on MapMyRide



            View this Course on MapMyRide

7pm Saturday we will head out for food and a few beer stops

Saturday's route will be south likely hitting bits of the old and new Almanzo course with a stop in Dover and Chatfield.

Sunday's will touch the Ragnarok and Dickie Scramble courses with a stop at the Huddle in Elgin.

I have room for a couple people to sleep in my basement if you are interested-  think I may have two already. Please don't be allergic to Dickie the Dog.  Email me:  rideonpurpose@gmail.com


Why riding in the winter is awesome

1.  Forget miles...  you measure your rides in hours.  7 hard hours might only be 60 miles but as the weather warms and your fitness comes together the miles come back and fast!

2.  Everyone is friendly...  I would say 85% of all cars I see on the back roads this time of year genuinely wave and are supportive.  There is this image in my head of riding through a small town in Italy back in the day on the right color bike with the right kit and the townspeople coming out of their shops to watch...  it keeps me going sometimes.

3.  You fall and it doesn't hurt real bad...  I've gone down 4 or 5 times in the last week but with no real ill effects.  Being that close to the edge has to be great for your bike handling (for the record the falls were all in 'safe' places such as very secluded roads or trails-  I don't push it like that on major roads)

4.  You build up mini successes into something...   the 'epic' Royal from two years ago in the rain or the conditions of day two at the Gravel Conspiracy or really anything cold/wet/windy are literally nothing if you've been out 4 hours from home, soaking wet, facing 25 or 30 mph winds in the middle of January.  It feels good to find what that takes and finding that kind of feel good feeling is what gets me through stuff.

5.  A flask is actually logical (sometimes)...  in the summer I find putting a flask on your bike to be pretty silly.   You like bikes and alcohol?  No Way!  That makes you awesome doesn't it?   In the winter and in your pocket it's a different story.

6.  The bike rack at work is almost empty...  nothing ruins my day more than when I have to remove my lock from it's permanent location and ride around with it to find an open bike rack.  Generally this happens on the first 72+ degree day in May and never again, but it's nice in the winter to just know it won't be a problem.

7.  "Fatbike Mentality"...  it's my opinion that most of the reason people love fatbikes is because they ride them to have fun.  They hop on them and ride in riverbeds or over stumps or off of curbs (all things their regular bikes could do but the fatbike has a freeing effect that really promotes fun).  I make a point of trying to ride whatever bike I'm riding to have fun-  you could almost say that's riding on purpose... but in the winter it's even easier, the fun is everywhere.


2013 Goals

1.  commute via bike 85% of all days.

I've fluctuated between 65% and 80% the last few years.  I now live much closer to work so it isn't as 'difficult' and my schedule has somewhat stabilized.  The action to take here is straight forward...  get on my damn bike and go to work.  Yesterday I rode 6 hours when I had planned for just 4.  I was tired as hell from riding back into a brutally cold headwind but I rode to work, this was a start.

2.  do not be afraid to race tired. 

What better way to get faster?  This goes for within races too...  do not fear blowing up or losing.  This is in the mind but also in the preparation.  This means 14+ average hours a week on the bike from now until mid-april with equal or higher perceived intensity to last season.  Continuing to ride 10-14 hours per week while ramping up intensity throughout the spring.  Taking an appropriate rest during the hottest part of the year (NOT being tempted into showing up at 90+ degree time trials when they don't fit my needs).  Adventuring in late late summer in order to mentally refresh, enjoy riding and build base.  Doing the specific workouts for the upcoming events that I don't want to do and by mentally making them fun...  it's all a game.

3.  improve mountain bike and cx skills.

Should not have nerves about necessary skills related to either discipline.  Practice weaknesses- be automatic.  At times I've had a mind state or a zone within endurance riding...  I know I've done the preparation and things begin to feel like a recital.  May have grasped that once or twice late this fall in CX, better preparation will bring it more often.

4.  ride 200 miles at least one day and 100 at least 15 times

It does not matter on what surface.

5. cat 1/2/3 podiums on road

Plural.  I will be starting the year as a 3 and may stay there.  I do not want to give up my opportunity to race multiple races in a day.  Call me a sandbagger but my goal race will certainly 100% be shifting to the main event.  It was a 2012 goal to earn an upgrade to cat 2...  which I achieved based on points, but it was not a mandatory upgrade.  Too bad there aren't more "baby masters" (30+) races.

6.  mountain bike race at current ability level

Find the time to ride and race enough to do this for at least a 2-3 week stretch.  Means prioritizing mountain biking over other things immediately following the Almanzo recovery period.  This will pay off.

7.  Find and maintain peak CX form for 6-8 weeks

Each of the last two years I've been much faster starting in late November.  This means changing priorities throughout the fall...  very likely ONLY racing the Gravel Conspiracy and no other fall classic type events.  Sit at home and wait for results knowing why.

8.  Maintain weight loss and slow progress to goal weight

Wound up the 'offseason' 7 lbs heavier than my lowest point in the year.  I think that's very positive, but now is time to cycle back down and even lower this time without losing power.  Also, quit soda as per last post.

