Well, actually Jim would be most comfortable with this image of him...
Jim is a cyclist extrodinaire, lover of bikes, and a really great guy. He's done every race you can image. And after tackling most of biggies out there, I asked him to tell me about his favorites.
Longest race-Lots of 200 milers and the Cochise Classic 252 a few times, but the HooDoo 500 (which is actually 519, it's those last 19 that get ya) is my longest event thus far.
Fav long race--LOTOJA, even with the rough logistics in finishing 206 miles away from the start, it's still beautiful and challanging. Red Rock 200 is moving up though.
Cycling Tips -- Tip 1 --The most challanging aspect is feeding, finding that combination of nutrition that fuels the body for optimal performance yet doesn't make me sick or bloated. You'd think after all these years I would have it down, but I still struggle finding a good source of tolerable food.
Tip 2--I concern myself with time more than miles. I don't count the miles, it's too mentally taxing. I'd rather settle in knowing i'll be on my bike for a certain amount of time.
Tip 3--Learn patience in suffering. It can take some intense focus to ignore the physical maladies that one encounters during a long ride. I think of it as "suffering comfortably" and that frame of mind has served me well.
Tip 4--Relax and enjoy the event, come what may. I loved reading about Floyd Landis and his great attitude on training. He said when he has to do something tough, he say's to himself "What's the worst thing that can happen to me...death? Will I die if I ride another 100 mile in the rain? No I won't die, so I go do it." I apply that attitude to endurance racing, the physical strain won't kill me so I relax and enjoy.
Tip 5 -- Lastly, the most important tip of all is to help others along the way. More than any other benefit i've ever had in cycling is the benefit of serving others. Whether changing a tire, giving food or water to those without, or pacing someone to help them finish, I believe there is nothing more important or rewarding.
When is your next race? --To be honest, I don't "race" anymore. I guess with age comes an appreciation for the moment, "the now". I'd rather focus on the beauty of an area or the beauty of a group of cycling enthusiasts, some fast, some not, but all there with a common love of cycling. I don't even mind potentially bad weather, I love going up against Mother Nature, pile on that wind and rain or even snow, I feel it just tempers me into a better person. I've started seeking out new events that I haven't done before. You never know, I may hit upon another LOTOJA. I'm doing two new climbing races in California this year and I hope to go over to Europe with some friends to do an eight-day charity ride