pedaling into work today ~ dropping over fog-laden hills, pushing past chug-a-smug audimobiles and dancing a jig or two on the speedplays ... i was flashed-back in the mentals to my very first bike race. It was sometime back in the late 90's when I had made the swap from tri to bi-geek.
oh, what a menace was i.
To describe my freddiness ... let me pick a few items of illustration:
- my first 5 flats = taken to a bike shop to fix.
- chain lube?
- 53/42 x 12/21 ... ugh.
- green BELL helmet, four sizes ginormous and always slopped 45 degrees off the noggin.
- white sleeveless jersey ... every damn day.
- cadence = 6
- sprint = ... uh, you have to sprint?
- training = time trial ... every ride ... time trial.
- 37 degrees ... "knee warmers? what are those?"
- "i can't wait for the group ride!"
Weather was not a consideration as I drove to my first bike race. It was an early March affair in the southwest where shorts and jersey are standard issue 9 months out of the year. But, as I rolled into the parking lot for the race, so too did one of those freaky high desert storms that wail and buffet like only the schizophrenic can.
No gloves, no leggings, no booties ... no worries. "I'll be warm once we get going." - famous last words. I have never, ever been that cold since. I recall the snow caked on my lips and eyebrows. I recall the total inability to shift or even grab the brake levers. And most of all, I recall the 3 man break getting away from us early because the snow storm had blurred us into inactivity. Damn it ... i shoulda made that break.
My first bike race, like every one of my bike races since ... logged, mapped out, relished.
me = lucky bastard