Friday, January 9, 2009


"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go" T. S. Eliot

On Monday of this week I received a heart dropping email from the organizers of the 2009 World 24hr Solo Championships stating that due to a grandfather clause of past participants, and despite my qualification, that I possibly may not be granted a spot in this year’s competition. Last year was a record-breaking year for attendance and they anticipate this year to be even more packed.

Hi Tim,

Later this afternoon we will be announcing the 11th annual World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships. The event will be returning to Canmore, Alberta this coming July 24 - 26, 2009. Thanks for sharing your interest in the event. The 2008 event was the largest International field in the history of the championships and with this years team event selling out in 18 hours a year in advance it's looking to be another banner year.

I see a Tim Finkel in our database from 2003, our last year at Hardwood. Is that you? DOB: MAR/3/1979 in Michigan.

Tim, it's going to be extremely difficult to get a entry for this event, however winning the HAN certainly boosts well.

I suggest that you submit a race resume as soon as possible.



As I read this my mind raced, followed by a complete loss of words or reaction. This is was what I set out to do…where would I go from here? I never considered any other goals for this season.

Yesterday I opted to scale back my training plans for the day to stay late at work and compile a convincing cover letter and race resume for the organization in the hopes that I will be granted a spot.

Today, ironically during my 3rd Hour Bike Mechanics class I received the following email from Stuart:

Morning Tim,

Thank you for providing a cover letter and race resume. Based on the information provided I'm happy to grant you a slot for the 2009 World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships. Please note that qualifying is going to change within the next 10 days so this is only guaranteed if you register with this period. I have activated your old profile on our web site, please log in and update all your information today please.

Thanks again for your interest and look forward to meeting you,


As I read it I burst out loud with excitement and may have even jumped off the ground a little bit. My students looked at me in confused wonderment. Following this reaction, I made them all drop everything they where working on at the moment and turn their attention to the big screen which projected my computer monitor. As I read my acceptance letter with proud proclamation, the students and other staff in the room applauded.

Due to the urgency of the matter, I performed a bit of personal business on company time and quickly registered during my 6th hour prep time today. I can now for the first time proudly say there is no turning back…I am in. 196 more days…how will I spend them?

I never considered that there would be difficulty getting into this race granted I qualified. The realization of this drastically altered my motivation and spirit; I was crushed. However, after having to go through the week long emotional roller coaster of realizing this dream may not come to fruition, and then actually having everything pan out in the end, I have come to value the fortunate situation I am now in more so than if there had been zero hiccups in the process. This small derailment has equated to even more burning passion and aspiration; it was a blessing.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Monkhood (n): Live Simply. Eat clean and lean. Sleep well. Train Hard. Train Smart. Focus all mental and physical energy on the task at hand. Organize priorities. Abstain from alcohol and any other form of indulgences other than riding.

If 2008 taught me one thing it is the realization of the power of mental commitment and the results that can follow.

Recently, 24 hours of Adrenaline announced that the 2009 World Solo 24 Hour Mountain Bike Championships will be held at the Canmore Nordic Center in Alberta, Canada on July 25th.

201 days lay in front me. Come July 25th, I want to stand at the line, crowd roaring the countdown, with the assurance I spent those days making the most optimal preparation choices. All decisions must ultimately lead to one specific goal.

This past holiday season I spent my final days enjoying my family and friends and the love that surrounds me, their support will carry me through this journey. New Years Eve brought about a last supper of sorts, as I partook in one final indulgence before diving into the depths of dedication.

I have changed one perspective this season however. I viewed last season as a personal quest. I relied on myself for motivation and I admittedly developed a self-absorbed, narcissistic attitude. This time around I intend to realize how all of this fits into the big picture: family, friends, and future. I do not intend to go about this alone but rather with the community that surrounds me.

Training has always been a bit of a catch-22 for me. In essence, I put off doing everyday necessary tasks to go riding (organizing bills, finances, my basement, garage, files, etc.). However, if I negate riding to tend to these tasks, I get extreme anxiety from my time off the bike. Likewise, I receive anxiety while training when I think about the ancillary responsibilities I have put off to go ride. As a step toward monkhood, I have spent the past few days developing organizational systems for my belongings, and getting rid of as many material items that are not commonly utilized but take up space and mental energy. Live simply.

In Fight Club, Tyler Durden states that you don’t own your material possessions, they own you.

Monkhood. This race will receive all of me.

What is your destination? How are you going to get there? Who else is with me?

2008 Mileage in Review:

First off, if you were not racing the longest stage race in the world this past season, make sure you are registered this season. We are already 4 stages in, don’t delay, sign up today.

2008 brought about a Hermit-man inspired perfect palindrome total of 13531 miles.

I sat on the saddle for 845 hours.

I averaged about 37 miles a day.

I dedicated an average time slice of 2hours and 21minutes each day to my two-wheeler.

I may have even run a mile or two on foot as well…It’s hard to say.

Steed Overview:
LeMond Victiore: 4,301 miles

Trek Top-Fuel 9.9: 2,634 miles

Trek 69er: 2,956 miles

Kona Hei Hei SS Winter Beater: 1,240 miles

Trek STP SS Winter Beater: 474 miles

Fetish Cyclocross Bike: 257 miles

Nas-Track Bike: 95 miles

Cycle Ops Trainer: (And although some may argue these miles are irrelevant) 1,574

So what will 2009 yield? I can tell you this, the miles as well as the wheels will be getting bigger...stay tuned.