Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rainy Days, The Actual Joy of Commuting, and more!

So, lots of news since last post, which I've mostly been posting to my Facebook in some asinine attempt at social interaction.

First, I am now a fully licensed Category 5 road racer and a Category 4 cyclocrosser. I joined up with a local club called Velobrew Racing, and I'm eagerly awaiting my first race, which is set to be in Deleon Springs, Florida on January 31st.

I'm excited, but also nervous about the prospect of hitting the roads once more, (hopefully) nestled in the pack, with the chains and cranks emitting the buzzing and whirring of a furious beehive. Normally I'd have the regular pre-race jitters and butterflies, but this time it's a little bit different. This time, I'm nervous about the course. Take a look at that, if you please. Of initial note is the ungodly hairpin turn after the first mile or so of the course. Second, notice the two turns back-to-back on the left side of the course. Does that look tight? That's because it is. Looking at Google Street View, it looks to be, oh, about 100 meters (or less) between corners. Can you say "Cluster Cuss"? I sure can. Further scouting on Street View reveals the sheer amount of sand on the course. Should be fun. Lastly, that hairpin again. SV shows that there is a second, milder turn in the middle of the fork. The problem is, there's a stop sign. Why is that a problem, you ask? Because cars leak fluids. A bunch of guys going 25 miles per hour on tiny tires through an oil slick isn't the best thing in the world.

But this isn't to say that it's all bad. A lack of real elevation changes and such mean I'm pretty well suited for the course. Furthermore, I'm not just nervous.

I'm excited.

Excited in the sick, sadistic way any extreme athlete is when they eyeball a mountain or other obstacle and say, "Yeah, that's prolly gonna kill me. 'S all good, though."

So, training.

Not going so well. Late nights and work conspire against me to inhibit my training days. Oh, and there's one other factor. RAIN. Last week we had two pretty rainy days, and today is another. Radar's showing 50 to 60 percent chance of showers all day, and when combined with the cold, makes for a Daniel that is sitting in his room typing out this blog instead of riding his bike. There might be a chance of a ride though. He's currently talking himself into it.

Commuting! It's actually cool now! I live just over a mile from work, and ride there and back twice a day, typically. I need a better light kit because Anders Rd. is a lightless death trap full of rednecks, wannabe gangstas and other crazy peoples, but it's still fun. Over 4 miles a day is decent for recovery days, and after longer rides, it's nice to hit a slow pace and just enjoy the bike. I don't get to do that all the time.

Which isn't to say I don't enjoy speed. I've been doing drafting runs with Bri lately, following her Civic until I run out of steam. Top speed so far has been 33 mph, but we can go faster. I've never been properly warmed up before our little runs, and I definitely need some better sprint speed if I'm going to handle these guys in Deland.

For now, adieu. I'm gonna go suit up and get hit with some cold rain.

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