It's been a long time since I've written. That's down to one unavoidable character trait, I supposed. Laziness. Just general laziness. Sorry about that. I'm working on it.
I've also changed jobs mid-summer, and it took a little while to get my feet underneath me again after that transpired. All is well at VP Associations and I'm pumped to be back with the company and doing what I do best - calling people and buying them lunches.
It's been a great summer for bike riding, too. I lined up for Cherry-Roubaix, despite not riding a road bike but for a handful of times all summer. It was a grueling day, but it was an absolute thrill to see a few hundred Lycra-clad goombas pedal down Front St. on a beautiful August day. That's a race I'll always do, whether I'm fit or not, because it's one of those events that you talk about for weeks after. The other event of such a high caliber being, as you'd imagine, taking place on dirt in November.
But before we talk about Iceman, there are two races that I'm really looking forward to. The first is the Bear Claw Epic. It was the race that got me decidedly more motivated to race bikes again last year, and that was due to it being one of the most fun races I've ever been part of. No, not in 2016. It was one of the best races I've ever done. Ever. Full stop. It's expertly ran, the money goes to benefit the Cadillac Pathway, and the course itself is ideally suited to racing. Fast, fun, with ample room to pass, the Bear Claw Epic course is one of the best places to pedal a bicycle in anger.
Next up, I'll be taking on Peak to Peak, one of the Fall Classics that the dingleberry over at kolo tc goes on about. It's usually mentioned as a great warm up race for Iceman, but the competition and the course are more than worthy of being a prime motivator in one's fall race campaign in and of themselves. Most of the Experts and Elites will need 2:15 or more to finish the race, which makes it longer than Iceman in duration. Also, the ascent of the ski hill makes it an inherently dynamic race, which is in stark contrast to the attrition and luck based virtues of Iceman Cometh.
Of course, the big daddy of fall is the Iceman Cometh. Over 4,000 people. Completely unpredictable weather. Fitness levels all over the place due to weather and the waning of summer's light. It's the race that keeps on our bikes and on our indoor trainers through September and October, and it's the race that means so much to so many. I'm aiming for my best Iceman ever (aren't we all?) this year and it's been this race that has been in my mind since, well, Iceman 2016. Every cookie, every beer consumed over the last year will be cursed and questioned once Iceman roles around. If only I had ridden more miles, if only I had watched my diet - the ifs, ands, or buts gel with the coulda, wouldas, and shouldas, that form the unquietable doubts in the minds of every rider on the start line.
Let's Do This
#OperationThighGap2.0 commenced today in the hopes of reaching my ideal race weight in time for Peak to Peak. For me, this is the peak of the season and, for once, I want to be prepared like I used to be back in the proverbial day. Cody said on our ride today that I'm soft, like a puffed-pastry filled with custard. I hate custard-filled pastries, and I despise being compared both physically and mentally to one. Simply put, it's on. Autumnal amateur bike racing will never witness a transformation quite like that which is about to transpire. I shall enter my cacoon of training a chubby, soft cyclist and emerge a hardened, indomitable god of shaved legs and svelte physique.