11 February, 2007
I Rode Both Days this Weekend!
'bout damn time! yup. the weather finally was agreeable, no snow, and i hit the road bike outside. first time since october. called up my teammate and buddy chris at 7:30 on a saturday morning. he was still asleep. here's chris' deal: chris is a good boy who's getting his masters in mechanical engineering. after that he plans to either live in australia or paris. as a teammate he is vertically challenged but if the course profile's flat, he does a real good impression of the tgv. he's one of the most charitable fellows i know as well. on team rides if someone's hurting he'll be the first one to drop off the back and pace 'em back to the pack or back home for that matter. his sense of humor is kinda wacked too, that's why i like him. his girly-girl, kendra (who's also pretty cool), just left for australia. they both have a bad case of the wanderlust so when kendra heard of a job opening, she left and has a house to live in for a while with good friends until she can find her own joint. i believe one of her housemates is an american. anyhoo, when i arrived at chris' joint he was telling me of how aussies don't like to have shizzle mailed to their country if it exceeds a certain proportionate girth. they'll take it but it'll cost you; for example, he wanted to mail her bike in a bike box and it would cost $500. damn those former penal colonial british bastidges. speaking of which, that john howard individual rhetorically bashing on mr. o'bama is pretty uncool as the spineless prime minister of said country...
once we role, i forget to mount my fender. i ask chris and he says, "nah, but you'll be as wet as me." i listened but it was a bad decision. nothing like road grime on your cycling kit and water in your bum to keep your chamois nice and damp.
on the cherry creek bike path we ride and it's waterway central. so i do my organic impression of a fender, whenever i see a puddle ahead, by putting my hand (palm out) in front of my bum crack as a barrier to hydrogen hydroxide. over time, during the two hour ride, my gloved, right-hand gets sopping wet. we hit some icy patches but if your confidence is up and you have some speed, you slide in a straight line right over it. some patches are super long and we dismount. after the second ice patch, a girl in a texas jersey rides over the patch i just walked. i find out she's a newly transplanted texan, who graduated from texas, and is a bit planner for kosi and some other local station. chris and i invited her on the ride to the golden (,co) starbucks. on our rides, chris, who's a talker, makes for interesting conversations. i remember one time when chris and i met kenny l. at his new place for a ride, chris tore into a diatribe against homophobic, sanctimonious, fundamentalist christians invoked by kenny's annoyance of his district's voting habits. it was both funny and protracted at the same time. that's why we love him that christopher. we get back at chris' and we mutually admire our efforts and the thermal righteousness involved during our vitamin d synthesis due to exposure to sunlight. this was our first ride (back) since the october (november, december and counting...) blizzards of '06.
sunday would be a short, solo ride because my in-laws, who're awesome by the way, were coming over for dinner. i do the lookout mountain loop starting from morrison: up lookout, down the i-70 frontage road, pass red rocks, back into morrison. i do my cardinal sin of riding with an ipod. what's playing currently are these lovely pieces of sonic candy: fountains of wayne's welcome interstate managers, tv on the radio's return to cookie mountain, and my chemical romance's the black parade.
fountains of wayne is pop in its most glorious form. yeah the lyrics aren't deep but it sure does have some nice hooks. see alec's review for tv on the radio. and lastly my chemical romance draws from heavy, past greats like the who's quadrophenia, the beatle's sgt. peppers, pink floyd's the wall, with some c/overt queen-esque style guitar licks and vocals. my goal on sunday was to go fat burning pace and climb lookout in my penultimate granny gear (39x19), just in case i have to bail. on my way up during some switchbacky portions, i see this chump trying to chase me down. i don't pick up the pace because i don't want to become poisoned by testosterone (one guy riding it's a ride; two guys riding-especially if one's unknown-it's a race). i don't mind someone drafting off me but when they start half-wheeling me, it's annoying. pack protocol requires alternating leads so all can benefit from the slipstream. he doesn't. therefore, i mentally prepare myself to put the smackdown once the finish line is near (it's the buffalo bill grave sign marker). at this point, near the top with about 500 meters to go, the sun's at our backs and i can see his shadow's hydro encephalitic head bobbing like a metronome behind me. it's getting close, 200 or so to go, so i drop it a couple of gears (i don't hear him breathing to gauge his intensity because of my earbuds on) and i still see his gargantuan mellon bobbing behind me. after the last switchback it's less than a 100 meters to the sign and i slap it on the big ring and do a poor impersonation of the lion king, mario cipollini. no shadow. i win. poseur loses. ah yeauh. i wanted to yell (but didn't), "you got hosed by a 40-year old fat guy who rides twice a week, beeyahhtch!" testosterone poisoning has occurred. shnap.
here's why i ride: riding and meditating (two things i wish i could do more of) accomplishes the same thing - a quieting of the mind. contradictorily, in meditation you're as mellow as can be, but cycling's the opposite because you're active (duh!). how cycling quiets the mind-for me at least-is when the pilot's one with the bike. when the pedaling cadence is in-sync with your breathing rate that's also in-sync with your heart rate a magical thing occurs in your brain. i refer it to "white noise" for you stereophiles. it's soothing and elating at the same time. when all levels of cycling are achieved on the bike like: a mechanically sound (when i say "sound" she should be pretty quiet) steed, perceived effort of intensity's attenuated, all rhythmic components synchronized, it all adds up to an illuminating experience. like any esoteric sport (stuff the major networks don't show), talking about the highs are like speaking a foreign language to the unenlightened.
ps. the picture above is what i think's the most magical place in colorado: crested butte. as my boy javier can attest, this picture is of the elk mountain range on the road up to gothic, to mountain bike trail 401 or schoefield's pass. if you continue up the pass, and there's no avalanche blocking your progress it'll eventually drop you into aspen (not the most magical place in colorado).