Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Goal Is To Be Awesome

The Rugg Diaries

Day 1: Harrisonburg, VA -> Nashville, TN

The first leg of the journey across the country for Dan and I had us targeted for Nashville, TN.  I woke up at 7:00AM to pack for two months of life on the road.  If the idea of the trip hadn't have been so spontaneous and immediate, the stress of not being ready would've kept me at home until Spring. Thank God for being stubborn and a bit, okay quite a bit, crazy because I live for this.  I am a lifestyle racer and Dan has joined the club. 

The week leading up to our departure I had been hosting repurposed, neo/returning, mad scientist, pro road racer Cameron Cogburn of Team Smartstop / Mountain Khakis.  I got the inside look of what being a dialed in, focused pro looked like on and off the bike as he worked with his coach for the week to tune up for some early season form.  He got to see how crazy my schedule was trying to balance my job, training, racing, and my social life looked like.  Let's just say Cameron got in twice the training and sleep but I'm going to have twice as much fun racing this year because the pressure is off.  I don't have to race my bike.  I get to race my bike.  That's the idea behind being a lifestyle racer.  

Dan and I hit the road just before 11:00AM after a few packing hiccups and a breakfast for champions style self-made send-off.  This was good because until we arrived in Nashville nine hours later we only had crackers and coffee.  We didn't get the ride in we had hoped for along the way, but we shared the travel load offering time to work remotely in my mobile office, and offer up shared DJ duties.  We also stumbled upon a boutique coffee shop offering Intelligentsia Coffee in Knoxville, TN breaking up the trip nicely.

It's hard to share life on the road experience because the simplest of things can make your day.  Singing along to classic rock radio stations had me nostalgic of time in the car with my dad while growing up.  The first day of the trip gave us plenty of opportunity to share what we were hoping out of this trip.  Simply put by Dan, "I just want to be awesome".  It's not as surfer bum-like as it sounds.  Both of us just want to go on an adventure with good intentions and leave the expectations by the wayside.  As Arthur Ashe put it, "The success is in the journey".  I just want to go on an adventure that ends up never ending.  That would be awesome. 

We finished the day with take-out Jamaican food, an epsiode of 24, some more remote work for me, and a much needed beer from our hosts in Nashville.  Half-way to Texas we took to our air mattress and couch and called it a fine day.  

Day 2: Nashville, TN -> Dallas, TX

This is the day I fell in love with mountain biking.  We woke up to breakfast and a care package of deer jerky, cookies, fruit and homemade bread from our hosts Troy and Amy before starting the second half of the trek to Texas.  More sing-a-longs, pictures, and dreaming about doing what we are already doing was the theme for the day.  We had to ride today no matter what though, or we were going to be worthless for the Mellow Johnny's classic in Austin, TX this weekend.

I took the exit for Hot Springs, AR because of a sign indicating a National Park, meaning we'd find good roads to ride.  Destiny and a google search of the area directed us to a mountain bike paradise that would elevate my appreciation for off-road riding to a whole new level.

I felt like a kid riding over logs and obstacles through singletrack paths in the woods at Cedarglades Park in Hot Springs, AR today.  I went over my first teeter totter which is a lot like a see-saw that you ride over.  Dan coached me on some technical skills and we managed to get in and out of the park in under two hours despite wishing we had a whole day to play around.

We are getting close to Dallas now.  We're tired, hungry, and it's getting late.  Luckily a fellow racer that understands what it's like traveling to bike races is putting us up tonight.  We are going to get to Dallas in about a half hour and crash immediately.  Tomorrow Dan and I go to Austin, TX to pick-up our number plates for our first ProXCT (Cross Country) Mountain Bike race.  

Planning for this trip has been more of a leap of faith that everything will just work out, and so far everything is falling into place perfectly.  Let's do this!

Pictures on Instagram: @timothyrugg @danzigwolf
Follow Tim and Dan's Excellent Adventure: #lifestyleracers

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tim and Dan's Excellent Adventure

Dan kind of looks like Keanu.
I moved to Harrisonburg, VA last August hoping to prepare myself to land a pro contract for road racing this year.  Dan Wolf moved here just this month with the motivation to make it pro as a mountain biker.  We come from two backgrounds of racing and we both decided that this little town in the Shenandoah Valley was the best place for us to train and where we would call home.  In ten days we're leaving for a month and a half.  We're headed West and doing what we both know we need to do if we're ever going to call our profession, "Bike Racer".

The idea was brought up spontaneously out of nowhere one night when discussing our goals for this year.  We laughed about it for about a minute and then decided it was the only option we had.  We had planned out a trip that would take us all the way out to San Dimas, CA, hence the Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure reference, for what will be known henceforth as Tim and Dan's Excellent Adventure.  We'll pack up my car and hit the road February 27th with our first race three days later. 

The schedule so far looks like this:
  • March 1st/2nd - Austin, TX for the Mellow Johnny's Classic ProXCT #1. 
  • March 3rd-13th - Tucson, AZ for some solid training and we'll find a race!
  • March 15th/16th - San Dimas, CA for the Bonelli Park ProXCT #2.
  • March 22nd/23rd - Fontana, CA for the Fontana City National ProXCT #3.
  • March 28th-30th - San Dimas, CA for the San Dimas Stage Race.
  • April 3rd-6th - Redlands, CA for the Redlands Bicycle Classic NRC.
We have an ambitious schedule of mountain bike and road racing.  With our respective experience in each discipline we'll be able to help each other succeed in both.  At least I hope so.  I've never been in a mountain bike race, but hopefully with the experience riding Massanutten Mountain with Jeremiah Bishop (2nd overall in ProXCT standing for 2013), and the Monster Cross race this weekend close to home, I'll adapt quickly.

Yesterday we blasted the idea out on social media and within 24 hours we had enough support to cover about half the cost of the trip!  This is mostly through connections made through the community here in Harrisonburg, which is a bit humbling.  The bike shops and local businesses, Pro Tested Gear, Rocktown Bicycles, and SBC (Shenandoah Bicycle Company) have been so welcoming and supportive since I've come here.  The community of friends I've made here have been encouraging and it'll be bitter sweet not seeing them for the time we're on the road.  If you want to donate Dan and I a virtual tank of gas, bag of rice, trail mix via PayPal, we'd be incredibly thankful.  Shoot it over to my account -  You can also use that email to stay in touch while I'm on the road if you aren't already deeply connected in the social swarm of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or this blog... which I promise to keep regularly updated like my trip to Oregon and back last year.

Tomorrow we're putting together a short video with Tom Inskeep (This guys on IMDb) and Scott Wooten of Adventure Seen.  This trip is going to be awesome and we hope you'll share in Tim and Dan's Excellent Adventure!

A final connection to make the connection of Keanu Reaves and Cycling.  This was one of his first acting gigs.  We all have to start somewhere.  Enjoy.