Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Signing off for 2013. #CXmyHeart

I know I'm not the most verbose blogger but even I need a break.  I have all these plans and ideas and they mostly just sound like garble, or a Chris Horner interview gone...well, garble.  I'm going to take a couple months UnderTheRugg if you will, and come back in 2014 with something a little more entertaining, or at least distracting.

In the meantime, I've joined forces with World Bicycle Relief to spread awareness of their cause and to use my voice in cycling to raise support.

The announcement is HERE and you can donate HERE

Getting sexy at Pro Tested Gear

#CXmyHeart @TimothyRugg
For the rest of the year I intend to donate any prize money made at races to my fundraising page and I want to challenge as many people as possible to match that contribution.  Unfortunately the first race I did after announcing this initiative resulted in a broken CX bike and concern as to whether I will make much, if any!  I will, but regardless of the initiative, I have a birthday coming up November 24th and Christmas is right around the corner.  Give the gift of a bike to someone in need.  Just $134 is enough for one bike.  Follow me on twitter when I make announcements of my contributions.  I really hope you will be a part of this with me.

So yeah, Happy Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years!

Ride safe and stay Rugged.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Ramblings

I've been laying low since my last open letter to Red Bull.  The post accomplished my main goals of exposing a void, getting people talking, and getting things moving for next year.  I don't have the answer to revitalizing the sport, but it's nice to know others are thinking about it and some even proposing ideas.  I did not get a response from Red Bull.

Jordan Cheyne contributed to PezCyclingNews A Roadmap to Repair Professional Cycling which lays out an ambitious and intensive 4-point plan to heal cycling’s image, make the sport economically viable and establish effective long term governance.  I've raced with Jordan a few times and appreciate his contribution to cycling.  He is also one of those riders that for no real good reason, minus the lack of options, isn't a pro.  But I like racing with him because he goes all out and doesn't hold back.  And despite his lack of opportunity, he is all-in with the sport and will continue to go after it in a positive way.

I think the majority of cyclists racing in USAcycling appreciate the structure of Category racing because it provides that video-game mentality of getting to the next level.  Novice, Category 5 to Elite, Category 1 with a points structure based on results through the categories keeps riders in the system for years until they are indoctrinated into loving cycling because it becomes such a long process that they have no choice but to love.  Or hate... there are definitely those riders who realize how much the system has taken over cycling for them and have abandoned ship. But all-in-all I like the system because it keeps riders itching for that next level, with the promise that if they make it to Cat 1, they can race at the professional level.  Unfortunately that's where I think the fault is.  I don't want to elaborate right now, but the Pro-Am racing scene in the US is a joke.  If professional racing is ever going to be successful, there needs to be enough professional teams to fill a field.

There were 42 starters for the Professional Criterium Championships this past season.  Every other professional field has anywhere from 100-150 starters, with 50-100 of those riders usually being Category 1 racers.  How much longer will amateurs prop of a broken professional development program for non to hardly non-existent salaried rider teams?

I'm looking forward to reading the book from Phil Gaimon regarding his experience racing on division 3 Pro Cycling on $10 a Day: A Hand-Me-Down Guide to American Bike Racing.  Now I'm a little worried that this book will inspire kids to put up with the norm of domestic pro cycling since Phil has made it to the "Big Leauges".  Phil is going to race on Garmin next year and make lots of money and be considered a success in bike racing.  I don't want to distract from his accomplishments at all, anyone who can put up with a system for 10 years and overcome and succeed is a hero in my book.  I just hope that this book exposes some major problems in the system and it elicits some change.  

Again, I don't have the answers.  I just want people to think about it and to understand that currently, cycling is not a viable career choice!  Alright that's about the fifth time since I started writing that I almost blew up in rant.  I am calm and collected.  I just get nervous when juniors come up to me at bike races and treat me as if I have made it and I can see pro dreams in there eyes and can hear ambition in there shaky voices.  I hope they have more opportunities and viable ones.

And then again, again..., I don't really relate well to the junior cyclist.  I was never good enough to make the team for organized sports when I was younger and didn't start riding and racing bikes until I was already twenty-three.  Hard to be super-frustrated about a system you are still so ripe to and with little real influence being a age 28 year old recovering corporate world Information Technology specialist.  Then again, that might be more influential than I had previously thought.

Oh well, without further ado.  I'm returning to work.  maybe I needed to spite and spout to feel better about going back to my day job.  It's a good thing really, I need health and dental insurance and a paycheck gives me the opportunity to sponsor myself!  Woohoo!  RuggRacing is coming to a city near you in 2014.  Sort of a joke, but not really.  I'm still working a few angles and plan on racing individually where I can and guest riding on teams when that's required.  

