Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Overtaking the world three strides at a time

Gerona, ESP
Saturday, August 26, 2006

I’m back in Gerona for a few days before heading off to Italy on Monday. I did a nice easy ride today, its weird- I haven’t felt sore in quite some time. It’s kind of a new thing. Usually between races and after a race my legs’ll be a little sore, but after training in Colorado for those coupla weeks I haven’t been sore. It must’ve been the effect of altitude or something.
Today I actually embarked on a little journey amongst the towns people. I found that most activity around here occurs along the stretch of walkway along the sides of the river and then up towards the cathedral. I sort of already knew this, but you don’t really understand it until you see it. Anyway, I went down and wandered around down there, found a new grocery store and backpacked back up to the apartment. It was the first time that I’ve left the apartment to not just buy groceries.
Whenever I talk to people about Europe they’re like “wow, and you get to tour ‘n stuff too! Wow.” But the truth is that I’m kind of here for a reason, believe it or not… I try to repel the impulse to go and walk 5 miles a day. Although it’s appealing to go and figure out what it’s like to act euro etc., etc., I think it’s better to act like what you are, and I’m a bike racer first, then an Americano & then a tourist…

At the moment I return to the US October 2nd.

International Poitou-Charentes
Charente – Charente – Maritime – Deux – Sevres – Vienne, Franca
August 22, 23, 24, 25

It’s good to be back in Europe doing some racing. The racing savvy of the other racers is several bars above that of the dudes in the US. They simply seem to know a bit more about tactics and bike riding in general. The locals are super stoked about it too. Here they buy our trading cards, in the US you’ve gotta throw ‘em at a kid when they’re parents are standing there- “Don’t be rude, take the card from him son…” It’s just a totally different scene here, and the thought that it’ll ever be like this in the US is a thought that has never crossed my mind because I’ve got no doubt that it never will…
Anyway, the race was great. I felt good, although I got sick the first day that I got here! Yeah, back to my old ways. In fact, everyone on the team racing got sick except Timmy & Mike. So that’s 6 of 8… Perhaps a new record, it seems that Europe is just a dirty place rogue with plagues, illness and shredded carrots. Sylvan Chavenel won. The decisive break went on the second day. It was a break of 31 guys, the peloton sat up and the break got 36 minutes. That kinda sucked, although we got three guys in it- Will, Danny & Timmy. The race proceeded to give a 20 Swiss Frank fine to every rider in the peloton for not racing “as a professional.” Crazy huh? We were riding double file ‘n everything though, so I think it’s possibly in line… just so strange… I’ve never heard of it… I presume that’s what they do when they can’t dq the whole peloton for finishing outside of the time cut; they just fine ‘em all... God! No mercy, eh!?