Monday, November 29, 2010


I've done what I've needed to about this bike problem I find myself in and I cannot really do much else about it. I might as well take this time to applying myself to worry about more important things like school, graduating, graduate school, work after graduating, and what I am going to do with my life. My sweet girlfriend has reminded me time and time again that I am intelligent and a capable human being that is spending a bit too much time being unfairly pessimistic about my future. She believes in me and that means a lot.

It means a lot especially since I feel like I'm in a rut in my life. Sure, I am on my way to completing my four year degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania majoring in International Relations with a minor in Economics. I just cannot help but be a little tentative about my future. I will just say it is because I care about my future and that I am so unsure of it. I know I have a lot to be thankful for, to appreciate, and to look forward to. I am a fortunate person to be where I am today, don't get me wrong.

Sparing you all from a post going on way too long, I will just say that I would really like to be employed after I graduate. I will also say that I would equally enjoy attending the University of Pittsburgh or Duquesne University in a MBA program. I want to make a difference when I am in the workforce. I probably sound very naive, but I can't help but wish to enjoy what I choose to do for a living.

If anyone is looking to hire this capable person upon graduation, let me know. I am an attentive learner and a decent writer. I really want to work in Pittsburgh. Thanks to my girlfriend and a bit of cycling, I have grown to kind of like the city. There are a lot of opportunities there and I want to be a part of it! I think I am a well-rounded and friendly person that can adjust to changing situations and environments well. I want to find something to put my efforts in beyond school. We'll see how it all goes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This whole "not having a bike" phase is lame. I haven't worked out at all beyond raking leaves for 3 hours the other day. Insurance agent came back and told me I need to provide a physical copy of the receipt of the bike purchase or scan thereof. My bank account statement was not enough. All they can see on my bank statement is that I spent $2,300.50 in one day at Big Bang. Of course... this could have been 2 or 3 bikes purchased from them in one sitting. Thus, they must verify that my bike itself cost that $2,300.50. Wonderful. I either have to go to Big Bang and get a physical copy or go to my apartment and find the copy of the receipt I have and have it mailed to them. What a headache. I gotta do what I gotta do. I'll be mailing a copy to my parents for them to scan and send to the insurance company. That should be all they need aside from another embarrassing picture of the bike all mashed up.

Today is thanksgiving. I am very thankful for my family, friends and girlfriend. I am a spoiled, blessed kid. I know. I have little to complain about. I have to keep working hard studying for this exam.

There just seems to be something missing without my bike. It has become a part of my life and how I live it. I will soon get back on my workout plan. I feel sick thinking about how lax I've been. I cannot let that happen anymore.

I hope everyone has enjoyed their holiday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


So at this point I have contacted my insurance and well hey, that Renters' Insurance coverage my parents told me to get is probably going to pay off. As of now I pay $58 a year for up to, I think it said, $5,000 worth of replacement coverage with a $250 deductible. That's pretty good huh? Though, my mom says my rate might increase due to this incident.

"I won't let it happen again," I tell you! This is why one gets insurance. When the unexpected happens. When we make mistakes. I am paying for this service and this is what I am paying for.

I can't help but feel like a spoiled moron tho. If this claim goes well and I am approved for a  replacement check, I pay $250 and will potentially get a new bike. This doesn't sit right with me. I guess it's just the shame of being such an idiot. I don't want to make the same (or similarly moronic) mistake again. I ask myself, how could I do that or allow that to happen to my most cherished possession?

I guess I can't answer that beyond the answer my girlfriend gave me while we chatted about it on Skype last night. "We're only human. We all make mistakes." How true. I am so glad I can turn to her and my parents in this dumb situation I put myself in. I'm not sure how it will go from here. I've sent pictures and other needed information to the insurance agent and we are waiting now for them to contact us. I hope I can work something out when I do get a new bike for my working pieces still on my Scott. Glenn is a good guy and will help me out.

Thanksgiving is saved... right?

More pictured of my stupidity


Monday, November 22, 2010

Terrible Thing Happened Today

I'm not exactly sure how I can admit this. I am still in shock and really upset with myself for being so foolish, negligent, and absent minded.

In short, I ran over by bike with my car.

