"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

8.10.09

Rites of Passage

Bicycling has published another Cosmo-esque list: 109 Rites of Passage for the cyclist.

Sometimes insightful, sometimes cheesy – even downright maudlin, and towards the end, truer than a handmade wheel, read them here, and cross-reference with my indexed commentary…on the ones I care to note.

1. I found this link on the Bike Commuters blog, and Elizabeth notes that (read in Yakov Smirnov’s voice), “in Chicago, wind rides you!”

3. I’ll never forget the first time I shaved my legs. I did it with my regular razor without clipping it first – and it took forever, and my girlfriend at the time nearly broke up with me. And yeah, the first time under the sheets felt totally weird.

7 and 8. At Asheville this year, Day 3 was Mt. Doggett day, a route the locals refer to as the Doggett Fat Burner, 103 miles (of which I rode 89 of) through constant rain. Mist, a downpour, pissing, didn’t matter. It was wet the whole time. On the last big climb of the day, JT dropped everybody, and then we started breaking apart – with me falling further and further back, and soon got dropped by a guy who I always outclimbed. I felt like lead and as though I was moving in slow motion. I always think I am eating enough food, but when riding long in the cold and rain, your body is burning more calories just to keep the core temperature up. My muscles felt tingly and exceedingly weak. I could fall over at any time. I reached into my back jersey pocket and started putting whatever food was in there into my mouth. Shot Bloks, half a Clif bar, and then the fruit slices. The change could not have been more dramatic. (Popeye music>) Within seconds, I was back out of the saddle and roaring up the hill to catch Grant, and very nearly Peter at the summit. I then forgot to close my rain jacket on the decent, and quickly went hypothermic. Nothing is worse than a shivering, already shaky descender. in the rain. My brakes began to make phantom noises, and I had a line of impatient drivers behind me. I got in the van. The body count reached 7 that day: only Randy, JT, Jacques, and Grant rode the entire route.

10. My first century was Peachy Canyon in 2008. My feet had hot spots so bad I could barely pedal and I started dry heaving when I got back to my room.

19. I will always have chain grease on my right calf. And my left. Shit, I think I got it on my arm once.

22. Read the poems published here and here.

32. I taught myself to do this on the rollers last winter.

33. Please God let me do this on the road and not the rollers.

36. There is nothing like it, because you're likely puking during an interval or sprint session, as well.

41. Always a very personal and supremely satisfying moment.

45. You’re always terrified of it until it finally happens, and when everyone keeps their cool, you realize it’s not such a big deal.

52. At 32 mph. And riding home from it while a friend is on the way to the hospital with a summer off the bike to look forward to. I didn’t feel lucky. I felt guilty.

54. Just imagine an invisible hand inside your chest grabbing your heart and squeezing. Now think to yourself, “oh SHIT.”

56. The holy grail of winter riding. Live it: one extra layer – beneath your wind protection - for every 10 degrees below 50. Always include a thermal layer. 30 degrees = wind protection, thermal layer, and 2 t-shirts, preferably tech tees that have wicking capability.

60. Wow. Noted.

64 -65. Just want to point out the irony of these two being together.

69. A great confidence builder.

71. And the beginning. And the end. And around the corner from home…

74 and 75. “Ride lots.” “But not too much.”

Now they start getting good…

81. This really brings out your sense of humor.

84. Or driving someplace you’ve always ridden.

85. See 7 and 8. This happened to me twice on this day, about 5 minutes apart. The first dog was kinda funny, really loud and just look happy. The “oh shit” sprint came as the second dog shot around the end of the fence at full speed without making a sound. Scared the hell out of me. I would’ve won my first race with that sprint.

86. Never been to France, but anyone who’s climbed Black Mountain near San Luis Obispo can attest to the feeling at the top. Through tears.

87. We’re a testy bunch, aren’t we? I hate to say it, but there are some days, if you wearing the Bert and Ernie Primalwear, with hairy legs, and visor on your helmet, I’m not waving back.

89. This is a big one, being confident enough to holster that shit on a rest day, when the guy in the Bert and Ernie Primalwear, with hairy legs, and visor on his helmet passes you.

94. Coworkers. Every day.

97. Ride the North Shore Century and experience this feeling for 6 straight hours.

98. Sigh.

99. Ironic.

100. Thanks, Luke.

105. When you come out of the slipstream, you know it.

106. Sad trombone sound.

108. When I got my first aerowheels with tubulars, my first race I discovered the valve stem clicked with every revolution. I soon got very tired of, “nothing’s wrong with it, it’s just the valve.” Solution, a piece of grass used as a shim.

1 comment:

Erik said...

When #96 and #97 happened to me at the same time I was supremely plussed.