Sunday, 1 November 2009

too ace for base?


well,since I last wrote, base training seems to have begun in earnest. That means i'm back to riding my bike like a crazy loon, my insulin needs have gone down and my ice cream consumption has gone way up. I also have already managed to get a silly little red line on my nose from going out in the sun too long, i think you'll find it pretty attractive.

I was going to write something boring about the benefits of base training but i thought you could find that on the interweb already so i'm going to go with something a bit different but still of benefit to those of you who are begging your journey to international cycling superstardom (or u23national 12hour heroics, i feel both are equally credible, don't you?).

You see cycling, much like Crufts is all about fitting into a preconcieved set of norms. Even if those norms aren't practical. Take my bar tape- it's white. Now in practical term's that's bloody stupid,i put my hands on it and it gets filthy. BUT much like the dog with the ridiculous cheeks which prevent him from breathing, everyone knows that i'm doing it right.

Facebook's rules of the euro cyclist group provides a useful guide. But it's only useful for wannabe euro yanks who don't really get it but like to throw money around and pretend they do. We don't have rules, approved parts lists or dress guides.it's all about style, comportment and attitude. That style is commercialised and commodified in the US, yeah, white bar tape is cool but shunning someone because tey don't have it? I think you're compensating for something.

im writing this because i have come across a young chap with a beautiful bike. He took it upon himself to impart some great training advice to me, apparenlty base training is massively overrated. And this guy should know, he has extensive knowledge of both football and basketball at the high school level. I was humbled. Only for about tens econds though, after that he started wobbling like bloody blancmange at the sight of a pine cone in the bike lane.

I have come across a few of these "experts" in my time in the states.One told me how important shoulder contact was in the many crit races he's done and them proceeded to pavement pancake it when his inability to ride in a straight line caused him to brush my elbow and fly into a blind panic. Just today a young lad on our ride set off to "teach everyone a lesson" up a big hill, he nearly learned a lesson about the finer points of skull fractures.

i have been doing loads of beginners rides and getting the UCSD freshers out on the grass doing bumper bikes with our new team coach Jesse.We have been riding down the coast each Sunday, going slowly, riding on the flat and letting people in tennis shoes join the group. It's rewarding, they're listening to advice and all getting better. We just sold 16 orbea bikes (at a great deal price, thanks to Orbea USA) to new riders. We're well on the ay to being my mini superteam, and we're using the real Euro methods. bike bumping, skills sessions, friendly advice and gentle correction when things go wrong.

Meanwhile the category 5 superheroes burn past us up the coast, shouting out for each pothole like it's a landmine and bleating like lost sheep every time they're approached by an oncoming vehicle. One of the UCSD kids asked why i wasn't riding with the "racers" the other day. I told him that i wasn't in a race. (Oh and another point, when i am in a race, i pin on my number properly, none of this horizontal American crap- see the photo above for proper number placement)

Have a good November, enjoy your base training, try and keep the penis measuring to a minimum for now and enjoy riding your bike. You're more than welcome to join us, even if your bar tape is black. So long as you're no too good.

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