In my last post, I pondered the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of Sam Sylar from the St. Louis cyclist blog scene. That was seven weeks ago – how ironic that I should follow such a post with my own ‘disappearance’ of sorts. Such extended absences are normally the kiss of death in blogland, where readership demands at least weekly updating, preferably more. My site stats tells me that I’m still getting traffic, but I suspect most of it lands here as a result of Google searches on the terms “Look 585” or “l’Etape du Tour” (or variations thereof). Whatever little traffic I used to received from those actually intending to visit this site (undoubtedly drawn by its witty, irreverant prose!) has likely completely evaporated by this point – I could, for all I know, be writing this piece strictly for myself.
Why the hiatus? I really don’t know. I started writing this blog more than three years ago, in the summer of 2006, to share my experiences and thoughts as a local-level bike racer. I didn’t know it at the time, but the bulk of my racing career was already by then behind me, enjoying early success as a Cat 5 and then struggling as a Cat 4 before finding my groove and putting together a good run on my way to Cat 3. My first year as a 3 saw the beginning of this blog, and a year later I was living my dream of riding l’Etape du Tour. I had lots to write about – race reports, group ride reports, training reports, and of course an account of that incredible trip to France. Ironically, however, it was also the beginning of the end of my interest in racing – after climbing the classic Pyreneean ascents, riding the Calanques white cliffs along the Mediterranean Sea, and cruising the centuries-old cobblestone streets of Paris, I found it increasingly difficult to get excited about the local 4-corner crits back home. I also found myself longing to resume interests that I had put on the shelf (bug collecting) while I did the biking thing. I tried to do both in 2008, but in the end I decided I’d had my fun and called it quits as a bike racer.
It’s been just over a year now since I became a recreational bike rider and not a bike racer. I cycled as much during 2009 as I ever did when I was racing and had just as much fun. I did group rides, bought (and gave my opinions on) cycling equipment and apparel, followed pro racing, kept tabs on my fitness, and made fun of the behavior of others. These are all still relevant topics, and I’ve had a number of post ideas that came to mind during my hiatus that I could’ve written about – crashes (both horrific and humorous), more bad behavior, stylin’ with cables, more winter cycling tips, and finally fixing that creak! But I didn’t, and I don’t know why. I guess time will tell if its just a funk or if it’s really the finish.
Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2010