Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Hunger

Its upon me. Gnawing at my midsection like an alien embryo. I have instructed google to let me know every time the object of my desire is mentioned anywhere in the google-verse. I now officially think about  this more often then sex. Between the two I have barely had time to lay a brick this week.

I must have a new mountain bike.

I don't know when the passion ended for my present steed. In its a day it was a stud. A 2006 Stumpjumper FSR, Expert trim.
but Antelope, don't you love me anymore?
I got it lightly used for half of retail. It made me faster and cared for me through rock gardens, tight single track, and the occasional hangover.  It has been a great friend but there's just something so alluring about...
You know u want me!
I never before considered myself a "big wheel man." I told my Stumpy, "honestly, 26 inch wheels are the perfect size, I don't need a bike with 29 inch wheels. All those guys on 29ers just have a wheel fixation." And I believed if for a long time. Those big wheels just made the ride too artificial, sticking out in unnatural ways, not hanging, er I mean flowing on the trail naturally. But now, well those big wheels  are taunting me, teasing me with the promise of rolling over every obstacle, higher speeds on flats and downhills, ignoring rocks and roots, pointing my bike like an arrow and flashing down the trail with ultimate stability, confidence, and a great big traction patch.

You may be thinking, "Well he lost to tallboy in the enduro and now he thinks he needs a new bike to keep up." To that I say
I will crush Tallboy if I have to ride a tricycle. BTW this aggression is part of my new PMA, courtesy of my coach Superdraft. I will comment on it further below.

But the point right now is I "need" a Giant Anthem X29er version 2. Bulldog colors and it matches my Cervelo. Granted it could use a couple up grades: lighter wheels, maybe a 2 x 10 drive train. But check out that 15mm thru axle, press fit bottom bracket, Maestro suspension...excuse me for a moment.

OK I'm back. You know any moment, protesters in Wisconsin could foment rebellion across the country and I could be struck dead by an errantly flung hunk of cheese. I would then have died without ever owning a 29er. Very sad.
In other news, hints of Spring are in the air and Saturday saw the first return of the Antelope Saturday morning ride. We had a great group of riders. Superdraft and Ben S were there
We'd better smile Ben, Dickhead might put this on the internet.
Dan the man made an appearance, always fit and ready to ride:

And Doug tried to bribe me not discuss him on the internet.

Come on Antelope, just put the camera away and Mr. Lincoln goes right into your pocket.
And Lenny was full of cheer.

Oh great, now he's going to start taking pictures of our butts again.
Spinmaster and the Bethinator rounded out the group. Now unbeknownst to me, these clever rapscallions had a prior meeting where they decided they would trick me into pulling 70% of the ride. Appealing to my desire to be a cheetah, they kept telling me how fit I looked.
Have you been losing weight?
Well theirdastardly scheme worked. I endeavored to pull like a mad man and be at the top of every hill first. This was also part of my new "take no prisoners" attitude. You see I have been consulting with Superdraft on how to make a jump in my cycling. When the light hits 'draft just right and he is sharing the wisdom, he looks kind of like Sheldon Brown.
Listen closely young Antelope your real limitations lie in....
Wise cyclists listen well when 'draft dispenses the wiz. Once, Clyde Watts was a weakling who couldn't climb three sets of stairs. After a season with Superdraft he is now an IronMan, with a tattoo and everything.

And 'draft explained that when the hill hurts the worst its about attitude, going beyond self imposed limits, trusting the leap into the abyss of pain. To ride like a beast or to ride like The Beast, one must think like a beast and compete like a beast. Its not about the pair that connects your feet to your hips, its about the other pair.

So I have been practicing my new attitudes, holding in my mind the thought that all people who ride a bike faster than me when I am trying to be faster than them are...evil and unless I pass them, they will destroy innocent children. This is quite a burden for me to bear, saving the world on my bicycle this way but if I can ride faster, produce 10 more watts for 5 more seconds. It will be worth it.

It was a fine ride and many children were saved. But there was a very special moment in the ride where I had to release my ferocity and access the more tender parts of my being. After many months of separation, I finally got to pet my dear, sweet, ass.
Cycle man, u r back!
It was a joyous reunion. The group was clearly moved when we embraced.
I missed you too little Ass
Our hearts lightened, we spun on finishing 60+ miles at over 18.5. A fine day.


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