Three and a half years. That's how long since I last put down what I was thinking on this blog. Oh, of course lots has happened and it'd be silly to play catch up on livejournal. Yet as I read some of the earlier posts, it brought on an odd mix of fuzzy memory and detachment. So personal yet so foreign sounding. Do I really write like that? Fun though, to recollect what happened during those times.
So, what brings today's need to document the million random thoughts floating in my head? For the past five weeks, I've gone cycling nuts, again. But more specifically, I've got training nuts. For 2016, I'm training to race cyclocross. Looking back, the series of events that led me to this point appear random but if when the dots are connected, and given my competitive past, I guess its no surprise.
First, there's a cyclocross test event in late 2015. No interest whatsoever. Al takes part in the MTB category, and doesn't say much about it. I'm coming off a cycling lull due to a horrid, prolonged haze (thanks to Indonesia) and a busy pre-UIBC period. I'm just about finding my legs and that cycling spark in December 2015.
Late Jan 2016, the first of five cyclocross events is held at Turf City. Al's taking part again. Steve decides to give the CX cat a go with his Stigmata and I sign up for the Sport cat after Janice gave the green light. What the heck, it'll be like old times back in 2002, racing around BT on the singlespeed for a laugh. I'd gotten a couple months of riding back in the legs, it'll be fine.
The airhorn goes off around 10:00am and I start at the back of the pack. Geez, there's some eager beavers out in front. Wait, I'm the one with the wrong attitude; this is a race afterall. By the time I enter the singletrack, I'm probably mid-pack. Hah! There's some gloopy mud to negotiate. Remember the Sentosa race? Mud of epic proportions? That last slope where almost everyone slid down on their bum, where I wrapped myself around a tree trunk on one lap and managed to stay upright on that slope just once? Good times...
With aggro Maxxis tires, I'm picking riders off one by one as they slip and slide and skate on the mud. The last climb is dispatched and I gain time while everyone else loses traction. Ok, so where am I at after the first lap? No idea. But there's these two dudes in orange team gear chasing hard. Al's right behind them and we got a nice little competitive train going.
Lungs heaving, legs burning, the second lap is dispatched. Al trails and the other two guys are long gone. Today's course definitely does not reward those semi-slicks those XC weight weenies are running. The remaining three laps is a glorious one-on-one battle with Al, always holding on to the lead because he's on XC tires as well. Third lap down, fourth lap a grind, and finally the last lap to eke out. Holy smokes, I'm taking this to the chequered flag! Tired but stoked, I get to take a podium photo that gets juxtaposed against a Singlespeed Cat win at BT eons ago. Young-man guns were a size and a half bigger back then.
A couple of evening whiskys a few nights later and I'm wondering if ReEvolution will sponsor me a Stigmata? No harm asking, right? I've brought them a fair amount of business; they don't do any CX promo, who knows? What a way to spur me on for the rest of the year. When I finally make it to the shop, the whisky-induced bold thinking is long gone and my opener to Winson is far less polished that Janice would have allowed in her comms world. Yet Winson is an absolute gentleman, and a generous one at that. Within three minutes, he's committed the bright orange Stigmata frame hanging on the wall to my Cross racing ambitions. Pretty unbelievable. Its like striking 4D.
Fast forward to today. I complete my last key workout of Phase 1 of the Sweetspot base plan from TrainerRoad. I've never ridden the trainer this much in my life with the exception of three months at Athlete lab back in early 2013. At least that was in a gym/studio-type environment; I've been doing these at home before the sun rises! Amazing how this motivation has fueled what was considered impossible.
I'm down to what I weighed 10 years ago, feeling good and ready to take on another six weeks of base training once I get in a week's worth of recovery riding. The first attempt at Cross racing happens on 24 April 2016. Janice has been wonderfully supportive of my silly obsession that has reached 11 and the girls eagerly want to see me race my bike. I can't wait.