Livin' the Dream

Livin' the Dream

About Me

I am a sophomore at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, majoring in journalism. My passion is cycling. I am a category 4 bike racer and my absolute dream would be to turn pro one day. My more realistic goal is to become a journalist for the sport of cycling and eventually move on to become a broadcaster for the sport.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blink and You'll Miss It

Ok, so I know it has been a while since I have blogged. Well, actually over two months. Be ready for a rapid fire about how life has been pretty awesome in those two months.

At the beginning of August I traveled out West to the beautiful and magnificent state of Utah. I was working the Routing and Signs Crew for Medalist Sports at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. The crew was made up of six guys, Mark, Steve, Rich, John, Bob and me. Mark was a fearless leader. I have to say, by the end of the Tour the crew was pretty tight. The duty of the routing and signs crew is to put out all of the course arrows for the caravan and set-up all of the KOM’s and Sprints, and of course fly the 1K to go blimp. “The Back” is the sweeper vehicle that picks up all of the signs after the racers have passed by, the true Broom Wagon. For this race, I ran “the back” with veteran Steve, whom I worked with at ATOC earlier this year. Steve has worked “the back” at fourteen Tours throughout the years, including every single California. These trips are pretty awesome; I get paid to work a bike race. The only thing better is actually racing.

            I have to say I never knew Utah was such a beautiful state. The race organizers did a fantastic job of showing the state in its true postcard appearance. I lost count of the amount of times my breath was taken away.                                                          
One of the cool natural features the race navigated

            Working “the back” is a lot of work. As we drive along the race course, I'm constantly jumping out of the truck, picking up signs and sand bags. For me being a short guy I have to lift the sandbag over my head to get it over the bed of the truck. The fun part of the day is always going through the feed zone. As ambassadors for the race we try to keep the state as clean as possible so, you guessed it, we clean up all of the mussettes and water bottles. They make for pretty awesome souvenirs.

Found these on the side of the road on one of the climbs

            At the end of the trip the race organizers always hold an after-party for all of the staff—usually a bunch of riders show up. This year, it was pretty cool to be mingling with likes of Jens Voight and race winner Tommy D. I actually walked up to Tommy D. at the party and shook his hand to congratulate him. It’s pretty cool being on the inside in the sport of cycling.
Feeling of accomplishment every time the blimp goes up

            After the Tour of Utah I was home for nine days and then a new chapter in my life began—College. First though, I had to get in my last hard ride of the year in Maryland. Only two days back on the bike from Utah, I showed up at the CycleLife Thursday Hammerfest Century. The route varies, but the mentality is always the same—rip each others legs off. I proabably did a little too much work in the beginning because with about 15 miles to go my body absolutely exploded. I don’t even remember making it back, I was so mentally drained. The only thing that kept me pedaling my bike was that I have done it so many times before my body didn’t know any different. The Chipotle meal I got at the end was one of the best meals I have ever eaten.
The traditional pre-ride picture
             I am attending James Madision University (JMU) and planning to major in, guess what, journalism. I love writing and better than writing is reporting about cycling. I have to say the college life is pretty sweet. You really only have class a couple of hours a day and if you plan things accordingly you can end up with a lot of time on your hands. Having a lot time on your hands means theres a lot time for riding. With my racing season over, my coach told me to focus on endurance and tempo. At JMU, that translates to long rides exploring the mountains that Harrisonburg has to offer. The riding out here is fantastic. This area was made for small skinny climbers like me. The best part about the riding in Harrisonburg is Jeremiah Bishop’s Alpine Loop Gran Fondo.

Check out my report on the Alpine Loop in couple of days, but in the meantime keep on Livin’ the Dream.

-Mikey B.-

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