Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I don't think turning 60 is a big deal in itself, what really bothers me is how close I seem to 70. 70 seems old even to a 60 year old. Am I going to start wearing plaid pants and striped shirts, funny hats you can only get at old man stores ( I don't even know where those stores are), will I wear my pants high and act old, or will I grow out my hair, put it in a pony tail and try to act young. Will I continue to skate on my skis or will I get out my ancient pair of wooden touring skis, my knickers (this is a North American word for three quarter pants), and funny old man hat and shuffle around the trails.
It is scary to think about all of these changes. In order to prevent all of this from happening I have hired some young people to keep me normal. If my pants are too high, my hat too old or if they notice any other sign of aging they are instructed to set me straight.
I have few rules of mine own which I also follow. My choice of dress is the same now as when I was in high school. Levis 505s 34/32. As long is these fit it means I haven't put on weight, I haven't put my waist too high and the pant hem too high. I wear t shirts, usually medium. Again this is preventive fashion. If I went into Macys looking for a polo shirt or some kind of button down shirt I might be tempted to make a fashion statement. At 60 this could be dangerous. I will stick to levis and t shirts. The one change I did make a few years ago was to wool t shirts. They still look sharp but you can actually go to an opera in a long sleeve wool t shirt. They look like an expensive turtle neck.
My car will stay a stick shift. I think at some point people of my age decide to make things easier and not shifting is one of those things. I will keep the stick because if I forget how to use a clutch then I really shouldn't be driving (this is actually how I feel about all drivers).
I will continue to cross race and ride my mountain bike. These are really activities for the very young, so I my thinking goes if I do things for the very young I will feel very young.
So I am turning 60 but the truth is I still feel around 18. I met my sweetheart when I was 18 and everytime I see her it is just like the first time I met her and fell in love.
So I will try to be dignified, not grow a ponytail, not get a tattoo, not start wearing fashion from the 60s, no piercings, no new sports car, nothing like that. But I will also continue to have friends that keep me thinking young, stay healthy and active so I can do the activities I love and I will continue to feel 18 everytime I see my sweetheart. I will let 70 take care of itself.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I was talking to Damian today about post Cross season feelings. I feel fresh, strong and glad it is over. No intervals on the trainer for sometime, no rides in the cold and snow unless I feel like it, lots of cross country skiing and even some rest. I started coaching last week and that was a blast. Last year I didn't coach and I really missed it. It was the first year I didn't coach for over 15 years. This year I am coaching for the Bend Endurance Academy . This is because I get to coach at the Meissner Ski Area, our community ski area. Meissner Ski Area has been one of my dreams for over 20 years. I don't take any credit in making it happen other than encouraging the Tumalo Langlauf Club to make it their mission. Today it is real. The parking is lot is full almost every morning, and the people who ski there are part of who makes it happen. I love skiing there for many reasons. One is the terrain is perfect for the average skier, two the weather is more conducive to skiing than higher up. The storms not as big, and the snow is drier, three, it is 15 minutes closer to town so a quick ski is more convenient. I went for an early morning ski today and was able to ski for an hour and a half and still get to work by 9. The sunrise was spectacular and no I wasn't the first one up there. If you don't ski at Meissner you should give it a try. They groom on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. If it doesn't snow you can still get some super skiing on the days they do not groom. You will need a snow park permit ($30 a year), and though they don't charge for skiing it costs $1800 a week to groom. So donations are in order if you like it.
Next year Cross Nationals are in Madison, Wi. They are in January. That means three more weeks of training in the cold. I think I am going but I will wait and decide for sure next year. In the meantime I will be resting, skiing and enjoying the winter I love so much.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I try to race enough each year so every race has balance. I also try to peak for certain races, this year there were two races I was aiming for State Championships and National Championships. I do like to perform well at every race though. It is about balance for me. One of my problems with the Olympics is they only happen every four years and a bad race means you have to wait four years for redemption. That is too long. It is much better to have lots of important races, try to peak for the important ones and then base your year on the whole season. The word Balance comes up again.
