Since High School , when I was a pretty good JV-athlete, I have been a life-long endurance sports enthusiast.
I began as a runner. It was easy; all a runner needs is a pair of sneakers, shorts and a jersey.
In fellowship at Indiana, I found a noon-time running group to share my addiction with. Like almost all runners do, I suffered overuse injuries. This drove me to the pool, with the other injured runners, and soon I was a swimmer.
The overachieving personality of which many doctors are burdened with got the best of me. “All I needed was a bike, and I could do a triathlon.” It was a black and green Trek 1200 with first-generation STI shifters.
It was not long after I started riding with bike racers that I made a seminal discovery: I rode much better if I hadn’t run or swim beforehand. In this Archimedes-like moment, I discovered that rest is the most powerful performance-enhancing strategy of all (legal ones.)
So for the past 8 years, I am “only a bike racer,” as I tell the regular people who measure an athlete’s mettle by the answer to this question:“Hey, Doc…Do you do the Ironman?”
In the fall of 2003, I entered and won my first bike race–a ‘C’ cross race, with 10 other competitors, one of which had a metal basket on his handlebars. On the last lap, I was heckled as a “sand-bagger.”
Since moving up in category–to my present Cat 2 status–victories are much harder to come by. My son Will reminds me that I am about 179 wins shy of Italian cycling champion, Mario Cipollini’s total.
So it is that I became a bike racer.