Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dogs and the Bright Side of Battenkill

When I put "first dog" on my gmail tag last week, everyone kept emailing to ask if I have gotten a dog (no, the Obamas did). But suddenly this was in the realm of the possible. How crazy if I had up and gotten a dog last week!? Anyway, here are some recent dog photos. The one in the truck is at the Stewart's Shop at the junction of NY-22 and NY-7, Hoosick Falls or so, on the drive up to Battenkill. German shorthair in Tucson; Great Dane in New Haven. Looking on the bright side of Battenkill: no crashing, excellent training, overcame hesitancy in the pack post-crash, riding epic roads and an awesome race, seeing friends... Hum, what else? I do not enjoy racing with zip top-end. The first steep hill and I was going backwards FAST. I should have raised my arm to alert the other riders in the field. Chase chase chase chase finally caught but I was so hopeless I attacked and then got shelled, which seemed inevitable. Then I worked as hard as I could in my group without getting dropped, just for good training and as an outlet for all the frustration. It was ugly though, I was dying on every hill, upper body "chopping wood" and basically gasping for air. Eventually I was so tired I basically rode off the road by mistake into a gravel shoulder and had to get off my bike. The group rode away and I just rode in. Excellent riding at the front of the race, or so I heard.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Battenkill Ahead

As far as pedaling, the approach is different: Pilates and a slow wind-up, free-lancing it as far as team, and targets later down the road, but I am still here! Photo of beloved Mt. Lemmon, shelved in memory as I returned to winter in the Northeast, to be snowed on as recently as last Thursday. At times it feels I am swimming against the tide, especially during this rough winter that inhibited group rides and has resulted in fitness better suited for brevets than racing, but I am excited. I have a few new projects in the works, including improving at time trialing, and am really looking forward to racing the Tour of Prince Edward Island this June. Yesterday I was struck by a bolt of inspiration to mountain bike race. We’ll see about that since I do have road plans and goals, but there might be something to this idea of finding huge new challenges locally, spinning the challenge of no team into an opportunity to branch out (to borrow the cliche). Battenkill this Saturday and the race has gone big-time. It will be a huge challenge to play my hand right and to keep the experience in perspective. Last year I was coming off Redlands; this year I am coming off a single day at Bethel. The combination of the deliberate slow-wind up in training and the weather’s impact on the usual incidental development of top-end will demand some patience and perspective, especially given the background of doubt of returning from injury. But what an awesome race!

April Update

Apologies for the lack of update - at least this blog cannot be confused with Twitter. Twitter’s amazing if it fosters democracy in Moldova, but do you really want to know that I’ve just woken up in New Haven, am having a cup of coffee while waiting to talk with my thesis adviser who’s at JFK, about to fly to London, before dropping my visiting college roommate at the train station, then picking up my bike from the shop? What is the consequence of Twitter for anything not online, not in the present? This is a “file drawer” problem if ever! The environmental field, or at least my experience of it, seems so flat these days with reference to history. Climate change pictured, 12,000 years ago at Murray Springs mammoth kill site from my trip to Tucson last month. Forcing myself to stay focused as I finish school in this next month, considering spatial and temporal heterogeneity with reference to biological and social processes in cities, contesting the inevitability of tragedy of the commons, drinking in a talk by Bill McKibben and a workshop on starting a non-profit AND so excited for future endeavors namely trying to do something not just think and a GET EDUCATED summer reading campaign. Not just the instant news I get sucked into – Politico, the first dog, and the astonishing role of pirates in the present – but real books. Alaska in August.