I know. I seriously had a bit of a breakdown after I had called my mom to tell her just before I was to head home for Thanksgiving break. What happened was, I had everything packed in my car and I had leaned my bike on the back right corner of my car (looking from the back). I then thought I had everything packed and in place and I backed out my car and then... "bump"! What I meant to do was put my bike on my rear bike rack before I backed out and was to be on my way. How could I forget?

I pulled back forward, ran out of my car, and hurried to look at what I had just done. Oh, what have I done!?

My bike is done for. The frame is cracked and frayed on one of the chain stays (I think that's what it's called) beyond any comprehension of repair for a carbon fiber bike. The rear wheel is terribly bent out of shape and the braking surface is scratched and chipped. The 50 tooth ring is bent and probably not worth trying to bend back in place. I'm not sure whether the rear derailure is fixable/useable after this. The front wheel is bent, but possibly salvageable. Everything else on the bike is okay.

I am not sure what I am going to do from here. This sets me back in a way I did not expect in more way than one. The most obvious is the cost of losing this bike. I still don't think it has fully hit me. What I am going to do about that cost (replacement, insurance possibilities, swapping parts) is still up to discussion with my parents and I. I'm leaning toward reviving my Raleigh bike. That will come with its own costs and setbacks, but it might be the most responsible thing to do.

The less obvious setback is to my training. I was ready to head to home to get a great week of training on the bike in. Now I am without that opportunity.
Where the scratches are you can see the fraying and how torn it is.
I feel sick to my stomach.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Time to Keep Up

Well folks, all I can say is, I'm thankful it's still early in my training. While some of my teammates have been fighting sickness, a busy schedule has taken me away from my bike. The past two days have been full of stuff I have had to get done. I will say that I have certainly enjoyed sharing some good experiences with my girlfriend in Pittsburgh that have been a blast. I haven't been able to be on the bike, but I know I'll be right on track tomorrow and on through this much appreciated Thanksgiving break.
This break will not be had with too much down time. There is so much for me to keep up with. I am not terribly stressed, but I just don't want to slip up and scratch my lazy itch. I mean that for scholastic and cycling's sake. I'm less worried about my cycling demands. It's always easier to hop on the bike than crack open a book that I really don't see much value in.

There has always been a certain kind of tendency to lax on my self disciplines when visiting my folks in Virginia. I mean eating a lot more, not paying for much of anything, and generally wanting to not care about stuff I just don't want to do. I don't know. It's just how it goes. I don't think I will allow myself much slack this time. I just don't want to or think I can afford to. I know I have a lot of reading, writing, and studying to do. A lot of that will be taken care of on the bike and trainer. I love seeing my parents of course, but the end of the semester will really be upon me after the break.

I know how I sound. Scared. There's just a lot riding on one exam I'll be taking in December. I get one shot and I don't want to lose it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Bust In My Book

Any exposure is good exposure. I suppose.

There's the link to the article written from my interview with a student journalist for IUP's "The Penn." I am not enthusiastic about it. Honestly, I tried to be as conversational and interesting as I could, talking about my passion with the young journalist. To me, this article makes IUP Cycling seem distant and a bit "small." My major is International Studies, not religious. Of the things I covered and talked about they were only mentioned in the slightest as if there was nothing to it. I don't think this will spark any interest in anyone. I should just write my own entry for The Penn.

I guess I should "publicize" this published article. I've been in a news paper before. It was fall 2004? I was on my high school's varsity football team and there is a photo of me jumping in the air celebrating our star running-back scoring a 70 or 80 yard touchdown run. I was front and center of the small picture and my name (among other teammates') was in the caption. It was in the Washington Post too! (If I find a link or something to the photo I'll post it here.) If you can't tell, I'm a bit more proud of this photo than that article. And... I don't even know if the article made it to print. Don't much care.

If the Shoe Fits

I decided to toss on the new Wellgo pedals to my road bike and slide into my new shoes. Oh, the comfort! I want to get used to clipping in and out of these pedals now... why not? Anyway, these Mavic Pulse shoes are not the highest end Mavic shoes (like these), but I dig 'em.  They are a snug fit. I was a little nervous about getting "size 9" shoes, but they really aren't too small.

