Saturday, October 17, 2009

Keeping Up.

I've been off the bike for most of my preparation phase training. I'll say that I've been enjoying my training, but it is tough. I suppose what is prompting me to write all this is a tough day today in the gym.

My cross training consists mainly of seated row and specific lifts. It isn't too extravagant, but I'm hoping that the efforts all together will help my cycling in the spring.

Not much else to say, here. Hopefully I will be more prompt with writing my posts here when I'm more excited. However, I did watch the last 20-30 km of Il Giro di Lombardia this morning! That was a blast. The racing was awesome. Attacks sprung out the whole time and there was some real sacrifice for glory by some of the riders.

Looking forward to more training and sacrifice of my own.

Monday, October 5, 2009

On a Whim.

Yesterday, on a whim, I signed up to ride my bike in a 2-day charity event. I registered for the National MS Society's Virginia Ocean to Bay Ride 2010!

I say on a whim because a great friend from back home, Marissa, and I were just talking about how my cycling has progressed and she mentioned how saw someone cycling with a National MS Society jersey on and said she immediately thought of me. I then told her how I have always wanted to ride in a charity event, but never thought too much about which one or how I would raise the money. So instead of just leaving it there having only talked about me wanting to ride one, I went on the event's site and signed up and registered to ride! Any anxious feelings about how I will fundraise should be the last thing in my mind when debating whether or not to ride for such a great cause.

The event is being held on June 5-6 (plenty of time for me to acquire a minimum of only $250). It will ride from Cape Charles on Saturday, riders will camp at Camp Silver Beach, and return to Cape Charles on Sunday. The event is 75 miles each day with an option to ride 25 more miles each day (Which I will surely opt to do) for a total, for me of 200 miles in the two-day event! This will truly be an experience for me!

Not only have I never ridden 100 miles in a day, I have surely not done 200 miles in two. Also, I will be riding in honor of Marissa's close friend, Casey Sawyer, who suffers from MS. I know I will have a blast and will be doing what little I can to benefit a great event, charity, and cause!

It is a long way from now, but I am happy to have something so good to look forward to. It will certainly be a challenge, but I know I can do it with the support and thoughts of those who I will be helping. - Believe me when I say, "No trophy needed for this ride."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Few About Me and That Bike of Mine!

My Raleigh '08 Supercourse and I have been through a lot together. First time I rode her she kicked me ass and make me want to throw up! I was a quite out of shape then too, mind you.

This photo was taken of me the morning after the hardest and first road race I have ever ridden in. I just realized I have a rear flat just before my crit.

I will hate to see this bike go. This is where I trained a little bit last year. - close quarters.

Here we are for all to see at IUP Day. -Posing with Norm.

This last photo here is where my bike and I held on for our first podium spot together.

Although I have a long way to go with my cycling, my bike has been my loyal friend through it all. I may have to part ways with her soon, I will always love this bike.

Friday, October 2, 2009

What to do?

So my beloved bicycle was never perfect. I know that. Yet, the chance to get a new frame for free, really upgrade everything about that bike and maybe dipping into a different discipline of road cycling intrigues me.

New frame for free, you say? Yessir! The laminate has begun to lift and separate on my top-tube from the carbon fiber underneath it has sworn to protect. There is actually a 1 cm in diameter hole in the laminate exposing the carbon fiber to the elements! I know, the bike may still never collapse on me, but if it does.... ..... I do not want it to be because of this exposed carbon. In any case, after phoning the bicycle shop I purchased this '08 Raleigh Supercourse from in May 2008, they told me that I need only to take the bicycle in to a Raleigh dealer and they should be able to handle the bike through to Raleigh and replace it. The dilemma ensues.

Ideally, I would hope that Raleigh could just send me a new frame (for free mind you) and I would be able to keep the frame I have, free to do with it what I wish. From there, I would wish to sell it to a friend (or foe... exposed to the elements and all) and buy myself a new bicycle with much upgraded parts. But, there has been a curveball thrown my way.

I was offered a price on a TT frame with dura ace and ultegra components and aero helmet by a newly acquired friend. The price (I will keep to myself) was an undeniable deal. Only problem is, after all is said and done, I will still have to buy a new (or well maintained, used) wheelset, cassette, chain, adequate tires, tubes, skewers, possibly pedals, possibly seat, skin suit, bootie covers, and any other expense that may pop up. Whether or not I have to purchase everything I have just listed, the point is, these things could add up to a lot and quickly. Trust me, I would love to start tearing it up on a TT bike, but alternatives and first loves do surround me.

Road cycling is what I do right now. Yes, tt-ing is the older brother of road cycling, but he's the much cooler older brother with the sweet, expensive ride. I am a cat-5 cyclist. I imagine I will cat-up during next year, but as it stands, I don't need a tt bike just yet. All that aside, I feel as though I have not fully explained my possibilities about my current road bicycle. My willingness and eagerness to spend money on a tt bike made me realize, if I do not need a tt bike, I could use that money for my road bike.

There is really not much wrong with the bike. If Raleigh, for some reason does not feel that I deserve a new frame for free, I will just look to sell my road bike and buy a new Raleigh or (the only other company I would consider) a Scott bicycle. If that endeavor does not seem too beneficial to me, (not sure right now why it wouldn't, but for my ocd, overthinking's sake) OR if Raleigh does send me a free frame I will simply purchase an overhaul of components to completely upgrade my bicycle and riding.

All this thought about me being on the market for a new bicycle is exciting! Sure, I may not need a new bicycle, but I have the money and willingness to spend it on my passion. Some of this is out of my control right now, but I will soon have options. If IUP Cycling can become sponsored by a bicycle shop, I will look to get a deal on a road bicycle and components. If Raleigh come through, I could still use a sponsorship to get deals on the components I wish to buy. Ugh. Enough. I hope you are not too confused by my thought processes. These kinds of things... as you'll see roll through my mind.