new season

irapolaroid1smthe skies are grey and time in the shop is gaining momentum. all week i have been telling myself to write about this and to write about that. what does everyone want to har about anyway? time in the saddle? time in the shop? how much coffee i drink everyday? when their bike will be heading off to paint? all i can say is that cross is winding down and i am happy to have some days where i can read the whole sunday times before i put on rain gear and booties and head out to ride on my day “off.” the inertia it takes to race every weekend is tough. i am a cyclist that loves to ride and train and will happily ride all day and all night, but something about the race face is hard for me to get. i buckle under the silly stress of all the serious looks and nervousness at the line. it is hard for me to take it too seriously when there is more to life than racing. in my opinion, the number of people riding their old bikes with racks and rain capes to work everyday all winter do more for the “cause” than all the carbon race bikes in the world combined. i straddle the fence of interest. on one side, i am a self proclaimed roadie-fag. somethin about seeing the 1996 mapei kit covered in dust on the way to the velodrome finish gets me right in the heart. old briko sunglasses and hairnets on belgian pros from the 80’s stoke up my first memeories of bike racing and training as a junior. my other side needs the underlying movement of millions of people quietly riding their bikes to work every day of the year not questioning their heartrate or the bike under them. often times it is the same bike they have had for 10 years. this sort of petina on a machine tells me a story of a million  things this person might have seen on their way to work or the store. i go back and forth between these two motivators to why i want to build and ride bicycles. sometimes i feel like i am training for my commute.


6 Responses to “new season”

  1. Sean Says:

    Wow, that picture is fantastic. Among the best cycling photos I’ve ever seen.

  2. joel Says:

    man, i know what you mean with the racing every weekend thing. ooof. its been tough, even being as excited as i am about racing cross this year – makes me miss the days of every other weekend cross doubleheaders. somehow, that seems easier to me than knowing every sunday for a few months is going to be completely useless outside of cross. that being said, i have to admit im bummed cross is winding down, just about the time things are starting to get cold and wet! already starting to mentally plan for next year…

  3. Paul Says:

    Ira, once over coffee you said “I’m less and less about seeing how fast I can go all the time, and more and more about lets get on the bikes, go about 10mph and see what we can see.” Obviously stuck with me. Although next season I’ll be giving cross a go (likely on an IR frame!) I’m naturally inclined towards the latter part of that statement. Keep on posting what you’re posting…days in the shop, days in the saddle, days of coffee and jigs. It’s all good…all good.

  4. t-bear Says:

    the balance is tough, and i like to hear that my friends struggle with it too. i’m not much for game face vibing, but it feels good to push as hard as i can and nothing but racing makes me do it. at this level it takes delicate management of my healthy competitive spirit to train enough just to keep from getting completely embarrassed, and placings aren’t a reliable source of positive reinforcement. good thing we really just show up to see hot guyz in wet tights, and at least we keep the caboose looking good. we can put it all behind for a few months, anyway, and roll around the middle of nowhere freezing our nuts off. hot date!

  5. d*pow Says:


    Well put indeed. Racing is great, don’t get me wrong. But if you can’t put fenders on it, it’s kind of a silly bike…

  6. | Boy on a Bike » Straddling the Fence Says:

    […] with Ira Ryan: i am a cyclist that loves to ride and train and will happily ride all day and all night, but […]

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