Shoe fit and feel is a big thing for me. If you know my cycling, you know my gripe with my shoes. I have a nasty habit of buying cycling shoes online before ever trying them on in person. Ridiculous, I know. I have suffered from ill fitting and painful shoes. My current road shoes - Vittoria Premium - can be little pain lockers for my feet. I say "can be" because they are not always painful. One some trainer and outdoor training rides these shoes can plague my feet with sometimes crippling pain. On more than one occasion I have had to take a break and actually get off my trainer or pull off to the side of the road to take off my shoes and relieve my feet of the pain. Hypothesize what you will as to whether I am wearing them too tight, loose, or just poorly fitted for my feet, but when they hurt it sucks and really frustrates me.

Then again, what doesn't kill me makes me stronger, right? I suppose. There are other times that they don't hurt one bit. The ONLY reason I have not gotten rid of these shoes is because they have not ever hurt my feet or hindered my expected performance in a race. If and when they do I will be quick to be rid of these and probably buy some Mavic Avenirs. Those bad boys look good (match the bike too) and I will now certainly know how comfy they will be.

The Mavic Pulse shoes I wore and rode for the first time today did hurt my feet a bit near the end of my trainer ride, but come on. They are new and will take time to brake in. I think a lot of the reason why my feet never hurt during a race is because my mind has other, more important things to fuss about. Trainer rides are a whole 'nother story. Pain is all in the head. I like to keep that kind of thing in mind when I'm in the hurt locker.

Pictures of my set-up to come...

Local Racer I Follow

Here is a blog I have followed for while now.
Steve Cummings is a Cat 1/Pro road and cyclocross racer and Pro mountain biker out of Pittsburgh. Everyone calls him Steevo and I doubt he knows I'm a fan of his. I'm not trying to say I want to marry the guy, but the way he races and his attitude about racing and the cycling culture, I think, is fairly on point. He is the kind of guy who doesn't expect anything except a good race and a bit of respect.
Steevo off the front at a race in Pittsburgh
I've seen him race a few times and knows he is not one to give up. He doesn't need the nicest bikes, wheels, components, equipment, or lifestyle. He is a humble guy and just got a job at Howard Hannah Real Estate after apparently living on $1,000 a month for the past 5 years.
Steevo on his way to winning a cyclocross race
He is and has been the vice president of the Allegheny Cycling Association and I would like to be able to work and race with him sometime. I have a long way to go before I can say I am a Cat 1 racer.

Anyway, big annoying week for me this week with crap I have to do and keep on top of before... Thanksgiving break - much appreciated.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wheelset Build... or Buy

I couldn't wait to make a post about my wanting to build a customized wheelset. I have a pretty good idea of what I want my wheelset to look like and a good general idea of how to get there. Although there are a few specifics I want to sort through, I know I can get what I want for around, if not under, $500. I am shooting for 50mm deep carbon rims.

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Light weight and aerodynamics are first and foremost in my mind. Efficiency is key.
  2. I am not going for name brand. This means I'm not going to get Easton EC90s, Shimano Dura Ace 7801s, or even Rolf Prima Carbon TdF58s. All of those will be kept in mind while constructing my wheelset, but I'm going to Hong Kong (Ebay) for some blank carbon rims. Simple reason: Cost, folks. Cost.
  3. The type of spokes are still a tossup for me. I think I am leaning a bit more toward the DT Swiss aerolite spokes (for a name-brand's sake). 
  4. Probably the most important tossup I still have is between carbon tubular or carbon clincher rims. I believe they can both be fairly comparable, but as of now, I am leaning toward carbon tubular rims. Having been told I'm savvy enough to switch my respective brake pads between my current aluminum clincher and potentially full carbon rims no problem, I would have to agree and don't much care for the argument that I would have any trouble switching necessary pads in and out.
  5. I haven't gotten to thinking about tires just yet.
I have already purchased the hubs I need. They are nothing special, but will get the job done. That's exactly how I am approaching this wheel building. I want everything done correctly the first time and I want a sweet go-to race wheelset. Or... I'll just buy these Matrix 50mm carbon tubulars for $635. They'll match the bike nicely, but I wouldn't mind losing a bit of that white.
Please shoot me some suggestions.

