***This latest obsession started in November, a little more than a year after I began riding regularly and a few months since I began to toy with the idea that I might enjoy racing my bike in a generalized melee of like-minded adults (or gear-regulated juniors). Despite many sound reasons that a person in my situation really ought to shelve these sorts of mid-life fantasies, I was sufficiently intrigued to forge ahead, pragmatism be damned. But I had no real idea where or how to forge. By chance, during a group ride I struck up a conversation with a member of the team I since have joined. (I recall it was late in the month of November in particular because this guy was boasting a well-appointed Movember moustache suited for Mario Cart or the 1970s generally. See here for the rules.) At any rate, Mario invited me to attend the next team ride to see how things went and determine whether I was a douchebag, in the cycling argot (use of the word "argot" confirms I likely am). Although I was looking for this, I also was conscious of two attendant problems: first, my aerobic pump, never all that strong to begin with, had endured about 15 years of idle listlessness before I picked up the cycling bug and was fit for pushing a lawnmower around my yard and little more; and second, I had no great plan how I would find enough time in the saddle to effect any serious changes to that first fact of consequence. Good sense notwithstanding, I showed up, got shelled, persevered, showed and was shelled again, and then again and again. Two months later I was officially on the team and ordering kit, and now I find myself refreshing bikereg repeatedly until the good races go live and drafting breezy notes for an audience of no-one about the project of attempting to survive a season as a newly-minted, neophyte, novice, noob, barely-graduated-from-Fredness, unready bicycle road warrior (a Fred being defined, as we must now all agree, as any adult who rides a road bike other than oneself, one's teammates, and the more serious members of the teams against which one competes.)
Up Next (maybe): The business at hand -- a report on my preparations over the winter and their culmination in my first road race, the Black Hills Circuit Race.