Sunday, March 09, 2008

Decisions, Training, Birthdays, and Wimps

Lately I have been pondering which class I fit into when it comes to racing. I am currently a Cat. 4 and will be 36 years old in a few months. Before the season, I had made the decision that I would race straight Cat. 4 this season. However, I have been wondering if that is the right decision. When I look at the guys that are consistently in the top 5 in the Cat. 4 races here they are 20 somethings on their way up through the ranks. I don't have the delusion that I will be a sponsored pro racer someday. Given that, what should my racing goals be? I didn't even start racing until I was 34, and by men's cycling standards, that is probably already past the peak years. Also, with two small children and a job that requires travel, I can't train as much as some of the young bachelor racers out there can. Given that, I have come to what I think is a reasonable conclusion - that I am not going to be able to dominate the youngsters as I make my way to the lower categories. I have decided that I am going to take advantage of the classes in which I will compete with other guys in my category and that are my age - ie 35+ 4/5. I am certain I can do well in that class. I am signed up for the Fayetteville Stage Race in the 35+ 4/5 category and am very much looking forward to it. When that class isn't available I will happily race Cat. 4. When I am no longer eligible for the 35+ 4/5 class, I will have another decision to make - 35+ open or Cat. 3, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

I had a good week of training considering the weather around here. Here are my thoughts on the previous week:

Monday - "My body has suffered so much trauma from the hilly race on Sunday that I can't bear the thought of getting on the bike today."

Tuesday - "This is one of the nicest days I have ever had on the bike. This weather is absolutely perfect. Could I be in heaven?"

Wednesday - "This wind is crap. I miss my beloved Tuesday."

Thursday - "I can't believe I am riding in the rain in 40 degree weather. Why can't I feel my fingers and toes. Could I have hypothermia?"

Friday - "Do I have a flat tire, or is the wind just blowing that hard? I must have a flat tire. Nope, I don't. Could it really be the wind?"

Yesterday was my wife's birthday. Did I mention that I have an awesome wife?? We got a sitter and spent the day out having fun. She had a massage and we had a great lunch and some alone time together. It was great. I made her a cake and we had a little party that evening.

Here is my creation. I could sell these. Cake decorators are overpaid.

And it was tasty too.

Most of you could probably guess that I have been on a YouTube kick lately. I found the gem below. I certainly hope these two pussies ride better than they fight. HA!


Blogger bluecolnago said...

happy birthday to the missus!

ya know, the aged categories and masters categories have some of the toughest competition out there.... you're gonna love it!

the b-day cake is pretty cool. yummmmmm!!!!!! :)

3/9/08, 12:14 PM  
Blogger CyclistRick said...

If I were you, I would to the 35+ 4/5 for as long as I could. I would work to keep from upgrading for as long as I could so I would not have to go to the 'open' category. Cause those master's guys in the 'open'categories are into putting some hurt on anyone in sight. You saw my post about the road race 2 weeks ago, and later today I will post on yesterday's crit action. Let's just say I did not need the first 30MPH on my computer cause the pack never got down there.

3/9/08, 12:27 PM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

I have no opinion on your racing category choices except to say that if your having fun, that to me is the most important thing. Cycling is that first and foremost to me. Winning, finishing, not crashing; those are just bennies to having a good time on your bike.
Or at least that's what I keep telling myself . . .
Ummm, about the cake: Don't give up the day job. Your penmanship sucks, Dude!
Happy 29th b-day again Mrs. Chris from Texas! How you put up with that guy is beyond me! :^)

3/10/08, 5:23 AM  
Blogger jahowie said...

Pussies is and understatement!! LOL!! That was pathetic.

Great looking cake. Hey, as long as it tasted good. Happy B-day to the wife.

Good luck with your racing. I'm hoping to get on my bike again before I turn 36 in July. ;-)

3/10/08, 7:00 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

That cake is awesome!!!

3/10/08, 7:27 AM  
Blogger Zachary Ellwood said...

Happy birthday to the lady of the house! That cake looks good too!

I don't know how competitive the Master's are, since I only saw one of them during a race day where it was the race before mine, and that one I think was 45+. However, couldn't you do both 35+ 4/5 and Cat 4 in the same day? I'm sure you could, even thought it has some disadvantages like you might not have enough recovery time in between both races.

That is a funny video. They couldn't even fight correctly which makes it even more hilarious!

3/10/08, 11:23 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Blue - I have always had an artistic touch.

Rick - As long as I don't obtain too many points in a 12 month period, I should be able to determine when I upgrade. The guys winning the 35+ Open here are usually Cat. 2.

Oldman - Who needs fun. If you ain't first, you're last! HA!

Jahowie - I keep watching the fight and laughing. I especially love the spinning helicopter punch thing.

Danielle - I will send you a piece by Priority Mail.

Zach - at some events it would be possible to ride both. Though, for me I won't do that. I lay it all out in a race and would surely get stomped in the second if I attempted it.

3/10/08, 2:19 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

I agree with the above comments. Even being in Cat 4 raises the bar higher. Some folks are exceptionally good but don't want to upgrade. They steal all the competition from new comers to a category. That sucks.

I'll hate to throw fists after a hill climb.

3/10/08, 2:34 PM  
Blogger the old bag said...

Master's 4/5 definitely. But then once you're a 3 you'll have some big 3s are young, but 35+ open are SMART and will have you pitted against ex Cat. 1, 2, and 3 men. I don't envy your choices! BUT for now, have fun and maybe take in two races in the same day...treat it like training and do one to the hilt, do the other to see if you can hang on and then pat yourself on the back for making two in a day.

3/10/08, 4:01 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Ron - maybe that is their problem. Maybe they are just tired. HA!

Old Bag - agreed. It will be an interesting decision, but I have a ways to go. I will probably try to position myself against riders my own age when possible.

3/10/08, 6:58 PM  
Blogger Mallie said...

The fight's hilarious, but that cake looks awesome. Sure, the decoration leaves a little to be desired, but who gives a fook? It's taste that counts!

3/11/08, 10:26 AM  
Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Race whatever will be more fun for you. Mr. Man couldn't wait to race the 35+ 4/5 (this is his year), and so far he's having more fun racing than I've ever seen him have.

3/11/08, 10:58 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Mallie - send me your new blog address. I know you moved but I don't have it.

BBElf - true. Are you and Mr. Man doing the Foster City Crit in July? I will be there and will be racing. I look forward to it.

3/11/08, 1:53 PM  
Blogger Velovera said...

Age schmage... that's what this 35 year old says!

I love that video... seen the one with the mountain biker being thrown off the bridge by a spectator after he pushes some other racer over?

3/12/08, 10:44 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Friday's flat tire thoughts... I have days like that. Sometimes I even stop the bike, get off, and spin the wheel...just to make sure the brakes aren't rubbing! It's always me though...

3/12/08, 11:12 AM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

Happy Birthday to the wifely!

Ha - those two cyclists "fighting" made Colin Firth and Hugh Grant look downright tough:

3/12/08, 12:34 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Vera - I have seen that video! It is hilarious too.

Jeff - unfortunately it is always me as well.

Eclectchick - I remember that fight. Thanks for posting it. It is even funnier this time. It would be cool to throw those two in the ring with the two cyclists and see who came out on top.

3/12/08, 8:08 PM  
Blogger TCA said...

Man! The dude on the left would have been in trouble if any of those haymakers hit their target!


3/13/08, 8:09 AM  
Blogger Squirrel said...

Happy belated birthday:) That vid was too damn funny.


3/15/08, 3:22 AM  

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