Thursday, June 10, 2010

Roadie Rant Thursday

So I wasn't sure if I should post this or not and have marinated in it since I got off my bike tonight, my first instinct about the matter was to rage hard in regards but after a shower and some food I thought it best to not act hastily. Here I am three hours later still pissed about it, yes it is incredibly petty and yes we have all probably experienced it but...

The last few Thursday nights I've been riding Lawrence's local "Vomit Comet" road ride. Known for being a 25 mile long absolute hammerfest. I really enjoy this ride since it gives me the chance to sit in a crazy fast group, ride at my limit, make a few hard efforts at the front and get popped out the back knowing that I actually did some bike riding that night.

Well tonight went about the same as every Thursday. I led the group out of town for a bit rolling at a decent warm up clip, Adam Mills and some tri-dude dragged us out to the turn off and split and the ride was officially on. There was an incredible lack of work sharing with pulls tonight and about half the crew was just sitting in the back sucking wheel, now I'm all for that tactic if I am riding in a BIG social group ride. But this is the damn comet, it's over in an hour, go to the front and take a damn pull or come back when you are fit enough to at least try.

Regardless of that I took a few more pulls and got spit out the back around the half way marker as Thom Leonard absolutely motored up the rollers. After I got spit off I turned the pace wayyy down and recovered for a few miles. About a half mile ahead of me I could see a female GP Velotek rider (one of the aforementioned sitter inners) had just got spit out too. I figured I would keep the pace slow for a bit, recover and then go catch her and ride in together.

Here's where the story really starts: about mile 16 I catch her on a climb and as I ride up beside I say hello and smile, she doesn't even acknowledge my existence just keeps cranking. So I think to myself "Hey self, I bet she's just too far in the pain locker to say hello back. Why don't you let her sit on your wheel up this climb." So that's what I did. And then continued to let her sit back there for a few more climbs while she yo-yo'ed back and forth. Good deed for the day is done.

After we turn onto north 1400 to cruise back into town I shut down the pace and once again ride beside her and say "Think the wind shifted on us? That hurt a little bit." With a grin cocked and a chuckle. This time she acknowledged my existence with a scowl and a corner of the eye glance. At this point I am fuming, in my head I am screaming, "I just dragged you around for the last few miles and you are well aware that we are on the same group ride because I am well aware that you were sandbagging around behind my wheel for a good portion of it."

To put the icing on the cake, when we reach the traditional "group sprint" end she comes motoring along past me around 26 mph with the full on metronome body bob and maybe a 50rpm cadence. So I once again cruised up next to her seated and just stared as we crossed the line directly next to each other. I didn't offer my assistance by pointing out that she was wasting all of her energy bobbing around like a jack in the box or in a highly inappropriate gear for a sprint at that speed. I am fully aware that no woman wants to be told what to do, especially from a hairy legged dude on a cross bike.

But seriously roadie douche queen... wtf? You were blatantly rude to a fellow rider who not only towed you ass in the group, but also out of the group? Is this just a shitty personality trait of yours? Does the silver back of your money sucking shell of a club hold meetings on how to sit in the back of rides and not do a goddamn thing while you ride laps around a lake campground? Is this some grudge you hold against mt. bikers or cross bikes? Or did daddy just treat you poorly and now you have an aversion to strange men?

Long story short: roadie douche queen + mtb>rb + GP Velotek is effin' lame + rant = me angrily blowing an isolated incident out of the water

(I am going to commit blaspheme and quote R5 now so sit tight while type this toast.)

So here's to the pirates of the dirt, and as R5 said in regards to our scene demolishing the road scene re the Bonebener, "Beer, hotdogs, and babes: shit you never see roadies get a sniff of. While you shaved leg weenies are drinking your recovery concoctions, we're taking recovery rides with your wives." Except for whomever's wife this was...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mountains Ahoy!

I think the majority of the world has heard the news by now. But for those not in the loop, I will be a resident of Flagstaff, Arizona as of July. Scored a swank little condo with Senor Johnny G. near campus and downtown and off we go next month.

I think I get more excited to live in a mountain town every day. I've been dreaming about moving west (as every young man does) for wayyy too long now and I see this as a re-focusing of my life. I know the majority of you reading this have seen this blog since inception and watched it turn from a bike blog, to a runner's rantings, to a lazy summer bum's tales to a climber's party tales. This last year in Lawrence I have felt pretty stagnant, no real motivation to ride the same trails over and over again and even Arkansas has started to become redundant in the climbing scene.

But in Flagstaff... I will be living 6 miles away from world class sport climbing. And my local crag has many more 5.12s than 5.9s (and no 5.8-). To put this in perspective, I believe my "local crag" of HCR has about 10 5.9 and under climbs for every 5.12. Which means that if I want to continue climbing it's time for me to either put up or shut up, I can't really sit and stall at a 5.11+ limit anymore and have it be any kind of impressive or even acceptable. Which is pretty rad since I firmly believe once a climber has found their technique climbing in the 5.10-5.11 range it is rarely a challenge to come back to them after time off and becomes more instinct and rock reading, which admittedly accounts for my lack of gym time this year while I am still increasing my onsight level.

I'll also be living in a hot bed of new mtb trails and looking forward to seeing switchbacks, logrides and jumps on the local xc trails again. I have super high hopes that I can land a job that affords me a decent new XC rig this year as that has always been great motivation for me to get out and ride, coupled with the scenery and the town itself. My anticipation for new riding has already kicked in and I have had the roadie out in force the last few weeks attempting to gain the composure back that a year on a motorcycle killed in me. If things go as planned I'll be riding 24hrs of Moab this year and if they don't than I'll still be riding rad trails at home 6 mths. a year and gooseberry/moab the rest of it.

Whitewater Kayaking: This has always been one of those things that I have thought would close my triangle of things I am good at. When I reference "the triangle" I feel like a mid-90's Mountain Dew ad. But the mtb, the climbing and the whitewater have always seemed like the three most extreme outdoor activities to me since I was a kid, the pinnacles of their respective properties (land, water and air). I can hang my hat comfortably on two and apparently Flagstaff has some good stuff in the water and I am pretty stoked to see it. I suck in the water (there's not much reason to be good in it living in KS) but have high hopes that the next year will be good learning regardless.

So I have to get back to attempting to sell the motorcycle, furniture and spare parts now to make this adventure hurt financially as little as possible.

But here's to new trails, new rock, new water, new friends, new local beer and focus.