Florida Sun To Quebec Waist Deep Snow

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When you’re in an incredible place to ride the riding is going to get worse at some point upon leaving.  This came in the form of the A1A  which runs along the beaches of South Florida.  Riding along sunny beaches and palm trees may sound luxurious but after about ten minutes the endless flat and a constant barrage of cars gets old.  The weather though of 80’s and sun did make up for a bit of it.  The daily stops for coffee or lunch, or breakfast on the 7am group ride days, made it bearable along with the pleasures of being right on a beach.  A teammate and I also ventured to the Everglades and rode a 30k dirt levy path of which we should have been doing everyday as there were more alligators  than cars or people to deal with.  Also with the Twlight Crit to look forward to on our last night in Florida made the time fly by.

Risks worth taking...
Risks worth taking…

The Delray Crit was our first race of the season and I’d say we started it off with a pretty good bang.  We knew we had a strong team but didn’t know how well we would race as a team and personally how the legs were going to react to a crit having been training in the mountains the previous two months.  We raced a tactically great race and a show of strength in the race with teammate Remi Pelletier-Roy winning out of a breakaway that started only a few laps into the race.  With the highs of racing until almost 11 at night and caffeine I slept maybe an hour and then we were off at 6am to the Garneau Grand Fondo-Florida.  Despite the tired legs and lack of sleep it was a fun ride with seeing the sun rise over the ocean along with having a rolling enclosure to blow red lights.  Also the mid-ride and post ride food was incredible especially having pretty much naught for breakfast.

A p
A good reward for getting up early.

Leaving Florida brought two negatives.  A 30+ hour drive along with feet and feet of snow upon arrival to Quebec.  We went squarely from summer to full blown winter which normally I don’t mind winter but when you’re expecting spring…  So going from amazing riding in North Carolina to the mind numbing flat of Florida was to be made even worse by a week of riding inside.  But now we are in California (well at the moment I’m mid-flight over the Rockies) and have nice weather to enjoy and hopefully a great week of racing at the Redlands Classic, the first NRC Stage Race of the year.

Snow snow everywhere, literally. Driving that STI in front of me would be a lot better in the snow than the 15 passenger team van…


The Greatness of Living in One Place…For Awhile.

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As bike riders we’re constantly on the move from race to race seemingly without stop from March through September.  Having a consistent bed to sleep in and place to call home doesn’t really happen for most, especially me.  Being in one place for awhile not only lets you have that place to call home, but also allows you to settle into an area, being more of someone who lives there, not just passing through for a couple of nights.  You’re known at your regular coffee shop, see the same people at the grocery store, know the bartenders of the spot you and your buddies frequent; the normal things you get when you actually “live” someplace.  And riding wise you can do your intervals on your normal hill that you know like the back of your hand, you can do your easy ride without fear of hitting a big climb or crappy road.  And you don’t have to always worry about getting lost.  Furthermore, you are used to the feel a place gives.  The culture, the niceness of the people, the mountains, the views, the solitude, the companionship; everything that goes with living as well as being someplace.  Everyplace has this and it’s likely that you like and prefer that of where you live.  Leaving that behind is often the hardest in leaving someplace.  It’s nice to have someplace to call home.

The feel the mountains give no matter where.  (From the top of Mt. Mitchell, highest point east of the Mississippi, 6,684ft)
The feel the mountains give no matter where. (From the top of Mt. Mitchell, highest point east of the Mississippi, 6,684ft)

Tomorrow we are headed to Florida for part two of our training camp and from there we will commence the racing season.  Even though I’ve only been in Brevard for two weeks, it still has that feel that this area in the mountains of North Carolina gives.  It still has some differences with that of Asheville but the past two months here is going to be missed for sure.  It’s one thing when you are leaving home for a stretch of racing, even if for a couple of months or more, but you know “home” is going to be there when you get back.  Here though I’m not coming back.  I would like to in the future but who knows when and even if that will happen.

As a traveling cyclist like myself, you learn to make wherever you are “home”.  It makes being on the road easier as you’re not always trying to get back to that place you’re most comfortable, it’s where you’re currently at.  Of course you miss friends and family back wherever but that’s always going to happen even if you are “home” unless all your friends and family live in one area.  So as I leave this place that feels like home, it’s off to the next place to try and create the same feeling.  In a sense that’s partly what we do when we travel to new and different places.  We try and compare the feelings and experiences to that of where we came from.  I’ll surely miss this place and the next will be hard to live up to this but that’s the life of a traveler; always onto the next place to find and create new experiences.


