It has been a long cold winter but it seems like we are finally emerging from it. Lots of changes for my cycling endeavors in 2011: new team, new goals, new training focus, and more volume.
For 2011 my teammate Mike Birner from my 2009/2010 team, Ben's Performance Bicycles, took over the primary sponsorship of the team with his company Sportif Coaching Group and the new team is now known as Sportif Coaching Group supplied by Ben's Performance Bicycles (SCG s/b BPB). All of our great associate sponsors from last year have returned: Daisy Import Auto Care, OptimizeYourGame.com (Blue Mountain Apothecary), and Air Flow Services, Inc. In addition, JetBlue has also jumped on board to support us for 2011. The team has also grown for 2011 with around 20 members this year, up from six in 2010. I'm pretty excited about this new venture. There are a lot of great people on the new team and that provides a great source of support and motivation. We plan on promoting a cyclocross race this year as well; more on that as it develops.
On the training front, I've really ramped up my efforts this year in comparison to years past in which I mostly just rode more so than actually trained with a purpose. With the help of Mike Birner from Sportif Coaching Group, I've been working on efforts to help me build a solid base from which to work from in the coming months. Since my focus will again be on cyclocross this year I have plenty of time to get into what I hope will be the best shape I've been in since I started cycling again. To that end I will do some road races and criteriums this spring and summer, but only as training tools. The first of these will be the Black Hills Criterium on March 19th. A few teammates and I went out to recon the course last weekend and after riding several easy laps and one lap at the level of effort I expect will be needed to stay in the pack, I fully expect to get dropped after I explode around lap 4/8 or 5/8. My goals going into cyclocross season are to finish in the top half of all my races; I'm not sure how attainable that actually is, but I'm going to try my best.
As for volume, I'm off to a good start, although I have not been able to reach my original goal of eight hours per week. Hopefully that will be more attainable when the days get longer and the weather better so I can do more outdoor riding, which is much more bearable than the trainer for rides over an hour. For January and February of this year I put in 46 hours on the bike for 733 miles. Compared with my statistics from all of 2010 (133 hours for 2016 miles) I am not disappointed with my effort. Moreover I feel stronger than I ever have on the bike, despite my ongoing back issue which I am currently trying to remedy with the help of a chiropractor.
I guess that is a pretty good summary of my cycling endeavors thus far in 2011. As usual, my wonderful wife has been an awesome supporter and enabler of this new found addiction of mine. Thanks Karrie; I love you.