Photo: Tony Allen-Mills

Photo: Tony Allen-Mills
The Charge: First Race, First Climb

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Non-Intimations of Non-Immortality, i.e., Certain Death

Contemplating the 2nd Annual Black Hills Circuit Race
Presented by Team Bike Doctor p/b DigiSource Discovery Solutions

Though Spring isn't precisely in the air just yet, with the awakening of the 2012 Mid-Atlantic amateur racing calendar so too does the long dormancy of this particular space come to its end.  In truth, I've been tempted a time or two to say something or other on the topic of leg muscles or bicycles or bike kit during the intervening months.  The sad fact is that I have been silent because I have had nothing good to say.  I realize I am not alone in this, but this Fall and Winter brought with them an ever-increasing cascade of personal obligations, and consequently I suffered an ever-declining amount of time in the saddle -- to the end that in the last two months I entirely abandoned riding and training altogether. Heaven help me.

So it is that I enter the 2012 season a newly minted cat4 and less fit than ever before. What better than to race into fitness beginning with the cruel tutelage of the little circuit race that could in Boyd, with its little back pimple of a finishing ascent that broke me into little pieces last year. Candidly -- don't tell anyone! -- I fear the early drop at Black Hills again. As in, after lap one. Again. If I do nothing it's certain. The good news is I have 5 weeks or so to reform my reality, to make Black Hills more a difficult but constructive workout experience and less a life-destroying, asphyxiating opportunity for ignominious public agony.

Here's my clever plan.  Next week I put in 18 hours on the bike. This is more than idle fantasy. I will be between jobs and, for the first time in a very long time, free to spend my days how I please. Bruising my sitbones is how I please.  What about the weeks that follow, when I am productively employed again? Well, that is indeed the rub. Nonetheless, I hereby commit to all and perpetuity to sit on my bike on my miserable trainer for multiple miserable mornings or evenings every week and do miserable structured interval workouts until the big event is upon us. A promise published on is tantamount to a spiritually binding covenant with god through his agent and enforcer, satan, and so I am reasonably confident this shall come to pass. Plus, in the middle of it all, there is the matter of a weekend's worth of hellish torture, West Virginia style, currently scheduled with the team at a certain barn upon a high hill.  You see, plenty of time left to recover a modicum of fitness before I race. I have faith. I believe. All will be well. Yeah, sure boss.

In short, as I contemplate the next month or two of human existence, despite these uncertain times I find guarantee in one thing at least: I will suffer greatly -- at my own hand or under the whip of the peleton, likely both. For this reason, in the manner of the good Reverend Shaw upon coming to terms with a fornicating daughter and his own incapacitating fear of the unknown, I ask you: please join me to pray to the Lord to guide me in these painful endeavors.  Assuredly I need it.

See you March 25 with the race wheels on.