Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 UCI Track World Championships

Greetings from Holland! It's Tuesday night here in Apeldoorn, site of the 2011 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. For the first time since 2008, I'm not here to help Taylor Phinney at the races...as he's at the Vuelta Catalunya (follow the action there at: http://www.cyclingfans.com/node/1738) but I am here with the USA national team including Boulder's own Cari Higgins that I do coach who is racing the women's points race tomorrow and the individual pursuit on Friday. She was hoping to be selected for the women's team pursuit, but Sarah Hammer, Jennie Reed, and Dotsie Bausch made the final cut. I will also get to see a new young Italian cyclist that I started coaching February, Michele Scartezzini, who will competing on the Italian's team pursuit squad tomorrow.
As a result of Steve Worley's extremely generous offer to borrow his travel bike, I've been able to get a few rides on the beautiful roads and bike paths here in Holland - where bike is truly the King of the Road! While you don't really need to shift down from the big ring around here, there are many miles (I mean kilometers) of amazing paths and roads everywhere. The extra oxygen is nice, and I took advantage of that today in doing some quality intervals.

You can follow all of the action basically live on the Tissot Timing website at: http://www.tissottiming.com/sports/cycling/track/classics2011_apeldoorn/index_selector_menu_en.htm

and you can also follow my Tweets at www.twitter.com/nealhenderson Happy riding! Neal

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I was talking to Marc Bekoff during a ride a couple weeks ago about my history a bit. He told me to post some pictures of my personal journey. Yes this is me at 325 pounds and then at 190 pounds. I started this journey from couch potato to cycling nut about 8 years ago. To be honest I was not very healthy back then. My job was high stress and my diet was horrible. There were times I would suffer chest pains that caused me to have a stress test done. Thankfully I could completely turn my life around. When I see old co-workers or friends that I have not seen in a long time they often ask what diet I did or diet pills I took to lose the weight and keep it off. I say there is no magic solution or pill that I used. This path is not an easy one. I just stopped eating fast food and drinking pop. The main reason for the weight loss is that I found my niche in life. I love riding bikes! Back when I first started riding I would ride with people that would have to wait for me. More than anything I wanted to just hold their wheel. I would sit in my office chair and my legs would tremble and I could barely walk. As time went by I became stronger and switched from wheel sucker to the guy that pulled the lunch group around.
All of my success belongs with my mom. When she was terminal with lung cancer and she finally accepted that there was not going to be a happy ending to the story; she requested individual meetings with each of her children. I will never forget that meeting. She gave me some great advice that prepared me for my journey. As I talked to her she told me that she would not be there to see all of her grand kids graduate, get married nor see her great grand kids. She made me see for the first time that money and material things are not the key to happiness. It is the simple things that make life so amazing. So when I am suffering on a long climb or I feel I can not turn the crank one more time, I am not alone. My mom is there with me making me fight.
Mom, I will never break the promise I made you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

S-Works Shoes and Boa

Did you know that the BOA closure system on the S-Works shoes (and some other models as well) is warrantied for life? You can go the the BOA site www.boatechnology.com/guarantee and get the info. Or, you should be able to go to U-bikes and either get parts or have them fix them for you. At our shop, we fix the shoes in 24 hrs and charge $10 per shoe to fix them, or give you the parts to fix them. It does take some level of expertise and time. You can also order from Specialized replacement or spare parts.