Aug 8, 2008

i got what i asked for

after my best race ever a few weeks ago; according to my listen-to-your-body-first-season-of-bike-racing-training plan that my husband has got me on (which really isn't a plan, it takes zen training to a whole 'nother level - the real plan will start in season two) i've been taking a little post road racing / pre 'cross season breather - still riding, just not as much and not as hard or as long. but its' been two weeks and it was time to get my ass back in gear. specifically, i needed to get my ass handed to me and i knew just the ride that would do it. my body was telling me it was ready to go and wanted to suffer a bit.

several months' ago i had been doing a smaller club ride that left from a local bike shop on thursdays, but it started to get crazy fast as the testosterone ramped up and the ride turned into a slight notch below another tuesday night worlds', (a.k.a. the weekly ride race that all the big boys do) so i switched to the bigger and slightly slower club ride for the summer. but last night i needed to go back to the local bike shop ride knowing it would provide the best opportunity for an ass kicking.

mission accomplished! i totally got my ass handed to me. the ride was fast. just about as shit crazy fast as i knew it would be. now, as fast and intimidating as this ride is, i really like it - there are maybe 20 riders as opposed to the masses on the other ride and a majority of the 20 are my teammates and friends with the occassional tri geek thrown in (and i am referring to two guys in particular from the ride - neither of whom i have ever seen.) now, let me take a quick moment to gripe about these two tri geeks in particular - not any of my friends who do tris (disclaimer: i am sure the following gripe will alienate some of my readers, not to mention friends so my apologies - but its my blog, and these dudes were nuts). now i know all of the crazy wind- cheating acoutrements of your tri bike serve a very specific purpose that shave nano-seconds off your time - but dude, its a club ride. not a time trial. so please -don't ride a club ride in your aerobars; and do you really need that big huge sippy cup attached to your handlebars with the straw up to there? it doesn't look very aero to me anyway. like i said, its a club ride. 25 miles. can't you just reach down and grab a bottle out of your water cage? leave the sippy cup home. ok ok, maybe he needed to practice sipping from that honkin' cup while on the roll in his bars to make sure he could do it on some kabillion mile ride he had coming up - but dood, do that on your own time. you're wigging me out. and are you wearing headphones? aerobars, big sippy cups and headphones freak me out as much as basketball shorts and toe cages on a club ride.

clearly the two tri guys wigged me out on yesterday's ride. i couldn't get away from them and they were driving me nuts. i finally did get away and mumbled something to my husband about them being in the aerobars through the park - he told me not to worry, they wouldn't be with us long. but that's what i was worried about; i knew i wouldn't be with "us" long either. and figured i'd be stuck with tri guys who were all over the place in their damn bars. at least they provided amazing incentive to stay way the hell up front as long as possible. and if i got thirsty, and i was too lazy to reach down for my water bottle, maybe they could stretch that foot long straw over my way so i could have a sip.

i did in fact manage to stay up towards the front for way longer than i expected. it was hard as hell and i could barely close the slightest gap - i could have kissed the guy who moved in and bridged it enough so i could hang on his wheel. but my ride with the group was over when we hit a series of slight downhill turns. keywords: downhills and turns. my biggest weaknesses. but the fact that i made it to the series of downhill turns and didn't get dropped a few miles earlier after the hairpin turn in the park was huge progress. now, the suffering really began as i tried to chase back onto the group. i kept thinking i could get them. i'll get them on that hill. i'll get them at that light. i was momentarily thrilled when i saw the group ahead at the light before turning onto river road - figured i was totally back in the game! but the light turned before i got there, i watched them all turn, one beautiful moving mass and i made a stupid move in the name of keeping up with the group, one that gives us all a bad name when i turned just as the light turned red. i never did catch them but was elated because geeky tri guy was back at the light making some sort of adjustments - perhaps to his sippy cup. my elation was short lived however, when just a few miles down the road tri geek blew by me sipping on his stoopid straw. alright, truth be told he wasn't sipping on damn straw, but he may as well have been. karma can be such a bitch.

