Saturday, January 7, 2012

Down With The Sickness: Time To Cat Up

Mongo is sick...not "and tired", not "in the head", and nothing to do with my sense of humor. Instead, I've got a good old fashioned cold. I wish I had paid more attention to that tale told by the old wife. Is it "feed a fever, starve a cold", or "feed a cold, starve a fever"? Whichever one it is, I'm doing the wrong one.

Anyway, I'm four days deep into this sinus extravaganza and it has put a damper on my ability and want to go riding. Interestingly enough though, my ability and want to complain and be miserable to be around is at an all-time high. I needed to get out of the house this morning and put some miles on my legs and loosen up some phlegm.

I figured my best bet was to go to my old stomping grounds at the Cat 6/7 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride and just sit in the middle of the peloton. I had no thoughts about contesting the win or even hanging up front because I was quite sure that I would have nothing in my legs and lungs but sickness and excuses. Just in case though, I doped to the gills.

It was a very large and expensively outfitted group today. In between the usual Madones, Colnagos, Serottas, S-Works, and Di-2 equipped machines, was the newest "look at me" bike of this peloton of poseurs...A ghost-black, Willier Zero-7 with a Campy Super Record 11-speed gruppo and Zipp 404's. Mongo has to admit that it was a sweeeeet bike. Unfortunately, it was ridden by an incredibly douchey older gentleman who Mongo had a run-in with previously on a different ride when he was riding a yellow and black "Petacchi" Willier and complained to me about not holding my line as he was drafting me up a fast , steep climb. What a dick!

As the ride started I got to chatting with my nemesis, "Hairy Guy With Beard...Today On Ridley CX" and we both figured we'd be taking it easy for different reasons and not push it. That didn't happen! All the other usual contenders/pretenders sensed our weakness and dropped the hammer early...including my pal on the Willier. I would have been content with a mid-pack effort if this blatant affront to my domination of this ride hadn't happened. It was now "on"...whether I or they liked it or not. Fortunately for me, "Hairy Guy With Beard On Ridley CX" felt the same way and we both jumped in the ten man breakaway.

Mongo's ride would best be described as savvy! I used as little energy as possible while in the draft, and purposely controlled the pace when I found myself at the front. Even in my sickly state, thanks to my strategy and PED cocktail, Mongo was fresh and in a strong position going into the final few miles (American for kilometres). By the time we finished the climbs and made the turn onto the final straightaway there were only two of us up front with the other eight about two hundred metres (European for yards) behind us and gathering steam.

The guy who was with me is a climber so I knew I could take him in the sprint. The trouble was that with almost half a mile to go I might not beat the other eight guys who were organized and closing. I attacked off the front anyway...and won! It should have been sweet but it wasn't. I think it's finally time to move on to a bigger pond. Mongo has exhausted his competitive welcome with this group and it would only be ego stroking and blatant sandbagging if I were to continue frequenting this ride...See you guys next week!

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