Wherein I reveal my winter training secrets

For the last couple of years, the onset of fall has started a training cycle that I can now characterize, having been through it twice. It goes something like this:

Late September
: Lay grand plans for fall cyclocross racing. Change over to the mountain bike shoes and spend time in the park trying to figure out those remounts
October: Do a cross race or two. Struggle to finish ahead of the teenagers.
November: Wallow in despondence over poor results. Daylight disappears. Biking season ends, eating season begins
December: Eating season continues. Feel bad about eating. Feel good about feeling bad. Don’t stop eating.
January: Realize that at some point, weather is probably going to improve. Step on scale. Recoil in horror. Resume training. Lay grand plans for spring and summer racing.
This year I’ve resumed training but I’m not sure what my racing plans are. I’m probably going to do the spring training races, and if I’m having fun, I’ll keep at it. If I’m not – and that’s a strong possibility – maybe I’ll try some randonneuring, or maybe I’ll just be a club rider.
One thing I’m definitely doing is the Pan-Mass Challenge. Again. I registered this morning. I will never set the world on fire with my riding. But I can ride, and I can raise money for cancer research, so that’s what I’ll do. As I remarked to a friend the other day, PMC is the kind of thing that’s hard to quit once you start.
This being a popular ride, and having raised $33 million last year, ol’ Billy Starr jacked the fundraising minimums again. This year, the two-day ride requires a minimum of $4,000, up $700 from two years ago. And, I lost a donor (but gained a rider – hi Tim!). So I’ve got some ground to cover between now and August.
That’s why I’m starting now. It’s not too early to donate, and you can do so by going here. Every little bit counts, and PMC is very efficient. Last year, 100% of rider-raised money went to Dana-Farber. Rider registration fees and corporate sponsorship covered the cost of the ride.
I’m sure I’ll have more to report in the coming months; perhaps something along the lines of “stunt fundraising”…