Saturday, April 24, 2010

Biking on the Brain

Sorry for the silence--I've had biking on my brain.

About two weeks ago I went out for a two hour bike ride with my friend Whit. (He runs a terrific cycling blog called Pave.) I had a great ride and as we finished Whit made a comment that I should enter a race. That's all the motivation it took. I immediately signed up for the Turkey Hill Classic, a 40k (24 mile) road race near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I have entered the race as a Category 5 (beginner) and am both very excited and very nervous about the event.

For many years I was a competitive distance runner. However, running and cycling are very different beasts. They both share the same goal--crossing the finish line first. But bike racing is a much more tactical event. In running you can just take off and lead the whole way. Strong finishers might want a slower pace, and poor sprinters might want a fast pace, but overall tactics are pretty simple. 

In bike racing you can save over 30% of your energy just by drafting (following closely) behind the rider ahead of you. Leading a race from the beginning becomes almost impossible as all of your competitors will be 30% fresher than you. What will my strategy be? It's called "Don't be stupid." This will consist on trying to control my exuberance and not charging out to the lead from the very beginning.

What does this have to do with writing? Not much. However, I will say that cycling is a great sport for writers. Cycling provides a lot of time to think, and I spend a lot of riding time thinking about Eternal Knight. Many good ideas have come to me while in the saddle.

Any how is my writing going? Very well. I am not rushing into the query process, but am letting the manuscript "rest" for  a bit before jumping into things. I am resisting the urge to mass query and will take it one step at a time.

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