The Declaration to Ride

August 4, 2014 By Tom

Last week, I made a decision to get back on the bike.  Last week, I made a decision to race my bike in 2015.  Last week, I realized it’s time to find the new normal on two wheels.

I’ve got great resources surrounding me now, with the five year anniversary of the accident coming up in 2015, I decided what better way to remember it than schedule a dozen or so races in the 2015 racing year.  I’m not looking to get back to my form that had me traveling all over the country, but I am looking to find my form that can have me competing locally and regionally for fun.

I’ve talked about getting back on the bike numerous times, but I’ve gotten scared off every single time.  I’ve also not been in a position where I know what to expect in terms of other life events.  I’ve got a steady job and salary, the ability to get some great conditioning training with the crossfit gym opening at the office.  I’m going to get back in the pool and weight room to work on strengthening my back and the muscles that have given me issues around the spine fracture sites.

I’m going to approach this as a tool to motivate me to get into some pretty impressive fitness form before I turn 30 in 2016.  I’ll be focusing on track stuff and local criteriums on the road bike and ultimately, having some serious fun with a sport I’ve known since I was 9 years old.

I haven’t touched the bike in 9 months and I’ve really just been running.  I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym, I’m looking forward to having something to train for and fight for.  I think one of the reasons I’ve been a bit afraid to get back into racing over the past 4 years is two-fold; the first being me disappointed in the loss of form from when I was at my best to the present, and the second being unsure if I trusted myself to back-off and not risk injury in the competitive moment.  I think I’m finally fine with both of these and at the end of the day, my competitive needs are really getting met at work as I continue to see success by challenging norms and rocking the boat.  I think I finally trust myself to back out of a tight situation instead of dropping an elbow or headbutt to fight for position.

I’ve missed this view

I’m looking forward to getting some broad fitness back in my system, the approach to running, swimming, cycling, yoga and crossfit will make me a much more well-rounded individual in terms of fitness than I ever was on the bike.  I’ll most likely take full advantage of previous experience and look to lean-out a bit while retaining my sprint bulk on both my legs and upper body build.  It means eating healthier, taking better care of myself and finding some better work/life balance; all things I need to do anyways to be totally happy in life.

time to do these colors proud

A lot of this is going to be with the help of Chris Roche, my friend from the fitness world who is opening the crossfit/yoga/exercise gym next to my office.  He doesn’t know how much of a role I expect him to play, but I truly believe there is a reason our paths have crossed so closely over the last year and take it as a sign of the position and importance in this new endeavor.  It’s going to be a slow process, I’m going to start busting some tail in the immediate so I can have some base fitness when the gym opens in October, and I wanted to capitalize on the beautiful weather I think we’ll have this fall with some serious miles on the bike.

I’ve also got some great friends at Team Rollfast that I’m looking forward to spending some on the bike time with and having them pummel me into submission as I find my fitness on the bike.  I feel like I haven’t had a chance to embrace the team atmosphere and bonding that has happened over the last two years and am looking forward to bonding with the group of guys in ways that only happen on the bike.
Let’s hope for lots of tailwinds,