A Ride, Classics, Bitching & More
One week 'till race time (JOY!) this time next week I hope to be ballz deep in lap 5 or 6 of my first race of 2008. Today though, it was all about getting some road time for the meat sticks. I hit my regular road loop but added in a couple of extra climbs and a few extra roads to bring the mileage up closer to 40 miles and the time up around 2:30 on the bike. Not going to be rocking anyone's world with bike time like that, but given the loop, the climbs, the pace and the fact I have a race next week, it will do.
Today the freaking wind was rocking it big time again. This is the most wind I remember dealing with in a long time. Why is it that it's always on the busiest roads that a bitch slap cross wind seems to come up?? Like it's not hard enough to ride in traffic without 20 to 30 mph cross wind gusts!!
Tomorrow is Paris-Roubaix. This is my second favorite road race. For some reason Flanders remains my fave, not sure why, just is. But having said that Paris-Roubaix is the BALLZZZZZZ! You have to love a road race that in the past has had folks coming up with full suspension and rear dampers to try to ease the pain of the cobbles. Add in some shitty northern European weather and you have a classic Classic.
I appreciate the racer that excels in a race like Paris-Roubaix. The "hard men" of the sport. Not the guys that you'll see "dancing on the pedals" during a long ass stage race mountain climb, but guys that will bite the head off a muddy, Belgian rooster, wash it down with a Duvel, kick the cobbles in the junk and piss in showers of the the Roubaix Velodrome to seal the deal.
In the end I believe my appreciation of the Spring Classics comes from being a mountain biker that rides the road to train and stay fit. I see the Classics as sort of like mountain bike races. The guys that do well and kick ass every year are the sort of folks that I imagine lining up with for a 12 or 24 solo. Guys that like the pain, like to suffer, and feed off of it. Blood? Vomit on the top tube? Pain? F*ckin' A!! It's PART of the racing. If you want to bitch and complain stay away from the Spring Classics, stay away from endurance events. It's the HARD that makes it fun.
I remember doing the 24 Hours of Snowshoe. The course was a bitch. Rocks, mud and rain EVERY year. I never did it Solo, but on teams. I could not BELIEVE the folks that just BITCHED non stop about the course, about the rocks, about the mud. WTF?? It' a mountain bike race in the mountains of West Virginia. There's going to be rocks. There's gong to be mud. After all Snowshoe is like a freaking rain forest! I suffered. I hated parts of it. I was unhappy that it was muddy and wet. But bitching and crying does nothing but make you look like a freaking puss. Man up and do your lap. You want to bitch? Bitch to yourself, or to your wife on the way home. Your teammates or your pit crew will think much more of you if you just keep it the f*ck inside!
I love many of the Classics for the same reason I love Endurance racing. Much of the time it's not about "winning" it's about FINISHING!! Can you do it? Many a Pro STARTS Paris-Roubaix, BUT do they FINISH the race??? I line up with some fast ass racers. Get my ass kicked, but in the end, If I finish, If I drive home knowing I did whatever my 36 year old body and marginally talented self could do- Then it was a success.
Remember, If it was easy, EVERYONE would do it. And that would be sort of lame. Right?
So good luck to Pros racing P-R tomorrow, good luck to the folks hoping to throw down at the first M.A.S.S. XC race etc., etc., Weather here looks to be coming off the cold, wet underside of the Witch's Teet. So I'm not planning on anything too major.
I will be topping off my Saturday with some fine bevie and some White Trash Mexicana. Hope you enjoy yours.