I'm going Rugg, er... Rogue  

Nick Waite is a badass, but I look cooler.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Two Weeks Notice

It's Friday night and most people I know have left work and probably moved on to somewhere fun like a bar or getting ready for a long night on the town.  I've got too much on my mind.  I mean, I guess I am at a bar at least. I'm at The Artful Dodger self-described as a coffeehouse and cocktail lounge.  I'm drinking both a coffee and a cocktail, so it seems appropriately defined.  I have spent a lot of time in here lately sending my race resume out to teams and talking to other cyclists about what I and they are doing next year.  I don't think I've talked to a single cyclist that is thrilled with what next year has in store for them.

The scene around me is getting a little overwhelming.  At least 50 JMU students have walked in and I think they are preparing to do some acapella performance.  Yep, I just heard a dude blow into a tuner. The barely-can-hear-yourself-think atmosphere just focused all its attention main-stage and my previously annoyed demeanor just opened up.  I love this, so much culture in this college/mountain/farm city in rural VA!  The artful dodger is known for its support of the arts.  There are paintings all over the wall displaying local artists visions and performances almost daily.

I've spent my afternoon and evening finalizing a proposal that I just submitted to Red Bull.  It just so happens that my cocktail, Blue Ridge Haze, is made with Red Bull ice cubes.  More importantly, I have a vision, the riders, and the motivation to help create the next professional team in the US if there's a sponsor out there that shares in my vision.

Below is the open letter I submitted to Red Bull.  This is what transparency looks like.  I hope Red Bull or someone reading, anyone, steps up.  If not, and I fall on my face for trying, I'll get back up and figure something out for next year.  I'm not scared and I'll be criticized for simplifying something very complicated, but I have to try because someone has to.

Do me one favor, despite the attention this gathers... Blast this.  Facebook share, Twitter Retweet, Email, Text, etc.  Let's at the VERY least get people talking.  One last thing, the deadline for Pro-Continental team submission is in about two weeks.  This is your two weeks notice.


I have an idea, and I need Red Bull to give it wings.  

Road cycling in the U.S. is in a really tough place.  It is expected that there will only be six registered Continental Pro cycling teams for the 2014 season.  Depending on whether a race has a 6 or 8 rider limit per team, that leaves approximately 36-48 pro riders in most US pro races that have open fields to amateur teams to fill the remaining 100-150 spots.  Promoters must do this to satisfy budget and eligibility requirements.  One would hope that this would create an opportunity for amateurs to expose themselves to professional teams, but it degrades the quality of racing and continues to weaken a system designed to develop riders to the next level in professional cycling.  

Furthermore, it’s created a system where pro teams can offer riders zero salary for a spot on their team due to the number of racers available in the pool of elite level cyclists and the shortage of professional teams available.  This is not sustainable and the system needs to be corrected to offer athletes an opportunity to continue to develop in the sport while being able to provide for themselves due to the dramatic commitment required to race at the professional level.

In the lowest places we have the opportunity to achieve the greatest success.  Each day I hear stories from cyclists that are arguably some of the best in the country, considering to throw in the towel because they are offered no salary to race at the professional level.  I want to start a project that changes the norm that is slowly damaging the sport of road cycling in the U.S. and eliminating a demographic of riders that need support to succeed.  A demographic of riders that deserve support.  I want these riders on my team.  I want to create a team that is considered the underdog that gets this sport back on track.  If you can’t join them, beat them.

I want to propose that Red Bull become the title sponsor of the next UCI registered Road Continental cycling team in the United States.  The team would consist of 4-8 riders through consideration of sponsor ambassadorship and athleticism and supported primarily by its title sponsor.  

  • To be “THE” badass team that generates national and international media attention for its sponsor(s) due to its existence*.
  • To provide team riders an opportunity to develop to the highest levels in cycling achievable to them, while providing them with the support they deserve and need to get there with the least amount of resistance.
  • To win and podium multiple national caliber races throughout the US and...
  • To explore international racing and elevate sponsor(s) exposure if requested and supported by the sponsor(s).
  • To work with USA Cycling and professional teams to redefine the system in place to develop cyclists and to support the sport of cycling and its athletes in a sustainable way.  
* The team will use every social media outlet available to them to generate positive attention to itself and its sponsor(s).  The creation of this team will be exploited as pro-cycling and not  anti-establishment.  The existence of this team alone will come off as “punk-rock” and will develop a “David vs. Goliath” story that will resonate throughout the world of cycling.  This will be big, no matter how small it is. I have riders in mind already with amazing stories, and I want to tell them.

Management and Organization:
The management of the team will be in its first year of existence an all-volunteer operation.  The roles of General Manager, Sports Director, and Operation/Finance Manager will be fulfilled upon successful registration of the team.

The General Manager will be the primary contact for sponsor(s) and final operational decisions.  As the proposal author, Timothy Rugg, I volunteer to assume this role for the first year of the team’s existence.

Each rider on the team and its sponsor(s) will create an Advisory Committee designed to review operational opportunities and provide recommendations for race schedule, budget allocation, social media outreach, and other awareness strategies.

