Wow. First post is always hardest to come up with what to write. Don't know why that is. Writer's block? Breaking the ice? Virtual stage fright? Who knows. All I know is it is always tough to come up with a good way to start a post.
Anyways, as some of you may know, I used to have a blog called The Life of Tyler. Ironically, this blog is titled "The Life of Tyler". Who would have thought? I had come to the conclusion that with my old blog, my lack of posting, and just general boredom, it would be in my best interest to delete it and start fresh with a new one in hopes of improving my posting woes. That wasn't the case as I've had this 'new' blog for months now and this is still my first post... Regardless, I will try and improve my posting skills and keep you guys informed as to whats happening in 'The Life of Tyler'.
Heres whats been happening since I left Marian in May.
After I returned home from college at Marian University for the summer, I was sitting at home one day talking to my teammate Mike Stone on facebook. This is pretty much how our conversation went.
Me: Whats up?
Mike: Bored, you?
Mike: Come down and lets do some training
Me: Okay I'll pack my stuff and get in the car
Mike: Hahaha okay. I'll call you when I'm done riding and we'll play some call of duty.
Me: Seriously, I'll leave in an hour.
Mike: Okay, whatever you say
Needless to say Mike was a little shocked when I called an hour later on the highway to his house. It was pretty funny hearing his voice. I decided that it was time for me to get out of the flat lands of Virginia Beach and head down south to get some mountains and heat adaption training in before nationals. I spent about five weeks between Mikes house and Blair Turners house before nationals just living out of my car and racing/training. Pretty hectic but fun nonetheless.
So nationals was pretty solid. We rode well as a team and got some good results
The time trial didn't go as I had hoped. I had pre ridden the course the day before and felt very fast on my tt bike. I even motor paced behind the team car and felt like I was flying. Come race day though I had felt pretty crappy. I started out way to fast and just blew up. Ended up 39th. Mike had a solid ride and ended up 25th.
The crit was not my thing either. It started out fast, and I decided to be the idiot of the day and make it faster. I attacked from the gun and was solo for a couple laps before being reeled in, then countering myself and staying out for another lap. After being brought back for the second time, I was pretty toast. I was surfing the field towards the back when I saw some pretty horrific crashes that mentally checked me out. I pulled the plug a little over halfway not wanting to be the next in line to go to the hospital.
The road race was very good for us as a team, and for myself. It started out fast and hot. My SRM was over 100* the whole day, so I knew it would be a battle of hydration. I knew if I kept forcing myself to take on bottles I would be a lot better off than some of the guys not used to the heat. We hit one of the first rollers on the course, and a group had already established off the front. I tried to follow a chase going across but realized quickly that I was in over my head. I looked down to see myself getting ridden out of that group, and my heart rate at 200bpm. Great I thought, my day was done 5 miles in. I started going backwards through the field very quickly, receiving pushes from my teammates but saying I was done. Kind of embarrassing. Shortly after this, I was caught up in a crash that covered the whole road. I was able to stop before going down, but guys behind me running into me had me stumbling over my bike. I looked around to find that none of my teammates were here, and kept going. I chased back on through the cars and made my way back to the front of the group. After the first 15 mile loop was done, we hit the feedzone. I wanted to be up at the front in order to get myself and teammates some bottles. I started moving up on the right hand side, and found myself on Oscar Clark's (Real Cyclist.com) wheel. He instantly accelerated and shot to the other side of the road. My instincts kicked in and before I knew it I was on his wheel and we had a gap on the field. The two of us were joined by Danny Summerhill (Garmin) and a few others. Being so far back earlier, I did not know there was a group already up the road. We were about 2 minutes behind them. We all rotated through and distanced ourselves from the field. We finally made it across to the front group about halfway through the second lap. I realized that my teammate, Mike Stone was in this group. Each lap after this, a few more guys came across, with the group finally growing to 25, and Alder also making it across. Shortly after, Mike ended up crashing into the lead motorcycle that had stopped at the side of the road for no apparent reason. It was a stupid move that close to the break, and it cost mike his race, and his bike. I hope that guy gets fired.
Anyway, the group had been established with 8 Livestrong, 6 Garmin, 3 Cal Giant, 2 Bissell, 2 Team Type 1, and numerous others including Larry Warbasse (BMC) and Leibo (Texas Roadhouse) I remember getting time gaps that were going up each lap. The last time check we got, less than 50 miles in said chase at 4 minutes, field at 10+. We didnt get any after that. The race went on and attacks started and the break started to thin out. With the numbers in the break, I was allowed to sit on which made me preserve energy. At first I was shocked at all the big names in the break and mentally was not able to really function, but when the attacks started I was able to follow them and not really be put into too much difficulty. That gave me some confidence that I could actually pull a result. On the 6th of 7 laps, the moves really started. We were down to 15 guys, and two of the garmin guys had gotten away together, forcing livestrong to chase. There was a group of about 6 guys chasing the two garmin guys, followed by my group with 4 livestrong riders, myself, and Larry from BMC. The livestrong guys were working hard to pull the gap back, but in the end the heat had just gotten to them. Finally it was down to myself, two livestrong riders, and Larry, when larry jumped across the gap. I had a mental lapse and didnt react right away, thinking that the two remaining livestrong riders would chase him down, but the just looked at each other and sat up. I did what I could to get across to Larry, but I was cracked. I gave it my everything and dug down deep, and watched as Larry rode across to the group that made the top 10. I struggled and watched as they rode out of sight, and I was left to ride the last 10 miles in on my own. I had no clue where I was on course, but Steve told me from the team car that there was no one with in reach of me and to just ride within myself. I crossed the line in 13th. I was cracked. It didn't set in at first, but once I spun around and had people riding up to me congratulating me, it finally hit me that I had a solid ride at nats. It turns out that I was the second amateur behind Evan Huffman of Cal Giant, which made me pretty happy, being able to throw down with all of the pros. Congrats to Rob Squire and Jacob Rathe for putting on an impressive show at the end.
That marked the highlight of my season. I had some decent results up until then, but it was great to finally put it all together and pull a solid result. As for now, I'm off to bed as tomorrow brings another long 6 week block of travel away from home.
Heres what I have coming up
July 6-10 - Tour de Toona NRC, Altoona, PA
July 13-24 - Superweek Cycling Classic, Wisconsin
August 3-7 - Crossroads Cycling Classic, North Carolina
I will put up pictures from nationals as well as more posts coming soon. Be sure to check back as I update my whole site!