HTC Highroad and Specialized

Well, everyone knew it was happening. Formerly known as Columbia HTC, HTC Highroad has dropped their partnership with Scott bicycles and grabbed the wheel of Specialized. Bob Stapleton has taken his team to new bikes, and what nice bikes they are.
Also note their new team vehicles: Mini Coopers. What a hip team.

I'll be honest, I am still fairly partial to HTC Columbia's Scott bikes. I really want a wheelset like those.

I have toyed with the idea of building my own wheelset. I will probably go through with it when I have some money to put towards it. I think I will anticipate spending around $500 total for a custom build front and back. I'll have some fun constructing it with the help of a teammate. I'll go into more detail in an upcoming post. 

Florida Times.

It's gonna get colder out and I will be wishing I was in Florida.

I took this last summer when I took my bike with me to visit family there. $50 each way will probably keep my from doing it again, but it was really nice to be able to explore a bit of Florida on my Scott. I added a lot to my tan lines that week.

I'm assuming I will be visiting again in the summer after I will have graduated. Maybe I will bring my bike? I'd rather have the girlfriend accompany me and meet my family.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Today's Acquisitions and Ride

I received my new "made to look nice" watch, new pedals and cleats, and "I'm a spoiled kid" xmas present. As far as the xmas present. I purchased it for my mom for me. She reimbursed my bank account for the cost and I am to wait until xmas to open and use it. nbd.

As for my watch. I like it. I really did think it was more fancy in the listing than it is, but I'm still happy with it and I think it will last me nicely.

As for the new pedals and cleats, I could not be happier. They feel solid, albeit heavy, and I am happy for the price I paid for them. It is the real first acquisitional step I have toward my cyclocross obsession.
 I had a good chat with Roddy before the ride about school and the scary unknown of our futures. He's a real hard worker and an accurately self-proclaimed "all or nothing" kind of guy. I give props to his hard work on the bike. Although he could work on some of those handling skills, he says cyclocross might be a bit too cold for his liking.
Riding with David was more or less the same as it has been. He continues to ride with form and strong effort. Roddy and I are both looking forward to seeing him race in he spring. I would like to know where my other IUP riders stand in their training and purchases, but I know school must take precedence. Good stuff for IUP riders and the future of IUP Cycling from my point of view.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans' Day

My brother is in the Navy. He enlisted and has already served overseas. He got out and is choosing to reenlist and continue fighting America's "War on Terror." I am humbled and proud of him. I do hope I can get closer to him as we grow older and I am rid of this whole scholastic thing. 

My father served in the Navy as an officer in the submarines (brainiac engineer). He is a brilliant man and I am completely in awe of how hard he has worked for his family. I truly want to be like him in the diligence and tireless support and love he has given to me and my family. I know his work ethic came from his parents and I hope to honor him in the same way.

My father's father was also in the Navy serving his country in World War II. He is an incredibly strong man with his love of life, family, and beautiful wife, my grandmother. The two of them have given me many beautiful memories as a child. I look forward to seeing them in the coming summer after I graduate. I know they will be happy and proud of me.

My mother's father served in the Army during World War II and was actually captured and put into a German prison camp. It is a miracle he survived to the end of the war being freed by the Russians. He continued to serve his country in the FBI and I only wish I could have gotten to know him better before his passing away when I was a child. He met his wife when they both worked in the FBI. My grandmother recently passes after suffering from Alzheimer's disease. She was an incredibly loving, caring and sweet person My mother certainly exemplifies their servants' hearts and I am in love with how patient, forgiving, and sweet she is to me.

I hope I have not gotten too off topic, but I could go on for a while. I love my family and I appreciate how they have all been a part of serving our country. Remembering their and other's sacrifices for me and this country, however backward I and this country may be, is something I am happy to take time and reflect on. I am a better person for my family and I certainly would not be where I am today without them (more than you may know).


A Good Pain

I rode with new rider, David today out on our "Plumville" route. If he can stick with this sport, he could be really good. It seems like some of these guys start off their cycling career with a better kick than I did, but more power to him. I think he will represent IUP nicely in the spring.

