"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Hump Day

There were two dogs with us the night we went coon hunting. One was an old hound, veteran of a thousand campaigns, who knew what we were up to and who wasted no time in idle diversions. The other was a puppy, brought along to observe and learn; to him the star-sprinkled sky and the deep dark woods and the myriad scents and the lateness of the hour and the frosty ground were intoxicating. The excitement of our departure was too much for his bowels. Tied in the truck, he was purged all the way over to Winkumpaw Brook and was hollow as a rotten log before the night was well under way.

--- EB White, "Coon Hunt"


I, too, have a dream...

The most telling statistic here is that teenage drivers licenses peaked in 1978 at 12 million, and now stand at less than 10. This got to be effecting the bottom line here. How wonderful to read this. As fucked up as the world can be, these are exciting times we live in, to be standing on the cusp on such massive change.

Thanks to I Go With Fergus for the link.


I have resolved this year to train harder, smarter, and more focused than ever before, yet when it comes to racing, I only plan on having fun. After last year's near-meltdown in Peoria, I've realized I put too much pressure on myself as an amateur athlete. While the stated, concrete goal is of course racing as a Category 2 cyclist by the end of the season, I won't consider it a failure if I don't make it having raced without regret, knowing I had and used all the physical tools at my disposal along the way.

I went to a New Year's Resolution party shortly after the holiday, and made, among friends, what's known as a visionboard. You might call it a collage, which it is, but the truth of it lies in the process of making it. From Patty360:

3. Make a Vision Board

I have a serious obsession with vision boards. It started a few years ago when I made one at a New Year’s Day party and by the Eve of the following year, EVERYTHING on the board came true. Now it’s a tradition of mine to make a board with each new year and make smaller specific boards to help create positive experiences in other areas of my life (starting a new job, planning a party, designing a wardrobe). What is a vision board? Short version (this deserves its own post): Vision boards utilize The Law of Attraction and are a functional tool to keep your affirmations and visions for the future present in your thoughts. The idea is to create a collage using words or pictures that evoke positive emotions associated with the future you want to live. It allows you to live the future *now* as if you are already there. Some people start with a list of goals they want to obtain and then look for images to capture those. I find it works better to sift through pictures in magazines and pull out what speaks to me and look for themes and patterns from there. This allows the subconcious to detect what the concious mind overlooks. There are times when I don’t even know what an item means when I add it on the board, but I always discover the meaning in the future experiences I have. Give it a try, with no expectations, the first timers often experience the best results.

I have to say my first attempt wasn't totally subconscious, but I made an effort to simply identify the imagery that spoke to me. No surprise that, among many other themes, there are two pictures of Frank Schleck on my board. Success on the bike is a big one. I left the room on sort of a high from all of the positive energy in there. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to take a peek at what I was capable of achieving.

After bringing my creation home and hanging it on my wall, I just went about my January, letting it speak to me, and within days, I'd begun to see why the bike was important to me, how I was blocking myself from having fun, and how the bike will continue to be a part of my life for years to come. I believe this is the first time in my life I have ever given myself such a personal, self-motivating goal. And I find it amusing, even astounding, yet not surprising upon realization, that this approach has eluded me nearly all of my life.

It is no coincidence that I have not missed a workout since, that I feel almost mid-season strong with much form to come, and that I am looking forward to racing more than ever.

The lesson? Publicly state your goals. Sharing them with people who care will help you stay on target.

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