Saturday, October 31, 2009

11 Battling The Tour de Off-Season

Cattaraugus, NY

For many here in the northeast of the U.S, crusty golden leaves have begun to fall, signaling the time of the year when we must take give our a nuts a break off the bicycle saddle and gather other edible nuts for winter.

We are to find out our losses in upper body strength and try to "cross-sport", which must be like "cross-dress" to those 50-50 human beings, you find out what the other exciting side of the grass is like.

After emptying the family budget throughout the year buying bicycles, racing bicycles and driving huge vehicles to buy them and then hauling them around like a Bedouin to race them all over the place, we are going to try new things, lust after new gear, and bring the family budget to negative on the number line.

We're going to spend night in and night out of Ebay worse than a prostitute in a red light district of Bangkok, bidding on this crankset and those wheelsets and that headset because our well, our headset up there on the shoulder is a little out of torque, we're not satisfied with what we have and think we could be faster with the fancy colored ceramic bearings originally designed for machines that churn out raw materials for society in excess of 20,000 rpm. Nope, we must have it.

Not to mention, such night sessions of Ebaying will take a toll on us as we gain weight each day by the pound.

Sometime later, we'll start the "training" again and buy loads of cycling books to read because turns out, none of us know zilch about mambo-jumbo like periodization and TSS and FTP and BSS and all that BS.

When the training kicks in, it comes in myriad forms like wind trainers and rollers and fancy virtual reality and scandalous indoor spinning classes. For those of us who can't afford any of the above, we'll just pretend to spin a high gear in the bathroom while showering and then do calf raises after that, and somehow get the impression those legs will get big in the hot water over a couple of months. You know, the air-cycling version of air-guitaring.

Oh and must I say, half the training mentioned above will be consumed in trying to get rid of the weight we put on in winter. The other half lands us precisely to the fitness level we started out last year. And then we walk proud and upright with an S-curve in the back thinking we are stronger cyclists. Note : This is not applicable to those of who air-cycled in the bathroom as most of them will slip and fall on their bottoms in soapy water anyway.

The final stage of this Tour de off-season comes when renewing races licenses and buying extra licenses and so on, just in case one got lost, voila, not to fear here's another one in my organizer. Cat 1, cat 2, cat 3...what's that that a part of the cat family? Do they snarl?

When all is said and done, its a great off-season and its the journey that matters, yeah?

By the way, why the heck do they even call it off-season? There's nothing off about this silly affair.

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Happy Halloween and yes, have a season !!!


  1. This writeup is uncannily like the real thing :). What will you do in the off-season? I'm going to try and perfect my time trialing ability.

  2. I'll am curently training for a marathon next year BB. Good luck with time trialing!

  3. Nice article on off-season. Last off-season consisted of me doing nothing but riding two times during my break from school in-between semesters. That was because we only had 2 or 3 days of no ice on the roads around here. I did have a trainer, but I can't train on a trainer, I get too bored easily.

    I had my off-season already though, and need to start riding soon on a regular basis before next season that will start in April I believe. No collegiate cycling anymore, so no more getting up at 3am for 2-3 hour drives in 30 degree coldness!

    One more thing, I find it too coincidental that after I sent you a message about my off-season laziness you go ahead and write this... did I inspire you to write this at all? haha

  4. Zach : Thanks for commenting in. Why no collegiate cycling any longer? Did you find a job?

    Well, not only you but most of my friends who are cyclists inspire me. The season inspired me. Its changing. The mileages are decreasing and people are slowly beginning to hang those bikes up on the wall. It is pretty amusing to describe what happens next in the following 3-4 months.

    I wonder what others are going through... always fascinating to hear what people will be doing this winter.

  5. I missed my Cyclocross season when I hit the floor on my road bike one week before the first race and separated my shoulder.

    My off season is long boring hours on a trainer to keep some fitness but then I'm packing up my new Cross bike I won't get to use and heading for SF in April to ride and party with friends to get an early start to the cold Canadian season.


  6. Anonymous12:13 AM

    Like it or not, most Americans must go around with the bike on the back of the car to get somewhere. Sad fact of our transportation structure.

  7. My collection of training DVDs has become massive, so my relaxation time in September has turned into the Next Training Season. The DVDs will allow me to visit Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France and parts of the United States on some great climbs. I have the trashy Euro techno music downloaded, the espresso machine is ready for post-ride recovery, the weights and the Swiss ball are set up for core workouts and I will not have to come out of the basement again until April, when the asphalt might be visible again. Bring on the snowstorms!

  8. Sprocket : That's awesome!!! Imagine, you dont have to buy a single plane ticket to visit these places. Ah, technology...the mind boggles!

  9. Jerry W.12:52 PM

    The drag of the off-season would be fine if I only wouldn't have to smell my basement for the next 4 months.

  10. Yes, I have my plans for the off-season. I'll be "off" on my trainer in the man cave!

  11. to be honest, this is when i get going. i prefer breaking through the cold mornings of the bay area, the wet air, the shorter days. there's a trainer in my garage, but that's only for when i don't feel like dealing with the fenders and rain gear.

    @sprocketboy: can you recommend any of those training dvds? i have a few that came with my cycleops but I wasn't too into them.


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