9.  Remember that none of these goals have anything to do with fatbike racing or time trials

Seriously, don't forget that.

no more soda: quitting

A friend once said (paraphrased)...

There are only so many cigarettes and so many drinks in a man's life.  When they are gone they are gone.  Some people spread them out over their entire lifetime and others use them up fast, only the individual knows when.  

I have had as many cans of soda as I need to have.  Need to make it stick.


Beautiful weather: Triple D and forward to next year

Feels weird to go immediately from CX racing into 'next' season of training, but if I'm honest I haven't ridden hard much for months.  The last two days of riding have also made it clear that I'm ready to start towards next year.  It had been a while since I would find myself really wanting to keep going after more than an hour or two.  It certainly doesn't hurt either that the weather has been incredible.  As much as I enjoy riding the fatbike I will always take dry, in this case frozen, roads and sunshine over a sloppy mess.  Sunday I went fat out to Pine Island on what was left of the snowmobile trail, since then I've been riding the drop bar 29er.  Been happy with the fit and function of both.

Triple D is this Sunday and it isn't likely to snow.  I'm OK with that.  I've a feeling that they will find a way to make it challenging and technical regardless, and I don't mind that prospect of some fast, flat, trail sections either.  I've felt better than expected when stretching out my recent rides, but have not put the kind of miles on in December and early January that I had last year.  Shorter won't hurt me.  Regardless, we booked hotels for two nights and I am really looking forward to seeing some friends and going out as well, Triple D is always a great time.

Here is a taste of what our countryside is looking like down here in Almanzo land right now.


Cyclocross Nationals

As stated earlier-  couldn't resist heading down since it was so close.  Hadn't been able to plan on it all along with the due date/birth of my Daughter nor did I have the funding to keep racing, maybe heading to Chicago, up to the date.  Those things had me tempering my expectations, which already weren't sky high.  Then I had the abysmal singlespeed race and I was putting pressure on myself late last week to at least have some fun Saturday to justify the $267 I'd given to USAC to be in the races, plus the gas money etc..  I remembered back to how poorly I'd ridden Saturday in the Wisconsin State race and how much I'd turned it around the next day and tried to stay positive.  My realistic goal was to finish all the laps despite the 80% rule being in effect and be at a place in the race where I was 'competing' with others (this also explains why I didn't sign up to get lapped/pulled in the Sunday race).

I didn't get the start I wanted and picked a few bad lines trying to move up through traffic and by the top of the run-up the 'race' was away from me.  No surprise not to be with the front but I felt good on my bike and like I was doing my best.  That pretty much sums up the day actually...  felt pretty good, made a couple mistakes that cost me some (bad lines, iced up drivetrain stuck in easiest gear half a lap, bike caught in ribbon and tangled for a while) but all told they were maybe only 90-120 seconds worth of mistakes and otherwise I felt I made the most out of what I had.  One time up the run-up I got a $5 from a spectator but then basically ripped my number off to get it into my pocket while running.  I later was heckled for poorly pinning my number.  Another place I rode directly over the top of someone's bike who had fallen in front of me.  I also high-fived some people in the finishing straight and totally reached for/missed a 1.75 of rum.  The highlight was the final lap of the race and my season- I was able to close a 15-20 second gap to the rider in front of me and out sprint him.  He had gotten ahead when I was stuck on the bike that wouldn't shift.  It felt great to have a target and succeed in catching him.  I finished 22nd.  I was near the back of the people who weren't pulled.  The conditions were changing/variable all day but I took some positive out of my average lap time vs. some of the earlier fields, my 30-34 age race was a tough one for someone with my fitness/skill level.  Here are some pictures-


singlespeed cx nationals

Called up around 30th out of about 65.  Haven't been racing for a while but felt rested and good.  Last race was on same course on snow and it went well.  Start was good and I was able to move up a bit on pavement.  Someone in front locked brakes up and there was some chain reactions and the surprising smell of burnt carbon like in a crit...  I tried to move right and hit some snow which led to a fishtail.  Someone hit my rear wheel (I'm sure from their perspective I cut them off-  for which I'm sorry) and I hit the deck.  I was immediately up and riding but by the time I got around the field I realized my bike was messed up.  Found myself about 40' past the pit exit looking at broken spokes.  Rode on and fell hard over the back side on some unexpected ice.  Continued to the pit and took my back-up bike which is on well used dry conditions tires.  Pedaled on from there (now in basically DFL) and tried to enjoy myself until I was pulled...  80% rule in effect.

Was a cool experience even though I totally failed.  Found the needed spokes and will glue up some brand new tires, try my best on Saturday.

Karma?  Seems I'm in a cycle of good/bad/good/bad, hope it's time for another good one.


Cyclocross Nationals: SS and 30-39... I'm in.

Apparently I had fun doing this-

enough so that I'm going back for two more.

I debated spending the money for a long time but in the end why not?  When will it ever be closer?  When do I not have fun racing CX?  On another level-  I'm pro-USAC so far as some of the larger debates that some people want to push to the front.  I guess I'm putting my money where my heart is.  I'm sure I'll have fun even if recently I've been doing more of this than anything approaching CX...

I'll be putting some cheapo aerogels in my cx shoes.