Saturday, December 19, 2009

Full Circle

I feel like a kid again.

I stumbled into the world of triathlon back in 1995 thanks to my love for bike riding, which incidentally came about thanks to a short hiatus in my running "career" (I started running back at the age of 8 or 9). My first real steed was a Trek 950, purchased at Seaside Cycle in Manchester, MA. back in the early winter of 1994. Although I possessed little experience when it came to life on 2 wheels, that didn't stop me from getting hooked on MTB, and shortly thereafter, XC racing. One thing led to the next and before I knew it my bike "collection" had expanded to include my beloved MTB and a left over Specialized Allez road bike (steel). A pair of clip on aero bars followed suit and the rest is history; MTB faded away as I took to the roads and pursued life as a triathlete.

Well, 15 years later and just when I thought the novelty of the multisport "lifestyle" had come to an end, I can emphatically state that I feel like I'm 19 years old all over again (as my friend Julie will attest!). I'm having the time of my life blazing the trails on my Gary Fisher Paragon 29er. Be it a solo night ride with my trusty lighting system or a 2 - 3 hour day light ride with my buddy Eric, I just can't get enough saddle time. I can't remember the last time I actually looked forward to riding my bike in 15 - 20 degree weather, but things have changed ever since purchasing the new bike from Seaside this past Spring.

"Training" as of late has been a real blast and I feel like I've been reconnected with the excitement that got me into multisport to begin with. I'm still plotting my course for next year's event calendar, but I'm certain that it's going to include some off road racing as well as my work on the road. There are a few marathon and ultra MTB events that I'm really looking forward to hitting up next Summer. Although it may be a bit of a deviation from the norm to insert them into the mix, I think that the mental stimulation that will accompany training for and competing in them will help me to stay connected with the "fun factor" that's so easy to lose touch with when you get a little too focused with your training for too long.

In the mean time... check out the video below from the Gary Fisher website as he talks about the 29er design. Having spent a lot of time on 26 inch MTB wheels back in the day, I know full well just how much more effective the big wheels are when handing the rugged NE trails. I'm currently on a hard tail, but with a little luck, I'll be able to pick up a Superfly 100 before I start in with the long 5+ hour rides and ultra MTB events this coming Spring and Summer.

I better start saving my pennies :)

In the mean time, looks like we're going to get slammed with a snow storm tonight, so it'll be back to the treadmill and some hard FT work tomorrow. I hope that the trails don't stay too snowy for long though!

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