I think it’s pretty obvious that I haven’t been posting very often lately. I haven’t really explained why, because I had hoped I wouldn’t need to.
But I’ve reached a point where it’s obvious that something’s wrong, and I feel like I owe you an explanation. And, quite honestly, an apology.
Then Vs. Now
Really, the signs have been obvious to anyone who would care to observe them. Which, I guess, just goes to show that people prefer not to see some things.
All you really need to do is look at my results for the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race.
For fifteen years, I tried and tried (and tried and tried and tried) to finish in under nine hours. And I never did. I never even really came close. The best time I ever finished with was 9:13. And that was just once, when I was in my early thirties.
I was a lot more likely to finish in around 9:30. Or 10:00. Or even 10:20. That’s nothing to be ashamed of — those are all good finishing times. Times many people — most people — would be proud of.
And then, three years ago, I finished in 8:18. As I noted at the time, that was nearly a full hour faster than my previous best. In spite of the fact that I was now in my mid-forties, a full decade older than the prime of my life.
The next year, I finished in under nine hours again — this time winning the singlespeed division. And then the following year — last year — I did the race in 8:25. That’s only seven minutes slower than my previous best…and this time I did it on a singlespeed. At the age of 47.
You think I got that much faster just because of the bike? Yeah. Right.
But it hasn’t just been at Leadville that I’ve suddenly—almost unbelievably—gotten faster.
Last year, I took time off Kenny’s best times at the Rockwell Relay for every single leg of the race. I beat him in the Crusher in the Tushars, too. I took a podium spot in what was my rookie 25 hour singlespeed race.
At Rebecca’s Private Idaho last year, there was exactly one person who beat me in the first KOM climb that day: Levi Leipheimer.
Yeah, things have obviously changed since I began this blog almost exactly nine years ago when I started this blog because I was so fat I had to push my bike up an easy hill.
Things have changed significantly. Like I’m a cycling fairy tale. My results have been too good to be true.
And if any of us have learned anything in the past couple years, it’s that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
I am the kind of person who goes after things he wants. And I wanted to finish Leadville in under nine hours very, very badly.
But — after fifteen tries — it didn’t seem like it was going to happen.
I distinctly remember my friend Dug telling me one time after I had finished yet another Leadville in around 9:20, “Not everyone is built to go fast. You’ve hit your ceiling. You’re as fast as you’re going to get. Stop beating yourself up about it.”
I had to agree with part of what Dug said: I had hit my ceiling. But I hated that ceiling.
And I knew there were ways to break through ceilings.
So I looked into EPO. And testosterone. And immediately knew…I had to look elsewhere. That stuff was expensive. The money I make by blogging certainly wouldn’t cover that kind of thing.
Amphetamines, on the other hand, are surprisingly affordable, and remarkably easy to obtain.
I wasn’t worried about being tested. As near as I can tell, nobody tests at any events I do — there’s no money for winners. And — I told myself — it wasn’t like I was really cheating anyone. I wasn’t going to get on any podiums. I just wanted to finish under nine hours.
But then I did start winning stuff (or at least getting on the podium). And — bonus — I found that my weight was dropping. And to a guy like me, those two amazing facts were enough to overcome any minor ethical issues I might have had when I first started.
I don’t know if I even really need to write the rest of this. You know how it goes. I found that being faster on races made me want to be faster on training rides. And in fact, if I didn’t take something before a ride, I wasn’t able to keep up with The Hammer.
And then my teeth started falling out, which is less obvious (but more permanent) than the scabs I’m always picking at on my face now.
And then I lost my job a few months ago. Yeah, I said I quit so I could write more, but I think it’s pretty obvious that all my ads are freebies I give to friends; this blog doesn’t make me any money whatsoever. Never has.
In fact, I’ve had to sell several of my bikes just to keep up with house and meth payments. At the current rate, I’ve only got enough bikes to last me a few more months before I’m down to just one mountain bike, a road bike, and a time trial bike.
So. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I have deceived you. I’m sorry I doped.
More than anything else, though, I’m sorry I need to ask you to donate $20 to help me continue my habit. You see, I hope to get a sub-8 at Leadville this year, which means I kind of need to step up my game, and I think meth has taken me as far as it can.
I’m going to need to try some new things, and that’s going to take money. And while I could try a Kickstarter campaign, I’d rather just come out and ask directly.
So: please click here to donate. Thank you. And again, I’m sorry.