Vermont in Autumn. Photo via @LazyJackFlash.

(Re)Discovery

(Re)Discovery

by / / 37 posts

I’ve lost a lot of things that were, at some point or another, dear to me. At times, I’ve even cast them away deliberately, either because of a nurtured indifference or an irrational or impulsive dislike. Regret is an easy emotion to find in reflection, it lays right at the surface and provides us with a quick answer without requiring further introspection. I prefer to recognize that every choice I’ve made was an opportunity and that even the failed opportunities make up part of the foundation that lays beneath me and helps support me as I grow. Life is about learning from your mistakes, looking ahead, and seeking beauty in every approaching moment; to embrace the opportunity to make the best choice we can based on our experience and our goals.

We walk along an intertwined web of choices and possible futures. Every choice is a crossroads where the direction we choose sends us hurtling towards a new destination. Some crossroads have paths that ultimately lead towards the same end, but all of them represent a different journey. We cannot see the path, so we are left to decide what to make of the journey. We always have a choice, even if the choice is simply to reject an option. But even rejection leads to a new choice, and that to another. Choice gives us freedom. To be deprived of choice is to be enslaved.

My season’s objectives lie at my back and before me stretches a long period of time as I work towards my next milestone, which is Keepers Tour 2015. Between here and there lies the Cyclocross Season in which I will sporadically race, and also a possible trip up Haleakala, but with my season just having ended, I will face them without any special preparation or training. My rides during the Fall are deliberately without objective, I ride as my fancy dictates. My objective is simply to ride and to rediscover the basic sensations that fuel my love for Cycling.

With this deliberate lack of structure, I explore once again the mysteries of The V. On some days, I come home from work and as I pedal away my muscles twitch as they hunger for the deep burning that only a session in the Five and Dime can do. Yet on other days I am drained and wish only to feel my legs spin and surrender to the hum of my tires as my senses fill with the cool damp smells of Autumn. The mystery lies in the fact that nothing between my days at the office will have been fundamentally different; I do not know the state of my body and mind until I climb aboard the bicycle.

Riding a bicycle may have nothing to do with the elemental existence of humankind, but it does have something to do with the elemental existence of us as individuals. The bicycle is freedom, to be sure, but it is also a mystery unto itself while paradoxically helping unravel the mystery how I respond and interact with my surroundings. Therein lies the enigma: the bicycle knows me better than I know myself.

// Defining Moments // Keepers Tour // La Vie Velominatus

  1. The off season is quite the paradox: I find it mentally refreshing without the structure of the season, but then I get a bit testy as I watch my fitness wane. Talk about regret.

    Maybe I should race cross a little more…

  2. 206mi route this Saturday… all I’m thinking is “here we go.”

  3. @unversio

    206mi route this Saturday… all I’m thinking is “here we go.”

    Now that’s how to end a season. Good on ya.

  4. @unversio

    206mi route this Saturday… all I’m thinking is “here we go.”

    Only mad dogs and Englishmen….

  5. Well written, you create some vivid imagery there. But being in the Southern Hemisphere with my race season beginning in just over a week and then my longest race two weeks after that, I kind of smile at the fact that I am (hopefully) in the opposite form and frame of mind. But I do envy you getting on your bike and just pedalling over then next little while.

  6. Wow, once again, what a timely article! Nice one, Big Frank!!

    I’ve been feeling a bit detached from Following of late. Been busy working on our house, landing a new job, and simply just not being in the mood for rides longer than 2-3 hours. I had been feeling kind of guilty.

    But, then I was out on a ride and realized that I’ve always gone through phases in my life, in all areas. Silly ones – I tend to eat the same things every day for periods (months, years even) and then without really noticing it, I won’t have eaten those things in months.

    In cycling, a couple years back I never would have guessed I’d own a slew of bikes and ride for a few hours a day. I was doing that and enjoying the cycling, but I was also neglecting other parts of my life and commitments. Now I’m doing pretty darn good, have found some balance, and I’m just not riding as much. That isn’t to say I don’t love cycling, I’m just in a new rhythm with it.

    Today is the first day of a new job. And, I get to bike commute 40 minutes each way. Nice! Plus, I work with a friend and for a guy that I like. Not so bad.

