Why I didn’t race and Vacation

Here we are after the hike to Rainbow Falls, 2.7 miles uphill stressed my calves and feet.

Well I just spent a pleasant few days in the Smokie Mountains with Shaundo.  I raced go- karts and we walked 2 miles up a mountain, and we went to the Titanic Museum.  Shauna doesn’t read my blog so that leaves me free to say what I think and while I enjoyed parts of the trip I’ve got to say that tourist trap of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is not one of my favorite places.  Enough about that though lets get on with today’s burning question.


I was actually pretty good at this since I've been spending alot of time on racing simulator programs, I lapped the field twice in one race. To be fair most of them were under 13.

I’ve been asked by several people who heard about the Great Egyptian Omnium on TV or read about it in the newspaper if I rode in it.  When I say I didn’t I’m always asked, “I thought you rode bikes?”  I go on to explain that while I ride bikes I don’t race them, and how competetive and tough an actual bike race is.  Then I go on to explain how my extra body weight makes it almost impossible for me to keep up on the climbs with  racers.


When I get done and realize they haven’t been listening for several minutes, I go on to explain that I don’t shave my legs and I don’t have a team jersey.  That leads the conversation in a completely different direction and ends with them shaking their head and saying, well you should have raced you never know.  This has been on my mind now for a few days and the fact is that they are right, I will never know, but I can make assumptions. 


My favorite part of the trip was the olive bar at the supermarket. They've got all these crazy olives and pepers its awesome!

I think I would have probably finished in the pack in the criterium, it was only 30 minutes and I know I can put out alot of power for 30 minutes.  The course had only a short hill that wouldn’t have done much damage to me.  The heat wasn’t good but I could have handled it for 30 minutes.  

I think I would have finished off the back in the road race.  I watched the group go over a big climb about halfway through the course on the first loop.  I have no doubt I would have been in the group for that climb, probablem is that there are several other tough climbs on the course and 40 miles would have been rough in that heat. 

If I could go back I’d do it and I’ve already decided to make it a goal for next year.  Weight loss has got to come back for me.  I tell myself I’ve been eating OK, but with the amount of riding I’ve done this summer and the fact that I’ve actually gained weight I’ve got a big problem.  That problem takes the form of carbohydrates from junkfood. 

I’ve given myself a goal to work towards in the mean time.  The Union County Colorfest Biathalon   5K run and 17 mile bike ride.  The bike ride is no sweat, the run?  Well I’m working on that.  I’ve been to the track a couple of times now to run.  I did a 5K the other night in 37 minutes.  Not bad I guess, but not good either.  A good time for the Biathalon is 1 hour and 20 minutes.  The fast guys are 1 hour and 10 minutes.  I think I could finish the ride in about 52 minutes which means at my current 5K time I’d finish in 1 hour and 29 minutes.  Of course the run isn’t on a nice flat track, its up and down hills and I’m not sure if I can hold a 20 mph pace after running a 5K.  If I finished under 1 hour and 30 minutes I think I’d be happy.

Ultimately I want to have no excuses next year.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in lifestyle, Stories, training, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Why I didn’t race and Vacation

  1. rlhoover says:

    Best of luck to you on your commitment! I too am working on the body weight. I guess if you did not like G-burg, then you would not be interested in visiting Branson! Ha!

  2. JC Wise says:

    you better shoot for 1 hr 40 min. I’ve done it twice and was around 1:30 on both. managing the amount of effort to put into the run and still being able to ride fast is a huge factor. and it’s hilly for the run and the ride. but it’s fun!!!!

  3. Matt Gholson says:

    Well, I’m sure that Branson is a nice place if you know what to do and where to go. I visited there and since I don’t like country music, shopping, and cheezy tourist attractions I didn’t care much for it.

    JC I looked at past results and you did it in 1:23 in 2005. You’ve had 6 years since then to improve.

  4. Jim Russell says:

    I calculated the speed of the winner of the last time trial during the Tour de France and it came out to about 26 MPH (maybe my math was wrong); this is about the average speed of the Tour de France overall. I really thought a single rider on an aero bike would be quite a bit faster; I guess the draft in a large pack is really efficient. I received a cycling DVD with my bike trainer and it was of a professional crit race somewhere, there average was also about 26 MPH although I have heard of guys averaging close to 30 MPH in these things. Anyway, your 20.1 MPH average may not be to far off for a local race for beginners, you should give it a try sometimes, at least you would know where you stand.

    I am not a diet expert, but I know from my personal experience if you want to lose weight it is more about the food you eat than exercise. Yes exercise is beneficial but if you cannot control your calories along with your exercise, losing weight can be difficult, at least for me.

  5. Matt Gholson says:

    With my math Tony Martin completed the course with an average speed of around 28.8 mph. The slowest finisher completed it around 24 mph. Keep in mind this is after 20 stages of insane racing. Cancellara won the 2010 World Time Trial Championships in 2010 with an average speed around 29 mph. These comparisions don’t mean that much since the courses and conditions were completely different.

    I’ve never ridden an aero bike, but I know that just riding aerobars usually increases my speed by about 1-1.5 mph. Id say adding in all the other little tweaks its probably about 2-3 mph faster on a TT bike.

    While my 20.5 average doesn’t seem all that much slower then the the 24 mph of the worse finisher of the tour its actually worlds different. I couldn’t hold a 24 mph average in a peloton, I probably couldn’t hold it while being motor paced.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence though. I wish I knew some of the times the racers were posting. I timed one of the groups going around on the crit course at around 3 min per mile, which is a 20 average.

  6. Jim Russell says:

    Yeah you are correct, Tony rode 26.4 miles in 0.926 hours which is approximately 28 and a half. Maybe it was one of the other stages; can’t remember. Still I think you might surprise yourself in a local race, I believe you would do better than expected.

  7. Pingback: Regrets? | Barn Door Cycling

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