Provided sponsor(s) can provide firm commitment, the General Manager will proceed to establish the team within the framework provided by USA cycling.

All application materials, bank documents, race calendars, roster selections, budgets, and correspondence will be transparent and publicly posted on Google Docs or however the Advisory Committee recommends.

The deadline for applications for UCI Road Continental teams to submit for the 2014 season is October 31st, 2013.  If the deadline is impossible for sponsor(s), it is possible to register an “Elite National Team” at any time.  The differences and requirements for both classifications can be discussed upon further consideration between the team and sponsor(s).

In 2014, the budget request is as follows.

  • $40,000 to $80,000 Salary for 4 to 8 cyclists. (~$10,000 per rider)
  • ~$10,000 Registration and Application fees for USA Cycling and UCI for pro license.
  • $650 Registration fee for Elite National Team. (amateur team with professional race opportunities)
  • $40,000 to $80,000 Race Registration, Transportation, and Race Lodging for 4 to 8 cyclists competing in 50 calendar race days throughout the 2014 season.  (To include National Racing Calendar, National Criterium Calendar, and regional events.)
  • $10,000 to $20,000 Other race and media equipment not met by sponsor(s).

Total - $100,000 to $190,000 for 4 to 8 riders registered as a UCI Continental team.  This budget is subject to change depending on further examination by the Advisory Committee, yet is smaller than any UCI Road Continental budget for USA Cycling.  There are elite national teams with upwards of $250,000 budgets and UCI Road Continental teams with budgets ranging from $400,000 to over a million dollars.  I can do more with half and Red Bull’s support.

This proposal is designed to both inspire and directly support cyclists at the national level through a competitive, prestigious, and exciting team program.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

American or Americant

Six years ago I had my first Americano.  I had never had anything besides coffee at this point and I didn't even know what an Americano was.  It's espresso with hot water.  Nothing fancy really.  In fact all my experience with coffee to that point was mostly milk and sugar with a splash of coffee used specifically to stay awake and not for taste.

I've ordered thousands of dollars worth of coffee and even worked for a short period of time as a barista at a gourmet coffee shop where I made "Latte Art". Since then coffee has become more than a utility for me and my expanse appreciation and knowledge of the process, taste, and international business for coffee is as serious as my love for cycling. And let's be honest, anyone who rides a bike without coffee is at a disadvantage.  Sorry tea-lovers or caffeine-haters.

This really isn't about coffee. But that Americano and the story behind it is all I can think about today. I ordered that drink specifically because it had America in the title. I'm not pointing that out to incorporate some sort of patriotism. I had been living in East Africa for six months and I was homesick and I was confused. I had gone to Uganda for one reason, bounced around several organizations trying to help in some way or another, and ended up in Kenya for some other reason and left with very little fulfillment in myself and the work I had done. I'm being very broad, but I can imagine anyone who has set off on a mission to "Save The World!" spends a lot of time feeling like they fell short. I knew what America was and I figured an Americano just had to be good. It needed to be good.

I had that Americano at a coffee stand searching for an internet hotspot in Nairobi's Westgate Mall to write home or search for jobs back home.  Something insignificant enough that I can't remember. This past Saturday that mall was terrorized resulting in at least 72 deaths and 200 injuries. This past Saturday I was racing cyclocross in Baltimore, MD. I'm reminded that I have unfinished business. I'm reminded of why I went to East Africa and not what I did. The why is more powerful and will hopefully get me back on track. 

I want to tell about an amazing story about my two-day adventure ride with JB, Dave, and Joe D from Harrisonburg, VA to a ski resort in West Virginia last week. I want to complain about the how I haven't been able to get an insurance company to underwrite my pre-existing conditions and give me insurance. And about how all the recent politics revolving around Obamacare impacts me. I'm hesitant to tell anyone recent considerations that deviate from dreams that I've outlined before in fear of letting anyone down. Yet, each time I try to write anything about any of that, I just delete it. Just one of those days you feel guilty talking about yourself. It's a weird feeling having stories to tell but not being able to tell them for whatever reason. Timing is everything and life is not fair. Make the most out of every ride and every adventure.

It is always worth it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CX: Tim Rugg p/b Friends

I rarely come up with a title before I finish writing but this was just too cheesy to resist and something that's been heavy on my mind.

I believe I can fly.

It's hard for me to just stick to the coaches plan of using cyclocross just for training and fun.  Don't get me wrong it's fun no matter how seriously you take it, but winning is the most fun!  I didn't look for sponsorship soon enough for cyclocross because I just didn't know how committed I could be with my focus still being on the road.  Plus I have PTSD from my bike failure and collarbone explosion from last year.

