Sunday, July 31, 2011

I guess the party's really over....

Well, go ahead and turn off the lights. Wow....I went from the total AWESOMENESS / MADNESS of le Tour to this complete cycling void in seemingly .2 seconds flat. I always realize during the race that the end is coming, and it's always a depressing thought...however it just seems even more-so this year for some reason. For me maybe it's because the Tour was the only race I saw all year (on TV I mean...I WAS able to go to a few ToC stages in person which was totally cool, but it's not the same). In previous years I'd watched the entire season starting in Jan with the Tour Down Under, and by the time the TDF ended I was ok, as I'd had my fill. Only this year I just got started and now it's over. Sure, there are more races...and I hear Universal will be showing the Vuelta...but it just seems that everything after July is just so anticlimactic.

I wonder how the riders react...certainly they of all people realize how NOT over the season is after the tour....but I wonder how it feels for those pro's who weren't included in the Tour squads? Do they watch it on TV like the rest of us? Sure there are some other races going on (not that the rest of the world is aware)...and after the Tour there are all the races that try their best to get the tour winners to show up. Why, we even have Cadel and his BMC squad showing up here in the US for the brand-new Tour of Colorado! And quite possibly both the Schlecks too...THAT will be pretty impressive and a great way to kick off a new race!

On a personal note, I did my 'usual' weekend road-ride yesterday moaning, and once again have to face up to my annual post-tour slump (due to NOT logging enough miles during July). It happens every year, and was readily apparent once-again yesterday. My LIVESTRONG event was on the 10th this year, and after that it was ALL TDF ALL the time (or so it seemed). I felt pretty good going out, but was fast running out of gas on the way home at the 2nd climb, and by the top of that I was minutes down from my time of just a few weeks ago, and by the time I got home I was almost 10 minutes slow. Strange how I just seem to yo-yo along all year in my riding-fitness. I just find it hard to stay motivated to put in the hours sometimes, and the worst is when I have no goal to push for. And that's where I stand big rides coming up to worry about. I'd love to ride Levi's Grand Fondo up in Santa Rosa in October, but it would kill me as it's just too hard of a ride. The 107 miles with a lowly 4000' of climbing left my neck sore for a week after...and the Grand Fondo would be SUBSTANTIALLY more than that.

And so...I enter the last third of another ever-so-short summer with nothing pressing on the horizon. And I just don't know what to do about it. I guess I could scour the cycling sites and look for something fairly close that I could ride in a reasonable time (around 5 to 6 hours riding time is about all my neck can bear)...but I can do that right from my door anytime I want. That in a nutshell is the crux of my problem. How to motivate myself to ride even when I don't need to. I'm a fair-weather cyclist. I LOVE to ride...when it's decent weather I mean. When it's foggy and chilly (or WINDY), I look outside and suddenly feel lazy. I'd rather sit back and suck down coffee and chill in front of the TV rather than go out into the crappy weather. I guess I'm just quite spoiled. I don't have 'real' my definition of lousy weather is somewhat lame compared to most.

Oh well...guess I'll kick back and have a beer and think about this dilemma of mine. And watch some TV. Seems like a reasonable thing to do.


  1. It DOES seem ike a reasonable thing to do:) Yep, I really hate that time after the Tour when I should be using that extra few hours that I've gotte back to do some work around the house, but just don't want to.

    But, HEY, my big news is that I'm going to see Cade and the Schlecks in CO!! I LOVE Colorado.....and then they go and put a bike race right in the middle of it - I HAD to try and make it. My stars must be lining up right because I've got it arranged at work and the hubby got the time off too! I'm getting psyched now looking at all of the websites that feature the mtns in their glory. So, Matt, any good pics you can send me from the ToC this year??

    Oh, and HOLY CATS. About 4 nights ago we got 14 inches of rain overnight! It was simply insane. The city is built on the hills and bluffs that surround the Mississippi and the streets funneled the water like some kind of crazy white water river adventure thought town. SO much in ruins - including my 26 mile bike trail. We're fine at my house - just a little water in the basement - but many people had 6-8 FEET of water in the basement. The Mississippi rose 5 feet in 8 hours which is simply unheard of with a river so large. Cars swept away on the streets and a few people missing and/or dead. I look at the drought in TX and wonder how in the world we coudl send this to them.

    Anyway, that is what has been keeping me busy up here. Miss hearing from everyone and assuming that you're all having some Tour withdrawal, too.