Today's ride was longer and more intense that it needed to be for me. I guess I don't mind. I needed to get out and do my favorite ride. The weather was beautifully in the low 60s and I just could not pass it up. I tried to tweet a photo I took from my phone during the ride, but I don't know why those have stopped working for me. Anyway, it was a good day and I needed the kick in the ass.

My body is pretty sore now. I'm not trying to be a baby, but I like the feeling. It's a good kind of pain. I have a log way to go before I can ride hard and race. I am lucky to have such nice riding around this area, especially at this time of year. Such beautiful scenery well into November is well worth a brief dog chase and a few cold spots.

Tomorrow I hope to be going to Pittsburgh with m'lady. I really wish the library would have more SLRs for me to rent out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not Surprised

Okay. I went to my local shop, "TrailZ End," today to see if I could grab some toe spikes for my mtb shoes on their way. I honestly already expected them to not have what I wanted when I mentioned my idea of going there in my earlier post. I really am considering them a "DeadZ End" when it comes to my cycling needs. Slow repair service and never having what I need unless it's discounted skis or a trek bike is not my idea of a reliable shop.

These local shops cannot compete with a shop like Big Bang that I would drive over an hour to get to. The guy's excuse was... "Well most of the shoes we sell already have toe spikes," as I'm holding a pair they are trying to sell that doesn't have them.

I don't mean to bash them too hard. The guy offered me some old ones on some older shoes of his, if he could find them, claiming they don't wear out. I guess it was indeed a nice gesture, but I am a customer willing to pay for what I want. Not surprised.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NeilPryde Rejection

Here I've copied and pasted the rejection email from NeilPryde Bikes I received today. I randomly ran into their "Epic Riders Competition" and thought I had nothing to lose by applying and a lot to gain. Overall, I am not too upset. I knew it was a long-shot and hey, I get a free gift and I can dig making a connection with a company like NeilPryde. 

If I had been accepted and inducted as an "Epic Rider" I would be able to receive a free NeilPryde bike and blog about my training, riding, and racing on it. Pretty cool. Check out their site and bikes. I've been impressed.

Dear John Brison Churan,
Thank you very much for taking part in the NeilPryde Epic Riders competition. We are sorry to inform you that due to the high amount of outstanding applicants we could not take your
application into account.
Nevertheless we are happy with your interest and your commitment and we would like to send you a small gift.
If you are interested, please send us your mail address and you will receive a nice small surprise from NeilPryde very soon.
You can watch the Epic Riders winner videos on our Facebook page:
Thanks again!
Best regards,

Digital Marketing Manager - NeilPryde Bikes
Direct Line: +852 2456 6542


Today I was interviewed by my school newspaper, The Penn. I think it went alright. I had a lot to say and I hope they ask me to be interviewed again, though, I believe she said I could ask for more press. The more press IUP Cycling gets, the better. I think IUP Cycling is on its way to a big racing season. We have some committed riders and strong talent. Former club president, Duane game me the advice to email my interviewer some photos of IUP Cyclists that I have so they don't pick some goober of a photo if they add one in the paper.

Shoes are on their way.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yeah. Whoops!

Just purchased these Mavic Pulse shoes. Oh baby!
Alright... details. MSRP on these is $100. I snagged them 40% off from Blue Sky Cycling's listing. With that price and shipping including an insurance cost, I got these for approximately $70.25. I'm gonna look for toe spikes at my local shops. 

I feel like an excited giddy newbie. I can't wait to practice dismounts, turns, remounts, and hops. This is exactly how I began my road cycling. I purchased my cleats, shoes, pedals and other accessories way before I had a road bike. I love it.

Here I come, Pittsburgh Cyclocross.

Shoes and Pedals for Cyclocross

I've got these shoes on my mind.
These Shimano M181 shoes. I figure they'll do the trick for a decent price. I was liking some Adidas mtb shoes, but the light meshy material would probably leave my feet terribly cold, wet, and numb. I'm particularly attracted to the two toe-spikes that will help me dig and grip when I have to dismount the bike. 

In related news, I purchased these Wellgo WPD823 pedals. I am SO pumped.

I'm on my way to becoming a cyclocross fanatic. I can't wait to race on these with those shoes up there. If I ever get good, maybe I'll look to those Mavic Razor shoes. ... Eventually...

