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CMP Presents: The Burning Flame, Part VI: Long Road to Ruin

September 23, 2010

Nearing the end of the 2010 summer, things were starting to change for Caveman. His first big project with the new career endeavour was close to paying off. The architecture business was booming once more and Caveman was able to secure some contract labor with an old boss. Although there were parts of the daily grind Caveman really didn’t miss, there were some things he did. Riding to work, a morning cup of hot coffee to start out drawing, exercising the brain with design problems, going for a ride after work.

Yes, riding was making a comeback. With some steady income and work hours, it was only a matter of time before the thought of racing and riding would breathe new life into this once mighty but now dormant warrior. He kept track of other warrior’s preparation for the the dearest of races Caveman kept close to his heart, the one and only, 24 Hours of Rocky Hill.  He had not anticipated competing this year due to time off the bike. He was prepared to make the sacrifice and not race for the rest of the year in the name of building a new career. He kept hearing of epic training rides and a cool bike frame that would go to the 2010 winner. The fire was kindling; he tried his best to put it out. Sometimes, a Caveman has to do what he was made to. The Burning Flame was ignited once more. Caveman would shoot for the title again, and he’d get to work right away.

He would have just a little over two months to get back in shape and square away equipment choices. How the heck would he get back to top form after barely riding a bike since February? Would Proud Mary fly once more? What about Big Tex? Single speed or gears? Rigid or full suspension?   This would be his first year doing the race without a bonafide race team. What would he wear?

Indeed, this year would provide a whole new set of challenges. To get back in shape, Caveman would embark upon one of the most demanding training regiments to date. A strict Paleo diet was the first step. Lots of raw meat, eggs, and veggies. No more sugar or grains. No more beer, limited Tex-Mex and ice cream. P90X was resurrected, and it brought him to his knees this go round. Wednesday night rides on the backtrails with the Sport Shop boys were new this year, but  a great traditional training tool. The road bike was dusted off for some long casual rides in rural Travis county. Some running was thrown in the loop, made more interesting with the canine friend now a valued training companion. This year, there would be some new training ideas. Caveman started pedicabbing once again following his dismal outing the past winter. He figured this killed three birds with one stone, satisfying 3 of the 7 primal laws: move frequently at a slow pace (like when one is riding around looking for a fare), sprint once in a while (when a driver has to start/stop a lot, or make it through a yellow light) and lift heavy things  ( hauling three full grown men on a machine that already weighs 80lbs is no joke). Another new tool would be tire pulling. Caveman found some large used tires in a drainage slough near his dwelling and decided to haul them home to tie off to and do sprints with. He would also pick them up and see how far he could throw them. The ancient art of warrior Yoga was put back into practice to restore balance and harmony from within  There was a fair amount of on-the-bike training, but this go round Caveman would put more trust in hardcore off-the-bike workouts to deliver as well. Rocky Balboa remained his ultimate training guide, not “expert” coaches who dictate 30 hours a week on the bike and power meters and heart rate monitors. A keen awareness of self, of the environment , and of instinct would be all Caveman needed to gauge progress.

A machine was chosen, but this info is not available at press time. Besides that, it is undergoing some improvements to make it one of the most lethal 24 hour weapons that course will ever see. Stay tuned or show up at the race to check it out.

The 2009 Rocky Hill race was the last one ever that Caveman donned the once proud NRC/Pedalmasher jersey. It was time to find a new team and some new colors. While there are plenty of great teams in the State of Texas, they all come with with one form or another of bureaucracy. While he understood the name of the game, he still didn’t like it. He was always a bit of a lone wolf anyways. And so Team Caveman Productions was unofficially formed. Over the years Caveman had worked hard to acquire friends and businesses that saw value in his talent and offer him sponsorships. Performance Wellness, Chipotle, Puresport, Karmabiker, Bobcat13 to name a few. The fallout of team NRC left him without a critical sponsor though, a bike shop. Caveman had long supported his East Austin local bike shop of Eastside Pedalpushers, a small outfit by the tracks in an industrial part of town. Lee, the scruffy red headed owner, agreed to be the new shop sponsor, and alas, the fellowship of Caveman Productions was complete.

As of September 21, Team Caveman Productions became Official with the arrival of the new tribal cloth:

And so friends, this brings us out of third person NFL voiceover guy and into the present. I’ve been training hard and only look to train harder for the next 2 weeks as the race date of October 23 fast approaches. I hope you have enjoyed the recap of Caveman’s 24 hour race adventures and life story. In addition to making the decision to get back into racing and training, putting some new posts up on the neglected blog has helped me get the mental focus back. If you are an athlete or a very goal oriented person, you know the importance of mental focus.

Mentally, I feel like I will be better prepared than any other race I have done. Mostly because I haven’t raced this year and I don’t plan on racing much afterwards so I can put a lot of energy toward this one race. Physically, it will be tough to get to where I was this time last year. I have also set a goal that will undoubtedly push my body beyond ruin. I expect good competition from the solo racers, and I will respect them and definitely shoot for the solo victory. This year, though, I will up the ante by focusing on competing with the 2 man, 4 man, and even grande teams. Sounds crazy, I know, but if a national 24 hour champ like Eatough or Tostado were to come to a race like this, they would probably destroy the multi-person teams. If I want to race at their level, I have to set goals of their caliper. I honestly cannot see myself winning the whole thing given my condition at the moment, but maybe top 5 or 3rd would be respectable. I tallied up 26 teams from last year that had more than 18 laps. There were several in the 19-20 lap range, only a handful in the 21+. I could have turned 19 had I wanted to, but it wasn’t necessary. This year, I will shoot for 20 or 21 laps. I don’t care if the next solo rider down only makes 17. With the good Lord willing, I’ll be gunning for team bragging rights!

So the fun begins. Anyone who has ever built a large out of control fire knows how hard it is to put out. I think the only thing that will put this fire out is the race itself. Only time will tell. Thanks for reading. Have a great day.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Charley Rome permalink
    September 23, 2010 11:54 am

    Good luck at Rocky Hill!

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