I‘ve listed seven and a half of what I see are the most common misconceptions of “success.”
(Edit on Aug 29, 2020: I have been blessed with opportunity in my life and willfully prepared myself to be in a position to explore more opportunities. This will probably lead to another article, but the main reason is that I learned in my 30s that getting G.O.O.D. (Get Out Of Debt) is a key part of being prepared. If you are overcome with debt, you will have a tough time taking on a new opportunity.)
1: Success means having a lot of money.
While it is certainly better to have money than have not, there are more important things than money. The most important thing to any person is health. Ask any person who is unhealthy how much they would pay for good health, if you are wondering. Ask someone in a wheel chair what they would pay to have their legs back, for example. Health comes first, then money.
2: Success comes from working hard.
A lot of people work hard their whole lives and end up broke, destitute and in poor health. Success does not rely on hard work although it may be necessary from time to time. Success comes from working smart. Pay attention to what is going on around you and work on the right thing at the right time. Don’t forget that successful people take time off to recharge their batteries as well.
3: Successful people were born rich.
Yes there are some inherited fortunes out there but most research shows that unless the ancestors took careful time and consideration in building and protecting the fortune, the heirs were quite capable of squandering it, and in a hurry. For every inherited millionaire (or lottery winner for that matter) there are a million scammers with “get rich quick” schemes that will take away that fortune, and quickly.
4: Success comes from luck.
There is no such thing as luck. There is only being prepared when opportunity presents itself, and recognizing that opportunity. When opportunity and preparation collide, you “get lucky.”
5: Go to college, get a good job and you will be successful.
While a college education may be a good thing, it does not guarantee success. It certainly does not guarantee a “good job” if such a thing exists. Most jobs are not guaranteed and do not offer lifetime security. Those that do (government jobs for example) are being closely scrutinized and there is a trend to take those hefty pensions away. Formerly, you could get a government job right out of school (with a local government even) work it for 20 years, retire with a full pension, and even go get another government job and end up with 2 guaranteed pensions. With the recent backlash at the rising cost of government, this option (and others) may not be there for much longer. Also, every job involves someone else controlling your destiny, which is not ever a good thing.
6: Be persistent, stay focused on one path and you will be successful.
Oddly enough, most successful people today have changed their paths many times in their lives. For them, success is more of an attitude than an ability. Along with happiness, success to them depends on their state of health, and state of mind.
7: Successful people make their vacation their vocation.
Changing your favorite hobby to your business may sound like a good idea, but then what are you going to do to relax? It’s important to keep some activity separate from your professional or career life that you can use to enjoy your existence. You don’t have to make money at what you do.
7 and a half: Successful people take more than they give.
Not true. Truly successful (happy) people are always giving back, and not just for tax deductions. They give back in a multitude of ways. Here are just some of the activities that give back: Mentoring, coaching, volunteering, contributing, tithing, performing, speaking, teaching, etc.
Here is a suggested exercise to determine what “success” means to you. Write down your answers to the following questions and read them over carefully:
Today is ___ _____ 20__ and I am ___ years old.
Ten years ago my situation was:
The things I am most proud of over the last ten years are:
The things I wish I did differently over the last ten years are:
Ten years from now I will be:
The most proud of:
Happy I did:
Sorry I didn’t do:
Back Story: My Success Interviews
In the mid 90s I was working as a corporate pilot. I spent a lot of time at General Aviation (what the public calls “private”) airports, waiting for clients to go do their business and return to be flown home. I decided to take advantage of that down time.
I would wait for a flashy corporate jet to arrive, or maybe even a fancy turboprop (a King-Air for example) and greet the people when they walked in with a question: “Do you own that plane?” When I was directed to the owner I would then ask, “Do you mind if I ask you a question? How did you get to where you are now, that you can afford a beautiful plane like that?”
I must have asked that question to at least 150 wealthy people. I wish I kept better notes. Here is what I remember.
All of them took time to talk to me. They all enjoyed talking about their success.
Almost all were business owners. NONE worked for a government organization. Some owned charities though.
Very few of the business owners had bought the business. They had sold many businesses but rarely bought one.
All of the business owners offered me encouragement. They were impressed that I would ask that question. Most gave me their address (this was before email) and asked me to stay in touch. (I still do with some of them.)
All of them treated me with deference, as if I were an equal. That impresses me more today.
All of them discussed failed businesses or ventures and what they had learned from them.
Most of them had developed a repeatable system, easily duplicated with proper training.
I was surprised at how few of them actually talked about setting goals. They were mostly what you and I would call “deal makers” or negotiators. They were prepared rather than planned. No one gave me a “way to plan success.” The impression I got was that always being prepared when an opportunity presented itself often led to a win. Many also suggested I “learn from other’s mistakes.” I’ve remembered that one.
I often wonder if the stories would be the same today. I don’t spend much time sitting around airports anymore. Maybe it’s time I took a day to do so.
We are finishing up a trip to Dahlonega, GA and it has definitely been about making family memories. My primary purpose in coming up here was a cycling challenge which you can read about here, but since my family was along, we had some great memories.
First of all, we drove up together, with 4 days worth of stuff. For me and three girls, you can imagine, that was a lot of stuff.
No trip to North Georgia is complete without stopping at Exit 18 off of I-75, to eat at one of the last remaining Fazoli’s in the south. This has been a tradition of ours since 2012. We discovered it was there from a cycling racing friend of mine, Jason Guillen, who sadly has retired from Florida Cyclocross. Hope he comes back some time!
If you aren’t familiar, Fazoli’s is the fast food version of Italian cuisine, and for fast food, it’s not bad at all. I had a delicious Penne pasta with meat sauce, and the girls had similar meals.
It seems that no matter when we leave, we always run in to rush hour traffic around Atlanta. This time was no exception but it did always move a little, and only delayed us 20 minutes or so. Kathleen was very adept at using the Google app on her phone to pick the better routes.
Dinner in Dahlonega During the “Times of COVID”
Even though Georgia is “open” there are some restrictions on dining out, such as reduced capacity, distance requirements and for some reason, closing early. We managed to find an Irish Pub that stayed open until 9, and let us stay at our table until roughly 9:30. Grace remembers ordering “The Best Bangers in Town” and enjoying her Irish Sausage.
After our dinner we retired to the Holiday Inn Express on Chestatee St. That’s a Cherokee word, meaning “Land of Pine Torches.”
It was open, but had some COVID restrictions which were really nonsensical and inconsistent, like closing the workout center but not the pool, serving coffee and juice, but no juice machine, “grab and go” food but no seating in the lobby, so everyone sat outside on one bench. Hopefully this all ends the day after election day.
Saturday night we ate at a wings and beer place called “Johnny B’s” which although rustic, served excellent food and beer.
This was a particularly enjoyable meal for me, as I had completed my cycling challenge in spite of many obstacles and failures during the day.
