18 December 2008

New Projects

Hello folks, since its finally the off-season, that means that I get back to focusing on how to live like a normal human. Though, that is only for a couple weeks. The routine of getting out of bed, eat, ride, eat, shower, go to work, home from work, eat, maybe ride inside, sleep is finally disrupted. I've been able to catch up on sleep for the first time this year, and enjoy breakfast instead of just getting fuel to burn off in the next hour.

Today, I made the most delicious waffles. I am a big fan of Bob's Red Mill Stuff; the muesli, waffle mixes, oats, cookie mix, you name the Bob's product, and there is a good chance I've sampled it. So, the waffles of the day, or WOD if you prefer acronyms, turned out to be Bob's Buttermilk waffle mix with chopped hazelnuts. I topped those golden brown waffles with my favourite crunchy PB and honey. Now, I've made waffles all season, before big races, before training days, but these waffles my friend, were exceptional. Slightly crispy, a little crunch due to the hazelnuts and PB, and then a nice kick of sweet from the honey come together to make a cloudy, cold morning into a sun...oh, wait I like this weather. So, while not weather-changing, these were a great shot in the taste buds this morning.

Well, that brings me to my 9-5 activities, rather my 10-9 activities. I will be thrilled when our holiday hours go the way of the Yugo. But, those long hours give me plenty of time to get things done. I started out in a shop just building bikes. I graduated to service shortly after, and then became a sought-after mechanic in my new home of Louisville. Now, I have so many hats, from manager dude, to still sought-after mechanic, bicycle class instructor, race promoter, rider promoter, racer, boyfriend, and cook. All of those activities may seem like they would overwhelm, and yes it did at first, but it just makes me focus and makes my time valuable.

Here at the shop starting January 5th, I'll be teaching novice wrenches everything from tire and tube changes, tune-ups, and how to get ready for a race. I enjoy teaching and educating people about cycling and everything about it. I'm the dork that tries to explain 'cross to the little old lady that asks me, "Why are those men running with their bikes? They can't all be broken?" So, I am excited about helping folks get to know their steeds, and learn how to listen to them. I will be teaching a Women's Mechanic class, and I've already had a ton of interest shown, so thats reassuring. Though I must admit that my first pupil is none other than Brian. He's one of the first folks in town that I met, that had the 'cross addiction. I'd like to think I've helped him out and taught him a thing or two, but it will be nice to educate him on some of the finer details.

We're also trying to launch Louisville's first Short Track MTB series. This is yet another new venture for Mary and I, but between Mary's business sense, and my course designs, I think we can make it happen. At this point, I think its going to be a 5 race series, just to make it simple for us. If the reactions and attendance are good, we might carry it longer than 5. To us it just seems like Louisville has a great cycling community, but its not complete. If one looks to big cycling cities, they'll see Hillclimbs, Short Track, 'cross and road races in large numbers. Granted that exists in the cycling mecca that is PDX, but I think its possible here. Mary and I are part of a new guard of cyclists in Louisville, and we like to shake things up a bit. So everyone should cross their fingers and see what 2009 will bring for racing around the 'ville.

Mary and I have been planning our 2009 season already, figuring out where we're traveling, what races we want to do, and calculating how much its going to set us back. It hit me already with my registration for the Cohutta 100. Its an endurance mtb race that I did last year, well the 65, and it was by far the most fun I had on my mtb last year. My chain broke twice, and took my rear mech with it the second time, but it was just a blast. The trails there are equivalent to a strong street drug; addictive as can be, and deliver a glorious high. It also happens to be almost as expensive...But, that makes the first race of 2009 that I am registered for. I plan on doing three 100's this year. It is a very different approach than I've taken before, but I plan on making those my huge base miles for the season. I'll stop racing my mtb in June, and then its all road stuff, and prep for 'cross. We'll see how that works out. I am looking for it to leave me fresh for 'cross instead of waning towards the end.

We are also on the sponsor hunt as well this time of year, with this economy its really hard for the little guys like us to catch any of the scraps that fall off the table. I feel a little like my favourite movie rat, Little Chef. He just wants a little piece of the good food thats out there....
(I have the same ears too!)

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