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Monday, June 12, 2006

how to suffer ...

i suppose, because it is a choice ... that is what makes it such a poignant, fragile experience.

we are bike racers.

we are blessed with fighting over silly ribbons and mock hierarchies of skill, will, and strength of limb.

it is ... fluff and circumstance.

... and thank all that is heavenly we have the chance to do so.


i had a chance to do so this weekend. me and the VB partied a wee-bit geezer-like with da'PAB n' BunnyX. We goofed off, recharged, attacked hard, and ... risked.


So, at a critty-do down in Fremonty, it ended up that i was off the front with a bit less than half the race to go.

Now, when you're ridin' off the front solo ... it's true, the first ingredient is legs. You've got to have the knowledge of what your body can and can't do (yet). You've had to have put in the training to call upon during the race.

yikes ... analogy alert!

~ the reservoir of suffering ~

I visualize big efforts in bike racin' as being fueled from this overpuffed imaginary reservoir hooked into me from the biosphere. It stems down from the ether world, giving me strength ~ following me around like one of those feeder-suckling planes that recharges migs n' F-siddy's n' Hornetos ... or whatever them flyboys call their winged chariots.

This imaginary reservoir holds all the pain and power and strength of will i can use at any given moment. The size and fill of this source is contingent solely on the training - the hours of intervals, the quality of rests, the discipline of efforts that I have put forth in it's construction.

During races, that connection must be attended to with complete and utter concentration. Flushing open the valve unchecked will spill out the contents too quickly for replenishment to occur. Hording the precious fuel, on the other hand, will do nothing but limit engine velocity and end in ... constipation of the unused.

The key is to meter out the use of your reservoir against the needs of your role in the race. If you are put in the position of the chase, set your valve on a steady, power producing stream. If it is a solo break, open the floodgates and slurp down that juice ... revel in the surge of suffering and never fight it, never. Accept the pain and let it course through your every cell, every fiber.

It is payment and benefit in the same breath.

image from JamFoto, Chris Patterson ... check it out.


marscat said...

congratulations on your win! (nice socks)

Velo Bella said...

suffering's haaaaard

PAB said...

easier to make oneself do it when it is shared....

X Bunny said...

misery does love company
i so love our sprints more than when i do them alone

but that could be for other reasons too

Ippoc Amic said...

are those lucky socks or what? weren't they on the podium is the SLO crit too? and congrats on your win...again

Olaf Vanderhoot said...


yup, lucky socks indeedy.

Brent Chapman said...

beer thirty. Lets celebrate.

PAB said...

lucky socks my ass.

luck ain't got nuthin to do with it.


you just wear the socks to impress the ladies...

alicat said...


haven't read this post too carefully yet, but i'll do so with a nice glass of wine this evening.

me=not taking enought risks

ginmtb said...

That must be it - I'm gonna order me up some o' those socks!

alicat said...

definitely need to get meself some risk-taking suffering juju, cause as has already been discussed, i gots myself some lucky socks.

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

AC --

let's you & me talk risks soon...two heads is better than one!

Maybe not all-alone oV-style risks (that whole part about the legs...), yet.

Some new socks will debut at Folsom. Let's say they fit the general 2006 sock theme.

Velo Bella said...

oh, and the yippee boy is cracking me up

L. Christmas said...

nice win.. congrats!!

vanilla ice said...

My contents were ejected and valves thoroughly destroyed...gonna go back to the lab and draw up another plan.

Nicely done...

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

most excellent

grant cutler said...


rock on,

PS: I enjoy reading your blog while avoiding work at work- I hope that's ok since I don't actually know you or anything.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

right on.

cool pics, by the way.

see you at one of the races, i'm sure.