  2. Janann, that is a scary fast amount of rain to fall! I hope everyone is doing ok by now. And I'll be in CO for the race too so we will have to get together!!!

  3. Janann, I am so sorry for your town! Glad that there isn't too much damage at your house, although a wet basement is no fun to deal with. Unless you WANTED to start a mushroom farm.

    I had a tree in the front yard split and land on the roof, gently fortunately, no damage done, but there went the overtime money I earned last week!

    And, Matt, I am with you on needing motivation. This year, with rotten weather all summer (thunderstorms nearly EVERY day, which scare me off the bike) and my weight staying down seemingly by magic, I've been slacking off on riding AND running--which I generally look forward too all winter. This is like the "lost summer" for me.

    I am still waiting to hear about my work schedule for the week of Colorado--and trying to trade with someone to have at least the Saturday off too (we are never permitted to use our vacation time on our scheduled weekends, and that is a long way to go for just 3 days of the race). Once I heard that Cadel would be there with BMC, I wanted to go! It would be neat to get his autograph next to the George's on the BMC musette! I've only driven through the state on I-70, and that was back in 1980. I would have NO idea where the best viewing spots would be, or if it would be easy to hopscotch along the routes as I usually do in CA.

    But poor Chris Horner!! Out with a blood clot in the lung? That would be the end of his season, I'd assume. Such rotten luck (although I am surprised that it doesn't happen more often to injured racers). We'll be looking for him next year!

    So Cathy, who is RadioShack sending?


  4. I've been too jammed at work to write anything since the Tour but I'm STILL planning on writing some of my take-aways too. Hopefully, by Saturday. And yes, I'm still in major PTD (post Tour depression). And hey - did you see today that the citizens of FRANCE are the most depressed? Yep - I see a Tour withdrawal connection there! :)

    Meanwhile - oh, Janann, I'm so sorry about your rain & flooding. Gosh, I wish you could send some of that my way too! Like many parts of the country, we've had HIGH heat (over 100 many days) & very little rain except for the occasional fast moving thunderstorm. Man, weather has been crazy this year! Snow blizzards in the South, tons of tornados, high heat & drought in various areas & then in France - all that rain & cold! Day after day during the Tour when I'd see those people in PARKAS along the road, I had to laugh when it was over 105 outside my door!

    But, hey - you're going to the Tour of Colorado (whatever its name is today)! Featuring the entire Tour podium! Whoo-hoooooo! Tell us where you think you'll be on the stages so we can be on the look-out! Think you'll be able to write up daily action reports here of your adventures?! With links to photos? Pleeeezze. They'd be AWESOME! And not to denigrate the ToM, but ToCol will have MOUNTAINS so you'll be able to see the riders go by you more sloooooowly! :)

    And hey Matt - why don't you ride the medium route of Levi's GranFondo? I think you'd have a blast. Maybe Greg will do it with you. How far away is Santa Rosa from you? I have a terrible time trying to visualize the distances in your HUGE state; I keep thinking everything looks about 100 miles away & of course, San Diego to San Francisco is not just 100 miles!

    Alrighty - gotta git. Just one last thing - how much longer do you think til we can sigh relief there's no more doping postives from this year's Tour? Of course, last year, I thought we were safe after 2 weeks & look how THAT turned out!
    BTW, on the DAY AFTER the Swimming World Championships (which ended Sunday), FINA (the swimming version of UCI) announced there were NO doping positives. How did they get such speedy testing?!

    Later gators!

  5. Yes, Horner's season is over. He can be back on the bike in four weeks but he can't crash for six months. He might be part of the World Bicycle Relief project in Africa that Johan does each year - that would be a great experience for him.

    Regarding CO we haven't announced the team yet but you can plan for most of the Americans to race. Also, I've heard it will be just about impossible to jump around the course for this race - only one way in and out on the mountain roads, so if this is true it will be more day-long trips to an area. At least that's what some locals have told me. Which means if you want to see the finish you probably have to skip being out on course.

    I'll be doing an interview called Brotherly Love - guess who that will be about?! It will be for an upcoming issue of Road. If you haven't signed up for the free digital, you should do so. They keep five or six issues in complete to read. I have a fun interview with Horner in the most recent (done just before the Tour) and the June issue has a special interview with Markel Irizar - he's a testicular cancer survivor and has truly learned to appreciated his life.

    Matt, were you part of the team that had to blow up that missile or whatever last week?

