I'm fresh off the Roasters Ride. Marin's infamous battle ground where riders gather every weekend sporting their convolutedly colorful team spandex whilst burgeoneing with the lateset and greatest hecho in china plastic pride. An ungainly organized mass, we meander awkwardly down the asphalt while glares of death and impatient honk missiles are viciously spewed from the throat of the traffic monsters. We head out of town, away from the gas demons, gaining inertia in anticipation of the slaughter fest to come. Egos begin dancing like little fairy's, giddy and impatient. They hide their determined eyes in the depths of dark sunglasses and prepare to throw testosterone bombs in each others face. An act of eliminating a week of pooling hormones and pent up stress. Each rider, fully embraced in the moment of an epic duel to either blow ones self to pieces or destroy the fragile bonds of tenacious pride that cause each and every rider to endure cataclysmic suffering. It is a rabid, brutal, and savage ride. Unlike a race, we don't use strategy, we don't help each other. The goal or at least mine is to slay egos, bury them, suffer like this its my last moment. Its not a stage race, I don't have to finish. Just suffer so that next time I'm racing I have something to relate to and the hurt-box becomes a welcome comfort.
I haven't raced since the Gila....I even took 7 consecutive days off...and by that I mean on the couch off. I felt fat and lost. Penny less in ambition and pocketbook. Then two weeks of base training....a 12 min time trial, 30 min of tempo....more zone 2.....Boring...I needed to get out and cause pain, at least to myself. Warning! TANGENT approaching. In the simple polar terms of comfort and discomfort, I don't think its a good idea to forget how to suffer. Comfort to me is boring, and boredom leaves me in an unoccupied, directionless existence perpetually seeking more comfort...Guess what? Look around you...America is comfortable. America is boring, expressionless, lazy, and lifeless. Comfort belongs in a pair bib shorts...It belongs to Assos. If your able to be active, take advantage of it, embrace it, suffer on your own level, have fun, push the boundaries of your comfort. You might be amazed at what lies beyond. There are people in this world that don't get a chance to live comfortably. Human beings that live in a hole in the ground and get shit on by the rest of the world. Do them a favor and Don't invest in the numbing comfort of America...get out and experience the vibrance of the world you live in.
OK, back to today's ride.......i promise no more tangents.
I got my chance to be uncomfortable this morning and push my comfort zone. I unleashed a seismic explosion on the poor age groupers and cat 2/3/4/5 riders. I let them have it. Every time I attacked they just let me go... I pulled the entire group into the sprint at Nicasio and then turned the screws until they gave up. I left them to ponder the forces of continental drift while I took the sprint in Point Reyes, and the KOM at Olema. Finally I rode away into a false flat, towing one brave rider pegged at his limit. The likes of 20 riders couldn't catch me with 10k to go. Solo in your face...maybe next time...except I'm getting board and its time for the second half of the season. I'm going racing. I've outgrown this pond.
Still sitting here in my new pair of Assos bibs. Good thing they are intended for all day comfort....the only bibs I would ever spend my money on. The only company that doesn't build their shorts around materialistic image based marketing....They build marketing around the shorts....the shorts sell themselves as the most comfortable, most durable, best functioning shorts period.
Alright, I'm still sitting in my bib shorts, I've finished eating my huge bowl of hippie mix, granola and yogurt with lots of nuts and juicy ripe cantaloupe, and a splash of flax oil. Thank you Assos for you all day comfort. Thank you all for reading...If this post sounded at all egotistical, trust me, I know my place. I can feel the pain of everyone on this mornings ride....its the same feeling I have when I finish mid pack at an NRC stage race, or when Chris Horner goes casualy wizzing buy me as I'm drueling all over my top tube just trying to survive. Its all relative. Also check for my next post as It could be worth a laugh at my expense.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I'd like to say thanks to my friend Mike Sorrenson from silver city NM for making me look like a bike racer in this photo....As you can see, Lance is a few wheels behind me, Horner is smiling like he always does when he is in pain, Levi is right behind me,(yes I know its hard to see. He's tiny, but you can see his Astana gloves and his white shoe, tucked inbetween me and Floyd Landis...)....With exception to me this could be a photo from the tour de france........These guys are racing in the Giro right now!.....How f-ing rad to be the one putting them in a spot of bother.......Ha!
This photo, which by the way should be on the cover of velo news, is from the crit in downtown silver city. It was a great day of racing and tons of fun....The field was super strong, obviously, and a break never went away. Consequentially the pace was fast and aggressive with the field strung out single or double file. Amazingly the front of the group seemed to be chasing the tail of the snake like peleton around each corner for the entire 1:36 min, 44 miles. That means 170 riders were stretched out almost a mile long. I stayed in the top 3rd of the serpents gullet for most of the race....and on a few rare occasions made it off the front for some sponsor time, but for the most part I was just enjoying the view....I think its safe to say that i was going no where....just lett'n the scrapper in me shine for a moment. Its not often that I get to race with a roster like this.
Thanks again Mike, for my moment of glory.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Well, I'm home......and I'm a wreck. I raced my heart out for 5 days, drove 2200..miles(round trip), and drank gallons of starbucks coffee....I'm not going to mention some of the restaurants I ate at, lets just say it wasn't organic and my driving partner was a bad influence. I'm glad the drive is over. I still wish I was racing...after pouring everything I had into a five day stage race I feel kind of lost trying to figure out what to do afterward. Luckily I have a sinus infection....a little one...and I'm going to kill it.
I just raced with Lance Levi, and Horner........Holy shit, LOL that's something I never expected to do. Now the fun is over and I'm trying to make sense of it all......
First....Lance is the real deal....after racing with him for 5 min it's obvious, He is one of a kind, untouchable, a rider with genuine ferocity and pure determination. He is focused and aware, but on a completely different level than the rest of us......its as if his singular purpose or resonate frequency is fully realized and boldly expressed through each movement on his bike. Its like a great white shark as it attacks its prey. TV coverage of the tour de france does nothing to convey this.
Some quick highlights are......cresting the pinos altos climb and then passing the entire mellow johny's team...(lance included) then leading them out on the first descent.......I hardly pedaled, just wanted a clean shot at the descent, 170 guys on a narrow gnarly descent like this is not pretty and I didn't want to get caught out behind a crash or miss an acceleration. It was actually really cool because they couldn't hold my wheel on the decreasing radius turns and I'm sure they thought I was a lunatic for going so fast. Needless to say they all sprinted past me on the first little climb after the descent.....
Second highlight was riding the tt on my steel pegoretti with clip on bars....at first i was disappointed that I wasn't riding the Parlee,( the carbon braze on mount broke the night before I left for the race) but as it turned out using the pegoretti was pure motivation and in retrospect I think the bike performed better than I did.
Thirdly, not sure if that's a word..I got dropped on the first cat 2 climb of the last day. Then I decided to blaze the descent like a possessed grey squirrel from Marin. The tenacious little bugger that just stuffed his belly on table scraps from an overpriced breakfast eatery and is laughing in the face of civilized comfort while decisively evading cars as he dashes down cameo alto on his way to his little stand of conifers not yet overtaken by urban sprawl . That said its was a blast whipping in and out of the draft of the team cars(a skill honed on the slopes of teton pass) as they almost went off the road, (They were having quite a good time also, no cops to dish out tickets meant free time to rally the company car). I caught them all by the bottom, then It quickly blew to pieces on the way back up....Shit really hit the fan at a hemorrhaging ridiculous speed and our group of 70 was shattered into about 20 fragmented little groups.....this was a definite vision quest of a climb.....I just tried to stay conscious.
Gotta run.......the crit was great too......check back later.... addios