Friday, 4 October 2013

Dirty weekends

Well I managed to spend nearly an entire month without being on a plane, my legs thank me for it and so does my stomach. The combination of less time in a flying tube, getting back into teaching (but apparently not getting paid) and working hard on the reservation hasn’t left much time for discharging my brain onto the internet. I’ve still got a lot to share, just not the time to share it. I always have transcendentally wonderful blog ideas when I’m riding and then I forget them as quickly as they arrive (or perhaps both of those things are results of the combination of hypoxia and hypoglycaemia which I tend to spend half my day in).
I love this time at the end of the road season. I’m still fit enough to go out and play bikes but I don’t have to go out and “train”. It’s nice to plan rides around a really good café you’ve heard about or a lake that sounds like it’s far enough away from anywhere that it offers secluded swimming possibilities. It’s nice to take in my nutrition in the form of gelato stops and not gels and to spend a few enjoyable weeks without the unique gastrointestinal sensations that come from thousands of calories a day of whey protein, semisolid glucose and meals sipped from bidons. It’s fun to ride still but to forget about training for a while.

Despite not training quite so much I do have 2 uci races this weekend, rather shorter, muddier and rowdier than my usual terrain. The last couple of years have seen spinal/ pelvic injuries keep me away from road cycling’s dirty side and I’m still by no means in tip top cross form but I’m healthy enough to dabble and happy to travel. Cross is everything I suck at, explosive efforts, bike handling in tight, low speed situations and worst of all getting off your bike to walk uphill. I spend a LOT of time practicing bikes, I really thought I was past that. On the plus side, I’ve received beer in every cross race I’ve done so far, often BEFORE the finish. I’d like to apologize for my offensive “counter heckles” last weekend and blame the beer in advance for any this week.  

I’m off to Rhode Island to add another state to my pin board, race some bikes, see some people and talk some ‘betes.  I’m sure to make a fool of myself in the 2 UCI cross races, but if you’re going to be watching I’d appreciate a few cheers, wolf whistles and perhaps an inventive hand up . I’ll be the guy who weighs as much as Sven Nys’ left glute with the “aero tight” skinsuit and the “windsock” beard. Or as one witty individual at cross Vegas put it “the dude who looks like Jesus on a cross bike”.
the jesus look, the disciples, the cross bike

After Providence I’m flying back to San Diego, touching base and turning around to head South to Mexicali for one of my favourite stage races the Vuelta a Mexicali, with the awesome forces of team Valle Congelado behind me I hope I can improve on my 2nd on team GC (achieved without a team) last year.

The weekend after that I’ll be making my coture modeling debut in the Dominicana moda show of my friend Jose Jhan. Not only will his show feature yours truly  but entries and sales will benefit AYUDA’s partners  in the DR. I can’t wait to catch up with the young people I worked with this summer. Prancing about on a catwalk isn’t really my world but (as you may have noticed) I’ll do just about anything to help people who need it.

If you’re reading all this and wishing you could escape on a getaway of your own, why not join us at the El Tour de Tucson in November (yes that’s right [and yet simultaneously grammatically it’s wrong] the el tour gets a double definite article). It’s a chance to talk about nonprofit, about diabetes education, about bike racing and then take part in all of these things. If you sign up through us we’ll get you discounted hotel rooms, powerbar goodies (as modeled by me), AYUDA schwag, bike building and mechanical help, a warm fuzzy feeling deep down inside and important karma credits so you don’t get reincarnated as a Turkey on Thanksgiving. Talking of Thanksgiving the ride is the Saturday before so it’s a great chance to pre-burn some poultry and pie and if you come from the East coast or just about anywhere which doesn’t have a ridiculously pleasant climate then it’s going to be your only ride in shorts for a while. If you stay around until the next day I can promise a mission up Mt Lemmon and a trip to Le Buzz café to sample some of the finest baked goods in the west.

Once The El Tour is over I intend to return to San Diego and extract revenge on the wild turkeys who thought it was really funny to chase me through the wilderness in my clippy cloppy road shoes when I was mid “natural break” the other day. Before I know it this time of year will have got away from me and the time for looking at a power meter and not looking at a pint of ice cream will be upon me. For now I’m enjoying being a bike rider and all the benefits that it brings. Sharing this with other people only serves to heighten my perception of just how lucky I am to spend my Wednesdays in flight from a marauding gang of poultry.

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