The Art of Bike Racing - Julia Child StyleBike racing is a lot like cooking; it’s a big, often tasty, sometimes scalding, and always painful mess. Like each dish, each rider has his own flavor. Some riders are big and hearty - a thick stew. Others are light and wispy - cool whip, perhaps. And others, some rare few, are a bit salty and a bit sweet, filling but not vomatorium inducing - maybe a Wiggins or a Lance. Everyone aspires to be such a dish and I, thankfully, do not. I’m more like some haphazard creation. Take some cookies, some ice cream (preferably cookie dough flavor), some caffeine, and some butter, heck, some I can’t believe it’s not butter butter, throw it in a bowl and then get two more and eat them as quickly as you can. I’m that rider and that’s how I race - like a fool. And somehow, sometimes, it works.
And each race has it’s own identity too. If the Tour de France is the pinnacle of cycling, glamor, and luck, it is, then, the soufflé. By that measure, the Fall Fling is maybe a brownie that was left over from last weekend's party and is now a bit stale and hard with some random powdered sugar sprinkled on top. ( No offense to ABD. It’s a great and fun series! Just no TDF.)
All this was floating around my mind as I prepared for the race (nothing like food to get you focused). A series that, coming into Sunday, I was leading in the 3s by about three points over my gracious and damn strong teammate, James Bird (IsCorp). My lead was courtesy of Will Novaks’s help in last weekend’s road race, lots o’ luck, and my win in the TT.
Naturally, I threw out the whole damn recipe at the start of the race... Q: What do you do if you’re leading a series coming into the final day? A: NOT attack into head winds, drop yourself multiple times, burn all your matches. Suffice it to say, my race was an exercise in what not to do. I did not respect my fellow riders and underestimated their strengths. My frequent attacks left me unprepared to cover the break or help Will out. I even botched the sprint. The haphazard creation that is Rosy Weiner was a failure. I was a melted ice cream sundae or a diet coke. Something was off. It was a miracle I won the series.
Were it not for Will, I would not be writing this blog post. It was due to Will’s help that I won. See, he threw a small and intimate get together for the cycling team on Saturday evening. With my getting to sleep early and having a good, carb filled meal (courtesy of Nate, Hannah, and Axie), my legs had enough reserve in them to survive the day. Carbs rule! Actually, the cheering of the team and the shame that would be loss before them got me through it.
NU Cycling rocks...
Some random thoughts:
Will is damn strong. Attacking into a headwind and sticking it for second place. Contador material.
Axie and Hannah have, um, great taste in music. Enough said.
Based on race results, Subway > Coolata + donuts as a pre-race food.
Hartley = god.
Food poisoning can be your friend - when it happens to your opponents.