When I knew that I was definitely going to race I had a week to learn how to ride a cross bike again and a week to get a bike and some support.  Immediately my friends at Pro Tested Gear offered help getting me in the races and a sick looking kit to wear during the races.  I was telling my friend Simon while hanging out at The Bike Rack in DC that I was just not having any luck, and he handed me his Pake C'mute to race until and if I find anything better.

Now there's no denying that the Pake is a tank, as heavy and indestructible, but with my ENVE fork and wheels, it's getting me to and through some training and racing.  I was sitting 3rd before rolling a tubular tire Saturday at Jamestown and landed 5th on the podium in a stacked field in South Germantown Sunday.  My favorite moment from Sunday's race was when Joe Jefferson made a comment over the sound system that it looked like I was riding a bike a newspaper delivery boy would use.  Joe is about as good as it gets when he emcee's.

With the Charm City UCI 2-day weekend in Baltimore, MD coming up this weekend - I knew the Pake needed to spend more time as the spare bike.  Within minutes of reaching out again, I had multiple friends offering to let me ride there whip for the weekend.  Let me emphasize that these are friends that know how much I crash and are still there to support me.  My buddy Michael and Marc came through both offering me a place to stay and to be able to use there bike.  Amazing.  I've been feeling really lucky lately to have support for what I'm trying to do and what people believe I can do.

I'm really hoping a race-ready bike will make a difference this weekend as I try to grab some UCI points and some off-road cred' to add to my street cred'.  Speaking of off-road cred', my friends at Diamondback have really made my week rewarding me with a Mason 29er Full Suspension Mountain Bike for landing on the podium in both an NCC and NRC professional race this past season.  I'm going to take my first stab at mountain bike racing at the 26th Annual Tidewater Mountain Bike Challenge in Williamsburg, VA.  Thanks Phil, it's been a pleasure racing for Diamondback this year!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Calm Before The Storm

Team H-Burg - Waite, Bishop, and Rugg

There's never a dull moment with my new lifestyle of cycling, trumpeting, and soul-searching.  Rather, there's never a moment where I don't have something I could be doing.  I'm not saying "I'm busy", nor complaining, because I've realized the negative connotation that reflects after reading the Harvard Business Review blog post "Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are" by Meredith Fineman.  The humble-brag of being busy can often be interpreted as "I’m busier, more in-demand, more successful."  I'm not busy.  I have just been aware of how much time I have and that there are so many things I can do to fill my time, and me being terrible at being lazy I resort to doing different things almost constantly.  That's what I mean.

Another good read this morning when you are done reading that HBR article... Wait,  let me say one more thing about that before I move on.  The article misses a notion I think is relative to a lot of people I know.  I believe a lot of people say they are busy because they realize what they can't do, what they want to do, because of what they are currently doing.  So really these people should just be saying, "I'm distracted right now."  In the realm of training to be a world-class athlete, it's very easy to get distracted since everything you do, absolutely everything, has to be considered.  In the pursuit of fractional gains and small percentage improvements of fitness and growing more importantly every day, social media presence - everything has to be considered.  I just got overwhelmed with thoughts of the meals I need to eat for the rest of the day, the training I need to complete, the overdue blogpost, the bike maintenance I need to perform before this weekend's cyclocross races, the outreach to pro teams I need to make, the medical bills I need to manage, the trumpet practice schedule I need to write to optimize my training on the horn when I'm not training on the bike.  There's more.  There's always more.  I'm not busy, but it's very easy to get distracted.

That other good read I was talking about, right.  Over on Kevin Cross's blog he writes about the uncontrollable desire to ride hard, even when you don't have to.  To clarify, I don't mean he feels like he has to train.  But he rides hard because he wants to feel the effort that takes him to that familiar place. Sure, the setting sunset, deer that line rock creek park, and the summer fleeting breeze are all things that we tell ourselves are what we ride for.  But it's not.  Those things are fine and all but we really only use these experiences to explain to "non-cyclists" why we ride so much to excuse ourselves from being masochists or suffering from addiction.  I ride, and Kevin rides, for the effort.  We ride for that feeling that makes us feel everything.  We ride hard to remember where we've been, where we are, and where we want to be.  The effort makes us feel like we are home and completely in control.  It's actually pretty simple and only something that "cyclists" understand.

I got on my bike for the first time in ten days after feeling the wrath of Campylobacter Jejuni in my GI tract.  Food poisoning.  Doing my own detective work I imagine I contracted this bacteria while training in the rain on one of the farm roads around Harrisonburg.  This kind of food poisoning is usually contracted from animal feces.  So my breakdown has me riding in the rain, kicking up some cow poop run-off from my tires onto my water bottle nipple, and then taking a swig unknowingly while training, ending five weeks of intense training and not having a result to show for the effort.  Today's my last day of a 5-day probiotic pill regimen and although my insides are still in a twist, the realization I won't get another chance to prove myself on the road for 5-6 months is the hardest pill to swallow and is causing me the most discomfort.