    What is great is that I’ve been dragging my feet in grad school for too long. Having this great new career opportunity I realized the #1 reason – my field requires all-in academic commitment, or else you simply can’t find a decent job. Too much competition, not enough new hires. Finishing my degree meant…overeducated dude either working hard and getting underpaid or overeducated dude working at the LBS. Part of my ascent into riding tons was avoiding my degree work, avoiding finishing, as that likely meant a job not in my field.

    All of that has changed and my life feels completely different. In a good way. Now that I have a job, finishing my degree is just the final hurdle in a long fucking academic career. I can always go back, having the degree, but there is GREAT potential with my new job.

    Anyway, here is to new directions, new rides, new routes, new rhythms, and maybe just enjoying life and not feeling bad for only riding my bike for 1.5 hours a day. Cycling is still a huge part of my life, it’s just a bit different than it has been of late. Nothing wrong with that. Change is healthy.

  7. 160k of relaxation this Saturday. Can’t wait!

  8. Transition into autumn here in Ireland, last real event of the season was in September. Everything came together in a beautiful crescendo and now I am contemplating a winter of training – heading into my second proper season of cycling.

    Thoughts range from N+1 options, to weaving my first proper training plan provided by my coach into the daily commute, to observing the different sensations and appetites that are cropping up and how best to replenish and recover.

    As the days get shorter and the temperature drops I feel like I am riding into a kind of caVe; where the attention goes inward and insights mined from moments of solitude on the bike are waiting for me.

    @Frank your words are reminding me to not lose sight of why I am on this path, and to just BE with the breath and the nourishing autumn countryside that surrounds me.

  9. @frank

    I prefer to recognize that every choice I’ve made was an opportunity and that even the failed opportunities make up part of the foundation that lays beneath me and helps support me as I grow.

    Relish the struggle, that’s the key.

    My rides during the Fall are deliberately without objective, I ride as my fancy dictates. My objective is simply to ride and to rediscover the basic sensations that fuel my love for Cycling. With this deliberate lack of structure, I explore once again the mysteries of The V.

    Yes. Rule #74. No training, just riding. No power meter. No GPS. No computer. No math. V-meter only.

    @unversio

    206mi route this Saturday… all I’m thinking is “here we go.”

    It’ll be one of the best days of your whole life.

    @ron

    Today is the first day of a new job. And, I get to bike commute 40 minutes each way. Nice! Plus, I work with a friend and for a guy that I like. Not so bad.

    Anyway, here is to new directions, new rides, new routes, new rhythms, and maybe just enjoying life and not feeling bad foronly riding my bike for 1.5 hours a day.

    The commute is my savior. If you’re feeling bad about only riding for 90 minutes a day, something is grievously wrong.

  10. @antihero

    @unversio

    206mi route this Saturday… all I’m thinking is “here we go.”

    It’ll be one of the best days of your whole life.

    A good 12 hour day, an MX Leader (The Sword) with no data, 52/42, 11-20 straight block, roads mapped by memory, some serious Parallax socks to inspire my own space-time continuum, and the sound of silence.

    My new journey starts when I finish.

  11. I may even run up on Hincapie at the half-point.

  12. It’s my goal to have a week off of work, each autumn, and ride without a plan taking in the autumn colors.

  13. Frank – This has been the year of (re)discovery for me on a bike. I quit 15 some odd years ago after getting burned out from racing and running a club/team. But when I found myself temporarily unemployed this spring, I decided to get back on the bike (my 20+ year old “steel is real” race bike) and just ride. I (re)discovered the joy of just riding to ride. No goals. No aspirations. Not worried about how far or how fast I rode. Just riding. Re-connected with one of my old racing buddies (who was also not working) and we rode together a lot … reminiscing about being younger, stronger, faster but not trying to be. Started doing a regular Sunday group ride and took on the role of lanterne rouge to make sure no one got dropped or lost and to help with anyone who had a mechanical. And helped some of the slower riders ride faster. More fun than hammering and trying to crush souls. I might occasionally duke it out on a hill/climb but for the most part ride sans ego. I know the younger guys (and gals) are supposed to be stronger/faster than me. I just do my best to hold my own given the difference in years. Sometimes experience pays off and I uphold Fausto Coppi’s adage “age and treachery will overcome skill and youth.” Even though most of my rides have been in 20-30 mile spurts, I’ve managed to log a tad over 3,400 miles since I got back in the saddle. But it’s not a benchmark or milestone. Once I start having those again, riding won’t be any fun for me. Yes, I have personal goals for certain favorite Strava segments where I think I’m capable of doing better. But my only real goal is to just ride to ride. Enjoy the bike and time on the bike for what it is.

