Damn you, Gabe Varela.
It’s been a while since someone flat out rode me off of their wheel, but that’s exactly what you did Tuesday night, you little f*cker.
A decade (or more) ago I was the one with the capacity to torture the guys with families, big jobs and a propensity for malted beverages and prosciutto. But no excuses, that effort uphill into the crosswind just about killed me. 30 miles an hour. Are you kidding me?
I knew you were going to attack when you did and I was right on your wheel. I knew the attack would stick. And I knew that if I didn’t go with it I’d spend the rest of the race chasing and racing for fourth place. Again. Unfortunately knowing that I need to go with an attack and staying with a break during the hardest part—as it’s forming—are two very different things.
This week’s Tuesday Night Extravaganza of Suffering was held at
I’d love to make some excuses though. Let’s see, did I get blown off the front end of the break because my bike is two pounds heavier than some? No. Was it because I rode my ancient training wheels? No. What if I had a different bend to my handlebars? Negative, ghost rider. Some guys wore skinsuits in 45 degree weather. Would a skinsuit’s aeroness have helped? Absolutely not.
No, my problem was simple. The strongest riders did well tonight, and I’m clearly not a member of that club right now.
The race was flat out attrition. After the first two-and-a-half mile lap there was a lead group of 12. After two laps there was a break of three (plus me getting dropped from it), with a chase group of 10. A lap later the break was 20 seconds up the road, where it would stay for the rest of the race, with eight chasers. At the finish I was tired, distracted and didn’t have my heart or head in the game.
I rolled over the line fourth in the sprint that wasn’t really a sprint to take seventh place. This sounds better than it was. Mostly I was sprinting to get my bike into my car and turn on the heater.
So kudos, Gabe. You were the strongest man out there Tuesday, and you’ve completely demoralized me.
I either need to start training consistently or take up golf. Bike racing is hard.
And to Rider 2, who stayed at home instead of showing up to race, I hope you made progress on that needlepoint project you're behind on. Or was it a quilt?
Blogger's note: Ordinarily calling someone a f*cker is grounds for serious offense. In this case though it's meant with total respect. No offense either to Rider 2. He's such a nice guy and generally undeserving of being called out. But still ... Finally, to other riders out there I don't plan to recount every time someone tries to ride me off of their wheel, so please don't make it a point to try to do this to me with the hopes of becoming a legend to the readers of this fair blog.