Power Love

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10 July 2007

Oh, Shit.

What is a 2-person time trial? For those of you cyclists out there, you know this is a chance to share the load of pain, usually with a fitness-similar friend, because what is friendship without pain, and you both "work together" to eat up road with robot-like efficiency and win your category because, after all, this is A Race.

For those of you noncyclists out there, you know that you have to be bat shit crazy to get on a bicycle in 90-degree weather and go as fast as you can around a rectangle of corn fields. You also no doubt know that you have to be even battier shit crazy to wake up at 5am and drive 2 hours to get to said rectangle of corn fields.

But this is not about logic. This is about bike racing.

This is me and Ginga Mojo at the start. This picture was taken by Jennifer Hill, photographer to the stars.

I'm smiling because I'm thinking how cool it would be to have a time trial bike. I don't have a time trial bike. I have aero bars, though, which are allegedly something you should use during a time trial, but I wasn't using them because I love to make an already difficult situation difficulter. If you can't be your own worst enemy, then I ask you--who are you?

Apparently, you are also supposed to wear a skin suit while time trialing. Cyclists will know that skinsuits help you achieve that perfect aerodynamic slickness necessary for perfect aerodynamic racerliness. Noncyclists will note that skin suits are yet another example of the cycling community's gross violation of all fashion rules known to mankind.

I can say that I've ridden Ginga Mojo's wheel somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,567 miles. In that time, I have been relaxed and unnervous, happy to be with a friend, and confident that I can find my place to draft and know that The Ging will do nothing that even vaguely represents a bobble or a weave. Cyclists will note that this is an ideal situation to be in. Noncyclists have probably stopped reading.

So, it was with some surprise that I noted at about the .005 mile mark that my bionic legs were not working. Of course, this had to be because I was not finding that one teeny tiny little spot behind my partner that would provide me with the protection from the wind that I needed. The problem here is, that first stretch was not the windy part.

The second stretch, around turn 1, is the windy part. It is like riding into the mouth of an Earth-sized hair dryer turned on high. If you have just spent that last 5 miles wondering how your real legs were left in the car while someone surreptitiously replaced them with these fake, heavy, go-slow legs, turning into a hair dryer will no doubt cause you to say something poetic like, "Oh, holy shit." I would suggest that you not say this too loud as it does not do much for team morale.

Unless you're riding with Ginga Mojo, then really, all you have to do is hang on and thank whatever higher being you thank when you know you are sucking ass and you have a friend around to pick up the pieces.

Cyclists will see what is coming at this point--I did no work except for the occassional cry of, "Wait!" that included a mental hamster wheel of self-loathing and scathing insults toward myself that ran around my head with sprinter-like quickness. Noncyclists will understand this as a need for an intervention.

These people are smiling because this is the Before Picture. Also, they know they are going to go really, really fast on really, really cool bikes.

This is the After Picture. Even the bikes had to sit down.