  14. @frank excellent read.

    So you’ve actually structured a lack of structure. Strong work and not easy to do.

    Ive tried to ride of late with the same lack of structure, but most of the time turns into ” must ride further and harder ” and therefore kind of takes the enjoyment out of it.

    Riding with my kids helps, they care not for Strava segments or average speeds. Just the thrill of the freedom and the journey.
    Should be more of it.

  15. @Ron

    Today is the first day of a new job. And, I get to bike commute 40 minutes each way. Nice! Plus, I work with a friend and for a guy that I like. Not so bad.

    Congrats!! The second part seems like it’s from a post-appocalypic fiction – surely that’s not possible in real life!

  16. @Ron

    Wow, once again, what a timely article! Nice one, Big Frank!!

    I’ve been feeling a bit detached from Following of late. Been busy working on our house, landing a new job, and simply just not being in the mood for rides longer than 2-3 hours. I had been feeling kind of guilty.

    But, then I was out on a ride and realized that I’ve always gone through phases in my life, in all areas. Silly ones – I tend to eat the same things every day for periods (months, years even) and then without really noticing it, I won’t have eaten those things in months.

    In cycling, a couple years back I never would have guessed I’d own a slew of bikes and ride for a few hours a day. I was doing that and enjoying the cycling, but I was also neglecting other parts of my life and commitments. Now I’m doing pretty darn good, have found some balance, and I’m just not riding as much. That isn’t to say I don’t love cycling, I’m just in a new rhythm with it.

    Today is the first day of a new job. And, I get to bike commute 40 minutes each way. Nice! Plus, I work with a friend and for a guy that I like. Not so bad.

    What is great is that I’ve been dragging my feet in grad school for too long. Having this great new career opportunity I realized the #1 reason – my field requires all-in academic commitment, or else you simply can’t find a decent job. Too much competition, not enough new hires. Finishing my degree meant…overeducated dude either working hard and getting underpaid or overeducated dude working at the LBS. Part of my ascent into riding tons was avoiding my degree work, avoiding finishing, as that likely meant a job not in my field.

    All of that has changed and my life feels completely different. In a good way. Now that I have a job, finishing my degree is just the final hurdle in a long fucking academic career. I can always go back, having the degree, but there is GREAT potential with my new job.

    Anyway, here is to new directions, new rides, new routes, new rhythms, and maybe just enjoying life and not feeling bad for only riding my bike for 1.5 hours a day. Cycling is still a huge part of my life, it’s just a bit different than it has been of late. Nothing wrong with that. Change is healthy.

    Ok, now that I read your impossibly long post, AWESOME!! I can tell if your job is at the lbs or in your field but either way it sound like it hit the spot so fuckin’ good on ya!

    if I could give anyone advice, it would be to follow the heart not the paycheck; the money I make at work has no value to me – the experiences it brings does. But when you chase the paycheck you invariably wind up working more and more and enjoying the fruits of that labor less.

    not complaining about my very happy and fortunate life, just an observation about climbing ladders.

  17. off topic, came across this avatar on an overclocking website, nice

  18. @ped

    off topic, came across this avatar on an overclocking website, nice

    Had to check out the specific translation and found this great recounting and analysis. Of couirse, @wiscot probably already knew this and has an article about in the @frank’s queue of things to be published here ….

  19. @frank

    @Ron

    if I could give anyone advice, it would be to follow the heart not the paycheck; the money I make at work has no value to me – the experiences it brings does. But when you chase the paycheck you invariably wind up working more and more and enjoying the fruits of that labor less.

    not complaining about my very happy and fortunate life, just an observation about climbing ladders.

    One of life’s work lessons is “If you really enjoy your work the pay is probably crap, if you hate your job the pay is probably pretty good”………Now let me think, between working in IT and the seasons I spent teaching skiing……..

