Living the Dream

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.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Barn Door Cycling, comics, Mountain BIking, Racing, Rants, training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Living the Dream

  1. Steve says:

    In defense of yourself, the professionals rack up huge numbers not only because they love cycling; they get paid to do it and do it well. I wish someone would pay me to cycle – my performance would DRAMATICALLY improve! 🙂

    Your friend Luke is another story. He is one of those very rare people who can focus like a laser on an activity he loves and never tire of it. I look forward to your blanket coverage of his exploits in next year’s Ride The Divide.

  2. The only thing worse than having to ride a bike for a living would be having to have sex for a living. I can’t think of a faster way to lose interest in something. As for me, once I blew out this summer on a brevet, I have never been able to recapture the passion. Cycling has been a chore. But with the upcoming brevet season, perhaps I can find the mojo again.

  3. Jim Russell says:

    I don’t know much about long distance mountain biking, or short distant mountain biking for that matter, but at 2745 miles it will be quite a challenge. Web page states most riders do the 2745 miles in about 3 weeks; that’s 131 miles a day on trails. Also mentioned that intervals between services are 100+ miles and demand calculated food/water resupply or else! Planning and logistics are just as important as conditioning; anyway I wish Luke luck and I hope the bears are friendly.

    He should take a camera/video and make a documentary; a lot or bikers would find this entertaining.

  4. mrhargis says:

    I’ve been meaning to reply to this post for a long time. I really enjoyed this one, and think it’s awesome and crazy at the same time that Luke is planning to do the “Tour the Divide”. I watched the documentary, and it looks brutal and inspiring at the same time. If he does video it, I would love to see the footage. Thanks again for the enjoyable blog post!

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