Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


North Bend, WA
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Digging's always been my thing (pumping too, but that’s another story). Give me a shovel and I’ll shovel… a pedal, and I’ll pedal. So in Paris-nice they gave me a race and I raced. It was easy; all you do is race for 5 hours a day for 7 days and its over. So that’s what I did- with a fractured shoulder, with colitis. And while I was racing, I was digging. Digging, and digging and digging. By the time the race was over I had dug so deep that I could no longer see the light. The shades were long removed and everything was dim and dark like a nice Seattle day in the winter. I got done with the race and got sick immediately, I started to recover, but I had a trainer in my apartment… so I trained. Then came Criterium International and I raced. I raced, raced, raced until I finished… 28 minutes down. Handily making the time cut, but absolutely destroyed. The next day I didn’t start. It was so easy; all I had to do was race!? But wisdom around me said to stop, there’s something wrong, you’ve got to go home and see a doctor and figure out what’s wrong. I was devastated, and the world was upside down. But the truth was that I’d been digging, and digging, and digging since I started Paris-Nice. And to stop digging when you’ve been digging so long is hard! So I did a little digging on the side, when I’d go out for a spin I’d start at 200 watts but be blown away. I couldn’t do it. I’d coast and recalibrate the power tap, but 200 was still just as hard. Something was wrong. I actually am screwed up. And then I realized how far I’d dug and started digging myself out. It was hard to believe that I was so low- I’d come from so high. At California I was high, like Mauna Kea high, and then all of a sudden I was at the depths of the ocean, about to run out of oxygen. So I started digging myself out… and it wasn’t until 4 days ago in the route du sud mountain stage that I finally found the sort of form that I was looking for. It was bizarre and void of anything resembling elegance but it was a start and it was a light in the very dark hole that I’d been digging for the past 2 months.
But the second half of the season is going to be good, great, victorious, triumphant… and I’m going to put my hard hat on over my shades and build, build, build until I get there.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Saleu, Andorra
Friday, June 6, 2008

On a whim I received notice of a stealth 1.5 day training camp in Andorra. I was to drive into Andorra with mechanic Tom Hopper early in the morning, ride in and around Saleu for 5 hours, stay the night in one of their classy establishments, grab the bike once more and head back to Girona. All in an effort to recon the area for a future training camp at altitude in the high, high, very high, pyrenees.
With it all said and done and the recon officially satisfied I can tell you that Andorra is a sensational locale for bike riding, training, vacationing and anything else bred for the high mountains. In 5 hours I climbed on top of the world and then a little higher. the average altitude there is around 6000 feet and each climb I did, (5), went to a different branch of the huge ski area there, Vallnord. Actually it seems that there is only one ski area in Andorra, but that ski area is made up of many stations. It would be like if in the rocky mountains all of the areas were called Steamboat. Anyway, if you ever go to Andorra, just know that it´s possibly the most spectacular places in the world. Small, but beautiful. ¿I wonder... if you flattened it out, how big would it be?