Since racing begins next weekend, this will be the last log entry of this winter's training season, and to be honest, this moment could not have come soon enough for me. Simply put, I am tired of writing about my bike riding. I, like most of the people reading this log (except for those jerks who can get away to go to bike training camps—screw you guys—seriously, screw you guys), tend to ride the same roads over and over again. And if this route repetition makes for monotonous training, it also makes for tremendously tedious writing. In fact, I am so tired of training, that I am actually considering doing a Spring Series race, but I am sure I will come to my senses before that ever happens.
I use this log as an annual personal public "Successories"-style shame poster to keep my winter weight in check, to make sure I keep riding my bike and to help keep the site from being overrun by Eastern European Ugg link comments and trojan horse story contributions about ways to control pest populations. I admit that at times it seems that I have complex and contradictory feelings about something as simple as going outside and pedaling my bike, but at my advanced age, I'm starting to have contradictory feelings about many things: cardigans, push-ups, painting my mail box—why should riding my bike be spared the same scrutiny?
The fact of the matter is that I'm at the stage in my bike "career" where every season I am forced to wonder, "Am I old now?" When I was younger the reaction in my mind to certain physical challenges was one of certitude—"I can do that". As you get older these reactions get qualified and downgraded, right now I'm operating at the level of "I can still do that". Granted, circumstances have to be right and I can't be too tired and I will most certainly pay for it later, but in most circumstances, I can still do things. The scary issues for me is what's lurking around the corner, the circumstances that take my declaration of "I can still do that" and demotes it to "I can't do that anymore" or the even more depressing—"I used to be able to do that". "I used to be able to do that" is especially sad to me because the simple utterance of that phrase would seem to be and admission that my best years are long gone, and the guy you are talking to right now is not nearly as interesting as he was five years ago.
But all is not lost. I have been riding enough to cultivate a cautious optimism towards this upcoming season, granted I don't have the time nor means to go to a training camp (again, I reiterate, screw you guys), but all the metrics I use to evaluate myself: wattages during certain benchmark efforts, weight, poop size—seem to be adequate for another season of pretend bike racing. I have built up the winter veneer of delusion that is necessary to carry myself through any early season trouncing at the hands of the guys who went to training camps (see "screw you guys" declarations from above), and I can declare with a slightly mincing conviction that indeed, I can still do this.
On cannot ride on water and mightiness alone, and as I age, I find that I have to pay more attention to my nutritional needs, lest I become an empty husk of veiny gristle.
The fall is here and winter will soon be upon us.