But like Kevin, I found comfort in the effort when I rode Wednesday with Jeremiah Bishop and Nick Waite.  Despite not riding in some time, the 10 pound lighter and super rested (muscularly at least) version of me, made for a day of proving to myself and reminding myself where I had was, where I am now, and where I am going.  I'm not good at easing into anything and went for it on the 211 climb from New Market named "Super Lee".  I surprised myself and set the Strava KOM with a vertical ascent measure above 1400 and a climb averaging 6.9% gradient and 5.9km in distance.  Season is already over and that effort to most seems pointless giving that I'm not even supposed to be training yet.  It's the off-season!  But I needed that effort.  I needed to know I was okay and that my mind was strong and could handle it.  Sometimes the efforts that don't matter or lead to a goal, the ones you can't quantify or qualify, are the ones that matter the most.  With all the distractions I have going on I couldn't be more ready to focus on the training and goals that take me from the coffee shop I am sitting in write now, to the top step of the podium at an NRC race next year.

Calm before the storm.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The boy with the wolf tattoo.

Only 24 hours left until the start of the Bucks County Classic.  A race with a rich cycling history and promise that anything is possible.  In 2000 Tornado Tom Boonen himself raced, still as an amateur, placing second in the race I've been training so hard for.  Boonen went on to win the World Road Race Championships in 2005, the green jersey in the Tour De France in 2007 and Paris-Roubaix, 4 times!

Alright I'm not even trying to create some comparison between the path that I think I'm headed and the path Boonen took, primarily because he's a sprinter, and I am not.  I will also never try cocaine.  So there's that.

In fact, I will not even finish second at Bucks County Classic.  At least not this year.  Six days ago I started running a fever and soon after my whole system went haywire.  I eventually had to go to urgent care and was put on antibiotics for some issues with my intestines.  I can't take chances when there's something wrong with my GI tract due to a congenital defect.  I had to send in the bug bomb to clear everything up.

Things started to feel a little bit better yesterday but I had my name pulled from the roster.  It's hard to explain what this race meant for me, or could have meant for me, and how hard this week has been as result.  But I'll save you the sob story.  I'm in good spirits.  I played my trumpet yesterday, twice.  I bought some valve oil from the local instrument repair shop to play some more today.

I dug into my old chest of books and found my Arban's Complete Conversvatory Method for trumpet. This is no ordinary music book.  It is well known in the trumpeter community that the ability to conquer this book would mean you would have all the skills required to master the trumpet.  Now this book used to always overwhelm me and I'd just flip through and do something here and there back when I was in school.  But I swear I immediately started thinking of a periodization training plan to break up articulation, slurring, and ornament training such as appogiattura into a well structured plan to help me get back to the heyday of my trumpet playing ability and hopefully beyond.

Wow, the road season is really over.  Still so much on my mind.  The trumpet seems like a weird deflection, but there's more to the story still to come.  There's a lot more to come.  A new season has begun.  I'm in a new place.  I am getting healthy.  I am recharging looking forward to some fun cyclocross racing and mountain bike riding.  I am hopeful for what next road season will have for me. Most of all, I'm really happy with what the next six months looks like.  I'm happy.

Stay Tuned.  Ride Safe.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Man!  I love that I can exit my new home in Harrisonburg, VA and be starting a 50-minute long climb in the Shenandoah Mountains and the George Washington National Forest in an hour.  And if it's not a crazy big day I can just turn around and come home in time for lunch.

When you are gasping for air up Reddish Knob you will find yourself at a deficit again with the breathtaking views at the bottom with the finish visible on a clear day from the lake seen below.  You will not see a house and sometimes even a car since it's a scenic byway and "Ain't nobody got time for that".

The top of Reddish Knob is the real prize as you reach a road that can fit only one car that winds its way up to a plateau where the road ends and the trees are no higher than your line of site, offering a panoramic view of West Virginia and Virginia and all the mountain ranges and valleys sprawled across as far as the eye can see.  There's even a Naval Information Operations Command visible in the Potomac Highlands that is home of parabolic antennas acting as "the Navy's ear" gathering communications from Navy planes, ships and stations around the world.

I am told that Reddish Knob is the highest point in Virginia.  Anyone participating in the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo will get a chance to see this and many views.  I snap a few pictures here and there but I hate exposing my complete lack of photographic genius that I blame primarily on my lack of photographic device.  Alas - a couple shots from this weeks riding:

At the top of Rt 33.

Potomac Highlands from Reddish Knob.

Riding with Nick Waite and Jeremiah Bishop aka Fred Astaire from this photo.
We go big!

Going to climb those rocks one day!

Last chance to turn around.  It's straight up from here.

