You know that old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child”?
I’m pretty sure it applies to bike racers, too.
2011 has been an utter whirlwind season. Originally I wrote a long, rambling epistle on how overwhelming my first year of racing was, but I kept coming back in a circular loop to one glaring thought in my mind: “Dammit Nate, you’d be nowhere without your village.”
So, to the cycling village (yes, that probably means you) that brought me up in my racing infancy, quite literally catapulting this downtrodden Cat 5 grom to Pro in a season, I express my deepest gratitude. From the mentoring, coaching, lodging, feeding, rescuing, bandaging, long pulls, equipment help, financial help, bottle handups at races - it all made the difference. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and hope that one day I can pay it all forward tenfold.
I’m incredibly humbled to be added to the roster for the 2012 Competitive Cyclist Racing Team - Paco and company managed to take apart the NRC this year in their initial season as a UCI Continental pro team, and did so with a staggering level of aplomb. I’m nothing short of honored to be welcomed onto a crew of seriously hardworking and successful racers.
I know the road ahead is going to be an all-encompassing baptism by fire, but what I lack in experience I’ll compensate for with hard work, a visceral enthusiasm to learn, and a passion for nothing short of success when it comes to meeting our goals as a team.
I. Can’t. Wait.
Homebrew (aka, “I’d rather spend the PowerClifGuHammerBar money on new tires”) nutrition working its magic on one of the most miserable stretches of Utah cycling byways around.
Approximately 500 kcal of:
-Amaretto honey bar made of stuff I had lying around my kitchen (250 kcal - I’ll post a recipe someday…maybe).
-Honey (~100kcal)/water mix in an EFS flask spiked with a dash of orange electrolyte replacement powder.
-Gummy bears coated in sea salt (150 kcal - a hint of water gets it to stick)
So, bar replacement, gel replacement, and chew replacement for a fraction of the retail cost of prepackaged food. The honey/bears I’d probably forgo for “real” nutritionals in a race, but the bars are ROCKING! My ultra-endurance runner housemate finds them scrumptious enough for his own consumption.
Gummy bears coated in salt: Legitimate energy chew replacement?
If I’m awake later, I’ll attempt to provide an adequate documentation of my attempts to create my own energy bars.
Ghetto Nutrionals, pt 1. Peanut butter. Two slices of bread. Honey. ESPRESSO GROUNDS.
Side bonus: Actually edible. Nice caffeine bite and smoky aroma lent by the grounds. Nom. Easy to consume on bike with a dash of your favorite ER drink.
Stay tuned for my attempts at making my own bars.
i’ve got a more extensive race report i may/may not post, but the long/short is: lost to some fast dudes (amongst them wren, louder, couple front range monsters, etc), beat some fast dudes (tinker j, tim johnson). 7th in pro.
sometimes i miss crashing. it’s been too long since i’ve woken up glued to my sheets.
Could pen a long, boring race report on the High Uintas Classic…or sum it up with this:
Missed RR break, rode TT cold, knocked out five primes in the (rainingfunasballs) crit, 5th overall. and vaunted champion of this contest at the awards ceremony.
carla says i’m officially a whore. i can live with that.
fuel for 7-hour drives:
Okay, so I failed miserably at Gila-ing the shit out of the blog stuff. Whatever. Long story short: Second in the GC. Jockeyesque guy who slayed my ass by a minute was pretty untouchable on climbs. Took two minutes out of him in the TT (and won it by a hefty margin), but it wasn’t enough, and I was spent by the last day. Live. Learn. Crush. Repeat.
Post-Gila revelry resulted in a near-immediate Cat 2 upgrade (three weeks as a 3? yes please). Post-post-Gila revelry also resulted in joining a local elite team, Canyon Bicycles. Post-post-post-Gila revelry also saw me aboard a new Specialized Tarmac S-Works SL3 with SRAM Red. More on this later.
Anyway, I came to the conclusion that doing the Iron Horse Classic (henceforth known as “Monster Steel Pony”) down in Durango, CO over Memorial Day Weekend was a wise idea. Converse to most of my life decisions, this was actually a pretty solid one. Shortish RR (47 miles), but a bitchton of climbering to make fat guys cry. Three ascents (two of which went over almost-11,000 foot passes), somewhere between 6-7000 total feet of climbing, and an amazing finish in the throwback burg of Silverton, CO. My cat was full, so I registered for the Pro/1 field.
Middle of the Navajo Nation en route to Silver City, NM.
Google Maps claimed 14.25 hours - somehow the Swedish Meatball got it done in 11 without any serious lawbreaking and a long stopover at the Lovemuffin Cafe in Moab. 4 AM leavetime from SLC made for some interesting 5-foot visibility driving over Soldier Summit, but the rest was fantastic from a meteorological standpoint. For the first time since childhood, I felt a sense of social shame while driving through the Dine reservation, something I’ve never done before. Too tired to elaborate more now…but a funny point in my mind.
Silver City is interesting. Collision of a lot of different lifestyles this weekend - I was checking out at the grocery store after arriving, and two rather portly females ahead of me in the checkout line were giggling about my purchase of a SlimFast sixer.
Went for a quick spin this afternoon with my week-long roomie, a chill Cat 1 guy from DC who rides with the Kelly Elite team (not the Kelly Benefits NRC pro team) and goes by the name of Blair Berbert. Definitely offered up some good beta on the 3 courses - I don’t know how guys like that do it from the coast straight to 6000 feet. I wish him luck.
Enough people bugged me to keep a log of my Tour of the Gila exploits that I was motivated to Tumbl. Apparently, not everyone is hip/public/employed by the private sector enough for Facebook.
Sunday. Realized it’s Zombie Jesus day. This may make acquiring necessary last-minute items difficult. Here’s to hoping the grocery stores are still selling Clif Bars in defiance of the /clarkson/ Beby Jeezus. Leaving either tonight or early tomorrow morning - thinking 3 or 4 AM. 14 hour drive (15 if I decide to cut into Monument Valley) from Salt Lake to Silver City, NM. Loading car tonight. Two bikes, four sets of wheels, a metric ton of precooked chicken and pork in a cooler, toolbox, repair stand, enough First Endurance product to keep Qaddafi’s troops going for at least a month, and all other various bike race accoutrement.
70-85 degrees for a week. And I get to race my bike. I can handle this lifestyle.