Aside from looking at pics and video of the big cross races there is plenty to be read right now. The bloggers are running off at the keyboard espousing thoughts on what failed (oddly more than what worked with the exception of mud and cowbells- who is almost always positive!) Me? I won't bore anyone with race reports, in depth equipment reviews-BTW my Ridley X-Fire killed it this year-and I know already what will be under me next year. The gather and hoarding will begin as soon as I purge the shit that is cluttering up my garage. I too dream of supple casings (no, not sausage) and well put together machines. But, for now other work takes the place of the bike. Too sketchy in a ski town to ride right now aside from the trails that are too soft if you don't have a Pugsley instead rollers and skis, ideally both.
Working around the gluttony that the holidays foster has me balancing the treats with the work and trying to stay a bit hungry, OCDs aside the caloric accountant has a bit of holiday. It's not even January. Plenty of time to do 3 hours on a bowl of oatmeal and a Mojo bar later in the winter. In the meantime I'll dive in and out of the light, try to push home a few efforts that need to appear and avoid the crowds. 9 pm grocery store visits and no crossing of Main St. for 2 weeks.
I missed the call this year, not setting up a real mud/snow day set of tubulars. Yesterday combined with the Blue Sky Cup a month ago put to right why that was a mistake. On a borrowed clincher (first time racing them since September) I rolled the front tire on an off camber high speed section while off the front with the eventual Winner. I earned 9 months of motivation yesterday, Road, MTB again is all gravy leading up to cross. Time to take a little break and get outside on the other stuff, no need to push 2010 yet, just get my shit together and make sure I have it all dialed for the fall.
You know when you sit down to eat your nice gentrified "Mexican" burrito you try to relax and get through the rest of your day and the burrito place you have chosen to spend about $8 at decided it would be kitschy to play Mexican pop music. Well, that's not what I want for my American burrito experience. I prefer to have whatever other shit on the stereo they play. If I wanted Mexican pop music then wouldn't I go to a proper lard-using, questionable meat serving hole in the wall that serves menudo on Tuesdays? I know I would. The concept of eating my pseudo Mexican food in an environment stretching toward authenticity unnerves me. Where do they think they are? The only thing whiter than the snow around here is the clientele, pathetic as that sounds who are they trying to fool? Again eat at a real Mexican place and roll the dice, I will next time.
We are looking for a new house, we have outgrown the one we have. I was told that we are going to look at one tonight, there are 8 people living in this house, 2 parents and 6 kids, all 6 kids are home schooled by the mother. I asked if they were religious, when the reply was "Yes" I asked "Snakes or Roosters?" So, I'm not expecting to find any live rodents. Maybe an altar though.
One of the last times I rode West Ridge outside of a race it was so hot I had to stop and wring out my helmet and quiet the deafening echo of my heartbeat in my head. Riding the Ferrous (single) and the body English and stubbornness to not put a foot down or stop almost made me blackout. A 32:16 under me, not the best choice for that climb, but at the top I felt cleansed. Relieved of some weakness that had been lingering for some time, always better to try things the hard way. Like I said stubborn. Over the top the rigid fork and long descent again cleaned me a little more. The smile was sometimes hidden behind my gasping for air but it’s always there. I see the pictures from races and though I lack the Chris Horner/Ivan Basso smile-grimace I know I’m happy, always better to try to put out a good effort and appear smooth doing it, opposed to the bleeding out your eyes in a look of awful pain.
Excuses are always the same, thin and useless, kind of like a shitty chamois. I almost didn't ride yesterday when the snow was falling and the reward came in the form of a clear afternoon. The guilt would have been too much if the day was wasted. Especially in February when I'm back out there in the shit.
Today it was 17 degrees, with about a 15 mph headwind the whole way to work over frosted, iced, not yummy, slick path. It was beautiful, the tempo only slightly kept the body from shutting down. Even after 40 minutes I had chilled digits through booties and good lobster paws. The ice cream headache only made me look forward to winter rides. I don't think I got stronger today but I'll find out Saturday how pure the fuel is and what the purity pays.
I have a few vices. Cross of course being one of them, I don't know and never will know how much it has cost me, whether it's money, time, or pain. The key is the clean feeling I get after a race. Pure, unadulterated emptiness. If I finish a race with anything left, I cheated myself.
I'm a little jealous of this horse. He has all he needs right there. His food? Check. His Coat? Check. What else would he need? I ride past him nearly everyday, at least twice and I'm envious of the simplicity he has that I don't. I've been clearing crap out for a while, getting rid of old parts, jerseys and bits that are clogging up the closet, attic and shed. I don't have a garage which I am OK with, more nooks and crannies to fill with extra stuff. eBay or giveaway, it doesn't matter to me. I just need to narrow the criteria for what gets to stay, and give that much more stuff walking papers.
This is what my left leg looked like after 180 km last Wednesday, it was hard but I didn't feel crappy. I guess your first 150+ km day coming in September is about as good as you could get. I mean, I had all summer to ride and be fit. Now I stand around wondering when the other pain will become commonplace, is it this weekend or will it take a while. An hour at the limit instead of 6 hours wondering the limit is.