  20. @ron well said. Thinking of balance in life I remind myself that balance is never static. We turn the pedals around to stay upright on impossibly narrow strips of rubber. We shift our weight forwards and back to compensate for changing terrain. What is now will not be in a moment. Such is life. Jobs, VMH’s, partners, kids, etc all require us to constantly move between competing demands in order to stay balanced. Lean to far or commit to heavily, and its rubber side up and a trip to the ER.

    Congrats on striving for balance. Keep moving.

  21. @Ccos

    The off season is quite the paradox: I find it mentally refreshing without the structure of the season, but then I get a bit testy as I watch my fitness wane. Talk about regret.

    Maybe I should race cross a little more…

    Yeah, even in the last two weeks I’ve seen my form drop off significantly, but at the same time I’m having a lot of fun on the bike. Cogal today, CX race at Magnuson park tomorrow where I’ll experience Surround Bollocking.

  22. @ped

    off topic, came across this avatar on an overclocking website, nice

    WTF?? Where was that?

    @girl

    Well written, you create some vivid imagery there. But being in the Southern Hemisphere with my race season beginning in just over a week and then my longest race two weeks after that, I kind of smile at the fact that I am (hopefully) in the opposite form and frame of mind. But I do envy you getting on your bike and just pedalling over then next little while.

    And I envy you being on the other side as well; we’ll always look at the other side of the cycle with some nostalgia, won’t we? Feeling that sharpness in your muscles, the ease of movement that comes with it – even the feeling of power when you walk up some steps and smile quietly to yourself.

    And when I’m there, I’ll be similarly nostalgic for the freedom that comes with not having a plan anymore…

  23. @ChrissyOne

    160k of relaxation this Saturday. Can’t wait!

    Woot woot!

    @rfreese888

    As the days get shorter and the temperature drops I feel like I am riding into a kind of caVe; where the attention goes inward and insights mined from moments of solitude on the bike are waiting for me.

    Very well put! This are indeed times for discovery.

  24. @antihero

    Yes. Rule #74. No training, just riding. No power meter. No GPS. No computer. No math. V-Meter only.

    I imagine if you use a power meter how liberating it must be to get rid of it. I used to take my heart rate monitor off when I was a slave to it and it felt like the relief you feel after putting down a heavy load.

    @unversio

    A good 12 hour day, an MX Leader (The Sword) with no data, 52/42, 11-20 straight block, roads mapped by memory, some serious Parallax socks to inspire my own space-time continuum, and the sound of silence.

    I forgot you made that block! That’s a proper gear ratio you’ve got there, all around.

  25. Lovely read. Thanks Frahnk. And love that photo. For me, that’s home, and always will be.

  26. @VeloSix

    It’s my goal to have a week off of work, each autumn, and ride without a plan taking in the autumn colors.

    This is a very good goal.

    @chuckp

    Frank – This has been the year of (re)discovery for me on a bike. I quit 15 some odd years ago after getting burned out from racing and running a club/team. But when I found myself temporarily unemployed this spring, I decided to get back on the bike (my 20+ year old “steel is real” race bike) and just ride. I (re)discovered the joy of just riding to ride. No goals. No aspirations. Not worried about how far or how fast I rode. Just riding. Re-connected with one of my old racing buddies (who was also not working) and we rode together a lot … reminiscing about being younger, stronger, faster but not trying to be. Started doing a regular Sunday group ride and took on the role of lanterne rouge to make sure no one got dropped or lost and to help with anyone who had a mechanical. And helped some of the slower riders ride faster. More fun than hammering and trying to crush souls. I might occasionally duke it out on a hill/climb but for the most part ride sans ego. I know the younger guys (and gals) are supposed to be stronger/faster than me. I just do my best to hold my own given the difference in years. Sometimes experience pays off and I uphold Fausto Coppi’s adage “age and treachery will overcome skill and youth.” Even though most of my rides have been in 20-30 mile spurts, I’ve managed to log a tad over 3,400 miles since I got back in the saddle. But it’s not a benchmark or milestone. Once I start having those again, riding won’t be any fun for me. Yes, I have personal goals for certain favorite Strava segments where I think I’m capable of doing better. But my only real goal is to just ride to ride. Enjoy the bike and time on the bike for what it is.

    Welcome back; take it day by day my friend.

    @Barracuda

    @frank excellent read.

    So you’ve actually structured a lack of structure. Strong work and not easy to do.

    …I suppose that’s right! Hadn’t thought of it like that.