Team Camp; Brevard, Training, Backgrounds

posted in: Adventures, Cycling, Training | 0

The month of March has brought me south from Asheville a bit to that of Brevard, North Carolina for part 1 of Garneau-Quebecor’s team camp.  The riding around Asheville is incredible but the riding down here is arguably even better.  There’s more selection of everything.  More, longer, and harder climbs, and more flat for the easy days/flat days.  Plus endless rolling terrain.  Also, as much as Asheville seems like an active community, here seems even more so.  There’s a smattering of mountain biking around, some say the best in the east, and you’re constantly seeing riders and bikes on cars and in the bed of pick-ups.  There are also a lot of streams and rivers around that both paddlers and anglers take full advantage of.  And that’s just from what I’ve seen riding around as I’m sure there’s loads more of activity going on.

Most of the time I don't stop for photos as every turn deserves one so here's one from brevardnc.org.
Most of the time I don’t stop for photos as every turn deserves one so here’s one from brevardnc.org. A pretty incredible place all around.  It’s not quite that green yet here though.

The team is a smidge smaller this year and not everyone one is here but with the arrivals of the new additions from British Columbia and Australia we have a pretty full house and great training rides.  We’ve been doing a host of solid 4 to 6 hour rides with a lot of climbing so the legs are getting fit.  These rides have been pretty great coming from doing a lot of solo rides.  Riding with people for company makes it even more enjoyable and even though we aren’t doing super high end stuff yet, the bit of competitiveness pushes you that extra little bit.  And just finding new roads is always fun even in the changing weather.  We’ve gone from hats and gloves with snow to shorts and jerseys a number of times already this past week.  Should stay the latter luckily here on out until part 2 of camp in Florida.

Not sure where the name came from here but the original is a bit more happening.
A long way from the team’s home but the cold still found us that day.

One of the best things about riding for an international team is the wide background of personalities.  Our team is composed of 3 different countries with 5 different states/provinces.   Some of the most notable, aside from accents and languages, is the slang, diet choices, and training approaches.  The slang from the Aussies has added to that of the Quebecois French but they seem to have even more.  Some that you are left asking, what did you just say.  Diets are always different and maybe not entirely from where you’re from but it definitely has an influence such as the Quebecois guys always having a beer or wine with dinner, the Aussies eating fish (availability I guess), and a fruit/vegie vegan extremist from BC.  And when I say extremist, think bananas, etc. by the 40 pound box.  I guess it works though.  Furthermore, you would think that with all of us at relatively the same level and doing the same races our training would be similar.  I guess it is a bit but the approach is different with some doing super focused intervals, some just riding, and a mix in the middle.  Time will tell what works.  With all our differences though we do have a lot of common ground which you need as well to make a great, well working team.


From the top of Caesars Head.  A nice climb to get there.
From the top of Caesars Head. A nice climb to get there.

This is just the start but so far it’s the makings of a great year.  We have a pretty ambitious calendar with hosts of big races so better get out there and get the riding in in today’s sunny warmth.  Hopefully the hamstring cooperates which lately it’s been on and off but with some position adjustments it should come around with the proper care.  And if you’re looking for a time trial bike see adamfarabaugh.com/for-you-to-buy/ for mine from last year.  It has a review too with a video.

Great weather this day for a ride in a pretty awesome place.
Great weather this day for a ride in a pretty awesome place.













“The Art of Flying Solo; In Training That Is”

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Flying solo, in training or in general, to some may seem less than ideal or miserable but to others it sounds fantastic in that you can do whatever you want, when you want, and how you want.  Being with other people and on your own both has their advantages and disadvantages regardless of your sport.

A lot of people get turned onto riding or just particular sports in general because of the camaraderie it can bring.  This camaraderie also brings your game up in that you’re constantly pushed as well as motivated by your peers.  There’s nothing like pushing yourself just so you can stay with someone and not get left behind regardless of the sport.  What if you’re training on your own though?  What gives that push and motivation?  Some people thrive on being able to train on their own and push themselves with a variety of motivators such as music, trying to keep numbers on a computer at or above a certain value, time on a watch, or motivation from within such as thinking of a race you’re training for.

Training as a group definitely has its advantages.
Training as a group definitely has its advantages.

There are downsides to both however.  Always being pushed by others can lead to you going past what you’re capable of and injuring yourself or overtraining.  Training on your own all the time can lead to you not pushing yourself hard enough to what you are really capable of despite being motivated.  Also, motivation from within, whether spurred from inner thoughts or external stimuli such as music, can wan especially if the going gets tough.

