26 April, 2008
Mt. Biking Machismo?
my boy hez-billy (get it? like hezbollah 'cept it's the exact opposite in philosophy) and i went for a last minute mountain bike ride at mount falcon before a nasty cold front came in (to ruin saturday's-today-riding). this would be my first ride off-road for '08. i intended it to be chilly-chill and we could shoot the shizzle as we endured a tortuous climb. the local folks treat this place as their p.r. setting joint or as a litmus test of their climbing skill (it's kinda technical). so it becomes really adversarial as you see climbers ahead of you because of your y-chromosome (or, if you see someone behind you you pick up your pace). the first part of the climb has some mild obstacles in the form of obtuse erosion barriers. it zaps your speed but if you time it just right there's a high probability you'll clean 'em. billy and i are chillin' climbing with some difficulty but not in the red zone and we're talking and breathing. we're both in our lactate thresholds i'm sure. and here comes this guy. i knew he was pushing it to reach us because i was in the parking lot first waiting for billy and he made sure that we'd be in front of him for the climb acting as "rabbits" for him. i wanted to chill with billy but my testosterone took over. as soon as this dude passed billy, i dropped it a gear and got into roady mode. sho' nuff i put a nice gap on him and whenever i could slap it in the middle ring i did. sho' nuff again a little bit ahead on the climb i see another dude and set my sights on him. he dab'd on a technical part of the climb where i cleaned it and kept my momentum. i passed him making sure i controlled my breathing as my non-verbal actions convey to him, "not only am i not breathing hard but i will add insult to injury and pass you. yup, dats right." i hear him match my rpms when he shifts gears. i tell myself, "ite brah, i'm going to mash these pedals just below my anaerobic threshold and if you can still hang (or even pass me), my hat's off to you." he doesn't and my testosterone has completely possessed me. i have tunnel vision of climbing like bernard hinault in some tour in the eighty's when he shafted america's golden boy: greg lemond. i reach the top and go back down to where billy is so we can ride up together. how foolish is that? i mean my behavior. i guess that's why i race so i can do spur of the moment foolishness with my legs and remotely feel satisfied about doing that. sorry y'all (okay, i'm really not).