Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We're Cycling in the Rain, Just Cycling in the Rain

Who hasn't read the inspiring and brutally self-aggrandizing passages of Lance Armstrong book where he describes long mountain rides in the rain and cold while his competitors are spinning for an hour a day in their basements through the winter. Of course Lance was a professional cyclist, something he did for a living.  He was paid to get on that bike and excel just like I am paid to lay bricks day after day in strategically geometric patterns. Certainly cold and rain would not keep me from brick laying or sharpening my brick construction implements.

But why in the hell was I out in the rain today riding my bike for 50 miles when I could have been (a) laying bricks, (b) watching TV, (c) cleaning the house, (d) spinning on the trainer, or (e) preparing giant Cantaloupe balls for dinner. For that matter why were Superdraft, MarkY Mark, KenS, and Clyde Taint Watts out there with me? Is it some primal warrior spirit trying to erupt from the mollifying masks of civilized life? For crying out loud, KenS is like a zillion years old and retired and he had poor Clyde crying on Price Mill Hill for mercy.

For me the Wednesday ride is imperative to consolidate any gains from surviving WBLs and preparing for the next. Why it is so important to me to do this stuff I have no idea. Endorphins? People telling me, "Hey antelope dude, your riding pretty tight lately." Is my self-esteem so fragile that I have to dedicate myself to some esoteric European sport on a daily basis to derive some meaning in life?

Well, yes.  I have come to the conclusion that life is a disease and cycling (and maybe one day grandchildren) are the cure. Well maybe not the cure but it keeps the disease at bay anyway.

So we rode. It wasn't really supposed to drizzle the whole time and then start really saturating us the final 15 miles. It really wasn't so bad the first 35 miles. Great group of guys, KenS was riding super strong, and the Wednesday route is quite nice after the first 10 miles up and down new high shoals. By Fairplay it was getting a bit old as everyone's clothes were soaking and the temperature was heading southward. We survived and put in a solid 50 at 17.5.

Given the epic-ness of today's ride I have updated the Antelope Survival Challenge to give points to Clyde, Ken, Marky, and Superdraft. Ken rode in dominating style without a complaint--2 points. Marky decided he didn't need a jacket or shoe covers and so gets 2 points for hypothermia. Clyde, 2 points for taking his whupping like a man, making no excuses despite not having ridden for 3 weeks. Superdraft gets 2 points for overcoming a tendency to avoid  cold wet weather (why would someone do that?) and for looking so miserable in Fairplay.

By the way, you know that asshole you ride with who you can usually beat but if you like have pneumonia or haven't ridden in a month, he will take that opportunity to race you up every hill? Well I am that asshole. Like a hyena or a jackal I wait for the competition to be wounded and then I strike. Am I proud? No. But dammit, every so often I want to be up that hill first and see other people dropping away. hey if I could do it against healthy, fit people, I would. I'm just taking what I can get. This may also explain the nickname I earned and why my wife gave me this cool jersey which I feel I must include in every post this week:
You haven't ridden in a month? No I won't hammer on the hills, I promise!
Of course this is not necessarily a moral failing. It could be genetic or biological and thus there is nothing to be done about this behavior. Just look at these guys, this definitely supports the biology theory:

Big rides on Saturday, if you didn't get wet outside, better get on that trainer.

1 comment:

  1. Well done, fellas! I couldn't break away from the lab yesterday. I commuted home by bike around 5:00 p.m., and within five minutes my shoes were totally full of water. Tip o' the hat to you guys.

    - Ben S.