Getting the most personally out of your training is the art of it.  Everyone is different so what brings you to your “A” game is a personal endeavor.  Your personal “A” game is great if you’re just training for yourself but how does it stand against your competitor’s “A” game if you’re competing?   You have to be able to up your “A” game.  This isn’t done by doing either training with a group or on your own, but rather through a combination of the two.  You need to be able to train on your own and motivate yourself even when the going gets tough because in a race when you’re on your own fighting in bad weather and there’s no music to push you on, you have to from within.  At times though you need to ride with others to be pushed past what you thought you were capable of.  This is what ups your “A” game but you can’t do it all the time.  It’s a balance.  You have to fly solo doing what you need to do personally with your training, which does include training with a group but not solely as a group.  This is the art of flying solo.  Doing what’s best for you both with and without others.

Personally, I am flying about as solo as you can go.  The majority of my training is done alone and I am living by myself in a cabin in the mountains.  Training like this at this time of the year is ok as you don’t need that push by others to get your maximum output as its more endurance/base miles.  And the motivation to keep riding after hours already completed is the terrain; endless mountains and amazing riding.   I can do whatever I want, both in training and in general, but having the discipline and motivation to do what is going to improve your riding is the challenge.  If you have this while on your own, (which I do for the most part) when you aren’t flying completely solo you have an even added level of discipline and motivation when you are around friends, family, or teammates.  So hopefully if I can get it done now, I can get it done closer and during the season.  Time will tell.

Flying solo training and living in a cabin in the mountains.  That snow has a noted impact on motivation.
Flying solo training and living in a cabin in the mountains. That snow has a noted impact on motivation.

Good Weather this Weekend in Asheville. Train Here?

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I hear it’s cold and snowy up North.  Not shorts and a jersey warm here in Asheville this weekend but the great riding makes up for it.  Check out http://adamfarabaugh.com/personalized-training-camps/   for more info.  And forward to whoever else you think might be interested.  You’re helping to support a young pro trying to make it.  Thanks!

And a new video coming soon!  Climbs and gnarly climbs.

Something Different with the Go Pro: Cooking a Paleo/Gluten-Free Burger

posted in: Food | 1

A lot of people/athletes know what to eat and how to make it but a lot don’t as well.  So I’ll be trying something new to show how to make really good food and that eating Paleo or Gluten-Free doesn’t have to be tasteless or difficult and that you don’t need to be gluten intolerant or on a caveman diet to eat like it.  All it takes is a little bit of know how and the knowledge of the benefits to what you’re eating.

Paleo/Gluten-Free Organic Grass-Fed Ground Beef Burger on a Sweet Potato Bun with a Side Salad

This meal is good in that it provides a good, well-rounded, meal that gives you a good ratio of carbs, to fat, to protein.  It is protein heavy with the grass-fed beef as well as has a bit of fat but is balanced with a bit of carbohydrates with the majority of which are from the sweet potatoes.  This is a good meal for after a long hard ride where you are trying to recover and build muscle but don’t need as many carbohydrates as the intensity is not as high this time of the year (depending on your situation).  Add a side of sweet potato fries to get more carbs if that’s what you’re looking for.  Feel free to comment with questions or ideas on what else you would like to see made.  I’ll see where this goes…     

A Sunny Sunday Ride (Mostly Photos)

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After a few days of rain Sunday brought crystal clear skies which made for some amazing views climbing up the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Mt. Mitchell.  Unfortunately I didn’t plan on going to the top so had to turn around part way because it started to get pretty cold.  50’s at the bottom, probably 30’s at the top.  Photos can never do any place justice but these aren’t half bad.  Next time I’ll try and get some good videos.  Enjoy.


Not a bad view to enjoy a cup of joe and some morning reading.
Not a bad view to enjoy a cup of joe and some morning reading.


Rode that I thought was paved but turned out to be a sick dirt climb that dumped out mid-way up another sick climb.
Road that I thought was paved but turned out to be a sick dirt climb that dumped out mid-way up another sick climb.
Part way up Elk Mtn. Rd. looking toward Asheville.
Part way up Elk Mtn. Rd. looking toward Asheville.


Off the Parkway.
Off the Parkway.
Looking west off the Parkway before the 3rd tunnel from Asheville.
Looking west off the Parkway before the 3rd tunnel from Asheville.
Cut from a video.. not bad.
Cut from a video.. not bad.



Cut from a video.. not bad.
Also cut from a video.  I’ll see what I can do in making some cool Go Pro clips.