It has been almost six weeks since Lucas was born. In that time I've ridden my bike exactly four times for ~98 miles. Whatever fitness I had managed to carry over from cyclocross is surely gone now. There are several factors that conspired to bring me to this cycling void.
For starters having an infant in the house has resulted in significantly less sleep for myself and Karrie. This is the most likely cause of the illnesses we've encountered over the past few weeks; Karrie has gotten hit worse than I and has had a fever and nasty cough for the past three days which has been diagnosed as bronchitis and a sinus infection. As a result of that I stayed home from work yesterday and today to take care of the boys while she rested, although I'm not sure how much rest she actually got.
Another factor is stress: Karrie has a lot of it, and after staying home for two days playing Mr. Mom I can totally see why. Not that I didn't believe that her job was difficult, but this really has opened my eyes quite a bit more than they were. I've got a fair amount of stress too, most of which I usually blow away on the bike. With that outlet gone, I've been trying to refocus that energy to spending more time with Brady, to which I think I've been relatively successful.
The last two weekends we've had near-perfect weather here in Maryland, weather I was unable to ride in. The weekend of April 3 was Brady's birthday followed by Easter. My mom came into town to celebrate and visit and we all had a great time. Saturday there was an Easter Egg Hunt at a local park with some 20,000 eggs, moon bounces and other activities. Sunday my mom, Brady and I went to Sandy Point State Park and walked along the beach collecting sea glass and avoiding discarded needles; that place has really gotten bad. This past weekend was Brady's birthday party. We invited his five cousins and two friends to go duck pin bowling. The amount of preparation for both weekends was more than we anticipated and they kind of wiped us out.
With all that in mind when I do get the opportunity to get out on the bike I've had mixed emotions. On one hand I really miss riding and want to get out there and put some time in the saddle. On the other hand, I'm in horrible shape and getting out there on the bike means suffering even when I'm trying to take it easy; at times this makes me not want to ride. Riding in a group definitely makes doing it easier but that most likely means driving to a ride start and being away from the house longer than if I just rode from my front door, all for the same amount of saddle time.
So, after cyclocross season I had fully intended to do some road/criterium racing this year. Because of the very quick rate that the races in MABRA fill up, you pretty much have to be online, at the registration page when registration opens or you risk not getting in. My autocrossing friends in the Washington DC Region are very familiar with this phenomenon. One of my teammates gave me a list of races that suited my "strengths"; the quotes are because I don't actually have any strengths but flat courses are better for me than hilly courses. I failed to register in time for one, but did manage to get into the next two which fall on the first two weekends in May. Needless to say, after a group ride last week I am fully aware that I am in no shape to race. I will likely start these races and see what happens but it won't be pretty.
On the autocrossing front, Danny sold the Evo and bought a 2005 Caterham Super 7. I've driven it at one event, four runs, two of which were on 3-cylinders and all of which were on old, hard tires. Regardless, its going to be a very fun drive once I figure it out. My participation in autocrosses this year was to be limited in favor of racing the bike; how that will play out now is still unknown.
Reality has set in; time to pay the piper.