Sunday, October 13, 2013

Watching, Riding, And Still Hoping

Grafton’s PumpkinCross would have been one of my highest priorities this year if not for the broken collarbone that has kept me out of competition since Sep. 8. On Saturday morning I cheered from the sidelines and wished I were able to participate. The crew from Belgianwerkx did a great job setting up the Bike Science Coaching-designed course, so different from previous editions of the race and so much to my liking as someone who can climb a little bit. All those ascents of the hill on my practice course at Royal Oaks Park would have been good preparation. Congratulations to Jeff Melcher (Team Pedal Moraine), Mike Bown (Belgianwerkx) and Patrick Brock (My Wife Inc.) for representing West Bend so well by winning their respective categories.

Melcher also won the singlespeed race today in Verona. I did this, counter-clockwise:

My ride was just 20 miles but that was all I wanted today. It wrapped up a return to training that covered 120 miles in 7 hours spread over 5 rides. This afternoon was sunny and, well, warm enough. I need to make peace with cooler temperatures now—and with legitimately cold temperatures soon—if I want to be ready for the state cyclocross championships on Dec. 7.

Today I had it better than the pros at Bpost Bank Trophy Cyclocross in Ronse, Belgium. Rain and high winds certainly affected their race and may have limited the online coverage. I watched the text updates and occasionally got to see a video clip of a highlight from a few minutes earlier, but there was no truly live video.

Paris—Tours was on NBC Sports Network this afternoon. It wasn’t truly live either; it was tape-delayed. But at least it was free of technical glitches and it actually began and ended on schedule. NBC Sports has had a really bad history of bumping its cycling coverage to accommodate other programming. And the network has taken a beating in online forums from disgruntled viewers, so it’s strange to me that NBC said nothing about today’s coverage on Facebook or Twitter. If I were in charge, I would waste no opportunity to call attention to the things the network does right.

Tomorrow a new round of X-rays will show how my collarbone is healing, but it still may be too soon to guess when I will be able to race again. I will be OK as long as I still can ride and work toward new goals. For example, my fifth straight 4,000-mile season is now just 333 miles away. Not too long ago, a 4,000-mile season would have been the goal; now it’s a consolation prize.

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