    Ive tried to ride of late with the same lack of structure, but most of the time turns into ” must ride further and harder ” and therefore kind of takes the enjoyment out of it.

    This is my biggest beef with Strave; I love the social aspect and the training log side, not to mention the detail provided by the segments, but its the pressure and how it pulls you out of your plan that keeps me from using it regularly.

  27. @therealpeel

    @ron well said. Thinking of balance in life I remind myself that balance is never static. We turn the pedals around to stay upright on impossibly narrow strips of rubber. We shift our weight forwards and back to compensate for changing terrain. What is now will not be in a moment. Such is life. Jobs, VMH‘s, partners, kids, etc all require us to constantly move between competing demands in order to stay balanced. Lean to far or commit to heavily, and its rubber side up and a trip to the ER.

    Congrats on striving for balance. Keep moving.

    Fantastic observation. I love this. Especially the line:

    What is now will not be in a moment.

  28. @frank

    @unversio

    A good 12 hour day, an MX Leader (The Sword) with no data, 52/42, 11-20 straight block, roads mapped by memory, some serious Parallax socks to inspire my own space-time continuum, and the sound of silence.

    I forgot you made that block! That’s a proper gear ratio you’ve got there, all around.

    The 206mi idea is out of my system now. Although the ride stopped at 100mi I am calling it a “successful test” and have the route registered to memory. The one tooth differential was the best decision that I’ve ever made with the drivetrain. Best decision of the day was to enjoy the idea of “stopping” with my family. They had endured 6 hours to the 3rd checkpoint with smiles on their faces and I then decided not to ruin that by pushing them for 6 hours more. The day was perfect.

    My notion of building up a Coefficient of Difficulty to endure the 206 mile route went in the ditch at mile 100. The adventure was a good one though. And I while I originally thought that I would want to describe my deep internal nature that I refer to as the Coefficient of Difficulty, I don’t need to. I rode alone and the miles are behind me now. And all the moments are left on the road.

    There is one remarkable eye opener though that came within the first 10 minutes of riding at dawn.
    I had the bike up to speed (the road was giving it to me) and maintaining the early stage of the Coefficient. Dead silent morning; dead silent bike; eerie strobing front light; rustling and crashing in the trees; light enough to see a whitetail bobbing along; one deer running up to speed in the tree line; I accelerate and shout “Heeahh!”; that next 100th of a second the deer clips my right butt cheek with its snout; crosses over my rear wheel without touching; still riding and the deer was gone. I momentarily rode as if it did not happen, and shortly thereafter found myself riding with a greater awareness for the rest of the day.

  29. @unversio Strong work! Thanks for sharing the story and photos. The last photo leaves no doubt that it was indeed a perfect day.

  30. Oh, and I love the lead photo. Reminds me a bit of…the photo I have next to my name. Mine is from one of my favorite road loops near where I grew up. Heads either from NY into PA or the other way, depending on which direction you ride the loop.

    Hmm, maybe I can manage to ride it when I’m visiting the Olds for Thanksgiving in a few weeks…

  31. @frank

    @Ron

    Wow, once again, what a timely article! Nice one, Big Frank!!

    I’ve been feeling a bit detached from Following of late. Been busy working on our house, landing a new job, and simply just not being in the mood for rides longer than 2-3 hours. I had been feeling kind of guilty.

    But, then I was out on a ride and realized that I’ve always gone through phases in my life, in all areas. Silly ones – I tend to eat the same things every day for periods (months, years even) and then without really noticing it, I won’t have eaten those things in months.

    In cycling, a couple years back I never would have guessed I’d own a slew of bikes and ride for a few hours a day. I was doing that and enjoying the cycling, but I was also neglecting other parts of my life and commitments. Now I’m doing pretty darn good, have found some balance, and I’m just not riding as much. That isn’t to say I don’t love cycling, I’m just in a new rhythm with it.

    Today is the first day of a new job. And, I get to bike commute 40 minutes each way. Nice! Plus, I work with a friend and for a guy that I like. Not so bad.

    What is great is that I’ve been dragging my feet in grad school for too long. Having this great new career opportunity I realized the #1 reason – my field requires all-in academic commitment, or else you simply can’t find a decent job. Too much competition, not enough new hires. Finishing my degree meant…overeducated dude either working hard and getting underpaid or overeducated dude working at the LBS. Part of my ascent into riding tons was avoiding my degree work, avoiding finishing, as that likely meant a job not in my field.

