Friday, March 22, 2013

thought for the day....

I am in the base phase of training, rebuilding and preparing for the 2013 round of the 24hr solo world champs. Coming back from some reasonably serious illness means that things seem tough for a perfectionist like me.

It's hard work, it's boring at times and is going to be done for months yet.  It means the day to day local racing is done when I am belted and it is prep for something that is still so far away.  It is tempting to go easy the day before local races or skip sessions to focus on what is in the right now.  The desire to do well at an unimportant race that is right now is stronger than remembering the real game is October.  Does this happen to you? Why am I so tempted, every time???

There is a simple explanation for this.  There is psychological theory that supports all of this.  The subjective value of a reward is affected by temporal factors.  It is the basis for what we call 'impulsivity'.   In simple terms let's say we were choosing between a gummy bears and and sour worms.  We choose the gummy bears because we like them more.   But now, let's say we could have the sour worms right now, and we have to wait 5 months for the gummy bears.  Typically people choose the sour worms.  We generally end up deciding something that we can have right now is more valuable than something that is a long way away.

In understanding how our brains typically work it helps us to be aware and shape our behaviour.  There is some good news! Specifically engaging the medial PreFrontal Cortex allows us to temper this behaviour. WTF I hear you say??! It's simple - i f we stop and THINK about it, we can reassign the appropriate values and make the right choice to align to our goals.

So I am doing the work. On the bike, and in my head :)  Hope you are too!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

And so it begins...

I am setting out on a journey.  It will take over a year to get there, and for a change on this one I am not going it alone.  Some of you know I have qualified for a RAAM solo attempt, the Race Across America.  Widely considered one of the hardest things you can do on a bike - RAAM takes in over 3000 miles and 8km of vertical ascent which must be conquered in 12 days or less.

It is not a stage race - it's the ultimate baptism of cycling fire.  From the time the gun goes until you cross the finish line the race is ON. It is up to you when and how you rest.  And every minute the clock is still ticking, race time slipping through the sandglass.

And this is how I plan to do it....

something wrong with this picture?

Why?  Because it is the hardest way you can.  Harder than solo - but that will be a topic of a whole other post!

So the work has begun.
Our first race bike has arrived.  It's a co-motion periscope.  Very cool set of wheels, imported and available in Australia through Koiled.  The guys at Calfee are making us some very slick carbon race frames to get us hammering for race day - but for now, the co-motion is the workhorse. Get to work!

We began with a fast and furious Crit race at our local, HPRW.

When we decided it was on, this is all they got to see (that's for you Jules!).

While it took a lot to ramp it up (understatement - the BURN!) once we were there we just rode away!  Pretty exciting.  Tandem riding is actually quite tricky and requires perfect synchronization of body weights and movements.  Especially so at race pace!

Drop it like it's hot.... time to ride off the front.

Harder than it looks!
There is a crazy amount of stuff to do.  Learn to ride a tandem properly, build the team, secure additional sponsorship - maybe even make a movie!  But I love doing it and the preparation is a key part of the overall adventure.

The current Tandem record has stood since 1990.  Yes, that's 23 years people.
At this point the plan is to get there prepared, with the best team, and to cross the finish line  becoming one of a very select group that have finished a RAAM solo, on a tandem.  I know we will do that.  But you gotta have a stretch target right?? :)

Ride on.