  6. Horner told me he's actually only contributing to the fund, not going there. Too bad - he would be awesome!

    Couple of new signings for RS. Gianni Meersman comes back - he was with DC all those years ago. He won a stage in the TdG some of you might remember. It was his first pro win. His dad is on the staff. Also Tony Gallopin, who is a great little racer. His uncle is our head director. Two youngsters with really bright futures!

  7. Wow...another week has already almost gone by. I can't comment from work typically...somehow Big Brother sees MY blog different from Jills (she is also on Blogspot). Oh well...lets see....some things to address and then a few questions asked this week:

    Janann...holy mackerel! 14" of rain in one night? That is a MONSOON! It must have sounded amazing (and awful)! When I lived up in North Chicago (for 2 years when I first got out of the Navy) we'd get rains so huge that I had water in my basement a few times. The house had a sewer turnoff valve out in my yard, but if I was gone and it rained during the day it could still backup and flood me...unless I was aware of the dire forecast and closed the valve before I left for work (one time I did that and FORGOT it was closed...flushed the toilet...bad bad bad). Sometimes you just can't win.

    Rae & JD (and anybody else going to the Tour of Colo)...WOW! How fun that will be! I am doing my best to wrangle a trip to Denver or Colo far not so good. Though the one way in/out sounds kinda tough...too bad...getting out in the mts is kind'a cool.

    Susie: I prob won't go up to Santa Rosa to ride Levi's Grand Fondo mostly cuz of the's a good drive up there (San Fran is about 4 hours north...and it's up past that...I'd say around 350 to 400 miles)...add in gas, hotel, food, etc...well, it's an expensive weekend and I don't have the $$ to toss right now, nor ANY spare vacation days to burn (we had the cruise in June, then LIVESTRONG Davis right after that, then my Dad's 80th Bday the week after THAT). If it was closer I'd consider it. But I have to be pretty picky on where I toss my coin right now.

    Cathy, no I wasn't part of the team who blew up the missile (you are talking about the minuteman they launched that had an "anomaly" and had to be destroyed I think)...that is all Air Force folk, part of the Space Wing. My div is part of Gov Payload support (we take care of Gov Spacecraft).

    Though it was on the local news this morning that they are deconstructing (demolishing) the old launch pad I worked at for the first few years I was here (it's the Titan IV pad...SLC-4).

    It has been taken over by SpaceX to start launching the big new Falcon 9 in a few years...but first they need to get the ginormous MST (Mobile Service Tower) out of the's about zillion tons of steel on gigantic railroad wheels...pretty much a huge building that wraps around the rocket and moves out of the way for launch. Also they will need to remove the UT (Umbilical Tower). They cut away the hammerhead on the tower yesterday...that is the part at the very top of the tower that sticks out away from the tower, and has a HUGE crane in it (it was a 200 ton capability crane) for lifting big stuff up and into the tower...(such as the rocket itself, the spacecraft and fairing, and the solid motor segments...each one was around 90 tons, and there were 6 each of them needed to make the 2 big solid motors that were very similar to the space shuttle solids).

    They recorded when they cut away the last connecting bits and it crashed to the concrete pad about 20 stories below...I'll try to find the video link (it's on Youtube already). I have it at work but can't seem to find it just now.

  8. OK...seems that like Susie I've found how big a comment can be (and can't be) continuation....

    Well, what else is on my mind? Oh..I got my first bee sting of the year on Tuesday's after work ride...of course NOBODY ELSE gets stung, just me. Somehow got inside my jersey on the climb and when I zipped up for the downhill YEEEEEEOOOOWWWWWWWCHHHH! Dang bees..this one really shut me down after the sting...I was crushing everybody to that point, then they just rode away from me and I couldn't do anything about it all the way home (I was stung exactly at the turn-around point). Very odd...didn't exactly feel bad but just strange. I think I'm prob getting close to needing an epi-pen. Each sting seems to be worse than the last. Hopefully this is it for the year...I've been lucky actually...there's been LOTS Of bees out there as always.

    OK...gotta run..later gaters. DINNER TIME! (Jeannie made meatloaf tonight)...MMMMM! FAVORITE! Of course, pretty much no matter what she makes, it's my FAVORITE! (at that very moment I mean). There's not very much that's NOT my favorite!


    HOW could Highroad not be able to get a sponsor???

    And you bet, none of these corporations would hesitate to link their names with any NFL, MLB, NCAA,or NBA team, despite the near constant stories of PEDs, intoxication, fights, criminal activity, domestic violence, rule-breaking etc etc.

    Boy, will this ever shake up the transfer season.