There's a story or twenty on every ride, but one worth noting happened on a 5-hour ride I completed yesterday.  I was 2 and a half hours into the ride about to turn left onto the Reddish Knob climb on the Moyers Gap Rd. side.  I was keeping the route simple, go West, go South, go East, go North and I figured I wouldn't get too lost.  On these big rides figuring out watering holes is more crucial than the route planned.  I saw a convenience store at the corner and figured everything was just fine, but I'd later find out it was closed a long time ago due to lack of customers.  A man pulled up in an old Ford truck seconds later and told me the misfortune of bigger stores and gas prices in the cities nearby pushing him out.  I asked him where the next closest place to find refreshments was and he chuckled indicating that I had a bit of a ride ahead of me.  Now, I wasn't in a "spot of bother" and would have been able to get anywhere I needed before bonking or becoming overly dehydrated, but he offered to let me fill up my bottles at his house next door.  I talked to him about how I just moved here and was loving the riding and he told me some good places to ride and just carried on about the peacefulness living in West Virginia.  He kept insisting that I take some gatorade until I couldn't refuse and he sent me on my way insisting just as hard to remember, "Jesus loves you".  

I took off on the climb to continue my ride with 80 ounces of fluids, weighing me down, and started to think to myself that I'm pretty sure if I lived out there long enough I'd find Jesus one way or another. The bike gods were quick to interject and I sliced a tire on a shale rock that had been kicked up on the road in one of the many switchbacks.  I'm not a believer in anything too clear, at least not clear enough to explain in a way that makes since to many, but I definitely feel like someone is looking after me.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I've been negligent in keeping up with what's been going on, because too much has been going on!  I got back from the cross country trip I tried to chronicle with the idea I'd be able to take it easy for a little while.  Instead I found myself sleeping on a couch for two nights and then heading up to Hunter, NY for the Tour of the Catskills.  Most of my teammates were toast from all the travel that I had so enthusiastically encouraged them to do... so I felt the pressure to go to this race and represent for the team since I felt responsible for their fatigue.  And represent I did with my teammate Jon D'alba, who I shouldn't even mention, since he said he won't read this anyways... but it was awesome racing with him in very trying conditions where we were clearly marked despite being a fraction of a team due to our clubbing at Killington Stage Race some months back.  Absorbing a ton of blows and the elements I walked away from the 3-day stage race 2nd overall.  Not bad for running on fumes and yearning for that night I'd get to sleep in my own bed again.

After one night of sleeping in my bed, I woke up to a phone call from my coach Jeremiah Bishop telling me I needed to get to Harrisonburg, VA by next week to buckle down training for the UCI 1.2 Bucks County Classic in PA on September 7th.  So much for August being a month of partying in DC with the friends before I move away.  Instead I crammed as much dancing, drinking, riding around familiar roads, bike shop hopping, and other general hanging out options to include Settlers of Catan in less than a week while trying to meet with potential subletters and packing up to hit the road again.  Oh yeah, I went rock climbing too and successfully ascended a 5.9 with a roof my first time!  This was while an old roommate of mine was making 5.12's look easy... but I was happy with passing the belay test and climbing for a couple hours with little to no experience prior.

I know, I'm totally skipping the entire trip from Oregon back to DC.  It was awesome... seriously the best part of the entire trip.  I just don't have anything extraordinary to say about it, I didn't take a lot of pictures, I just soaked it up with Kevin Gottlieb and Chris Keeling as we hit amazing host house after amazing host house, amazing ride after amazing ride, and amazing views after after amazing views. Except Kansas... Kansas wasn't fun or interesting, at all.  Sorry, but I'm glad I'm not in Kansas anymore.

So here I am, living in Harrisonburg, VA!  I've been here two days and I was introduced properly with a 6-hour ride to include riding up Reddish Knob and a stint in West Virginia and the George Washington National Forest.  You can keep up with some of the amazing routes I go on by following me on STRAVA.  I don't put all my training up there, just the fun or distinctly epic rides.  Nobody wants to see my 2 hour interval rides back and forth on the same roads.

#BUCKSORBUST - This is what it's all about for me right now.  I've shown teams that I can play domestique or ride for myself and generally overcome a ton of stress, illness and injury living on the road for a few months.  I've shown I'm not afraid to make sacrifices to get where I want to be and that I will continue to make the steps necessary to reach the highest levels in cycling.  September 7th is a huge day for me as I take everything I've learned this year and the years before with a month of dedicated focus to Doylestown, PA where I have every intention and ability to put Kelly Benefit Strategies and Diamondback Bicycles on the podium of a UCI race.

In the middle of Nevada with the Sun to our backs for the next few days.

The Great Salt Lake

We made sure to touch the Pacific Ocean before heading south through the Redwood Forest

That thing was REAL.  Any closer and it started making demon noises. 

Make every stop worth it.  Skipping rocks.


Riot Girl Punk Show in DC - Fort Reno.

First ride w/ JB starting in Harrisonburg and going places I didn't think I could go.

Locked outside of an IHOP, my Diamondback Podium 7.

