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

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

All systems go

San Francisco, CA
Friday, February 16, 2007 to Sunday, February 18, 2007

The events leading up to the start of the 2007 tour of California have left me rather weary, yet startlingly vivacious. Every second of every moment reminds me of the scale & caliber that this race is made of. Imagine contemplating a decision for weeks when you know the answer. Imagine giving careful thought over and over again, every dream of every slumber absolutely consumed by your thoughts on one very specific subject… when you know the answer… Every day leading up to this race I have asked what will happen next? And every time I’ve asked that question I’ve said that we will win. You will perform to your ability. There’s no reason to ask this question again. Yet the final notion is always you never know what will happen next, and this very idea has left me on tenterhooks up until the start of the race.
This morning (the 16th) I awoke. The night was not sufficient in providing adequate sleep. I’d arrived late after returning from Wenatchee and my stuff wasn’t packed. I finally fell asleep sometime after 12, only to awake once more at 5:15 to head for the airport. The flight was delayed an hour and a half after I arrived further aggravating the situation. On my mind at once was worry of potential illness from circumstances as such that enliven with the weary. After turning up in baggage claim an additional 45 minutes was added to my day of travel as I waited for san fran’s finest to get my bike off the plane. At long last I was initially pleased to behold the arrival of the bmw in route for my pick-up. It pulled up to the curb and I stumbled over pulling both my bike case & 49.99 pound duffle, to load the contents into the back of the car. After waiting for a minute for the trunk to pop open, I realized that something was amiss within the car. I left my bike case standing to go check ‘n see what was wrong within & found that the driver didn’t know how to unlock the doors..! Although the brief situation was petty, I found it most irritating after a day of travel gone so wrong. To top it all off my bike case fell over in a rather spectacular fashion as I quarreled with the driver.
Once I got to the hotel I was greeted with 30 minutes of interviews put off initially to change into proper team attire and cram down lunch in 5 minutes. Fortunately Jonathan rescued me midway through the second interview so that I could finally spin around on my bike and take a nap.
February 17th
Today was quite mild compared with yesterday. It was more a day of recovery and recuperation than that of a pre race opener. We went out into the San Fran hills with CSC to ride on some descent roads. It took about an hour just to get out of the city, of which the entire time we were going straight up hill. Once we got out of town the riding was on par with the best that I’ve done. I think that the area around San Francisco is envied by just about everyone who’s been to the region.
Once we got back from the ride, we went out on the time trial bikes to absolutely check everything in preparation for the prologue tomorrow. The hotel we’re at is on the coast so fortunately there’s a great little bike path along the beach that’s capable of handling the likes of us, although not quite ideal. To be sure, imagine yourself as a runner, perhaps running with your 6 year old daughter as she rides her bike beside you… and encountering a professional cyclist as he comes from behind you while testing his time trial bike at 35 mph. Certainly not a sociable experience, and certainly not one I’m proud to say I took part in… nice bike path though. Tomorrow’s the prologue, traditionally I do not excel in time trials… but only time will tell how I fair this year…