    All of that has changed and my life feels completely different. In a good way. Now that I have a job, finishing my degree is just the final hurdle in a long fucking academic career. I can always go back, having the degree, but there is GREAT potential with my new job.

    Anyway, here is to new directions, new rides, new routes, new rhythms, and maybe just enjoying life and not feeling bad for only riding my bike for 1.5 hours a day. Cycling is still a huge part of my life, it’s just a bit different than it has been of late. Nothing wrong with that. Change is healthy.

    Ok, now that I read your impossibly long post, AWESOME!! I can tell if your job is at the lbs or in your field but either way it sound like it hit the spot so fuckin’ good on ya!

    if I could give anyone advice, it would be to follow the heart not the paycheck; the money I make at work has no value to me – the experiences it brings does. But when you chase the paycheck you invariably wind up working more and more and enjoying the fruits of that labor less.

    not complaining about my very happy and fortunate life, just an observation about climbing ladders.

    Sorry for all the words! I am just pretty pumped up these days.

    A new job (not in my field, nor the LBS) popped up and I think I’m going to like it. Laid-back work environment, I like the folks I’m working with, start/stop time is flexible. Best of all, 40 minute commute on a dedicated trail. No dealing with rush hour cagers! I’d work at a job I hated for that PRO, but I like this job.

    Anyway, I was feeling detached from my inner Velominatus. My weekly riding totals are way down. But, then I got to thinking. When my totals were high, I was all out whack. Now I only get to ride for 1.5 hours a day, but so many other parts of my life are in better order. Oh yeah, and pimpin’ out the commuter steed is just as fun as pimpin’ the road machine. And cheaper!

    As for money. I’ve been living on meager grad student income for a few years, plus help from the VMH. Now I’m set to earn some decent money. It feels kinda weird, since all I really want is a few new bike things. (Just picked up the MegaDrive for post-November 2nd commuting!)

    This was just great timing for this article as I’m going through major changes in my own life, but they’re all for the best and making the VMH happy with steady income feels pretty damn incredible. And, now that I have to really schedule and plan ahead for my rides, they’re actually that much more enjoyable. When you can go for a ride any time you want, you take it for granted. Now it’ll be Sunday road rides with a pal, Weds. cross training rides in the park, and any others I can fit it, along with daily commuting.

    Enjoy the seasonal changes, Followers & Keepers!

  32. @unversio

    @frank

    @unversio

    A good 12 hour day, an MX Leader (The Sword) with no data, 52/42, 11-20 straight block, roads mapped by memory, some serious Parallax socks to inspire my own space-time continuum, and the sound of silence.

    I forgot you made that block! That’s a proper gear ratio you’ve got there, all around.

    The 206mi idea is out of my system now. Although the ride stopped at 100mi I am calling it a “successful test” and have the route registered to memory. The one tooth differential was the best decision that I’ve ever made with the drivetrain. Best decision of the day was to enjoy the idea of “stopping” with my family. They had endured 6 hours to the 3rd checkpoint with smiles on their faces and I then decided not to ruin that by pushing them for 6 hours more. The day was perfect.

    My notion of building up a Coefficient of Difficulty to endure the 206 mile route went in the ditch at mile 100. The adventure was a good one though. And I while I originally thought that I would want to describe my deep internal nature that I refer to as the Coefficient of Difficulty, I don’t need to. I rode alone and the miles are behind me now. And all the moments are left on the road.

    There is one remarkable eye opener though that came within the first 10 minutes of riding at dawn.
    I had the bike up to speed (the road was giving it to me) and maintaining the early stage of the Coefficient. Dead silent morning; dead silent bike; eerie strobing front light; rustling and crashing in the trees; light enough to see a whitetail bobbing along; one deer running up to speed in the tree line; I accelerate and shout “Heeahh!”; that next 100th of a second the deer clips my right butt cheek with its snout; crosses over my rear wheel without touching; still riding and the deer was gone. I momentarily rode as if it did not happen, and shortly thereafter found myself riding with a greater awareness for the rest of the day.

    This sounds mystical, effervescent, and magical all in one shot! What a day!

