Saturday, January 23, 2010

These Days

HI All,


This time of the year is always a little funny for me.  It is the peak of the skiing season, something that I have been real stoked about for a really long time.  Actually this is my 21 season of Nordic Skiing.  Awesome, right!!!  Anyhow at the same time there are all sorts of issues that are swirling around for the next season.  So I thought that I would give you all a look inside my world.  Here are some of the things I have got rolling around in my head.

ECCC ROAD SEASON:

This is the big one, in terms of people and logistical madness this is the world cup of collegiate bike racing (I am sure that if anyone from another conference read this, they would vehemently disagree.  I am not too worried that they are reading).  This is going to be my first go at the road season as Assistant to the Conference Director.  Yeah, this is kind of like critically acclaimed show, "The Office."  While I had a similar roll during the mountain season last fall, I am way more comfortable with the challenges and people that are involved with mountain season.  While I think this is going to be a big new challenge, I can wait for the show to begin.

My Own Racing:
Despite getting really sick several times and wrecking my summer season last year, I still managed to find a new team for this coming year.  For the last three seasons I have been a part of the Gary Fisher Regional team.  This has been a really great experience and gave me a bunch of awesome opportunities and bikes to race on.  Time marches on and things change.  For this upcoming year I will be racing as part of the Trek Mountain Co-Op.  This was formerly the Trek Racing Co-Op, which was formerly the Trek Regional teams. Some absolutely stellar racers have come out of this program, so I am really humbled that they took me in.  Anyhow, this is going to be my new ride




Seeing the Love of My Life:
Next weekend Emily and I are meeting in Maine (half way between PEI and VT).  We are going to rock our skinny skis all over the hills and dales around Bangor.  Needless to say, I am super excited.  Pretty much, can't even sleep at night.

Triathlon, Burlintron?!?!:



If you hadn't heard, which why you, Burlinton VT is going to host USA Triathlon's national championships in 2011 and 2012.  It is totally crazy.  Strange but true, for quite a while I was stoking the dream of becoming a professional triathlete.  I know, what was I thinking.  Cycling got me pretty side tracked from this, but the lure of having a big race in Burlington is getting me pretty excited.  I might have to bring my short shorts to some of the races to get in some miles.  Sarah P. Likes to rock running shorts while training for the political office she doesn't hold, and isn't running for (yet).  So it must me cool if I do it, Right?!?

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ownership

Hi All,

Recently a lot of hollering and getting blue in the face has occured.  A lot of this has been centered around the issue of the future of Varsity racing in Collegiate Cycling.

The ECCC doesn't have any varsity team, which is a little unusual.  Oh well, I don't think that this is a huge loss. 


While there are countless merits and demerits to the prospect of varsity programs.  I want to focus on just one issue here.  This is the issue of ownership, the connectivity and efficacy of each rider on the team.

My background prior to joinging UVM Cycling was as a member of the Varsity XC and Track teams at UVM.  I won't say too much about that experience, but there were things about the team that I wanted to change.  Sadly on a varsity team there is a tendency for the coaching staffs to view the athletes as just that, athletes.  In a club atmosphere their is a greater likihood that people are viewed as members.  Parts of the team and the leadership.

If the team wants to do well as a team (at the conference level) the whole team, from A to intro has to do well and has to show up to the races.  Don't be fooled into thinking that the big teams were always big or always will be.  There needs to be a constant stream of leadership, beating the drum to get new people out, and old people to retain interest.

What I enjoyed just as much as the racing, or the training, or the shenanigan, was the ownership I had of the team when I ran it.  I would frequently tell people that I was the corporeal form of UVM cycling, and while I usually said this as a joke, I did truly believe this.  I was more assertive, and worked harder as a result of my connection to the team.  When I saw our guys shortchanged or I thought somebody was skrewing up, I would speak up, this wasn't my responsibility and I was discouraged from doing this as an XC Athlete.

So what I am saying is that Clubs present a real opportunity fcor people to experience leadership.  A lot of the time that world is something that gets thrown around in situations it doesn't even apply to.  For a cycling team there is a lot of potential situations that one would need to be a leader.  With a staff assigned to the program, a lot of this would dissapreare the responsibility that breeds leadership would evaporate.  It would be sad, a missed opportunity.


So, I would encourage all of you to get active in your team and in your conference.  Be glad that you can make a difference, cause you can.