Going to miss these roommates.  Taco and Margarita night.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Looking for a job! : Rugg's Race Resume.

Timothy Rugg
Racing Age: 28
Weight: 150lb / 68kg
Height: 6ft / 1.8m

Five years racing as an all-arounder specializing in breakaways and prologues with a capacity to ride at the front forever.


General Classification

Nature Valley Pro Ride team selection for NVGP
1st - Killington Stage Race
1st - Pennsy Classics Omnium
2nd - Tour of the Catskills
2nd - Sprint Competition, Killington Stage Race
3rd - Top Amateur, Nature Valley Grand Prix (NRC)
3rd - KOM Classification, Killington Stage Race

Time Trial / Prologue

2nd - Cascade Cycling Classic, Prologue (NRC)
2nd - Killington Stage Race, Stage 3 TT
2nd - Page County Stage Race, Stage 2 TT
3rd - Wilmington GP - Monkey Hill Prologue 
3rd - MABRA TT Championships - Church Creek 40km
6th - Tour De Toona, Prologue (NRC)

Road Race / Circuit Race

1st - Killington Stage Race, Stage 1
1st - Killington Stage Race, Stage 2 
1st - Morgantown RR - 2011
1st - Greenbelt Circuit Race
2nd - Mount Joy Road Race
2nd - Union Grove Road Race
2nd - Morgantown RR - 2010
2nd - Killington Stage Race, Stage 3 - 2010
3rd - Poolesville Road Race
3rd - Michael P. Murad Road Race
3rd - Elite National Championship RR 
3rd - Giro Di Coppi
4th - Tour of the Catskills, Stage 2
4th - Tour of the Catskills, Stage 3


Most Courageous Rider - Air Force Classic, Clarendon Cup (NCC)
Most Aggressive Rider - Nature Valley Grand Prix, Stage 6 (NRC)
Most Aggressive Rider - Speedweek, Spartanburg Criterium (USACrits)
6th - Sea Otter Classic, Stage 1
6th - Nature Valley Grand Prix, Stage 2 (NRC)
6th - Air Force Classic, Clarendon Cup (NCC)
7th - Iron Hill Twilight Criterium (USACrits)
11th - Electric City Criterium - Speedweek (NCC)

  • Hobbies: Musician (Composing, Performing, Listening), Humanitarian, Coffee Connoisseur.
  • B.S. Information and Computer Technology. Minor in Business Administration.
  • 10 year work history in Information Technology.
  • Experience with Social Media, Leadership, and Sponsor Relationships.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Appetite for Adventure - An ode to 3 square meals.

Wednesday - July 10th

The summers in this particular part of the country have very long days and very short nights.  I woke up shortly after 5:00 AM from the sunrise and was in and out fighting the mosquitos that were taking over our campsite for the next couple hours.  We all slowly realized we weren't getting anymore rest and started making our way down the hill one by one to start the day off with a ride back up the pass we had driven up and down the day prior.  We experienced another omen on our hike back to the vehicles similar to the meteorite from the night before.  I've been throwing that "omen" word around more and more after reading The Alchemist earlier this year. I really appreciate the spiritual theme that everything in the world conspires to help you discover what your personal destiny is and you'll receive signs, or omens, along the way to help let you know whether you are on the right path to discover what you're living for.  As we left our campsite Chris and I spotted a moose running about 50 meters from our campsite.  I know what coincidence is, but I'm happier believing that moose was a sign that we were being looked after.  

11,000 feet above sea level.
With ascending and descending mountains being the easiest choice for a ride we all enjoy doing, we started the day with a 3-hour ride in The Rockies climbing over 6,000 ft. and ripping down switchbacks at times overtaking vehicles with our ability to descend much faster on our bikes.  Chris and Kevin made good use of a nearby lake to wash-up afterwards, but the rest of were anxious to pack up and get into Yellowstone National Park.  With it already being lunchtime and having only ate trail mix, cereal bars, and PowerBar bars for breakfast and lunch we had a tall task to use what energy we had left to see the hot spots in Yellowstone and make it through the Grand Teton National Park to try and finish the day in Jackson Hole, WY.  The rest of us would get a chance to hop in the rapids of the Gardner River to clean and cool off once in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park is something everyone needs to experience in their life.  In our rushed visit we were still able to see a black bear, bison, elk, prong horns, marmots, moose, mule dear, and we even saw people saying that they could see a grizzly bear and her cub amongst some trees.  At that point it was too hard to see the bears and we were well into our express visit with only so much daylight left.  Along the way we did catch the Mammoth Hot Springs which we all agreed required much more effort than it provided visual appeal.  Basically it wasn't exciting at all.  Thankfully the geysers were very exciting and each one we visited had something unique about it that made it hardly redundant and rather interesting.  We only had to wait about 25 minutes to see Old Faithful burst and used that time to have some coffee and ice cream in waffle cones.  That was our idea of real food after the past four meals being little more than snacking.  We'd step up the bar on our next stop at the West Thumb portion of Yellowstone Lake making PB&J and Wheat Thin sandwiches to hold off our hunger until Jackson Hole.  We had to incorporate Wheat Thins as utensils to spread the PB&J since we had nothing else to use and despite our nomadic approach to life lately, we are all germaphobes.

