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

Sunday, August 12, 2007

An abrupt end

Yesterday was probably the most depressing thing that's ever happened to me on a bike. It seems like ever since Catalunya came to a close it's either been a fierce battle or all down hill. Yesterday started out with a metavolanta and then a short bout with a cat 3. Over the metavolanta I didn't feel so good, but I was also far from the front and attributed the extra fight to hanging in the back. But as soon as it slowed and a break formed I sought refuge in the front. But then when we hit the cat 3, times were still harsh and before I knew it I was falling to the back again, pretty soon I was off the back. I thought I'd be able to fight back on, but guys started dropping back for bottles. I couldn't believe it... I was going all out and these guys were coming back for bottles, something you usually do when it's easier to get back on. Before we crested the cat 3 I was out the back, through the cars and in a fairly desperate situation... as Johnny put it: "set yourself up for a real battle."
I thought I'd catch up with a group dropped over the 1st cat 1 to come, but I ended up riding the remainder of the race alone, some 110 kilometers. When I finished I was 40 minutes down and 5 minutes outside the time cut. With 4 days of racing still to go, I can say that I barely made it through half the race... something I wouldn't have imagined happening in my worst dream, ever. The longer the race the better, but, something happened, and bang... everything that I'd learned and thought true... gone. I'm left sitting here thinking about how out of place I am at a race when I too am not racing. Using the suave race hotel and watching the team staff and my team mates do their race thing makes me feel desperately out of place... all these people do all this stuff to get me to this race and I can't even race... 2 months ago I'd of thought I'd be winning by now, not struggling to finish.