AS THE BOTTOM BRACKET CREAKS, Episode 2
True story: Just this morning, I was thinking how awesome it’d be if I didn’t have to go to work and had a ton of money—at the time I was arguing with my alarm (arguing=smashing it) who, at 5:30am, will not shut up, and who, if I had a ton of money, would get its ass beat because I would pay a very large goon with a very strong right hook to kick its ass—and then at lunch, I heard Pink Floyd’s, “Money,” blaring out of a restaurant’s speakers, on repeat, and it was, in fact, a ton of money. See how the Universe is working with me, Alert Power Love Reader? It’s uncanny.
But today’s post has nothing to do with that. Today’s post is, as promised and deliciously anticipated, all about:
BIKE RACE #1 OF 2008
This race was held in the gorgeous, unpeopled countryside of Plainfield, Illinois, and was hosted by the Joliet Bicycle Club. Start time for Elite Level Beginning Women Category 62 was 8am. Since no start list was posted on the interwebnets, I was unable to scout my competition. That is no matter because I have recently completed a block of training that serious cyclers call The Bat Shit Crazy Superhero Phase of Training, so really, I was ready for anything.
First, please take a moment to ogle the new Team Power Love team van. Basically, it’s a motorized chaise lounge for Her Majesty of Cannondale. Although, it does fit me and the voices in my head. So it’s very cozy. I would now like to pay respects to Goldie Hawnda for being a top-notch transportation device for lo these many years and may you have luck and love wherever that charity I donated you to sends you, Goldie Hawnda. Also, may you find that fourth wheel.
Back to the races!
Race #1 was odd in that the start had no official, no official giving rules to the field (rules: no chopping off people’s heads in the last corner where no one can see you; no eating pizza during the sprint; no doing handstands on your bars if you get in the break), and no official start gun. I’m a big fan of the start gun. Nothing says racing like a heart attack. Apparently, things have changed since I was last in The Game, and now we just ride off into the sun without any rhyme or reason. Because I am as flexible as a steel rod, this left me undeterred.
This was a 62-mile road race, with rest stops every 15 miles. I have never known a race to have rest stops, so again, I was confused. But there were sugar cookies at the rest stops, so I didn’t ask questions. Because I am as flexible as a steel rod and as quick as a sleeping slug, I quickly realized that I was not doing a 62-mile road race, I was really doing 4, 15-mile intervals.
This is the peloton. They look normal, until you get out onto the open road with them. See this one in the blue kit to the left? That’s GMo. She’s very lovely, until you get out in the open road with her. Then she will tear your legs off. See this one on the right? Mario, he likes to call himself. This one likes to say, “My legs are tired.” By that he means, “I will eat you for an appetizer and wonder what’s for dinner.”
This one on the right? Neil “I Don’t Like Pacelines” Van Halen. Or, as I like to call him, Mr. motor to the front and then drill it and crush everyone. Luckily, I brought my lasso. Like having a spare set of wheels in the pit, a lasso always comes in handy in emergency situations during bike races. The downside of a lasso is that you need to know how to use it in order for it to be effective, so my plan to rein in the speedy horse aliens I was riding with didn’t actually come to fruition.
At the end of the race, there was no finish line. Now, things may have changed greatly since I last raced, but I think a finish line is always a necessary part of any successful race situation, if only for the pretty flags that generally hang about and give the course a celebratory ambience.
As it turned out, there wasn’t a finish line because I wasn’t actually in a race. I was on the 4th of July ride. There were no cheering fans at the finish, no photographers snapping that last minute sprint at the end, no puking your guts out all over your bike and realizing that cleaning vomit from your derailleur is a big, fat pain in the ass. No, instead there were hot dogs. And chips. And watermelon. And this is where I really shined, because that is my milieu, if you will, and I rock at it.