Dave's Velomobile Blog
Welcome! This page is all about my velomobile adventures.
I'm going to begin with a description of the factors that motivated me to decide not to race the 2022 TABR
I originally considered participating in the TABR again in 2022 when I saw on FB that my friend John Schlitter was considering doing it. He lives only 42 miles away so I thought it would be great for us to train together and travel to and from the start and finish together. I contacted John and we did in fact begin racing and training together and had so much fun! He was riding one of his Schlitter Bike recumbents at first called the Freestyle. We raced and trained hard during January and February and John ended up buying a Milan. We then decided to ride our Milans to Oregon for the TABR. The first part of our journey from Florida to Colorado was filled with adventure. Some high points were: The positive excitement of people in Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas when they saw our velomobiles. The beautiful rural countryside all around us during most of our route. The fun climbing and descending the hills of Missouri. The excitement of being able to cruise along an empty super smooth concrete highway in Arkansas at 35mph. Some of the challenging times were all about mechanical problems and weather. When these were combined it was the hardest. We were shaking from cold rain on one occasion because we were roadside trying to get things ready to roll again. We travelled at a reasonable touring pace of about 200 miles a day. It was comfortable and fairly low stress. Easy to get rolling every morning at this pace. I had spent the three weeks prior to our start working on my Milan and losing quite a bit of fitness. I finally felt really fit when we reached Kansas and had a good 400 mile 9,000' of climbing day heading to Colorado. I was physically ready for the TABR! John decided to head to his brother's house in Kansas on the morning of this ride while I decided to head to my house in Colorado. The plan was for him to follow and meet me in Boulder in a few days once the bad weather cleared. During this break he decided to stop and not continue to the race. I was still intent on continuing solo but some things that had been concerning me became more important.
Laura, Lily and Daniel live next door to me during the school year in Florida. While I had discussed my intent to race the TABR and the time required to prepare with Laura and my daughter Lily who both gave me a thumbs up, I hadn't really discussed it with my 11 year old son Daniel. I had talked about my training progress with them all after my decision in December but never asked Daniel if it was OK with him. A week prior to John's and my departure Daniel said he didn't want me to leave and race. Laura, Lily, and Daniel normally leave at the end of May so if I left to race in April I wouldn't see them again until July at the earliest. I had made the commitment to John and my momentum was 100% to go race so I stayed on course. I told Daniel I couldn't change my plan but this created a feeling of sadness in me that did not go away. I also had been preparing a house to sell in Florida and postponed this so I could train and race. When I arrived in Boulder the economic environment of the housing market was changing quickly and I realized if I didn't get the house finished quickly it might be difficult to sell. My next work project involves an extensive renovation of my house in Boulder and I cannot proceed with that unless I have the funds from the sale of the house I've been preparing for sale in Florida. These two things were serious distractions from being able to focus on the TABR. One thing I have learned from a lifetime of racing is that if you cannot begin a race with a clear head it will probably not go well. As my first snowboarding coach once said "If you cannot begin a turn well you will not finish it well." So while I was fully trained and prepared physically I was no longer ready mentally. And out of all the races I have done, the TABR requires a clear and relaxed state of mind at the beginning above all others. Consequently, I decided to return to Florida from Colorado and finish and sell the house ASAP while I also spending time with Daniel and Lily before they leave Florida for the summer. I'm continuing to train on my diamond frame bike to try to preserve a little fitness so I'm as prepared as possible for the next velomobile tour or race!