La Vida Wanker

La Vida Wanker

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tour of Elk Grove

Frequently, people ask me how my race went. It’s an innocuous enough of a question. There is no harm meant by it. On the contrary, it is generally said to begin a conversation or foster friendship.

And for most people, the question elicits a decent answer and leads to a familiar enough refrain:

“Hey Timmy Tuesday, how did your race go?”

“Oh, well things were going great until I choked on my gel, accidentally defecated myself, managed to roll m
y tubular and snap my seat off simultaneously—sending the seatpost into my posterior with the force of a thousand Leibos on a single scale and the carbon Zipp shards into my eye with a velocity equal to that of Lemond’s whining squared. Other than that though, things were rather cheery out there.”

“Well, there’s always tomorrow.”

“Yeah, I guess so. I mean, I’m blind, have a seatpost stuck up my ass and crashed at the biggest race of the year, but yeah, there is always tomorrow! Just look at GWB’s second term or
Speed Two: Cruise Control—a great four, debt free, peaceful years and a wonderful cinematic sequel. Who knows what tomorrow holds then, right?”

“Timmy Tuesday, it’s always a pleasure talking to you.”

In reality, Timmy Tuesday is too meek to regularly tell the unregulated truth. Instead, he says something like:

“Oh, things didn’t go great out there, but I did some work for my teammates and finished to the best of my abilities. And there is always tomorrow!”

Well, I’ll take a book out of Timmy Tuesday’s page. (Yes, you read that right.)

Here is what happened:

I don’t turn well. Sometimes it’s left turns and sometimes it’s right turns. Maybe I’m dyslexic. Maybe I’m just plain stupid. But at every race, I suck at either turning right or left—thankfully, never both.

(Another reason why I love track?)

Anyway, today I couldn’t properly execute a right turn—regardless of speed. Thankfully, the course had only a single right turn.

But I managed to open a huge gap into and out of that turn every lap. The gap necessitated a massive sprint from someone who had just sprinted out of a 180 degree turn and prides himself on never getting out of the seat.

Chapeau Scottie Too Hottie.

(BTW, how the hell did I of all people get that nickname. I pray for the definition of the word that it’s sarcastic or something.)

Beyond the right turning, I couldn’t shift well. Again, this is not an excuse or a mechanical failure but a reality. I have been dealing with this issue all year.

Likely, my inability to shift is directly related to either a) my weight or b) my right hand. Other lighter people ride my bike and it shifts fine. I shift my bike on the stand with my left hand and it shifts well. I get on my bike and try to shift with my right hand and...

Despite all the issues, the race started well enough. Then there was a crash after I was dropped in the right turn and chased back on. I was gapped and out of the race.

To earn a free lap, I rode an additional lap chasing and crashed into neutral support’s tent. Taking pity on me and realizing my inability to affect the outcome of the race, the officials granted me a free lap.

When the pack went past and I was thrown in, I couldn’t figure out how to clip in or shift. Granted, I’ve been racing for five years, but the basics are sometimes impossible to master.

(Ask Maddoff, even the financial wizard didn’t know he was mistakenly running a Ponzi scheme, the most basic of all fraudulent financial business. So yeah, even the pros screw up sometimes.)

Anyway, once I reintegrated with the pack, I actually managed to move up and felt great when Tom Petty (sorry, JoKO) rode my wheel up to the thick underbelly of the peleton. Naturally, I then drifted back.

Secure in my position at the rear of the pack, I noticed a gap beginning to open. Knowing that there was nobody behind me, I wait for the person behind me to close the gap. When I finally realize that nobody is not coming, I close it myself only to watch another gap open ahead of me.

This time, the riders behind me pull forward and we all catch back on. But I never fully latch unto the tail of the pack. Within several laps, I am shelled.

Such, my friends, is bike racing.

(See readers, I do love you all. I called you my friends!)

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