Wednesday, 5 February 2014

a sub optimal start to the season and a fun start to 2014

it seems like only a few weeks ago that i last stuck a safety pin through a number and a skinsuit into my lower back and rubbed embrocation directly into the shaving cuts in my legs and yet it's time to load up my life into backpack and spend Friday nights making my thumbs bleed into cork brake pads and Saturday mornings kitting up in a fast food joint or portable toilet. Huzzah, Hooray and Hallelujah it's the time of year for lycra stretching handlebar bumping bicycle racing action again.  In the last three weeks I've been to Mexicali, Tucson, Santa Barbra, (snowy) Campo and (sunny San Diego) to pedal in circles.
This time last year I was racing in la with @philgaimon . Phil's now in San Luis doing pro tour type stuff. I'm now in a jack in the box next to the border putting on a skinsuit 
not pro tour tamales 

Given that dull moments are well, dull I've done my best to enjoy them. It's fair to say that my efforts to avoid mundanity haven't enjoyed much in the way of a symbiotic relationship with my efforts to do well in bicycle races. My mechanical curse continues to follow me with, in no particular order a broken hub, flat front tubular (when warming up, another compelling case against warming up), a snapped chain (apparently they are only tested to a measly 4 figure wattage) and , perhaps most spectacularly my venerable Audi literally going up in a plume of smoke by the side of the 101.
the Audi's last Hurrah, maybe my naked butt cheeks as i changed in the passenger seat were an affront too many

the car story was quite entertaining, in a short period of time the oil light came on, we pulled off the 1, the car began belching smoke and we stopped. After filling up the oil tank and soliciting advice we tried again, this itme the smoke was worse, so bad that we could roll through red lights as nobody at the entire intersection could see if the light was red or green. I couldn't help but laugh as we cruised around Ventura in a James Bond style smokescreen of our own creation. In fact i decided to crank the stereo and found an old rock station, the Audi went down rockin' fortunately my friends the Ryan family lived nearby and were willing to put us up for the night and help us get the car to a garage the next day. They lived 6 miles from where we broke down, if they lived 7 miles we'd still have only driven 6! the next day i hopped on a train and, 5 hours later i was back in San Diego. I left with a car, a bike, 5 wheels and two bags, i came back with  a bike and a backpack.  It's good to not be too attached to material things and this was a well placed reminder.

On the bright side, I have got all my bad luck for the season out of the way, i'm living the green lifestyle without a car, i got to reconnect with some old friends when i turned up at their house covered in acrid smoke and 5w-40 motor oil AND i now have a legit excuse to just sit in the car drinking coffee until RIGHT before the start of races, tubulars aren't cheap!  I also managed to distinguish myself by taking the "first dude in the pro race with a beard" category in each and every race I entered, earned a Tamale in Mexico (which may or may not be beard related given my "vagabond chic" look).
In order not to die , medicinal pie

I've also been dogsitting for a friend, and nothing bad can make me feel sad when i have a four legged companion to come back to every night. oh and i had a wonderful chunk of cherry pie today. AND my spidey skills (read cx experience) got me out of a stack at Wednesday world's today.