Sunday we ordered Pizza Hut delivered to the room, because we were tired and didn’t feel like going out.
Both Grace and Sophie were impressed and maybe a little scared by the driving in the North Georgia mountains. The winding roads going steeply up, and down, coupled with someone tailgating us because we are “slow tourists” can be a little intimidating.
On Saturday night after dinner, we parked in the back lot because the front lot of the HI Express was full. Turned out to be a blessing as we saw a field full of fireflies. Kathleen has been telling the girls about fireflies for years and they finally got to see them. We spent a good half hour standing there watching them, even with the doggie bags from dinner in our hands.
On Sunday we headed out towards Helen. We stopped at Turner’s Corners, a famous cycling stop, to have lunch and thank the people for all they do to support cycling. I had stopped there the day before and not bought anything, expecting to be there more than once. I had to go back and at least have lunch there or else feel terribly guilty.
Following that we visited the town of Helen. (Yes we went to Helen back.) We had no idea it would be such a busy place. Packed with tourists, street vendors, tour rides, carriages, etc. Not at all the quaint little Germanic town I was led to believe. On the good side we found an indoor arcade (because it started raining) and the girls enjoyed Air Hockey, Spider Stomp, Jurassic Park Dino Hunt and even a game of 8 ball on a slightly tilted pool table. My girls had never played pool before(!)
On the way back we stopped at Smith Falls and walked a trail that we thought would lead us to the falls. It didn’t. But it was great fun and quite a challenge for me to walk up and down the hills so soon after the grueling bike ride from the day before.
During dinner in the hotel room we had a “Family Meeting” to discuss our favorite parts on the weekend. It is always good to rehash these things, and inspired me to write this article. We like Dahlonega but there are other places to visit, so this may be our last trip here. Hopefully the memories last a very long time.
I was done. Had failed to get 10,000 feet of climbing on my bicycle. Missed by about half.
I’m not sure why I clicked on the Strava Correct Elevation link. I normally don’t. Laid down for a nap.
Shortly thereafter, I received a PM from my riding buddy Monica saying “Shame you can’t go out and get 2200 more feet. You are so close.”
I went back and looked at the corrected elevation. Sure enough, I now had 7797 feet.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go back to the beginning.
I dragged the family up to Dahlonega, GA for a “weekend getaway” but really, my agenda was to complete a challenge from one of my cycling clubs. Nearly every year the Eastside club challenges its members to ride 5,000 miles, climb 10,000 feet in one day, and participate in 20 club rides. Also there is an additional challenge to participate in a charity event (remember this. RT#1. There are several “remember this” moments in this article.)
We decided to drive up on Friday, July 24th and return Monday July 27th, in the wonderful election year of 2020. Not getting in to the whole political thing but we expected everything to be open in Georgia. Almost everything was (remember this #2).
The drive up went quite smoothly. Only the usual rush hour slow down between Macon and South Atlanta. Once we got on to 685, everything was moving along well.
For the first time ever, we actually stayed in a hotel in Dahlonega. This is because every other visit was over Six Gap weekend, when hotels are booked years in advance. The HI Express seemed nice enough but the mattresses are very firm. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep at all. Still I got up early to get some coffee and breakfast. RT#2 kicked in here as the complimentary breakfast was limited to “grab and go” stuff which was mostly crap. I grabbed a plain bagel and a banana with my coffee. Had to sit outside on a bench to eat it, with all the other people grabbing an early breakfast. Went up to the room and started to get dressed.
The first thing I realized was that I forgot my HR strap. Oh well, I’ve got a power meter. Turned out not to be a big thing.
I rode from the hotel on Chestatee Street (Cherokee word meaning “pine torch place”) straight through town and out to Lumpkin County High School, where I did a run down and up the driveway, to simulate starting the Six Gap route. The Garmin and the Stages dash showed between 50-75′ of climb just doing that (RT #3).
I headed out the normal Six Gap route to Turner’s Corner. The weather was partly cloudy, temperature in the high 60s. I was actually cold. Getting used to Florida weather I guess. The forecast was favorable until early afternoon, when isolated showers were predicted (RT #4).
I noticed some slight difficulties shifting and wondered if my derailleur hanger got bent in the car on the way up (RT #5).
I was also noticing that the Stages Dash was showing more feet of climb than the Garmin, and it’s usually the other way. I wasn’t sure what was happening at this point (RT #6).
It’s been 10 years since I stopped at Turner’s on a Saturday. It’s normally very quiet (except on Six Gap Sunday of course, when it is a mad house as SAG #1). Not this morning. Several cyclists and hikers were stopped there. There was a line for the only bathroom. Here’s more RT #2: COVID procedures were in place and for some reason that means closing down the other bathroom (I think it was made “employees only” but it said “supply room” on the door.) I wasted 20 minutes waiting for the bathroom and was in such a hurry I forgot to buy anything. I planned on being back there a few times anyway (RT #7), as I was planning on doing a “double 3 gap” route rather than go up Hog Pen Gap (which I don’t like at all.)
Anyway, I headed out and up Neel’s Gap. There was lots more traffic than I have ever seen on that road. Sports car clubs, motorcycle groups, delivery trucks and even a bunch of punks driving lowered pickup trucks that screamed obnoxious things as they rode by, way too close.
Neel’s is normally not that hard for me. It’s a long, steady climb that averages around 4% incline. The traffic stressed me out, is my best guess, because I arrived at the top feeling pretty lousy. I was shaking and breathing rather hard.
I sat on a bench reserved for those hiking the Appalachian Trail, but nobody bothered me. Georgia doesn’t have a mask mandate so I was surprised at how many people were hiking with masks on. I’m not in favor of this because lots of fresh air is good for your health no matter what. I can see wearing a mask inside in tight quarters, but out in the woods???
I didn’t take a picture but I happened to look up and notice several hundred pairs of sneakers and hiking shoes that had been hung from limbs in the trees next to the trail. Does it mean these people “retired” their shoes here? It means something very different in Florida.
I left the bench and began the descent down Neel’s towards Wolfpen Gap. The new disc brake TCR performed very well and I felt more comfortable on this descent than I had in years. The traffic had lightened some, as I only had to pull over and let cars go by a few times.
Neel’s Gap Descent from my GoPro
The first thing I noticed when I turned on to GA 180 to go up Wolfpen Gap were the huge “SHARE THE ROAD” signs. It was so much quieter. Yes there were a few cars on the road, but they patiently waited for a proper place to pass and were all tremendously respectful. It’s a pleasant, if somewhat difficult climb. The reduction in stress from Neel’s was a huge plus.
Note: CYCLIST TECHIE NERD WARNING for the next paragraph.
