No more training wheels
Trainer Confessions has been up and operational now for over two years now with posts going out at about a rate of one or two per week during that time. I even managed to keep the posts coming even when frankly there wasn't much to talk about, like over the last three months of mostly solo riding. If I can pump out the posts when most of my riding time is done when the darkness of my riding hours combined with the narrowed vision brought on by the layers of clothing extending up to my eyes, then its easy to imagine that the approach of spring will just cause the posts to freely flow from my fingers.
But that's just not the case. Even though I am now in arguably one of the top two or three US destinations for a cyclist seeking a winter training camp, and I also stand just under two weeks until my first race of 2012, I have decided to close up shop at the TC blog post.
I started the blog partly as a means to fill the time I rode up on the trainer. Back then, when training using a plan created with my own ignorance, I spent the vast majority of my training doing efforts that were conducive to typing while up on the trainer. The days of mega mindless hours on the trainer now are in the rear view mirror. For those hours I do now find myself riding indoors, it is often at levels of effort that make it difficult for me to keep my eyes open, so typing is just out of the question.
The absence of mindless trainer hours wasn't enough though to close down the TC blog, though. For well over a year now I've exclusively been banging away at the keyboard at odd hours while perched on a regularly chair instead of a bicycle seat. While I no longer had the luxury of endless trainer time to churn out the posts, I still was compelled to churn out the posts.
I didn't do it to inspire people, though I often lamented how uninspiring my writing was in comparison to the great books and blogs I've read.
I didn't write to educate people. I love to teach and coach others, but my cycling career has traversed a well worn path blazed by thousands of others before me, so there isn't a heck of a lot of educating I could do.
At best you could say that my blog entertained, but for a very tiny audience -- fellow cyclists in and around CT. But with the hours I've invested in writing each update (I'd guess between 90 and 120 minutes per average post), I'm not convinced that the level of entertainment I've supplied to such a small audience could justify the time I've logged. The ROI (return on investment) just didn't add up simply on the small amount of entertainment I offered you, sorry!
But it is the matter of ROI that will bring this final post to a close. My primary motivation for the TC posts, especially after leaving the mindless trainer hour phase, has been my own rationalization and justification for how much time I invest in cycling in general. I'm wired in a way where a decision to do something that involves lots of my time requires a thorough analysis and understanding of the ROI.
Unlike most sports, being modestly good requires a huge time commitment. So big that I needed to continually re-evaluate whether or not the investment was justified. The TC blog was sort like my training wheels to keep me up on the bike. As my bike riding time seemed to be called into question, the TC blog post gave me that little touch of balance of perspective, satisfying my need to know the ROI was still paying off.
Well, the training wheels are now off. Out here in Tucson, with pro teams rolling by as I ride, nodding to me with what almost appears to be respect offered to another racer, I need no further justification as to why I ride. The Return on my cycling Investment is now beyond question.