Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reflections, Racing the End of the Season Away & Results

I finally have a break to sit down and be bored. Though just as boredom set in, I began to think about how I still don't know my new town of Flagstaff, AZ. I'm in the hospital clique and I'm slightly into the road cycling clique, though I haven't actually ridden with the group in about two months. Racing takes a toll on social life from the large scheme of getting to know a new place and meeting people to the micro level of giving Juanita (my girlfriend) the time and affection she deserves.

I recently read a ROAD article discussing when a cyclist should quit. It talks about trying to devote the amount of time into cycling that the professionals do all the while maintaining as much of a job and social life as possible. Most everyone reading this knows exactly what we're talking about. At a certain point, the author of the article says that it might be better to quit cycling at the high level to salvage other parts of life. This is absurd. I prefer his other suggestion of winding it down in the fall, which is inevitable, and focusing on the neglected parts of life. Many top cyclists, believe it or not, race professionally and work. Look at Michigan's own Tim Finkel who recently moved up to the Gary Fisher 29er Crew to come away 15th at the World Solo 24 Hour Championships this year.

Back to my thoughts on the neglected parts of life. Just as I was trying to dazzle Juanita, she left for a work trip. I have a week off from riding and I'm not working until tomorrow (my regular three 12 hour shifts). This is where that thing I talked about above, Boredom, prevails. It's been a while, approximately four years since I've sat around lazily with no school papers to work on. I'm not going to lie, it is quite nice for a change.

One thing I'm doing is looking into the Flagstaff Biking Organization to see if I can join in on the fun. We will see where that goes. I'd love to see more kids riding road bikes. With a youth mountain biking program in place, the template is set. I won't go too far into this little vision, but I think I might try to give back to this seemingly vein and selfish pursuit of becoming a professional cyclist, by infusing the dream into young ones. It could be a full-circle result. Plus continued support of the youth is exactly what's missing from curative health care, i.e. my job as a nurse. I see the kids to good health and then our short relationship (usually mentor-like and supportive in nature) abruptly ends as they go home. Just a warning, I'm not too great at following through with things all of the time...I need to work on giving more than taking now that school is no longer an excuse.

These are my most recent thoughts. I could talk more about the sacrifices we all go through during the season and the years devoted to our chosen lifestyle. Moving out here and not having too many friends in Flagstaff would be a starter, but I don't feel sorry for myself one iota. I love the adventure and sacrifice. These risks are meant to be taken. You have to put everything into it at first to see some eventual gains.

And now to the gains. I hate to talk about myself, really, but I need to put my results somewhere. Just in case you are a new reader in search of an up-and-coming climber (in the future) for your cycling team, here are my notable results from this year. In addition, I submitted my Category 1 request yesterday with the points required. To make sure it is known, I recently joined a great team called Bicycle Haus Racing (Scottsdale, AZ). From an outsiders perspective, the brothas appear to make up a little shaven legged family from the cat 5's to the cat 1's. The highlights of my 2008-2009 resume are as follows:

Pro 1/2 & Collegiate “A” Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC)

University of Wisconsin Criterium A (pro1/2) 4/19/09 75 minutes 2/45

New Mexico State Road Race Championships 8/22/09 70 miles 2/23

Bernalillo Time Trial Series #4 Albuquerque, NM TT 8/23/09 9miles 3/77
(77 total starters)

CBR CA State Criterium Championships 9/6/2009 9/50

Everest Challenge Stage Race CA/NV State Climbing Championships 9/12-9/13 2009

Stage 1 -102 miles 3/25
Stage 2 -82 miles 3/25

Overall 3rd Place

Mount Charleston Hill Climb (mass start) 9/19/09 17miles 2/17
[Neil Shirley (Kelly Benefit Strategies) 1st, Tinker Juarez (MonaVie Cannondale) 3rd]

Interbike: USA Crits Finals Pro/1 (2 invite) 9/24/09 60 kilometers 28/45

Mount Graham Hill Climb (mass start)- Arizona State Hill Climbing Championships 9/27/09 20 miles
3rd overall finisher
1st Cat 2
(Pro1/2 riders split into age groups or however they signed up)

Tour de Scottsdale Pro1/2 10/4/09 73 miles 2/47

Notes: 1. 2009 Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference Ranked 15 (individual nationals qualification)
2. I'm working on a full results page


Doug said...

Not too bad. Time to go totally pro, strike out on your own, quit work, sell everything you have, buy an old beat up van. Then take to the road crossing the country for 2010, doing all the big road bike races, just you, the van, the bikes, Juanita, and XM Radio :).

Yeah, you can work M-F as a traveling nurse in different hospitals as you cross the country...

This could work...

Chris Aten said...

haha. Not yet Doug. I need to be at that level first. I'm still chasing the dream though. Thanks for the advice