Race Brain.

I had several things on my mind before I feel asleep last night. I thought about getting up and just writing. I was going to write in my notebook then just transfer it over to here (to kind of cheat if you will), but the Lady was cold and needed me to keep her warm (along with the heat sock). The plan was to wait till the moment where she turns over before getting out of bed and writing. Not on the computer, that would only help keep me up. But before I could get up to write I somehow managed to put myself to sleep without wrestling with any of the things that were on my mind. That leaves them for today. Here they are:

  • Self – Sabotage
  • The act of writing itself
  • My lack of work
  • Bike racing, specifically of the crit. variety.

That’s not in any particular order. Those four things just kind of cycled through my mind. A lot like a competent pace line. Like the ones I’ve witnessed, but have rarely been a part of (I take a portion of the blame for this). Each thought would take its turn at the front before pulling through and letting someone else do the work. Some of these thoughts are work horses and always take monster pulls. Like my lack of work. Others, like that bastard called self sabotage only sits on the front for a moment before tucking back in to the draft. He then sits in for a while until the others are too tired to go back up front.

Self – Sabotage is something I’m good at. Not trying to be “grumpy”, or overly dark. I’m just stating a fact. One day at the rock gym my friend Chris (who I miss dearly!) turned to me and said “Your ability to sabotage yourself is amazing” or something like that. It’s true. If there is a way to screw myself over I will find it. It’s a constant battle and sometimes I just give in. Much like I did several times yesterday when presented with both Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s and then with some kind of delicious banana cake. I seem to have lost my ability to say no. Actually that’s a cop out. I can say no. I just didn’t.

Writing (the practice of) is a lot like bike racing. Rather its a lot like getting ready to race your bike. I’ve talked before about creative work being like training and training being like creative work. You have to exercise those muscles on a constant basis. If not you either stay where you are or get weaker. When I started riding again I just couldn’t jump on the saddle and go out for a four hour ride. I had to build up to that by going for a ride everyday and slowly pushing out the time I was out.

I’ve written something everyday for the last seventeen (or is it eighteen?) days. Because of that I can feel my skills getting stronger, well ideas are coming to me faster than they used too. Its still hard to hold onto the good bits that come to me when I’m riding. Either way I’m working those thinking muscles and its paying off. It’s time to capitalize on this work and put out some good stuff.

Bike racing of the Crit. variety: Last night was my first night at the Tuesday night hammer fest. I’m made a vow to myself to start trying to race with some panache. I tried to attack last night. I was successful in the sense that I passed the group and got a bit of a gap. One guy jumped on my wheel but when I tried to get him to pull through he was more interested in getting more people to form a break. Maybe I should have just taken off again. What I did instead was say “What?” Instead of working he repeated himself and we were overtaken by the pack. I was then spit out the back and that was the race for me.

I tried to work with another guy to get back on, but that didn’t work out. At one point we touched wheels, or rather he nudged my rear wheel. Later he confessed to not being good at riding in a pace line. I thank the boys at Spin for teaching me that so long ago.
These types of races aren’t my strong suit and I don’t know if I’ll ever really be good at them. However that makes me like them even more.

They’re hard, they hurt, and I need to work on adding a few more matches to my book. Right now I have one or two. Or maybe I just have to learn how to burn them. Either way I’m getting what I want. That’s intensity that I won’t get riding by myself hopefully I’ll pick up some race savvy. Baby steps are needed. Next week I try to finish with the group and not get beat by kids who are more than half my age.


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