The second thing I noticed was my gears making noise. I have the TCR set up with 52×34 in the front and the cassette in the rear is 11×32 (sorry about the cyclist techie talk. That’s the number of teeth on the gears.) I figured the 34 pulling the 32 would be a suitable “granny gear” for Wolfpen. So RT #6 kicks in: Well I looked down and I wasn’t in the 32 in the back. I was in the 2nd gear which I believe is a 30. If I held the shift lever all the way over the noise stopped but it wouldn’t go up to the 32. I figured it was probably a minor adjustment on the thumbscrew so I pulled over and tried to adjust it. That thing would not move! What’s worse, is that after playing with it a bit, it would go higher than the third gear at all. So now I was pedaling a 34 over a 27, on the steepest climb I would have all day. It was doable although a lot more work and power was required.
I decided to stop messing with it before I made it worse, and continued to the top without event. I stopped briefly but there was nothing up there really, no photo op. It’s rather a boring summit really. The descent after is short but exciting, with many double 90 turns and a few blind switchbacks.
Wolfpen Gap Descent from my GoPro
Living Off The Road
I have done this ride a few times before when not part of Six Gap Sunday. I had some plans to stop for supplies. There is a convenient store at the stop sign where 180 joins another route (route 9D I think?) RT #2: “NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS”. I know there were restrooms available last time I stopped there.
There were several motorcycles in line for gas. They were out in force today. I bought a 10 oz Coke and a Gatorade. I sat outside, drank a few sips of the Coke, put it in my back pocket, drank some of the Gatorade and poured the rest in to a water bottle, and then continued on to the top of Woody Gap, still limited to 3rd gear.
Woody is a very short climb. Only about a mile. However, it’s no fun when stuck in third gear.
Upon reaching the top though, it has the most scenic overlook that would be featured along my route, so I stopped to take a picture. It also has a public “dry” restroom. I used it and realized things were not going well for me down there. I was hurting pretty bad at this point and this indicated to me I needed to consider shortening the ride. I was only at 5000′ on the Garmin as well (remember RT #6 for later) and I had pretty much given up on the 10K at this point.
Also, storm clouds were appearing in the distance. I could hear thunder rumbling on occasion.
I had a brain storm and while stopped at Woody, I picked up the bike and cycled through all the downhill gears. Hah, whaddya know. This opened up ALL the gears to me again. Must be some gunk in the derailleur or something.
Woody Gap descent from my GoPro
Stone Pile Decision
There is a big pile of Stone at a place known as “Four Corners”, at the bottom of the Woody descent. It now has a roundabout! Makes sense really, as it is a place where decisions are made. I had a decision to make. Do I turn left and go back to Turner’s for a late lunch, (it was now about 1:30) or do I turn right to R Ranch and go back to Dahlonega? RT#4: While stopped there a big bolt of lightning landed less than a mile away from me. I know that because I heard the thunder almost immediately. That made my mind up. I decided to forgo lunch at Turner’s (RT #7 wasn’t going to happen at all) and head back home.
I managed to beat most of the rain. It was behind me. On nearly every climb though (where I now had use of all my gears) it would almost catch me and I would get sprinkled on. On the descents I would out run it, for a while.
Of course, I had to turn in to the high school and do one down and back just to complete Three Gap route. (We’ll come back to RT #3 in a bit).
Rednecks in Dahlonega
As I made the turn through the square in Dahlonega there was a dark blue Ford F-150 behind me, tag 347-AHJ I think? It may have been AHI. The reason I am posting that info is because the kids in it were absolute jerks. As they passed me they did a diesel smoke trick, where they gunned up the engine and did something to create a huge cloud of black smoke. Of course I screamed at them. They went a few thousand feet down the road and did it again. I almost caught them at the Chestatee light but the driver got scared, and made an illegal left turn, nearly getting in to a wreck. I had planned on having a “come to Jesus” meeting with him if I had caught him. I am famous for these meetings on the Kyle’s Thursday Night Ride in Orlando.
Back at the Hotel, and RT #3
My daughter Grace was in the Hotel, as mom and Sophie were off shopping for antiques. Grace commented, “Oh you are done already? Are you OK?” I wasn’t, really. I inhaled a Gatorade and a couple bottles of water. Had a little “me time” in the bathroom. Uploaded the Garmin file to Strava and messaged the folks that had promised to donate $1 for each 100′ I climbed that I didn’t make it to 10,000 (This was RT #1 wasn’t it?). The Garmin said 5900 ish.
I’m not sure why I clicked on the Correct Elevation link. I normally don’t. Laid down for a nap.
Shortly thereafter, Mom came back with a Dairy Queen Blizzard which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think it was a major part of my recovery. While eating it I received a PM from my riding buddy Monica saying “Shame you can’t go out and get 2200 more feet. You are so close.”
I went back and looked at the corrected elevation. Sure enough, I now had 7797 feet. How did that happen? Also, the weather had mostly cleared. There were some isolated storm clouds off in the distance.
What should I do now? I surely didn’t want to get back in that kit (which was soaking in the sink anyway) and ride any more. I hemmed and hawed, stalled, dawdled, and finally just put my shoes on, carried the bike down to the parking lot and rode in my gym shorts up and down between here and the Best Western next door, which seemed to be about 20 feet lower. I did 4 laps I think, for about .97 miles
37 feet, said the Garmin, after about 1 mile. Pff that isn’t going to work. I went back upstairs. Clicked the elevation correction link again. 216 feet. Wow. That’s a big difference.
OK I had to do this now.
High School Madness
Kathleen drove me over to the High School where I knew I could get 50-75 feet just riding from the entrance to the school and back. “Come back in two hours” I said. “I need to get a little more than 20 miles.”
A couple of laps at the high school from my GoPro
I think I completed 35 laps. It rained a little during the 25 miles I rode (again in my gym shorts and t-shirt) but I didn’t care. I had to finish this. They picked me up at 7pm, which the Garmin showing 1550 feet. I needed 1998 to make it to exactly 10,000 for the day.
Back to the hotel, uploaded it, pushed the Correct Elevation link and waited. We were either going out to eat, or I was going back to the parking lot for more “feet”.
It was only a few minutes but it seemed longer. “2355 feet!” I exclaimed. I am very proud that my wife and both my daughters cheered withe me.
“We did it! Let’s go eat and I’m having a beer!” We jumped in to the car and headed over to Johnny B’s for chicken wings and I had a nice Angry Orchard IPA, which I felt was well deserved.
Let’s review the “Remember This” items.
RT#1: Charity ride. About two weeks ago I announced on Facebook that I would donate $1 for every 100 feet I climbed, and would anyone match me? It took a while but I finally got 4 friends to pledge. I will be donating my portion to JP Russo, who was hit by a car earlier this year while setting up a race course. He has some really big medical bills. One friend is going to donate to a homeless shelter.
RT#2: COVID. Georgia is “open” but there are still some silly and inconsistent “rules” being made here, just like Florida.
RT#3: It was a good thing I dove in to the High School parking and realized how many feet were to be gained on each lap!
RT#4: The weather was a factor. Lightning in the mountains is no laughing matter. Also, descending these mountains on wet roads? Not something I want to do.
RT#5: I will have to ask my mechanic (Bryce, the Bearded Bike Doc) why my derailleur chose such an inopportune time to misbehave.
RT#6: The Garmin altitude error. My latest theory is that my Garmin 520 screen is cracked (I dropped it recently) and this affects the integrity of the internal barometer. It used to be fairly accurate.
RT#7: I owe Turner’s a sale. I feel it is impolite to use a bathroom in a convenient store and not buy something.
I think I’m done with this 10,000 foot challenge. It’s not worth the stress. If I go crazy and decide to do it again, I will go to Fort Mountain. It’s a much easier climb than the Dahlonega climbs, and not so much traffic.
This is personal. It’s a note to me for next year at this time. Still here? OK you asked for it …
You’ve been warned. This is about me and my family. It is not intended specifically for public consumption but if you want to follow along … welcome to the story.
I hope this becomes an annual thing and I hope my girls do it too. That’s my daughter Grace on the left after she won her first CX race.
What Were My Goals?
I have copied last years post and let’s see how I did.
I had NONE. Just run when I felt like it.
2018: I entered no organized runs but did do some walk/run stuff with my wife. Perfect!
For 2019: Next year? Same. No goals. I’m retired from distance running
I have to break this in to several parts: Road, Time Trial, Mountain Bike, Cyclocross and Track.
My 2018 goals: I considered entering some road races, as well as crossing Florida for a fifth time. If there is a 5-10-20 contest I will do it again. Our own club did a 5-5-25 version, 5,000 miles, 5,000 feet in a single ride, and 25 club events, rides, races or volunteerism.
2018: Did not enter any road races, missed XFL due to illness, but did complete the #KBS5525 challenge.
For 2019: I want to do XFL one more time. I haven’t done a century in over a year so I need to get on it. Repeat 5-5-25.
My 2018 Goals: Win my age group in the CFL TT series.
2018: Won the 60+ age group, but did it by being in the most races. I was not fast.
For 2019: Not really any goals as far as performance. Just show up, enjoy the races, maybe put on the Airport TT again if we can get permission.
My 2018 Goals: Defend the WAR MTB title, maybe enter a few MTB races, and buy a new bike.
2018: Bob Reineke took my title. He decided to enter all of them. I did finish 2nd (whoo pee). On Dec 28th, ordered a new bike (finally!)
For 2019: Well I will have a new bike. Not sure if I have any performance goals. I just want to go out and have fun.
I came in to the year as the defending FLCX points series champion. Many said that I don’t deserve that status, that I am slow, that I am clearly not the best cyclocross racer in Florida. I can understand why they say this but is was a points series and you get points for showing up. I beat 100% of the riders who stayed home on the couch. I also won the WAR overall series, again by showing up more.
I issued a challenge to those who scoffed: “If you don’t like me on this podium then come knock me off. Stop whining and start showing up for races.”
My 2018 goals: Repeat as champion and get faster. Wanted to lose weight to get more speed.
2018: First of all, I didn’t lose the weight. The lowest I got was 238, and that’s not good enough. However, I won the WAR series again. When I went to the podium, Josh Thornton announced “Well he issued you all a challenge and nobody took him up on it. Therefore, the repeat WAR Champion – John Tenney!”
I am currently leading the FLCX series by 34 pts with 3 races to go. Derek Birch is in second. He could conceivably go to all three races, win them all and beat me, so I need to finish at least two races. Shouldn’t be a problem. (Cross season ends in late January by the way.)
For 2019: Hey I like winning these jerseys, so once again I issue the challenge. I’ll be on top of the podium again in 2019, unless you start coming out to more races. So – repeat win for WAR and FLCX. Also – the weight. I am just over 250 lbs right now. Get to 235! DO IT!
Even more important, my daughter Grace is starting to enjoy CX races. I want to support her in all her efforts!
As is told elsewhere in this blog in 2017 I had a unique opportunity to buy a track bike and set a state record, which I did.
To this day, no one had beaten this record.
In 2017 I used this bike to win two Time Trial divisions. In 2018 I used it for my age class.
Wayne Keller got this great picture of me setting a PR on the Airport TT course of 18:27. Best ever on this particular course, and on a fixed gear track bike (Giant Omnium)
2018: My goals were to go to some track races, or at least some track time trials.
2018: I didn’t make it back to the track this year. Still working on a project to get a track here in CFL.
2019: Get that track project going! Go to some track events.
2018 goals: Wanted to see 6-8 franchises, and double our payroll handled again.
2018: We did not add any franchises, although we greatly expanded our agent network. We doubled the payroll, just barely.
For 2019: We need at least 3 more franchises. We need to expand our agency network. We need to double payroll again. The new relationship with Viking Underwriters shows great promise.
Decided to bring the family to Dade City this weekend to experience Wicked Awesome Racing (WAR) Cyclocross.
This year the series started at John S Burke Memorial Park, which is my favorite venue of the series. Josh and Kaleigh Thornton have been putting on races for years. I’m used to going to great places like Stanley Park, Brooksville Quarry, and even a couple of neat places in Ocala, but I still like Burke’s Park the best. It’s dusty and sandy but never muddy, which sits just right for me. It features a lot of off camber turns, which I find very challenging.
On Saturday it was very hot and sunny. We arrived in time to get ready for the P1/2 race, but way after the “beginner” course, which does an easier lap. Hence, my girls decided not to try the course, and saved it for Sunday morning.
I had a rough moment in the P1/2 race. After the uphill run up on lap 4, I started feeling really bad. I looked at my computer and saw my heart rate was up to 187. This is not good. My normal HR in zone 5 might go up to 170 for a second but usually stays in the low 160s. I stopped and waited for nearly a minute for it to go back down. I finished the race but I still felt unwell. It was probably due to dehydration but seeing big numbers like that can scare a guy. I took it easy from there on. Since there were only 4 of us, I got to stand next to the podium, no medal, but 4th place
4th out of 4 in the P1/2 race. Scared myself with the high HR but still finished, and picked up 13 series points
In the MTB race later, I felt much better but still the heat was a factor. Although I improved my lap times by nearly a minute, I still felt very hot.
Here’s a comparison of my laps on Saturday. I’m almost a minute faster on the MTB
There were 5 mountain bikers, which is pretty rare. Last year I was the only one. I’m really glad the series is coming back. WAR is the only series that has a mountain bike division. I’ve won the points jersey every year they’ve had it too, so I am defending my title. Even though I was faster than the earlier race, so was everyone else, so I finished last again.
5th out of 5, and Bob Reineke got 2nd. He will be my main challenge this year to repeat as champion
So the day’s racing was over, and we headed to the Ramada in Zephyr Hills. Surprisingly very nice, clean and well equipped. A quick shower and touch up and we headed out to the Truly Mediterranean Grill to have dinner with Kelly and Mari Edwards. Wayne Keller joined us a little later. Definitely one of our favorite places to stop in Dade City.
L to R, Grace, Kathleen, Sophia, (Empty seat for Wayne), Kelly and Mari Edwards.
We got up early to enjoy the generous free breakfast at the Ramada. I love those waffle makers! The girls were thinking about giving the “beginner” race a shot. Kathleen and Grace went out to try a practice lap. Kathleen didn’t even make it to the grass. “It’s on the side of a hill!” she yelled at me. “Well of course it is, this is the Dan Sullivan Memorial Off Camber Jammer after all.” Didn’t go over well.
Grace gave it a try. She finished half a lap and thought it was the whole thing. I registered her for the race and got her lined up. She got to the half lap point and dropped out. “I didn’t know it kept going” she said, “and I don’t like comparing myself to other people”. Geez if I worried about that I never would enter a race. (Later on she did complete an entire lap, “just to show she could.” Daddy’s girl after all, huh.)
So then we waited for the P1/2 race – another three hours away. Teenage girls get bored in a tent without WiFi rather quickly.
They decided to go out for lunch, bring me something back for after the P1/2, and then abandon me. Good plan.
I was much more careful on Sunday with the race. I didn’t want to blow up again, and although there was a breeze and some scattered clouds, it was even hotter. I concentrated on riding smoothly and coasting when I could on the downhills. I knew I was going to be last, and still 5th place, so I conserved my energy. Oddly enough, I had my fastest lap on the cross bike in that race.
5th out of 6 in P1/2, but didn’t have a heart rate episode! Also, this puts me in the points lead in the division with 24 points.
I finished, ate part of a sub that my wife brought me and said good bye to the girls. They headed for Orlando and I rested under the tent, waiting for the MTB race.
The Deja Vu Part
In 2014, I came to Burke Park for the first time, in what was that year WAR #2. I wasn’t any faster then, and expected to finish near the back once more. I passed John LaManna in the Saturday race, as he had a mechanical, and said “Huh, well at least I won’t be last”. (I didn’t know that there were 2 very new riders behind me as well.) Later in the race I caught up to Mark Schwab and passed him. Well well. I finished the race and had a beer with John, Mark and Michael Ploch, who was waiting for the podium, as he won the race. I was shocked when they called my name. I didn’t know it, but by passing Mark I had moved up to third place. First podium for me in a bike race!
My first cycling podium ever. I don’t recall the name of the 2nd place finisher, but Michael Ploch is on the top step.
I had a little celebration that night with my gang.
So the next day, I was looking forward to the MTB race again. Funny though, as the day wore on, I saw more and more vehicles leaving the park with Mountain Bikes on the rack. It was hot, people were tired, and many decided not to hang around for a race that “doesn’t count.”
At the start it was me, Mark and his wife Connie, who at the last minute decided to give it a shot.
Mark’s wife Connie entered the final race, giving us three riders, so the podium would be full anyway.
Mark took off fast, like he did the day before. I was wondering if I would catch him again. Well guess what, there he was, slowing down a bit out in front of me. I resisted the urge to speed up and catch him. It was early in the race any way. I kept going at my pace and was right on his tail at the end of the second lap. On the long climb on the front loop he finally faded and I passed him. I got the the finish line before the SS leader leader lapped me, completed four laps to Mark’s three and won my first ever cycling only race (I’d won a multi-sport in the 80s).
Kaleigh Thornton gives me my first ever winning medal for a cycling race.
Back to Present Day
So here we are, 2018, I come out to the line and there are four mountain bikers. “Crap” I said to myself, “another 4th and no medal.”
The reader can probably guess what happened next. I started off at the back of the field. I’ve never been one to race for the “hole shot.” I like to start out easy and then fizzle out altogether.
Here I am doing my ceremonial last place wave as I head for the hole shot. I still don’t see how they all rush off so fast right away. Thank you Kevin Brown for the photo.
As the reader is probably expecting, I noticed a mountain biker trailing off the back of the field. “Huh. Deja Vu. Same course, same event.” Well history repeated itself. I didn’t get too excited. Held my pace, coasted down the hills, and concentrated on smooth turns. Several times I got right up behind him but he would pull away. I wasn’t ready to pass him yet anyway. I waited until the third lap, when I saw Kelly Edwards, the SS leader, coming up behind us. I had to time this right. If I passed him and Kelly didn’t lap us, I would have to hold him off for another lap. I wasn’t looking forward to that. Fortunately, just before Kelly caught up, I squeezed by Sam (Sam Sawdusky – a new guy but real glad he came) and took the lead. Kelly caught me on the finishing stretch and I manged to snag 3rd place.
My only medal of the weekend – and I worked hard for it
I was working so hard on getting the last medal place that I didn’t even stop for a hot dog.
I believe Jonathan actually threw the hot dog at me. I couldn’t stop because as you see, Sam is right in front of me
What an interesting weekend. I learned I can overcook myself. I learned I can pace myself, concentrate on riding smooth, and go faster while expending less energy. I learned that FLCX is BACK. We had a great turnout, probably the most I’ve ever seen at this course. I expect Spooky er .. “Spookier” Cross will be even bigger in two weeks.
I had a great time at WAR#1, and I am glad we honored the memory of Dan Sullivan with such a great event.
Lap time comparisons of all four races. As you can see I was faster the 2nd day, without pushing as hard.
We at PEO Sales Training believe that all sales must abide by certain rules of ethics. We teach Ethical Selling. PEO business, like many others, requires long term thinking. The best clients are those that stay with you for many, many years. Some reports indicate that the cost of the sale for a typical client is not recuperated until the client is with the PEO for at least a year.
First let’s start with some guidelines. In an ethical sales transaction there is:
What’s not in an ethical sale:
Denigrating the Competition
Traps, Baits or Hooks
Two Way Street
Of course, the ethics need to be followed on both sides. One training system teaches as rule 1: “All Prospects Lie, All The Time.” Well they can’t be blamed for that. They believe if they tell the truth it will be used against them by an unethical sales person.
Therefore, the goal is to develop an open, trusting relationship as soon as possible. If the prospect believes you are really interested in the problem, and not just trying to make a sale, they will begin to open up to you and tell you the real story.
Sales Travel Agent. “I’ve always believed I’m more of a travel agent than a salesman. I help people go from point A to point B. Which do you think they have the most trouble describing? Not point B. Most people know, and have no trouble sharing, where they want to be. It’s only after trust is developed that they share where they really are, and what problems they really have.” Sales Trainer John Will Tenney
Tips To Avoid Ethical Traps
You Can’t Handle 100% of the Market
If you suddenly got 100% of your market, what would you do with it? Would you have the capabilities to handle it? Do you know anyone who could answer “yes” to that question?
You won’t get them all. Accept that now and also realize that you are not the best match for everyone either. In a sales meeting both sides should be qualifying the other, and disqualifying as well. It is perfectly acceptable to tell a prospect: “What I’m hearing is that we are not a good fit for you. May I suggest you contact (put in alternate source here.)”
Don’t “Bad Mouth” the Competition
While it’s true there are companies in our (indeed every) field that don’t do a good job, aren’t completely honest, or are very risky to work with. It’s not your job to tell people that. You are tasked with finding out if you are a match. Of course, you can ask questions. When presented with a low ball quote from one of those companies, for example, you might ask: “That’s a great quote. There must be some reason you haven’t taken it. May I ask your thinking on that?”
Failure is an Option
As previously stated, you will not win them all. However even the worst failure can be an educational experience. There are four acceptable outcomes to a sales meeting: Yes, No, Clear Future, and Lesson Learned. More is learned from failures than successes. Do not be afraid to fail.
Avoid Commission Breath
Few things make a prospect more uncomfortable than a hungry salesperson. It helps to remember that in this industry, closing a bad one has no long term gain. If it isn’t the right fit, the client will leave and the commission ends. Even worse, the reputation of the firm is in jeopardy, for taking the wrong client. Sure, they might leave in a friendly manner but are the chances of a good reference better, or worse?
Under Promise and Over Deliver
How often do you see the opposite? Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It will hurt you in the long run, and sometimes in the short run. So many firms have bad reputations in the industry for breaking this rule. Don’t be part of that.
Pick up the phone. Write the email. Let the prospect or client know what is going on. Encourage the same from them. Lack of communication leads to lack of understanding, which can lead to all kinds of ugly situations.
Don’t Upsell Products They Don’t Need
Remember that as a PEO salesperson your job is to build a long term, profitable relationship on both sides. Selling products or services they don’t need is not going to help. There is always a lot of pressure to do this, but think of the ramifications of overloading a client with extra expenses for unused products or services. It can lead to loss of the residual income, which is why you got in this business in the first place.
Keeping It All Together
It’s important to audit yourself now and then and make sure you are following your own set of ethics. It helps to have it written down. Most CRM systems allow you to make notes on each client. Journal it. Score yourself on a scale of some sort, even if it’s 1 to 10. How ethical are you? Do the prospects and clients trust you? Are they comfortable referring you? Have you asked them?
This story was painful to write, as the memory of the pain I experienced fighting this condition was unpleasant. It’s only because several others currently fighting RA have asked me to write my story that it is here. I hope it helps and inspires those of you.
“You will probably never run again, at least not any distance.”
Harsh words from Dr. Richter, then my rheumatologist, as I sat in his Utica, NY office with my crutches in the spring of 1986
About 4 months earlier I had contracted Reactive Arthritis (or RA, formerly known as Reiter’s Syndrome. If you want to know why do a quick search. Not going in to that here.)
In the late fall of 1985, I was an engineer at GE Utica, active athletically, musically and of course socially. I noticed a burning sensation when urinating. I went to the doctor, figuring I had caught something. He and his staff could find nothing.
All tests came up negative. “Non-Specific Urethritis” he called it. “Take these for a week, it will clear up” and handed me a prescription for anti-biotics. It cleared up as predicted, but about a week later I was in my office and my eyes felt really dry. “You don’t look so good” my office mate told me. “Your eyes are all pink, like you’ve been exposed to some bad smoke or something.” I decided to go home and heal. Turned out to be a bad night. About 11pm my right big toe started hurting very bad, like it was broken. I hadn’t stubbed it though. The rest of the night was me getting up every five minutes and crawling, not walking, to the bathroom. I had to pee over and over, and not a little. It was obvious my body was trying to flush something.
At 6am I was panicked and had enough. I called my dad to come get me and take me to the hospital. I was sure my toe was broken and going to fall off. The pain was incredible. However, the ER doctor told me not to be surprised if the xray came back negative, and it did. He said “You are too young to have all these things going wrong at once. It has to be a single cause. I’m guessing it’s Reiter’s Syndrome.” He was right. Nothing on the xrays, and tests for things like gout also came back negative.
They gave me a prescription for a drug which was really bad for me – Indocin, a trade name for indomethacin, a very strong anti-inflammatory, which although reduced the inflammation and the pain, absolutely ruined my stomach. Spicy foods are no longer in my diet and never will be again. I began to realize that doctors don’t know everything about the drugs they prescribe. I am still suffering with gastro-esophagal challenges today.
The next few months were a low point in my life. I had asymmetrical arthritis, which means it was all over the place. As mentioned before my right toe, my left ankle, my right knee. At one time both legs began filling up with fluid, and swelled up below the knee. It looked like elephantitis from the scary Nat Geo videos they used to show in high school.
There are no pictures of me from that era, I avoided cameras, but this is basically what I looked like
And always the pain. I wasn’t “stiff” – it hurt. I had crutches to walk. I had a handicapped parking sticker and I began to appreciate those parking spaces in a way I never had before. It still infuriates me to see someone who is obviously not handicapped to be parking in one, or using a sticker that is clearly not theirs. That’s for another story later.
So sitting in Richter’s office, he told me: “10-15% of the time this happens once and goes away for good. 10-15% of the time it never goes away. The remaining 70-80% inflicted will have relapses throughout their life but each time it will be lower intensity, until they are old, when it will hit harder. You’ve had it for almost 6 months now so I would surmise you are in the ‘never goes away’ group.” Well he was wrong about that …
He also said, ” I advise staying off your feet and here is a prescription for Ibuprofen for pain. The Indocin was a mistake. Medical authorities are no longer recommending that drug because of the negative effects it has on the stomach lining.” Gee I wish that ER doctor had known that.
I couldn’t accept the rest of his diagnosis though. I didn’t want to be a “cripple” for life. I began researching the disease of arthritis. This was before the internet so I was in the local libraries a lot. It turns out that nobody knew much about it. Still much the same today in fact. We know why the body inflames joints but not why it keeps doing it after the foreign substance has been dealt with. We know people with a certain gene (HLA B27) are more susceptible to reactive arthritis.
One thing for sure, while there are a lot of symptomatic treatments, there is no medical cure. There is not really any research going on to find a cure either, as the treatments are very lucrative for pharma companies (Naproxen, Celebrex, etc, you’ve seen the ads) but there is no money in curing it. That’s for still another story later …
I got rid of it. Well at least changed my diagnosis. I am in the 70% now. It comes back once in a while and in lesser intensity. I also know how to get rid of it then as well. Want to hear how?
How I Beat RA
Barely moving at the finish of my first half marathon. However, just by finishing I beat the odds
• Exercise and Stretching
While I was researching I noticed one comment in a medical journal: “although painful, several patients noticed a reduction in inflammation after being forced to move and exercise the joints repeatedly.” I asked Richter about it: “Will exercise hurt me? If I go run a mile, will it damage anything?” He replied: “No but you will be in a lot of pain. That may increase inflammation.” I asked: “Is that damaging?” He said: “No, you have inflammation already. Increasing it will just cause more pain. I don’t see why you would want that but no, you won’t damage anything as fas as I can tell.”
So I went running. The first mile was hell. Every step hurt. A lot. I mean like on fire a lot. The second mile was better. By the third mile I felt very little pain. The knee and the ankle felt warm but not painful. I did a long stretching session afterwards as well. After the cooldown was another story. As I cooled down the pain returned and the next morning was really an eye opener. It was very painful just to get out of bed. Stretching helped in the morning. I’ve also found that doing some mild stretching before bed helps me sleep better as well. However, I was still in pain and taking Ibuprofen the second day.
I decided to keep my experiment going. This time the pain was gone after one mile. Miles two and three were smooth. It took a little longer after the stretching and cool down for the pain to return. I was hopeful. Even though it was still really bad in the morning it wasn’t just quite as bad.
I continued this for five days. By day five there was very little pain upon waking up and only minor shooting pains throughout the day after the run. Really, it was gone. The next few months were essentially pain free. I had another flare up in the next winter which brings me to point 2:
• Warm, Humid Climate
Now I know why old people move to Florida. It does wonders for arthritis. Cold, dry weather in NY was terrible. I was 30 when I moved south and looking back I don’t know why I waited so long. Warmer temperatures means better circulation and that may be a critical thing. Keeping the blood flowing through a joint has to be a good thing.
“A dry joint is not a happy joint” – not me, some chiropractor’s book I read, but it’s true. Drink water. Lots of it. Reduce the alcohol as well. I rarely have a second beer on social occasions and most days go without it at all. It is “anti hydration”. The positives of staying hydrated are published in many other places.
• Drugs Don’t Cure, They Just Treat Symptoms
While I will still take a couple of Alleve now and then to deal with joint pain, I know that it is just masking the pain and not curing the cause. Go exercise, drink water and stay warm.
How Am I Doing Now?
At age 60, still running and riding. Wearing the Florida Cyclocross points champion jersey for 2017 here.
I still get flareups. Often in my lower back, but that may be due to all the running and high impact bicycling I do. Stretching works well there. Recently I had a flare up in my right heel. I stretched it frequently and it went away after a couple of weeks. It was minor, really.
As you recall, I was told I would not be an athlete in my life. If you refer to some of the other articles in this blog I think you will see that is not so. I’m enjoying a healthy, active life and I know in part it was due to overcoming the challenge of beating RA.
If you are fighting it, and want to talk, or if you have a success story of your own, please let me know using the contact form below.
The Eastside Cycling Club had the annual awards party last week and it was one of the best ever. The attendance was up and spirits were high. The highlight of the evening were the awards for the inaugural “5-10-20 Challenge.”
For those that aren’t aware of what it is:
5 – ride 5,000 miles in the calendar year
10 – climb 10,000 ft in one day
20 – participate in 20 club rides or activites
(tracked in the ESCC group on Strava.com)
Additional awards for being a ride leader, and the “Saddle Buster” award, for the person with the most time in the saddle.
It certainly proved to be a challenge. Only 6 riders competed all three: Don Martyny, Dave Brillhart, Carter Lane, Crockett Bohannon, John Tenney and Jerry Hertzler
History of the 5-10-20 Challenge:
The club has had “challenges” for it’s riders in the past. The first that is well documented is the “ESCC Trifecta Award” from 2014. This medal was given to all dues paying riders who participated in a designated charity event, rode Cross Florida and Six Gap.
To the right is the award your author keeps in a conspicuous place, as the effort to get that award was significant.
Other challenges were proposed for the following years but didn’t have the success for various reasons. Some of them started to get pretty complex and were difficult to follow, for example. Some involved extensive spreadsheets, charts, graphs, etc.
The 5-10-20 award facilitator, past club president Crockett Bohannon, managed to keep it simple with a Google doc that was easily accessed, and not that difficult to maintain. Club riders could see at a glance where the were, how they were doing and what they needed to do. Sometimes a little motivation is all we need.
All members at the awards party will agree, it was very motivational as well as rewarding.
Author’s Personal Story:
I had not been a “regular” ESCC rider as much as I used to be. Racing and other weekend events tend to take me away from the Saturday morning ride. Even if I have that Saturday off, the struggle to get up and be ready for the 7:30am start at the YMCA can be discouraging and enough to keep me out of it.
That changed with the 5-10-20. I wanted to win the award. It was a challenge, a justification perhaps. Something to make all this crazy expenditure of energy worth it. There were many mornings I would have stayed in bed if I didn’t need to get those 20 group rides. I made several Saturday rides because of it, and forgot how “worth it” they are. The fun of riding with the group all the way to the Fort, and even Taylor Creek on occasion had been lost to my memory. It was good to be back. It’s great to swap stories with Marcus, hear Jim’s anecdotes, try to keep up with the likes of Ernie, Volker and Jerry, and help people in the paceline with leaders like Daniela, Megan and others. Truly is a great group of people.
The Sunday Bakery Ride had not been on my list either. Well that changed. I now love this ride. I like the relaxed pace with the opportunity to “shake it out” on Howard Ave. I laugh every time I see the Strava Segment names: “Jethro and Cooter goin’ huntin’ again” and “Dwight Howard made my baby.” Although I rarely stop at the bakery (the food there really isn’t to my palate), I look forward to the sprint up the “Col de Expressway” (Woodbury bridge over 408). The Bakery Ride made it possible for me to “get my 20.”
The 10,000′ was a totally different challenge. Three times I went out to Clermont and tried to do it in a day. Three times I fell short. It makes for a very long day. Finally, on a weekend off, I dragged my family up to Fort Mountain outside Chatsworth, GA. Crockett promised me it wasn’t that bad a climb and an “easy descent with very little braking needed.”
Crockett was both right and wrong. The climb was difficult to me but not impossible. The descent was not easy for me. I’m a bigger guy and gravity takes a big pull on me. There were several sharp turns with a looming precipice on one side that frankly scared me. I had to brake a lot. Well, I chose to brake a lot. It got less scary as the day went on, but I still took it very seriously. No matter, 5 3/4 laps and I had my 10,000′.
I will go back to Fort Mountain this year most likely, but I’d like to go with a group. There is a lot of car traffic on that road and it would be nice to have the company of other riders.
I am glad to hear that the club leadership has decided to keep the 5-10-20 going. It will pull me out. I intend to be more present on ESCC rides this year.
Relaxing with a well earned beer after 10,000′ on Fort Mountain
This post is for me, myself and I. No one else. It’s a note to me for next year at this time. If you don’t want to be bored about my running and riding exploits for 2017 then you should close the window now.
Maybe my kids will read it some day. Maybe.
I’ve been frantically searching my disk drives for the goal setting exercise I did a year ago. I can’t find it. Maybe that’s because I never wrote it down. Well I’m writing it down here so I can find it next year.
What Were My Goals?
Reaching in to the memory banks, I know I did two areas: Exercise/Sports and Business.
I set mileage goals of 6000 miles cycling and 400 miles running. I didn’t hit 400 running but went over 7000 cycling and hit a total of 7500.
On 12/30 I passed 7500 total miles.
In Running, I wanted to complete the Space Coast Half Marathon in under 3 hours if possible, and collect my 6th and 7th medals for the Big Bang series. I did it in 3:05, which although not my goal, was still a PR for the course. I wasn’t at my target weight at all. Hurricane Irma “gifted” me with 10 lbs that I have been having the toughest time losing. Maybe now that the “chocolate season” is over I will make some headway.
I had planned on 400 miles of running as training for the SCHM. I didn’t get to do the long run I wanted to before, so I had to go in with my longest run being just 9 miles. This might also have been a factor as I definitely slowed down in the second half of the run. I finished though, and I have officially “retired” from long distance running.
The 7 medals, the final t-shirt and towel combination, awarded to all Big Bang Series finishers – five years in a row
Next year? No goals. I’m retired from distance running
I have to break this in to several parts: Road, Time Trial, Mountain Bike, Cyclocross and Track.
Road: I had no real goals of road racing except to exceed 6000 total miles. Done. I wanted to complete my fourth Cross Florida ride in 10 hours or less. Not quite. Did it in 10:42 but I am still happy.
After XFL, I did get a new frame this year, as my old frame warped itself and was under warranty. Many thanks to Mickey Singer of Giant Bicycles USA for helping me out with it.
Love this snazzy new frame. Got it after the Cross Florida ride but really enjoyed it all year long
Also, one of my clubs put on a 5-10-20 contest – 5,000 miles, one ride that climbed 10,000 feet, and participate it 20 club rides. I am one of only 8 people who did all three. Excited about that.
Next year? I am considering entering some road races, as well as crossing Florida for a fifth time. If there is a 5-10-20 contest I will do it again. Our own club is doing a 5-5-25 version, 5,000 miles, 5,000 feet in a single ride, and 25 club events, rides, races or volunteerism.
Time Trial: I sold my TT bike, so I was hoping to do well in the Eddy Merckx class. I did OK. About half way through the year though, I got a fixed gear track bike which gave me an entirely new arena to play in. More on how that happened later, but I “won” the airport TT fixed gear class, as well as the CFL TT fixed gear class over 40K. Most of this was because there were very few others who made every race. This is always my secret to success anyway.
Next year? Defend my titles!
Mountain Bike: I had purchased and custom built a special mountain bike with a fixed frame, aimed at the WAR MTB series (in the cyclocross division) which was coming back, and I was defending champion. This wonderful bike was stolen in August, which really depressed me. Still no sign of it. I managed to repeat my WAR championship but it was by using borrowed bikes. Well here I am talking about Cyclocross and confusing it with Mountain Biking. Well I’m about to do it again …
My custom built Mountain Bike – stolen! I had nearly $4,000 in to this thing …
Next year? Defend the WAR MTB title, and maybe enter a few MTB races.
Cyclocross: I got a new (to me) Cross bike this year, a very nice Giant TCX. I immediately began training with it in Hal Scott preserve, a local mountain bike trail that is pretty flat and easy. I noticed that my Strava was showing me rising up leader boards on some segments that had been established out there by various people. I decided to do something about it. I took a bunch of segments and even created some for my own routes. There was one guy who was very hard to beat but I managed to beat him on every segment but one (and I missed that one by 1 second) by mid March. Strava says I claimed 35 KOMs in 2017. Even though he went out and took them all back (by putting aero bars on his mountain bike!) I still claim that as a victory. For a few weeks I was the “King” of Hal Scott.
The King’s Machine. Using this bike I procured 20+ KOMs in Hal Scott. I’ve since lost them all but it was fun for a few weeks.
OK now back to cyclocross. I went to every WAR race this year and by garnering points (not being fast, just showing up) I managed to win the MTB category and the Pro 1/2/Open category. I guess that makes me WAR Grand Champion. Got two jerseys for it. In addition, I am the points champion of the Florida P1/2 category.
Many will say that I don’t deserve that status, that I am slow, that I am clearly not the best cyclocross racer in Florida. I can understand why they say this but this is a points series and you get points for showing up. I beat 100% of the riders who stayed home on the couch. I may have finished last or second to last in nearly every race but I was there. I say to those naysayers, “If you don’t like me on this podium then come knock me off. Stop whining and start showing up for races.”
Doing the WAR knuckles in honor of the series. Am I faster than young Mr. Legg, or almost as young Dr. Chandler? Not by a long shot, but I finished more races.
Got a jersey for winning FLCX overall as well.
At age 60, still running and riding. Wearing the Florida Cyclocross points champion jersey for 2017 here.
Next year? Repeat as champion and get faster! I need to lose weight to get more speed.
Track: OK this is new to me and I had no goals for the year, because I had no plans to race on the track. As is told elsewhere in this blog I had a unique opportunity to buy a track bike and set a state record, which I did.
By the end of the year, no one had beaten this record and I was originally told I would be considered the state one hour time trial champion. This has since been “recanted” as “this is not a recognized championship” – ugh, politics. Disappointing, but I am still the current one hour record holder.
Also, as I stated in the Time Trial section above, I used this bike to win two Time Trial divisions as well.
Wayne Keller got this great picture of me setting a PR on the Airport TT course of 18:27. Best ever on this particular course, and on a fixed gear track bike (Giant Omnium)
Next year? I really don’t know. Maybe go to some track races, or at least some track time trials.
This was our first year as a franchised business, so my goal was to get five franchises up and running (We currently have three). I also wanted to double our total payroll by the end of the year. It looks like we might just barely make it.
Amazing considering two really bad things happened to us that made us go in to “fire drill” mode instead of preparation and planning. 1: One of our partner PEOs had an owner fight that split up in to two PEOs and cost us two rather large clients. 2: The state of Florida in a horrible example of irresponsibility, shut down an insurance company (unjustified IMO) on November 27th. We had exactly one month (during holiday season) to scramble and place one of our largest workers comp clients with a new carrier. Unfortunately we were not able to place it all and this will cost us about $800/month.
Next year I’d like to see 6-8 franchises, and double our payroll handled again.