Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Ain't nothin going on but the Rent....

Work.  A necessary evil or just evil?  The fact is that many of those entered for this years race have little choice but to continue working whilst training.  Percentage wise, there are very few that make a living from riding a push bike, there's even fewer that can ride these type of events and make a living from it.  Which would imply that I think I'm a pro, which I most certainly do not, but its a vicious circle.  You need to work to pay for living, part of which is the ability to a) buy nice bike things b) buy food and provide shelter and c) buy nice bike things (I've listed those in order of importance).  However, working takes up a LOT of time, I do on average 8 hours in the office a day, plus a couple of hours travelling each way.  My job isn't particular strenuous (ok, its mainly done sat at a desk) but the commute is a killer and by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is strike out on the bike to do 8 million miles, in the dark and cold, to get the miles in.

So what are the options.  I have a nice car sat outside, I could sell that and live off the proceeds, give up my job and just ride every day.  Or, I could take an easier less stressful job somewhere close to home for less money and ride more.  Or I could go back to university and study something meaningless whilst working part time in a bike shop to fund my less than lavish lifestyle (yes, I've thought about this a lot - I spend a good deal of time on the train staring into space).  

Would it get me in fine fettle for the race - yes.  Would it hinder spending on bikes and kit - most definitely.  Would it force me to turn cycling into my job and in turn make me hate it?  More than likely.  And there's the rub - cycling is what I do to unwind and de-stress from the day to day nonsense that I have to tolerate at work/on the train/life in general.  Once that becomes the only thing in my life that I have to do (apart from cleaning and ironing - both of which I hate), then it becomes my job and I feel pressured into doing it.  The fun goes out the window, I start hating riding and look to spreadsheets and budgets for a bit of light relief.  Boston Matrix Yo!

So I won't be giving up work just yet to focus on being a full time bike rider(I bet Froome is breathing a sigh of relief as I type that) but instead need to man up and get on with the training.

This week so far has comprised a wet, cold and windy ride in the dark and an hour on the turbo watching the Milton Keynes cross race. Total so far this week - 80kms.  Not ideal but its a start.  I could ride to work - my train ticket is £460 a month and fully intend to, buts its something I need to work up to - its not so much the distance (67km each way) as it is the faff at the other end and the 8 hours of work inbetween rides.   But by the end of Feb I want to be able to do a week of commuting in and back without using the train.  Thats a big ask but if I manage it then I know I'll be well on the way to getting the form I need.

Recovery is another important factor that pretty much every cycling website and mag bang on about. I'm terrible for going to sleep at a decent hour - just five more minutes reading the inane comments on Pinkbike or answering a question about gear ratios on SingletrackWorld means that I normally don't get to sleep until 11.30 at the earliest, only to have to get up early the next day for work.  So that needs to change.

I've given up booze (I was always rubbish at drinking anyway) and the diet is slowly coming along.  I'll do another post about weight, weight loss, weight gain and, well anything else another time but I seem to have plateau'd at my current super heavy weight 200lbs.  I'm a tall bugger but even being 6ft3 means I still need to shift a good 20lbs (yes, my unit measurements are all over the place - I'll aim to be more metric in future). So its a matter of looking at calories in vs calories out until I'm at a decent weight.  Joy...

The good news is I've nearly killed the deathkillertyre by using it on the Turbo...


..looking forward to the bang when that lets go...

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