Thursday, June 7, 2012

What? Me? .....NO!

This has all been said before, so you can stop reading right now.  No, really you can stop... because I have said it once, twice, three times a lady.  This thing, this tool, this toy that has many names.  The bi-wheeled contraption.  What ever it is to you, it is a very important part of my life.  I rediscovered the bicycle 14 years ago this month.  The snow was melting on the Wasatch and I heard of a Texan that was racing bikes in a place called Tour de, or something like that.  I swore off spandex and decided that the fat tires were just the thing for me.  I loved to snowboard on the mountains, might as well put some rubber down on them.

Fast forward a few years and the bike moved with me to the no-mountains of Oklahoma. I was a big time mountain biker from Utah, what could I possibly learn in OK?  Everything.  I sacrificed blood and flesh to the "mountain" that we call Turkey.  Humble pie is not a tasty thing.  I was schooled every time knobby touched rock and root.  Don't get me wrong, I am not what I would consider a "good" rider, but I do have fun and I acquired the skills to do what makes me happy.  In my book that is all that maters, anything else and you are way to serious.  Have fun.

The problem with addiction is that you reach a point and you have to have more, and once you get more, you need more.  And the cycle continues.  [no pun]  [ok, maybe just a little]  I was bummed on the days that it was too wet to ride Turkey and I did not want to ride my mtb on the road.  So.  Naturally I bought a road bike.  Still swore off spandex. Then a funny thing happened. Tulsa Tough.  I was already a cycling fan, thanks to Lance, but now I had the chance to see it up close.  Close enough to feel the wind of the draft blow by like a gust front.  The sound of freewheels on a downhill, the shifting of gears transmitting through a carbon wheel, the zip of hundreds of chains being turned in anger...

I was hooked, even more so than before.  Addiction turns into obsession turns into a lifestyle.  Admittance is the first step?  I'm a sick junkie.  Get the Thorazine, find a nice "hug yourself jacket", padded cell for one -please.  I look at porn on the internet, yes I will admit it.  I go to sites like Cicli Pinarello Dedacciai Ridley etc etc etc.  What can I say, I have a problem, and I like Italian sexiness and Belgian prowess.  It does pain me so that I do not own a Campy groupo.  Oh, to have Italian sexiness firmly in my grasp, with a freehub that speaks "bedroom".  Someday.

This is only a few steps above shooting heroin or snorting lines.  Eat, sleep, dream.  Bikes.  I don't have room in my life for anyone who does not think the same way.  I surround myself with junkies, I try and convert "regular" people into cycling.  If you are crazy and you can get more people to think and act the way you do, the less crazy you look.  It's a cult, want to join? Would you like some cool-aid?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Water Carrier

I can't tell you how much I hate reading cyclist's blogs about how they did in their last race.  I mean seriously post some pictures of yourself and tell all of us how much you love you.  I'm tired of just the total self love out there, and really, if you are gonna write about you, you might as well tell the truth.  What happens in races and what gets transformed into words seems to take a transformation that just does not seem to equal the sum of the parts.  I'm not throwing stones at anyone in particular, I'm just being general.  Truth in journalism, I mean blogs.

With that being said... I raced this race the other day, and I was so awesome I was asked on the spot to become PRO and race in Europe.  Just like that.  True story.  Then I woke up realized I had been asleep and decided to make some coffee and breakfast.  I did race a race the other day for the first time in, a long time.  It was a un-retirement ,it's not that I retired -I just have not had the time or money.  Wait for it, it is coming... the point to this.  Don't skip ahead and spoil the ending.  You silly monkey.

Can't tell you how good it felt to turn blood into acid, lungs into barbed wire, and legs into cement.  I love that feeling of turning ones-self inside out, because one can.  It is not a self-loathing torment, but rather a rendering of ones soul on a physical level that has the power to heal.  The true feeling of goodness is when you do this with people you share a common bond, or a common jersey and bibs.  I'm talking about my teammates.  Teammates that work and suffer together for a common purpose.  Selfless teammates that know, that understand what they need to do to accomplish greatness.

Cycling is not a stick and ball sport.  Cycling is about teammates working together so that only one can claim victory.  Yes, there is only one First Place, and there can be only one winner.  Why would you enter a race and not try and win?  Who does this?  That is just so stupid not to try and win every time you toe the line.  I feel that there is no explanation as to why I would work rather than win, but it is an argument waiting to happen.  Eddy Merckx once said that a Belgian child knows more about cycling than the United States does collectively.  There is some truth to that.  There are Stars and there are Water carriers.  The true power lies in knowing which one you are.

I'm gonna flip it on you this time... in life you need to know for what or who you are working.  Going for the Win might mean different things to different people.  Knowing your station in life and doing that job to the best of your ability is true LIVIN'.  You are not what you do...

 "you are not the contents of your wallet." -Tyler  FC