after my solo suffer-fest that was river road in a headwind and the insult of being passed by a guy with a monstrous sippy cup attached to his bike, i see a teammate waiting for the group at the turn around - i was desperate to get on a wheel and rest - so i pulled a u-turn and stopped to wait with him -- we started up again just after the first fast group and waited to get swallowed up by the others. there was no big group - it had all been split up into bits and pieces, but each friend or teammate that passed me shouted get on my wheel!, and as much as i tried, i just couldn't stay there. even though they were. right. there. so. maddeningly close. i was completley cooked. stick a fork in me.

cooked as i was - i was still delusional enough to think i could still catch someone once we turned off river road onto the slight gradual hill where people usually rest & i can start to pick them off. but it was not to be yesterday. could have been my bad karma. its okay though. a while back, i would have berated myself for having fallen off the back, but i knew what the ride was going to be and i am thrilled i hung on as long as i did - even got kudos from the bike coach. i have added this particular club ride to my weekly ride roster - will try to hang on longer and longer each week. between team cross practices on tuesdays and the thursday road ride, (and believe it or not, i have added running back into the mix) my ass will get kicked plenty. and i should be ready for the last road race of my first ever bike racing season, and ready for my first ever 'cross season. let the ass kickings begin.


Anonymous said...

I'm howling over here! Sippy cup! That is hysterical and I got the visual. Wonder if those guys on your ride in the aero position would have hit a bump - monstrous straw rammed up the nasal passage?

~ lauren said...

wow! i was just looking through your pictures and reading your blog. such a cute family!

you guys remind me of us a lot. our oldest is 11.

and it's so rare to find another mom who races and who's husband races and has kids and has a blog that's fun to read!

and races (or will race), cross.

i'm glad you're trying cross this year - and super glad you guys subscribed to the mag.

i think you'll love cross - it's especially great fun with the kids.

it's so much fun, that i gave up road racing and only do a few mtb races now. it's all about cross for me now. luckily we have 5 months of it out here.

good to meet you in blog land!

Anonymous said...

I was out riding this morning on part of the IM Louisville course. Lots of sippy cup action since many are training for IML the end of this month. I have several friends competing and I think it's awesome and I hope they all do well. But I found myself giggling to myself when I saw all those sippy cups because I immediately thought of your post.

zanne said...

pamster - agree ... think anyone training for and doing IML is awe-inspiring! lord knows i am the one at the finish line bawling for everyone who crosses! they are truly amazing - i too, know a few people doing it & can't wait to cheer them on. that said - the sippy cups with the foot long straws just strike me as completely perplexing & highly amusing ... while they may serve their purpose on a 100+ mile ride -they just look downright silly on a club ride! glad you got a good giggle during your ride this morning! - and yes, the thought of hitting a bump while that straw is in their mouth just give me the chills - ouch!

lauren: thanks for stopping by! i always thought the same thing about you guys from your blog - you remind me of us a bit. i am really excited to give 'cross a try - my husband started last year & was instantly hooked. the kids love going to the cross races, and while i was more than happy to spectate & cheer last year - now that i have started riding i want to try it all!

we are loving cx magaxine ... i have read all three issues 3x each. keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Sippy cup, ha ha ha!!!!

So, I don't even have a tri bike yet (maybe next year if I decide to "tri" a half Iron... a HUGE if), but I've read that you shouldn't try to ride one in a paceline and that in fact some bike clubs ban them from paceline rides because they don't handle as well as road bikes. So yeah, that's kind of scary!

Vickie said...

We all need those humbling moments to tell us what we need to do to keep up. At least you're getting closer! As for the tri-geek guy/s, at least they didn't wear their aero helmets. Triathletes are not roadies but they don't know it.

Groover said...

Mrs Tri Snob hehehe. Hilarious.