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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
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Living the Dream
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By Barn Door
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By Matt Gholson
Dec. 28, 2012 12:01 a.m.



ten speed 03What if you didn’t have to work, you didn’t have family responsibilities, everything was just  smooth sailing and you could spend your life trolling whatever course you deem best.  Would you make the pros?

I haven’t worked in seven months other than substitute teaching when I could get it.  When my teaching job evaporated in budget cuts last year and I couldn’t find another one I thought, “I won’t have any money, but at least I’ll have more time to ride my bike.”  Problem was after a spring and summer campaign that saw me putting on more miles then ever before I was burnt out on road biking.  I had all the time in the world to ride, but no desire.  I switched to mountain bikes and inline skating in the fall months and spent less and less time on my road bike.

I spent the entire year logging my rides on Strava and following the pros who also post their rides.  There are many things that separate the common rider such as me and someone who rides their bike for a living.   Genetics and geography are important for sure, but the passion that can fuel countless 500 mile weeks.  Ben King has 15,000 miles for the year on Strava and I know he didn’t post everything he rode.  He did a 57 mile ride on Christmas Day!  Talk about someone who loves to ride.

For seven months I’ve been living the dream, and I found out that my dream wasn’t to go ride my bike 7 hours a day.

Now lets compare with my pal Luke, who is training for the 2013 Tour the Divide.  If you haven’t heard of Tour the Divide I highly recommend you look up the documentary Ride the Divide, its on netflicks.   For most of the year I thought Luke would change his mind about the world’s most difficult bike race.   Yes world’s most difficult, there is nothing that compares;  current mountain bike stage races aren’t even close, and even the Tour de France isn’t as long nor does it contain as much climbing.

Luke works 12 hour overnight shifts at a demanding job and yet finds more time to ride than me.   Often I would go ride with him in the morning after he finished his shift and ask that we ride less miles because I was “tired.”

Luke has recently been turning his training up to eleven to begin getting ready for the June 8th start date.  He’s trying to ride 7 hours a day, he recently rode his bike 35 miles to a mountain bike trail head then proceeded to ride at the front of a group of awesome mountain bike riders.

Luke still has 5 months to get read for the race, Rocky Balboa got ready to fight Apollo Creed in just 5 weeks.  I think he can win it!  I’ve promised him completely coverage in the blog next June.

 

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