    By the way, the Coefficient of Difficulty should go into the Lexi as the practical version of Rule #68, n’est pas?

  33. @frank Do it.

  34. @unversio

    @frank

    @unversio

    A good 12 hour day, an MX Leader (The Sword) with no data, 52/42, 11-20 straight block, roads mapped by memory, some serious Parallax socks to inspire my own space-time continuum, and the sound of silence.

    I forgot you made that block! That’s a proper gear ratio you’ve got there, all around.

    The 206mi idea is out of my system now. Although the ride stopped at 100mi I am calling it a “successful test” and have the route registered to memory. The one tooth differential was the best decision that I’ve ever made with the drivetrain. Best decision of the day was to enjoy the idea of “stopping” with my family. They had endured 6 hours to the 3rd checkpoint with smiles on their faces and I then decided not to ruin that by pushing them for 6 hours more. The day was perfect.

    My notion of building up a Coefficient of Difficulty to endure the 206 mile route went in the ditch at mile 100. The adventure was a good one though. And I while I originally thought that I would want to describe my deep internal nature that I refer to as the Coefficient of Difficulty, I don’t need to. I rode alone and the miles are behind me now. And all the moments are left on the road.

    There is one remarkable eye opener though that came within the first 10 minutes of riding at dawn.
    I had the bike up to speed (the road was giving it to me) and maintaining the early stage of the Coefficient. Dead silent morning; dead silent bike; eerie strobing front light; rustling and crashing in the trees; light enough to see a whitetail bobbing along; one deer running up to speed in the tree line; I accelerate and shout “Heeahh!”; that next 100th of a second the deer clips my right butt cheek with its snout; crosses over my rear wheel without touching; still riding and the deer was gone. I momentarily rode as if it did not happen, and shortly thereafter found myself riding with a greater awareness for the rest of the day.

    Strong work, one to remember for a long time.

    I love the idea of a straight block but baulk at paying Dura Ace prices. One for the next bike.

  35. @frank

    By the way, the Coefficient of Difficulty should go into the Lexi as the practical version of Rule #68, n’est pas?

    Perfect.

  36. Coefficient of Difficulty is a whatever you need it to be — a number, a minimum or maximum, a discipline or feeling. A virtual chase that keeps the legs turning — and watching time and effort spent. Could also be known as the Right Amount of Dumb.

  37. @Chris

    @unversio

    @frank

    @unversio

    A good 12 hour day, an MX Leader (The Sword) with no data, 52/42, 11-20 straight block, roads mapped by memory, some serious Parallax socks to inspire my own space-time continuum, and the sound of silence.

    I forgot you made that block! That’s a proper gear ratio you’ve got there, all around.

    The 206mi idea is out of my system now. Although the ride stopped at 100mi I am calling it a “successful test” and have the route registered to memory. The one tooth differential was the best decision that I’ve ever made with the drivetrain. Best decision of the day was to enjoy the idea of “stopping” with my family. They had endured 6 hours to the 3rd checkpoint with smiles on their faces and I then decided not to ruin that by pushing them for 6 hours more. The day was perfect.

    My notion of building up a Coefficient of Difficulty to endure the 206 mile route went in the ditch at mile 100. The adventure was a good one though. And I while I originally thought that I would want to describe my deep internal nature that I refer to as the Coefficient of Difficulty, I don’t need to. I rode alone and the miles are behind me now. And all the moments are left on the road.

    There is one remarkable eye opener though that came within the first 10 minutes of riding at dawn.
    I had the bike up to speed (the road was giving it to me) and maintaining the early stage of the Coefficient. Dead silent morning; dead silent bike; eerie strobing front light; rustling and crashing in the trees; light enough to see a whitetail bobbing along; one deer running up to speed in the tree line; I accelerate and shout “Heeahh!”; that next 100th of a second the deer clips my right butt cheek with its snout; crosses over my rear wheel without touching; still riding and the deer was gone. I momentarily rode as if it did not happen, and shortly thereafter found myself riding with a greater awareness for the rest of the day.

    Strong work, one to remember for a long time.

    I love the idea of a straight block but baulk at paying Dura Ace prices. One for the next bike.

    I love mine, 11-23 , 11 speed is a straight block to 19 then 21 and 23, this cassette also holds the ‘magic’ 18t cog gear…

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