Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Racing with Dopers

When I "race," I pay little attention to anything except what is in front of me. That's probably because any time I "race" I have a lot of catching up to do. Complete focus helps me ride better and excel at my favorite aspect of cycling - riding technical sections. It also keeps me from having a heart attack, or at the least, vomiting.

In this photo of me "racing" there is an extremely large man in the foreground. I would venture to say that he is doing the very thing the slogan on my jersey refutes. Upon seeing this photo for the first time, I immediately thought it was a muscle suit. It clearly isn't. That leads to the most important reason why I focus - I really don't need to see that. If I did, I'd go to the gym.

Thanks to Heather Keeling for taking the photos.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cyclocross - Off the Couch and Into the Fire

I did my first cyclocross race yesterday. It wasn't pretty. First of all, I raced on my singlespeed mountain bike. Fat tires are slow. Fat tires collect mud. Fat tires feel like flat tires in sloppy mud. My bike gained at least 15 pounds in the hour I "raced." Conversely, fat tires do handle well in the corners and in the technical sections ... and that was about the only place I passed anyone yesterday.

Secondly, and I am not using this as an excuse for m
y performance, I was what cyclists call just off the couch, or JOTC. I've barely ridden my bike in the past month, thanks to a week-long battle with what was undoubtedly the swine flu. Or the bird flu. Or the ebola virus. Whatever it was, I wanted to die for several days. To top it off, I traveled to Colorado for a business trip the following week. That's a long time to be off the saddle, especially when most of yesterday's racers have been training and eating healthy. For me, it has been lots of beers and fast food lately; in fact, whilst in Colorado, hungover from Halloween's epic evening, I ate a McDonalds Big 'N Tasty with fries, followed by a Good Times Deluxe Burger not more than 30 minutes later. Try that for cyclocross training.

Most of this rant probably sounds like an excuse. And maybe it is. But honestly, who cares how I placed? I got to ride my bike with a bunch of similar freaks - a couple wearing nothing but whitey tighties - in the mud and in the rain. Some days that's all this piggy needs.