ACA Racing Results

I tried to race a lot this past summer and spring. Racing with the ACA at the Pittsburgh Cycling Oval helped me do that. I got good, consistent results and more experience racing there. Sure, I flipped over my handlebars once and had a few tough races, but I also won and raced some of my hardest, most rewarding rides there.

Over the summer the ACA hosts series points races.
Here are my personal results:
B races: 24th overall individual for one point from one race.
C races: 11th overall individual for 16 points including a win
C races: 6th overall team competition with 16th points including that win.

I am very happy with my results and look forward to improving next season. I will race as often as I can and hope to get better results and more wins.

Here is a link to the ACA Bud harris Cycling Oval series results page: 

I'm already itching to race.

I mean, come on...


Sunday, November 7, 2010

On the Hunt

I've been asking cycling friends for their input on me getting into the sport I've been drooling over. I need a cyclocross bike, pedals, shoes, gloves, and more stuff like tires and clothes. I'll just start off with what I'm currently drooling over:
Scott CX Team
This bad boy is the prettiest cyclocross bike I've ever laid eyes on.
Redline Conquest Team
Strongly suggested is this Redline bicycle. I certainly love the SRAM shifters and quality bike for a good price.

I will certainly look into different bicycles and you can bet I'm already drooling over these shoes.
Mavic Razor
I know they're white shoes. They come in dark grey and black. I cannot wait to get into this sport. I will have to do some more research to make sure I get be best stuff for a decent price. 

I'm so excited!

I Am Missing Out

Oh man am I missing out. Cyclocross is not up and coming. It is here. I really wish I had some races that I can say I did. I know a lot are in West Virginia, but at least to have done a few would be great. I would love to have a sweet cross bike, sweet cross shoes, sweet cross gear, and some sweet cross races under my belt. I envy those guys getting out there in the cold, rain, mud, and muck. I want battle scars and a battered body.
Philippe Gilbert
Even my favorite rider, Philippe Gilbert couldn't resist the lure of cyclocross. I suppose if I want to ride like Belgian cyclists, I would most certainly race their beloved sport of cyclocross.

I'm thinking about subscribing to this Cyclocross Magazine. Oh wow. I am reading their explanation of "Why Cyclocross," and I am sold. In fact, I already was, but it's nice to read. 

I'm excited to look into shoes and other gear for next year. I will race cyclocross next year. Can't wait.

Pretty Bikes

My bike is lovely. I love her curves and perky stiffness, but she's not my dream bike. She sure rides like a dream and I don't want to replace her unless I find myself sponsored or with a lot of money.

Here are a few bikes I would love to ride, race, and just look at:

2011 BMC Impec

1. This BMC bicycle is  probably THE bike I would love to be riding the most. The immense detail and incredible technology is astounding. This look behind the scenes on BMC's racing site shows the real perfection that goes into each bicycle BMC makes. I am drooling.

2011 Scott Addict

2. This Scott Addict is like the suave, older brother of my 2010 Scott Addict R3. I love the paint job on this bike. I think this bike is simply beautiful. I love how it rides and I know it is one of the most respected bikes out there. I also know that they will probably not be on the pro circuit next year. I hope that does not discourage them from continuing to make cutting edge bicycles. 
2011 Cervelo R5CA

3. This Cervelo bicycle is unbelievable. I was lucky enough to hold and feel this bicycle's frame and components. I am breathless thinking about how light this bicycle is. It looks so simple. It looks like it will snap when put under such stress as racing. I also know that they sell for around $10,000 as complete bikes. I cannot believe I almost forgot to add this one to my list. I would love to experience a bicycle like this. I know it is the future of racing bicycles in light weight and performance. 

It takes money, sponsorship, or a lot of wins to get on a pro team (yeah... sponsorship) that will get me on a bicycle like any of these. I guess I should keep training and dreaming.

Footwear off the Bike

I am happy to say I am still training. What keeps me going is the fact that I know this will all pay off in the Spring. I want to be better... blah blah blah. I just mean to say it seems tougher some days than most to get on the saddle.

Anyway, I want these shoes. I'm not sure which I exactly want. They will last for years, so I have to see which I really want to spend my money on.

