Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Life - It's Been A While

So it's been a while since I posted, so much so that I actually forgot what I've posted about other than races.

I haven't posted in a while because life has gotten busy. I'm consciously putting away the computer for much of the time Junior is up (both to pay attention to him as well as to encourage me and him to do more "regular" play). Between the two (life, Junior) the blog sort of fell into a comatose state.

I'm going to present some sweeping things; later, I hope, I'll drill down into some of those broad statements and dissect them a bit. I think there will be stuff that I hope will help a variety of people. Some stuff is bike stuff, and perhaps people can learn from that. The other is life stuff and I think that's stuff that people will experience, are experiencing, or will experience. Hopefully someone gets something out of that as well.


First off, we have Junior, our now 3 3/4 year old son. He's been great, we love him to pieces, and we want the best for him. Part of that means making some changes for his benefit. One of those things has been to cut down dramatically on computer use, at least for me, on the days I'm with him. Before I used to still fiddle around on the computer while he was running around. Now I'd rather interact with him, or do "real life" stuff (chores or whatever). Also, once the computer comes out, he wants to watch whatever - YouTube (toys and such), Netflix (kid stuff), and, sometimes, my own bike race clips (his favorite is "When the racer turns green", my Zwift clip. The computer often sits off to the side now, to avoid distracting both him and me.

Junior, doing a fitting for his cousin's hat (that the Missus knit).


The big thing for me was starting work, back in the summer. I tried not to make a big deal out of it because it was a sales job, and anything I wrote about the job could be construed as trying to sell stuff through my blog.

One thing that I'd never experienced is the massive "parental block" in place at work. Pretty much any streaming video, any motion gif, and anything with "blog" or "forum" or "news" or "mail" in it is blocked. Work specific sites are allowed, local competitors (but a couple manufacturer's sites were blocked for some reason, forcing me to view local competitors' sites to gather data), but overall it slashed any internet browsing down to virtually zilch. This meant no chipping away at blog posts or whatever.

I generally don't post about work and such but the picture below tells you about the job at least.

This car sat next to my desk for months.
Sort of karmically (is that a word?) I sold it yesterday.

Spring Series

Part of the reason for working was to pay for the Aetna Nutmeg Spring Series for this year. The races lost a lot of money, and I was still paying stuff off a few months later. I had to start working, partially to pay those bills.

This brings me to another major thing in my life - the Spring Series. I've been debating internally whether or not I can hold them in 2016. The big question is affordability - if I can't afford to hold the races then it doesn't make much sense holding them. I did a quick and dirty survey to see if racers would pay more (they would). I've promised to do my best to hold them in 2016. Based on the idea of a higher entry fee and the promise to hold the Series, I've informally secured two venues, the third is available (but nowhere near secured), allowing for five weeks of racing. 

Joel stepping into the trailer, 2014 Bethel Spring Series.


Then another life factor came into play. I'm sure I'll go into this a bit more later but for now I'm just labeling it "significant personal stuff" or SPS. It's significant because my expectation is that the SPS will do the following:

1. Make it realistically close to impossible to race for the foreseeable future, because I won't be able to get to the venue.

2. Make it realistically close to impossible to be at a venue to promote a race, because I won't be able to get to the venue.

3. Make it impossible to hold a job, because I won't be able to get to the office, or, if I'm working from home, I may not be able to get to the computer here.

4. Force me (and the Missus) to make some wholesale changes to our house, something we're starting to do already.


If you look at those things it appears that, first, I have to quit my job, because the race things have to do with next year, not right now, and we're already making changes to our house.

I tendered my resignation a couple weeks ago, effective a week from tomorrow.

I gave them as much notice as possible. Depending on how things go, it's possible that I return there, I don't know. I'd at least like to keep the option open. Plus it's the right thing to do.

(This also means that if you want a Cadillac, Fiat, Alfa, Maserati, Jaguar, or VW, let me know now. I can't promise anything deal wise but at least you'll have a friendly data point on pricing, you can learn about the cars, etc)

Next, it makes it seem virtually impossible to hold a Spring Series. I'm trying to make it possible to do the Series, I just need to figure out how. I'm working on it.

Finally, it's apparent that I won't be racing much this year. This I accept and I've already planned on doing, at most, one race next year. I hope to do that one race (whatever race, even a Tuesday Night training race would be fine) so that I can say I raced in 2016, but it'll be very, very tough to do.

In the meantime I'll have interim racing-related goals - return to my April 2015 weight (or lower), try to ride the trainer semi-regularly, and do some core/other stuff to keep my back okay. I also want to spend some time returning my second bike (the black one) back into working order. I spent the last two years without a real back up bike, and to me that's not good.


In a future post I'll do some stuff on Zwift. Basically, for 2015, I managed to avoid training outdoors the entire year. Zwift was a big part of this, motivating me to do some big efforts on the trainer and keeping me fit enough to do some solid racing in the 2015 season. Before Zwift I never did sprints on the trainer and I rarely did "big efforts" longer than than a sprint.

So that's what's been going on here. I'd like to start posting a bit more regularly, perhaps with shorter but more frequent posts. I don't know.


Unknown said...

I could help with the bike, not because you can't do it but sounds like you need a way to find some time. Let me know I could even swing by and pick it up from you. Amos

himespau said...

Best of luck with the SPS. I don't know what it is, and it's not my business, but I've been through times when life pulls out the rug from underneath you and causes you to make significant changes to your goals/plans/expectations/lifestyle. It's easy to get angry at those times but I'm sure you're doing what's best for your family and yourself.

Aki said...

Thanks, the two of you. A, the bike is not quite so important, and, really, the main thing is that I haven't done any maintenance on it in two years, save cleaning the drivetrain. The chain, cassette, tape, etc are a bit overdue. Having said that I hope to at least get that stuff done in the next couple weeks. Oh, SRM battery also. The black bike needs a stem. Etc. But for now, the bike is secondary. I really appreciate the offer. If things really go south I may be in touch.

H - I've made the choice on the SPS, and for now I'm not ready to post about it in any detail. However, it's something I feel I need to do, and all the cascading changes are a direct result of my choice. I try to keep the blog from being too personal - for example, when the "outside world" first set eyes on a very pregnant Missus, everyone was shocked. "There's nothing in the blog about this!". So, having said that, I will say that the Missus is not pregnant.

Rebecca H. said...

Ha, I'm glad I read this, because I was pretty certain Junior was going to become a big brother :)

John Schwartz said...

Aki, I wish you the best in dealing with all of this.

Your description of the SPS reads as if Ann might be unwell, which I don't think is the case, so I hope people don't get that impression and worry.

Aki said...

Sorry to cause concern. Let it be known that I'm okay, the Missus is okay, Junior is okay. Although Junior would probably make a great older brother, that's also not a reality. I wasn't sure how to present my SPS so I tip toed around it (and just made the whole situation worse) but it's my dad. He isn't doing well and he'll be moving into our house in a few weeks. At this point he requires pretty close care, precluding me from doing much outside the house. He'll be here in a few weeks, and staying for a while. I'll post something later that's better thought out.

Brad Lapin said...

Hang in there Aki! I haven't visited your site in awhile. When I do, I'm reminded of what a great writer you are. (Sounds like you make a pretty awesome dad and husband as well.)

Aki said...

Thanks Brad. I can only try, right? You'd have to ask the Missus and Junior, in 30 or 40 years, how I am as a husband and dad respectively. It's been a long time since the shop in Stamford. Thanks for sticking around!