Mammoth hot springs run-off.
Cooling off in Gardner River.
"Backstreet's back, alright!"
Hiked to the top of Mammoth Hot Springs... Not as exciting as we expected.
Do not approach wildlife.
Geyser - My camera died before reaching Old Faithful. 
Yellowstone Lake - Chris and Sam were brave enough to enter the freezing water.

With more stops, views, and experiences I can summarize or even keep track of, we exited Yellowstone as the sun was setting behind the Grand Tetons.  This created an out-of-this-world view with a pink glow outlining the mountain range and a tiny sliver of a moon that seemed within reach of the peaks in a much lighter blue than the dark of the night and stars above it.  It really was something I'd expect to see captured on another planet or in a sci-fi movie more likely.  We rolled into Jackson Hole, historically a beaver-trapping and ranching town taken over by ski bums and novelty stores, starving and without lodging sorted out and less than a couple hours left until another day marked off the calendar.  We got turned down the first place we tried to eat being informed there was only one place in the town still serving food to an under-21 crowd, two-thirds of our party.  We found some pizza and I had my first beer since Madison, WI to take the edge off what had been our longest of long days since we hit the road.  Justin took care of finding us a hotel that ended up being recognized by some third-party I can't remember as bike-friendly and we crammed the six of us into one room again for what had been only our third hotel stay in over a month of traveling.  With the promise of continental breakfast and beds to sleep in I crammed in as much internet time as possible after not having cell-phone service or internet since South Dakota and fell fast asleep just after midnight.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Part 2 - The Home of the Brave

Tuesday - July 9th

Driving through Beartooth Pass the idea that we would fall asleep on top of a mountain without a tent in the wilderness rather than a proper campsite became more and more real as the cowboy in us took over.  Or was it the child-like recklessness we had been suppressing because we felt like we had to be adults or successful all the time?  Whatever is was, the wild and brave nature of what we were considering changed us all a little bit.  We were determined to live life to the fullest by simply living in the most ostensible fashion viewed by most civilized people.

Kevin Gottlieb presents: The Wild.
10,000 ft. elevation and flirting with disaster.
Lakes everywhere at elevation, which also meant mosquitos everywhere.

We ran into a couple traveling motorcyclists that were kind enough to let us know the rules of camping in a national forest to give us the least likely chance of getting attacked by bears and abiding by the regulations of camping in a National Forest.  Due to our stubbornness and unpreparedness for staying at a proper campsite anyways, we learned that as long as we stayed a quarter mile off the main road and didn't start any fires we would be left alone.  At least by the park rangers that is.  

With the sun setting and little time left to ride we spotted a hill settled in at 8,000 ft. elevation that ended up being a short hike off a long dirt road climb.  We were kitted up and descending the dirt road with the sun setting behind us for a short ride to take the stiffness of another long travel day out of our legs.  Everyone was on the same page.  We all knew we were living the dream and were eager to point it out as we all shouted out "America!" and "Are you kidding me?" and a dozen other euphemisms reserved for the experience of seeing the panorama of the Rocky Mountains, the lakes at the bottom of the vast valley's, and endless views of America's backdrop overwhelmed us all.  We weren't out for long because we all knew what we had agreed to and had left us with no option but to set-up our makeshift campsite.  
Got to find time to ride. 
Headed back to "camp".

We all ate as much trail-mix and granola as we could handle along with some Muscle Milk at the vehicles leaving everything but what we were going to sleep in, and on, packed away to limit our chance of an encounter with a bear.  Naturally we heard reports of increased bear activity on the radio earlier that day but the motorcyclists were nice enough tell us, "No one had been attacked and killed for over two years in this forest."  Kevin had inflated his queen-sized air-mattress to share with Justin and the rest of us slept on the ground with only our sleeping bags and sleeping pads.  Sam and I were really roughing it without sleeping pads and only the rocks, limited grass, and dirt to keep us pretty uncomfortable all night.   


By the time we all had settled into our sleeping bags and had made our truce to not make any bear noises or play pranks on each other a meteorite entered the earth's atmosphere.  From one side of the sky to the other the ball of fire disintegrated right before our eyes.  It was almost as if the meteorite was a sign that we were exactly where we were meant to be.  None of us missed it and it was such an amazing site that we had forgotten about potential close encounters with wildlife and had our eyes glued to the stars for hours as we saw shooting star after shooting star and called out constellations, satellites, and planets to each other until we eventually fell asleep.