|My god but you are a lard ass Antelope Athens!|
What has me thinking about beholders is a conversation with my lovely Gazelle friend Sandra. If you have already forgotten what a Gazelle is you can review the cycling animal totem at the top of the area Group Ride Calendar. Now Sandra probably doesn't think of herself as a Gazelle because she actually pretends there is some sort of life humans can have outside of cycling. I have heard of such nonsense and believe it may possibly be true when my son one day procreates and makes me a grandfather. Until then, there is cycling, and the stuff you have to do during the day to support the habit.
So Sandra says that she will not ridicule my weight and thinks its ridiculous because I am in fine shape. I have heard this fiction from others, particularly in the non cycling world inhabited by people I call "citizens." Citizens are people who not only are not gazelles or coyotes, they don't do any endurance athletics at all. So when they say "did you ride your bike yesterday?" and you say, "well I did a slow recovery ride, about 25 miles." They then say "My god, 25 miles!" I don't know how you survive!" Like I said, "citizens." So to non cyclists and cyclists who may be a bit more into recreation than sport, I appear to be less than fat.
To your average cheetah, however, I am a chunk of mildly pathetic, middle age meat hanging by a thread on every big hill. Just so you don't think I am overly pessimistic, I want to state that this actually is very good news and great progress. I have graduated from pathetic to mildly pathetic. I realized after riding Sunday with the big boys that I no longer wear diapers in the peloton. In fact, I believe that it wouldn't be bragging to say that I now wear pull ups, and big boy underwear may be a real possibility in the future.
Let me bring you up to date. This Saturday the WBL was cancelled due to fowl weather
|Looks pretty fowl out here, better cancel the ride.|
On Sunday, the fowl cleared out and so I headed to JJ's for the Single file Sunday ride at 10am. Only the Cheetah Jefe had changed the ride to 12pm. A few other guys and I did a quick 25 miles to warm up and get back for real ride. We get back and I'm thinking, "oh shit, I'm cold, I already feel tired and these guys are going to hammer for 3 hours." It was a moment of truth. Was I going to fight or fold? I decided to fight. I made sure I had my phone had enough charge so I could use the GPS app to get home if I was stranded in the boonies and joined the ride.
It was a thigh burning extravaganza, 60 miles at 21 mph. Relentless. I hardly had time to look up and appreciate the beauty of the countryside around (Stephen) Colbert, Ga home of the iconic talking head on comedy central. I hung on fairly well in general. Around mile 30 there was a long false flat and I stayed strong but when the road actually flattened the pace kicked up and then I was tired and fighting to deal with the acceleration. I watched the wheel in front of me inching away when a friendly cheetah paw suddenly though gently made contact with my lower back. Those few pounds of pressure are like magic, I was back on the wheel and in my groove. I rasped a hoarse, "thanks dude!" and inwardly blessed this kind cheetah.
I hung tight until around mile 45 when we hit a real hill, not a roller. The grupetto all stood up and started "dancing on the pedals" as it was just too much hill to sit and spin at pace. Unfortunately my dance lasted only 50 yards of a 250 yard hill before I had to sit down, shift into granny and cry in that quiet place deep inside. I will say that there was a guy behind me who seemed to use my surrender as a reason to sit and spin on my wheel. The two of us watched the pack roll away as we struggled up the last of the hill. As we finally crested, I saw that indeed, in the eyes of the Cheetahs, I had graduated from diapers to pull ups. For the second time on a SFSunday ride, the group waited after I cracked on a hill. I believe this means that the group leadership doesn't think I am so pathetic that they should leave me behind when I crack so that I won't be a drag to the ride's pace. And don't doubt, these guys will leave you if you are too slow. So I feel pretty good about this. Maybe I belong?
I also realized that I'm not going to get up the hill with these guys at 190lb. Now, I realize I will never ride like a skinny 25 year old Cat 2, but this was just their steep hill climbing pace, they weren't trying to drop anyone. I saw a little of what happens when these guys really go when I got cracked again on the traditional sprint zone on Nowhere Rd. All of the sudden they are doing a pace that is just ridiculous. One day, I want to stand up on the pedals and make it up those steep hills with the group.
So while there was no WBL, Sunday was pretty epic. 85 miles, 60 of them at 21mph with SFSS. Almost a big boy now.