Bean Boots by L.L.Bean®, Gumshoe


 Bean Boots by L.L.Bean®, Men's 6"


I need something for the winter having gone through the past four without any type of water/weather proof shoes. 

I don't suppose anyone will have any suggestions?

What It Will Take

I have often wondered what it would realy take for me to become a pro. Let's just say, in a hypothetical sense of an ideal life where I am a cycling phenom. I did some searching and finally found what I needed here. Yikes. I really don't feel like going into the numbers even though tonight is daylight savings with an added hour. I just need to win and keep placing well. I want to be great. Who knows how far I can go.

I've got a long road ahead and a lot of people to beat. Maybe one day.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Training Body and Mind

I am a student cyclist. I am in the middle of my training and studying cannot be on the back-burner. This weekend I have some serious riding and some serious studying to do. I have been wanting to figure out a way to let me keep a book in front of me while riding. This is a fairly easy problem to solve. I need a music stand.

I need a stand that's simple and sturdy. This one looks to be my savior.

To be honest, I probably won't be getting it, but I feel like I need something. One day at a time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Winter ahead

Folks, I just might need to up my game when it comes to winter cycling apparel. I wouldn't mind grabbing a new jacket for the cold. Chilly, windy weather has come with the November month and I am feeling left out. 
This jacket doesn't seem too bad. I Think I might bite the bullet and get this Descente jacket, but we'll see.

I was also thinking about how I need to find my winter cycling gloves real fast. Arriving in class with frozen hands is getting old real fast.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Belgian Cyclists

To me, Belgian cyclists are inspiring. I love their grit and go get it style of riding. They ride through all kinds of weather and show everyone how to finish a race.

Here is a short list of Belgian cyclists that I enjoy watching.
1. Philippe Gilbert. He is my favorite cyclist and the most inspiring to me. I want to ride, attack, and win like him. I love how specialized of a rider he is. Races he enters, he does his best and pushes harder than almost every other cyclist on the road.
2. Tom Boonen. He is a solid cyclists and always a contender among the best. He is a marked man in almost every race he goes to. I want that feeling.
3. Niels Albert. This guy is a cyclocross machine. Every cyclocross race I catch, I see this guy tearing it up in the mud. I see him giving his all every race. I hope to be channeling this guy's toughness next year when I race on the road and when I try cyclocross for the first time. I'll be honest, I usually see this guy in the chase, but that's just it. I don't expect to be in the front. This guy is a champ for sure, but he never gives up.
I know there are many many more Belgian cyclists that are more than worth noting. These guys just make me want to take my cycling to the next level. I am humbled and excited for cycling every time I see them ride. They make it almost look easy.

Cracked Windshield

I seem to be posting a lot today.

Anyway, I found a sizable crack in my windshield yesterday. Who knows when the original crack happened, but I can see it has grown significantly.

I have an appointment tomorrow morning with an auto glass repair shop here in Indiana. I don't know how all of this works, but I will be happy when it's all done with.

Now off to the gym for some cross train rowing.

Picturing the Holidays

I have many reasons to be excited about the holidays this coming season. A lovely girlfriend, seeing family, and more training on the bike are all reasons to be excited for the winter's cold and season's greetings. But past all that mushy stuff is my "excited for a present" side.

I guess the real childhood bliss of not knowing what I will be getting for the holidays is gone, but I'm no Scrooge. Yeah I know I'll most likely be getting the Fujifilm Finepix S1800 from my parents.

I'm excited. I will be using it in a lot of ways. I want to really dive into photography. I think it will really open me up to more media and hopefully effective blogging and documenting myself and people and things around me. Shooting with up to 18X zoom, 12MP, and HD video, I am a spoiled boy.

Hopefully Competitive

NIELPRYDE Bikes just closed their Epic Rider's competition. I am one of those hopeful competitors. I put my best foot forward and tried to show them the cyclist and enthusiast that I am. I cannot expect to win. Who knows how many other people entered, but I hope they think of me as a smart, developing rider that would tirelessly promote their bikes and company.

Their bikes are striking and look to be incredibly well made and fast. I do not know which I like better, but I would probably have to go with .... well I don't know. I'll cross that bridge if I ever get there.

On another note... more training today. I've got gym workouts and I need to keep watching that diet.