This blog frequently features tips for racers and cyclists that are inspired by my racing and training.  I am a cerebral person and tend to focus on facts, figures, and race reports.  I’m also an optimist and I think that also shows in my blog.  However, a few recent tweets by Joe Friel, and particularly my recent injury, got me thinking about the subject of sacrifice.

Last season I was quite successful and met all my goals.  I was also willing to make significant sacrifices.


I trained 8-10 hours per week, and 12-14 hours on a few occasions in the spring.  There is a constant effort to find times during the week that I can ride my bike with minimal impact on my family.  Since training is a regular occurrence, it has less impact than racing.

I had just over 40 days of racing in 2011!  This was a huge time commitment but allowed me to gain a lot of experience.  Some races required minimal sacrifice (a small criterium a mile from my house) and others were multi-day stage races and/or out of state.

Also, don’t forget this blog itself.  I have written over 100,000 words over two years, which is enough to fill an entire book!  Most of my posts take an hour or two to draft, although I usually sneak them in during downtime at work.


My wife will kill me if I itemize everything from this season, but I can give some rough numbers.  I skimmed through our 2011 bank statements and here is a quick look:

Training Tires (Specialized Armadillo Elite) x2: $120
Race Tires (Continental Sprinter Tubular) x3: $180
Cyclocross Tires (Dugast Typhoon Tubular) x2: $240

SRAM Red partial group: $600
Odds and ends (Stems, bartape, tubes, chains, etc): $280

Laramie, Wy: $150
Silver City, NM: $800
Boise, ID: $300
Las Vegas, NV: $400

Race Entry estimate: $30 per racing day for 40 races: $1200

I will admit that a portion of these expenses were covered for me through various avenues, but I had to pay for all of these things up front.  Not included are 2010′s major expenses, $1600 in wheels, and a top of the line cyclocross bike.

Injury: My broken collarbone has thus far cost me $4000 in insured medical bills (much lower than the $15,000 surgery cost), and six weeks out of work.

I’ve been feeling sheepish about being injured, especially among my healthy colleagues.  However, I went to work for a meeting and was surprised at their attitude about it.  I was happy to be appreciated for being ‘hard core’ and as my boss put it, “Suffering for my art”.


I don’t mean for this post to be a ‘downer’, but more to detail my specific sacrifices required for a successful season at my level.  I am in the early stages of planning for 2012 and I am looking for high level goals, but also choosing goals that are attainable within the level of effort and sacrifice that I am comfortable with for the coming year.

About Russell

I have been racing bicycles for a decade. This blog will chronicle my efforts as a Category 2 road racer and lining up with the PROs.
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3 Responses to Sacrifice

  1. says:

    Russell, I wouldn’t call it a downer. I’d say, “realistic.” One of the things I really like about your blog is you help those who don’t race understand what’s involved in racing, and that’s what this piece does. And thanks for mentioning Joe Friel, I’m going to follow him. Good luck with the planning for 2012.

  2. Mathew S. says:

    I don’t think your post on Sacrifice was a downer. Juggling your passion for cycling with a family is inspirational not to mention “perspirational”. Good luck planning for next season!!

  3. Chris says:

    Terrific entry. Love hearing all of the very intricate ins and outs of an elite cyclist. Makes for a great blog and I value the information. Especially the time spent training and always trying to fit it into a busy life. Inspirational for sure. It truly is a great sport.

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