Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Half Century: What The Hell Was That?

Mongo has been "trainer-only" for the past couple of days, so I was really looking forward to an outside ride of some sort today. I have been so focused on low/medium mileage, high intensity rides lately, that I decided to do fifty miles in the 130-140 HR zone. This is a good fat burning range, and I've got some fat that needs burning.

I had an enjoyable but uneventful ride out to the Rambo Nursery and back on the SCT. And by uneventful, I mean I had a 15-20 mph headwind the whole way back. It was brutal! Luckily, all my work on the trainer with cadence and leg speed really paid off. I was able to settle into a rhythm and attack the wind. Much like Charlie Sheen, Mongo is a "wind-winner".

After a quick stop at the shop to pick up my new supply of SportLegs and have a chat with "Almost Married" Tom, and "You Owe Me Five Bucks" MC-Lean, Mongo still had a couple of miles left to go back to my house. I was literally climbing the last hill of the last mile of my eventual fifty when an extremely strange thing happened...I was passed!

Any serious cyclist worth his salt can analyze and break down another cyclist in an instant. Equipment, clothing, physique, effort...all of these factors contribute to the assessment. How someone looks when they pass you is much more telling than how they look unloading their Colnago in the parking lot. Here's the rub...the guy that passed me caused my brain to shut down.

This dude looked like he came straight out of the R.E.I. catalogue. He was riding some sort of Cannondale road bike with a frame pump, a way oversized seat-bag, combo, spd/flat pedals, and there may have even been a fender thrown in there. He was wearing baggy shorts over the lycra, and his jersey was a loose-fitting, club-style, brown color. His helmet was cocked to one side...and he was flying! My brain was in an endless loop of error messages.

Though I was exhausted and almost home, there was no way I was going to let this guy get the best of me. The trouble was, he wasn't looking back like he was worried and he was riding like his house was on fire. I had to kick it in or this guy was going to gap me. The whole time I was chasing him, I was amazed at how fast this bad cliche was going. It took me much longer to catch and pass him than I want to admit. I went by him like I had a few more gears left, but in reality, I had nothing when I finally turned off into my neighborhood. I guess you just never know. As a wise man once told me..."It ain't the arrow, it's the Indian."

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