In this post I would like to announce a new development in my triathlon career. One of the difficulties I have experienced in the past is that I do not own a time-trial bike (nor have the funds to buy one). I have been fortunate enough to be sponsored with a bike in previous years, but generally sponsorships only last the spring and summer and then you have to give the bike back so that the shop can then sell it and try to recuperate some of their investment. This of course is not the case for athletes who are prominent on the world stage, as they are usually given a bike by a manufacturer. Unfortunately, I am not prominent on the world stage and so I do not get this sort of sponsorship. That being said, in order to become prominent on the world stage you have to be biking on a time-trial bike throughout the winter months; in order to hone a better position, reduce inefficiencies etc. In other words, in order to become a time-trial specialist. In late summer a friend of mine and long-time supporter (Matt Gervais) asked me what my situation was like with regards to a bike. I told him what I just said above. He just recently opened up a bike shop in Windsor called Cycle Culture, with a few of his friends. He said that he may be able to help me out with a bike for 2014 that I would be able to keep throughout the winter, thus allowing me to hone my time-trial skills. As you can imagine, I was very excited about this opportunity. Of course, being able to ride the same time-trial bike for the entire year was awesome, but what was even more appealing was the opportunity to represent a shop from my home-town.
I have come to find that the more meaningful you can make an endeavour, the more whole-heartedly you pursue that endeavour. I am currently in pursuit of becoming one of the best long-course triathletes in the world. This endeavour requires a great deal of suffering, particularly in races. This new partnership gives me a sense that the community I grew up in has my back, and that when I am out there competing I am representing that community. When you reach the dark mental states that often come about from pushing your body and mind to their current limits, you sure as hell better have a good reason for being there, otherwise you will crumble to the pain. This partnership helps give meaning to this pursuit and I am very grateful to Matt and the Cycle Culture crew for their generous support.
The bike I will be riding is a Louis Garneau. The 2014 model hasn’t hit the market yet, but fortunately Cycle Culture was able to get me on an older model in the meantime. Here is a pic of this beautiful machine:
Another limiting factor for me in the past has been money. For the most part, this has limited my ability to eat well (processed vs. whole foods), as well as has resulted in me making some poor decisions about racing in order to make some money (for instance, racing 3-4 weekends in a row, all-out, in order to make a couple bucks), as well as using equipment (e.g. running shoes) much longer than I should have. Once again, I have been fortunate that there are many good people in the community I grew up in who are willing to lend a helping hand. Richard Kniaziew, an optometrist from Essex-County, has graciously offered to help me out as a financial sponsor. Once again, the sponsorship itself is wonderful, but having these businesses on my race kit in 2014, I believe will help me to transcend the current physical limitations I have placed upon myself. I can’t possibly express to these individuals how gracious I am for their support.
That being said, I will likely do a bit more racing in Essex-County in 2014. I am pretty certain that I will do both Belle River Triathlon as well as the Windsor Triathlon. Additionally, as mentioned in a previous post, I will also hone my time-trialing skills at the Blak Lite Karbon time-trial series. I would also like to return to Windsor for a few running races. I am not entirely sure which ones I will do but I am currently thinking of a 10k and a half-marathon. One Idea I had in mind was to set up my CompuTrainer at the Cycle Culture booth at the Running From Cancer half-marathon (this race holds a special spot in my heart as it was the first time I held sub 3:30s for a half-marathon, in 2010, something up until that time I was unsure if would be possible for me). I would then use the PowerTraining mode in the Racermate One software package and hold 340-350w for 2 hours and 15 minutes (which is the wattage I intend on doing the 90k bike at in half-ironman races). I would time it right so that I would be finishing this bike with under five minutes to go to the start of the half-marathon. My plan then would be to go out in the half-marathon with the intention of breaking 1:10. This idea is not set in stone, but I thought it could be a lot of fun and a great training opportunity.
In summary, my motivation is increasing by the second. I am excited to get out there and race!!! Also, here is a link to a story that Kelly Steele from the Windsor Star did about our partnership: