Sunday, February 14, 2016

I Am My Own Thing ...

There's been a lot of changes lately in 1Speed-world. For those who have been to this site before, some of those will be obvious, and I'll get to that in a moment. What I want to start with is something else. 

Back in the beginning of summer last year, I joined a team for the first time ever. I'd never really ever had much interest in racing for a team, but when Toasted Head Racing gave me the opportunity to race with them, I jumped at it. I mean, whenever you get a chance to race with and learn from a crew that strong you just have to take it. I don't think I did a single event in this region last year where there weren't a few TH folks on podiums.

Unfortunately, late in the year we found out that Toasted Head had decided not to continue sponsoring the team in 2016. And so just like that, my short career with an organized team was over. A few of our members jumped to Rare Disease or one of the other teams in the region, but I decided that I was going to go back to what I'd started at the beginning of last season and become my own thing. Late in 2014, a friend of mine helped me to design my own kit. I decided that if I was going to race under 1Speed Racing for 2016, I would redesign my kit and try to incorporate a few more personal details this time around. And to that end, this is my kit for this year:

It's a pretty simple design, but every part of it means something specific. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and I can't thank my friend Eric or John from Death Row Velo enough for all their help!

In the spirit of the kit design, then, I made a lot of changes to this space as well, matching the color scheme and logo. I also tried to streamline the content here a little bit, too. But part of that was to make room for a few new gadgets, the most obvious of which would be the Strava widget at the top right. 

Yeah, after years of purposely avoiding Strava, I signed up at the start of this year. I never had anything against it. In fact, I always loved the idea. But I worried that I would get too caught up in it and riding would become nothing more than an endless pursuit of PRs and KOMs if I signed up. I've always had a somewhat obsessive personality, locking in on one thing to the exclusion of all else. Sometimes that's worked for me, but more often it does not. Whether it's all the time I spent on a basketball court as a kid, my school work in college and grad school, the gym in my 20's, or cycling over the last 10 or 15 years, basically my entire adult life has been marked by a series of obsessions, and I only recently started to wonder if I needed to try to change that. And that was part of the reason I was wary of signing up for Strava - it seemed to me to encourage the kind of obsessiveness I wanted to get away from. Over the years, though, I've become more and more aware of my tendency to go all in on one thing, and I'd like to believe that I've developed a more healthy relationship with my hobbies and interests. And so this year I figured I'd reached the point where I could trust myself not to become too wrapped around the idea of the numbers and use Strava for its more positive elements - for one, there's a social aspect that connects you to your friends who ride and even other riders you've never met. And for another, there's definitely a training benefit to having that social component in front of you. I've got a pretty big season planned this year, and anything that can help me get out and push myself is going to help. I think that's the right way to use the competitive element of Strava since it's a real goal I'm chasing.

Another thing I want to change this year is I'd like to be more active with keeping a record of racing and riding. If I'm going to put the time in to being my own "team" of one, I'd like to keep a record of it. Part of that is this space here, but to encourage myself to be better at keeping up with it, I've also added a Tumblr site called 1SpeedRide where I'll be able to post a photo or video or anything quick and easy. The idea is that if it's super easy to make a quick post, I'll be more likely to do so. I've become pretty lazy about this stuff over the last year and I'd like to change that. I've always thought of this space as a very personal way to preserve the good feeling that I get from riding and racing. Someday, I'm not going to be able to do any of this anymore, and I would really like to have these memories preserved so I can look back it then and remember those times. I plan to keep this site going for longer form ride and race reports and capture the day to day rides and moments over on the Tumblr site (you can link to it on the 1Speed logo under "Support" above.) 

I guess that's enough for now. Oh yeah - that "big season" I've got planned? More on that tomorrow. Basically, I've got fewer events I"m planning on this year, but those events are bigger and more spread out than what I've done in the past. And I've got a few non-race things I'm planning this year that should be a lot of fun, too. All in all, it's going to be a busy year!

So welcome to the new home for 1Speed. Hope you enjoy the ride!

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