A rolling stone gathers no moss.
I've heard it from several of the elders and godfathers of our sport - it's easier to stay in shape than get in shape. Tinker, Ned, Tilly, Distefano... all of these guys have been around the block long enough to know how it works, and I myself have done my own share of laps here in life to know there's no reason to recreate the wheel. Listen to your elders, though now it seems I'm somehow joining those elders, at least as far as grey hairs in my beard go.
As I sit on the plane for our trip down to the 2012 Trans Andes Challenge, I'm wondering what happened to my offseason? As our calendar and my team is evolves, it seems we're racing year round more than ever. As they say, it's always summer somewhere. This holds as true as ever as we leave winter in the Northern Hemisphere for what will be mid-summer in Chile. Having most recently raced the Tour of Langkawi in October, you could say we had almost 90 days since our last competition... but throw in local cyclo-cross, November's Palo Duro Canyon marathon, and a little bit of actual preparation for this race, and it seems like just yesterday we were having an amazing global bike race adventure.
I'll stop there with this segue into complaining and get back to staying in some semblance of shape 12 months a year: every ride, trip, race, and adventure should have purpose. That purpose is to be present in the experiences that you are creating. Be aware of the time you're on your bike as well as the time you're off it.
Keeping the balance of passion and work within a singular activity requires a strategic balance. Appreciate the training rides, the fun rides, the adventures in flip flops with your kids as you use the bicycle to discover whatever journey you all are on together. Keeping it fresh is a mindset, and that means staying aware of each individual moment that you're in.
Blake Harlan and I are returning for our second trip to Chile. Juan Pablo and Daniel put on a fantastic event in the northern entry territory to Patagonia, and this year we're expanding our trip to include a one-day race in Osorno, connecting with Jamis Chile and developing new relationships with friends and business partners as we see more of the world.
For Team Jamis, Trans Andes and our trip to Chile is as much about competition as it is about seeing what we can get into on the bike. Squeezing past trail-side oxen carts, doing laps around smoldering volcanoes, making a good pace on an animal trail as it climbs into the Andes, finishing each stage camping at natural hot springs under a foreign night sky, and persevering through the challenges of a culture of instant coffee are what its all about.
Thanks for reading, and we'll see you before stage 1 in Panguipulli.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for regular Trans Andes race blogs from Jason Sager.