"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


San Luis Obispo: Days 0, 1

March 6th
Chicago, Blue Line to Orange Line to Midway

Always take the train when you can. Even if you are carry two completely full bags and a bike case that could contain a body, if the route is direct, you can't beat the $2.25 charge. Use the elevators.

Midway Airport

However, before you get to the security checkpoint, do make sure that you've removed any weapons you might be carrying in your bags. Such as, the collapsable billyclub that I carry in my Chrome bag for protection on commutes. If they fiind it via the X-ray machine, they kind of make a big deal out of it. There will be a separate entry on this fiasco and how I avoided a vacation to city jail instead of California on a later date.

Southwest Airlines Flt 1337

Your life time "screaming baby quotient" will even out. Trust me. Friday night I made up for probably 10 years of relatively quiet solitude, with the "screaming baby" equivilent of the 100 year earthquake.

March 7th
Coming down from Lopez Lake, first real turn, 35mph +

"I said, "get OFF the brakes!"

The Wausna Climb

They jump. Randy laughs as I'm stuck behind a slow wheel. I get out quick but I'm gapped. Oh well, I'm climing strong. Last year the leaders were already gone, now I still see them. Up ahead I see the turn out, the top. I'm gaining but won't make up the gap before then so I sit up. Shit. That's not the top. Momentum lost. Try to spin up again. Ouch. I look down. Big ring. You dumb fuck. I loosen up and shift smoothly. But the gap is bigger. Small consolation is that I can still see them and maintain eye contact all the way. Damn.

Much better on the way down. Still gapped largely by the leaders, but my descending is better and, unlike last year, I join a paceline of about four and make the bridge to the leaders. A fast, erratic paceline. I feel strong...too strong. My brain is still in "don't get dropped" mode and I accelerate way too fast when pulling through, especially on uphills.

The Mailbox Sprint

For an hour beforehand, I say to myself, "React, don't think. React, don't think. React, don't think." Right hand turn after the bridge, Jacques starts the leadout, I'm on Peter's wheel. Jacques' off, JT takes over on a long pull in the wind, speed never wavers. Stocky up now. Kirby's yelling for someone to go, doesn't want a swarm. Who does? But the wind is strong. Finally, the first mailbox appears. I think, "Now how far to The Mailbox?" Peter jumps. I'm still thinking.


Beautiful weather, not a cloud in the sky. Everyone's loving life, riding strong, eating and laughing heartily.

It's going to be a good week.

Today: The Grade, Las Palitas, Creston Loop (as seen in the Tour of California).


Chris said...

i'm jealous but happy for you at the same time.

Matt said...

look for a home there. Chicago has been washed away by flooding rain.