When I lined up to race yesterday I felt that Balance and I also felt a strange calm. This was unlike last year when I lined up. Last year I raced to participate, after a Fall season of recovery from a ruptured disc. This year I lined up to race as one of the competitors. Trying to win, trying to podium, trying to do the best race I could. My start went well. I was top 10 off the pavement, in the first 30 feet of mud I was around 8th, after the first tricky icy turn I was 7th and with the lead group. The guy ahead of me was having problems in the mud so I went around him on a pretty aggressive pass through a big lake of icy water. Then it was on to number 5. I had my race face on, the crowd was cheering for me as if I was a pro in a World Cup race. I caught and passed him in some deep mud. I had to go hard and out of the "line" to do that. I felt like I would keep going as he also was having trouble in some of the more technical sections, the places where I was flying. But no, he passed me back just before a steep short run up and got a couple of seconds on me. I was thinking I would get him again but it was not to be. I raced hard kept way ahead of 7th and ended up finishing 6th. This was maybe the best race I have raced in a cross race. I had visualized my race, did all the things I said I would do went hard and ended up in my best National placing ever. It was a great way to end this season and believe it or not I am looking forward to next year already. Today it is off to help my teammates in the pit, cheering and just support. If you click here you can see some photos of my race. Rich Wolf, one of my teammates was out there as my personal photographer.
There were so many of you out watching and cheering me one that I really can't name all of you. It means so much to me. I go a little harder every time I hear my name. Yesterday I used all of that extra energy to have my best race ever.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

For the next chapter click here and read Kathy's point of view on my racing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Tomorrow at this time I will be in the process of doing a seed Time Trial for my race on Thursday. The TT course is not ideal right now. It is covered with crusty snow that makes it hard to peddle, more of a power course than a technique course. The first climb, which is ridable in the dry is now just a long run in the snow. The second climb is hard because even the approach is not ridable. Tomorrow it could all change. It is supposed to rain and be in the 40s. This will soften the snow and maybe make the climbs more bike friendly.
That being said we all have to do the same course and I will be ready. I don't have a huge field so the TT is not the end of the world anyway. It will be a good warm up for me the day before the real race. I am not really in favor of the TT, but I am not sure seeding by order of when one registered is any better.
I feel strangely calm this morning. I don't normally get that excited by races anymore anyway. I race a lot and it is the norm to be standing on the start line every week. That makes racing easier for me. Less stress, just another day. That doesn't make it less important it just makes it more normal. I know I will have lots of friends cheering for me and I know I will give it my best. I have prepared for this as well as I know how. If you are one of those who will be watching on Thursday I want you to know I hear every shout and word of encouragement. It makes a big difference to me. I have been racing a long time and in that time I have made many friends. Those friends are the reason I race today. I don't have any national titles to my name, but what I do have is hundreds of friends in the bike world. That is my legacy and what I love about this sport. This year I was in Scotland racing and I had a whole cheering section, I was racing in Portland earlier this year with Dave Guetler the owner of River City Bicycles (the main sponsor of the Cross Crusade). He was laughing because everyone was shouting for me and he was in his home town. This is my bragging. Yes I have had success racing and I have won my share of races, but if someone wonders who I am, I will say I am the one that the crowd was cheering for. I don't know how that all happened. I think of myself as shy and not very outgoing, but I love my sport and those who choose to share it with me. That love has paid off.
I will be racing this week in front of my home crowd and I am looking forward to that. I will also be out there cheering for all my friends and I think that is just as important.
See you at the races.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


In one week I will be lining up to race my event in the USAC Cyclocross National Championship. Last year, though I raced, I wasn't prepared as I had spent 12 weeks recuperating from a ruptured disc. This year no excuses. I have trained well, raced well and frankly I feel great.
I am not making any predictions as age group racing is always a bit of a gamble depending on who shows up. I just want to go out and give it my best. I want to test my self, see how hard I can go and hopefully if all goes well finish in the top 5.
There a few factors that will help or hinder me. One is, I am not a great runner, if there is one set of barricades and one run up per lap I will be fine, if there is more running than that I will have to make up for it on the bike else where. Two if is snows and there is snow on the course I will be at an advantage. I like riding in the snow and I like to think I am good at it. If it turns to slush then it will be more difficult for me as slush is not hard technically just hard. If it is solid ice that could help or hurt. I like ice but it is too slick no one can ride it and it becomes a run.
I can't predict what the course will be like, nor can I predict what the promoters will do to the course. It will be fair as we will all ride the same course at the same time. Like I said I am looking forward to this year. Last year was an experience I will never forget and this year I should be able to race like I am capable off. If you want to watch it is 8:30 am on Thursday December 9th. It is the first race of the National Championships. I will be nice to be done early so I can help my teammates, it is also nice to go first so I won't be thinking about it all the time. Thanks for reading.