G'Day Fellow Mountain Bikers,
It's official; I'm a Fat Old Bastard (FOB). After two and a half years of eating like a 2000km per month cyclist whilst walking around on crutches and not riding at all I'm at least 15 kgs over weight. This was to be expected, indeed it was predicted, and I proclaimed that I would ride it off in no time at all after the hip replacement.
This is turning out to be really really difficult. I'm older; I'm really busy with the Juicy Lucy WORCS; I have Logwood Bike Haven to keep in tip top shape and run; I have two new Bike Parks opening that require huge amounts of my time and energy; I coach a couple of riders. I just don't have the time to train any more (sound familiar).
When you are a lean mean race machine, you have no idea how often you hear stupid stupid stupid things like "Oh it's easy for you" or "you thin guys can eat anything you like" from fellow riders who are porky and look like they have been stuffed into lycra in preparation for being braiied and then put on a roll (a really big one) with tomato sauce. I used to silently think that whilst they were having their 4th beer the night before I had been in bed since 8:00 pm, and by the time they got up and had their coco pops for breakfast I had already done 100kms out on the road.
This is all true. I think that the difference is that when you are at race weight and riding for strength and performance you see the results of your efforts and are encouraged to go at it even harder. Its a great feeling to be able to ride everyone off your wheel on a group ride.
I'm spoiled in some degree. Racers on the circuit still chat with me about racing like I'm still one of them. I am treated with a level of respect that I really haven't earned in recent times.
I have set myself the goal of winning the UCI Masters World XC Champs in 2010. In order to do this I will need to be finishing in the top 5 at the Provincial and National XC Champs in the Pro Class (excluding Burry if he is in the SA at the time). When I look at the standard that will require I find it daunting beyond belief.
Michael Casey (15 YOA) rode me into the red until I popped a couple of days ago. Bryce Munro (19 YOA) can eat me for breakfast even if I throw the entire contents of my "sneaky and dastardly tactics" box a him. Richard Beswick rides off without doing ANY training. Andrew Mclean is probably the best all round cyclist riding in SA today, and his performances at MTB races are nothing short of flabbergasting.
In fact, I believe that Andrew's performances on a mountain bike make him a likely for a UCI Masters World Championship before me.
Now that I am a FOB, I really don't find it all that motivational that I am nearly ready to do half of the Saturday morning Lab ride with the E Bunch, before spending the rest of the morning in the Sweep Wagon. I mean BIG DEAL; I can ride at 17kph for ten minutes longer this week. I still look 8 months pregnant and walk like I've been at sea my whole life, and girls and children ride past me on a regular basis.
With these "pity party" type thoughts running around in my head, I got a call last week from a guy who wants me to train him to ride a mountain bike, including fitness work on the bike and off. I normally only train promising junior riders and one or two whining disobedient pros, so I was trying to tell him nicely that I really didn't have the time just now. He was insistent.
The thing is, when he turned up for his initial testing he had a bike that was obviously lacking in use, and brand new cycling shoes with one leg still sticking out of one of them.
I believe if only having one leg is not stopping this guy, then being a FOB is certainly not going to cut it for an excuse to give up on my own riding. So here is the plan: I will train this guy for personal motivation, and if I can't cut it as a racer any more, I will buy some baggy shorts and commence to throw myself off increasingly scarier stuff until I have earned the name Freerider. Perhaps I will just have one name like Bender, or Broken or something too!
Are there any other Ugly FOB's out there that would just like to be Ugly, or am I all alone. Perhaps we could all ride together for an hour of "fat burning crank turning" in the mornings at Logwood. Let me know, because pathetic excuses are not going to hold water round a one legged cyclist.
In more general news, this Saturday is the third and final round in the Juicy Lucy WORCS. The course is listed on the website, so check it out. You will notice that the laps are longer and the total distance a little greater in some of the more frantic categories in order make the pace a little less frantic. There are lots of places in this course where a little test ride before hand would be invaluable.
The series prizes for the Juicy Lucy WORCS will be awarded at the end of the Pro Men's Race, as well as a Lucky Draw for 2 THULE bike racks, and 4 professional Bike Setups at Cycle Lab. Winners (WORCS and Lucky Draw) need to be present to qualify for prizes. Winners who are not present will forfeit, and the prize will go to the next in line qualified winner.
Logwood Bike Haven will be closed for general riding on Saturday for the Juicy Lucy WORCS. If you haven't entered yet, enter here.
The Clubhouse at Logwood Bike Haven is about to undergo a makeover. Please try and be patient with us during this unsettling process. Expect really good coffee, smoothies with secret performance enhancing ingredients, braai packs for unplanned eating frenzies, maybe even a few sandwiches and some dancing girls!
Our Christmas and New Years operating hours are posted on the website, and with the coming of the rainy season, the importance of checking the Daily Trail Conditions before the drive out has escalated. Logwood trails are closed if riding them will destroy them due to inclement weather.
The 201 Skills Clinic has 4 places available. If you have completed the Mugg & Bean 101 skills Clinic then send me a mail and we can start the registration process for this clinic to take you to the next level.
The second half of Saturday the 1st of December, and the first half of Sunday the 2nd of December will see the Mugg & Bean 24 Hour party (with bike race) take place at Northern Farm. The party will definitely be at Northern Farm, but the fun riding will be at Logwood as always.
Till next time, keep the rubber side down.
Geoff the Aussie