While this was not the an exact duplication of how my morning started (although I wish it had been), things got off pretty well. Woke up, caught up on college b-ball, read about college b-ball from the 1999-2000 Patriot League season, ate chow, then hopped on the bike. The commute downtown in order to pump my veins full of hot, black goodness the rest of the world refers to as coffee, did not include shorts, or a topless women, but nonetheless went just fine. Cracked open the computer to ingest and digest all that stuff that I usually look at on the internets, and came across that picture. That bundle of sunshine came from Judi over at the DC fronts who is slowly become one of my favorite cycling women who I have never met. So yeah after checking that out and having a chuckle I figured this day would be a good one, and might even result in my not getting anywhere close to pissed off over some trivial bullshit.
Then I headed over to the CyclingSnooze to catch up on all things bikes, because for one reason or another the folks over at ESPN have failed to start up their coverage of the Spring Cycling campaign. Check the top five headlines over there, 1.) Columbian Marching Powder Boonen got himself a win over in Italia. Good for him, granted I have zero Belgian blood pumping through my veins, but during time of the year I wish I did. 2.) Contadork wins a climbing stage at Paris-Nice. File this one under "no shit". I like anyone who goes out and does anything with a chip on their shoulder, because let's face it holding grudges and trying to prove people wrong has lead to some of the best discoveries/inventions/performances/fill in the blank throughout history. I am no scholar about road racing but I do know this, you take the best (arguably) stage racer (long or short) in the world, then have him thinking that he doesnt get enough respect, the end result will be a bunch of people getting their collective asses stomped into the ground.
The third headline was where my day went south, the top two boys (I refer to them as boys because their actions warrant that designation), from U23 Cross Worlds had tested positive for EPO. Few things piss me off more than still having to read about doping stories, and when it involves the ones who took first and second in a race (who are brothers and did it at Worlds none the less), it makes me wish they had Johnny Walker down here at The Break. No Johnny Walker so instead I hoist my middle fingers to these pricks, and begin to calm down. While I have benifitted from getting a second chance a bunch of times, I have still yet to steal a world championship from anyone. Time for someone to get made an example of, second chances be damned, just hand out a lifetime ban to one or both of these assholes.
Thing got better once I went over to Hail the Black Market, while Stevil doesnt have the undisputed best cycling related writing ability that BikeSnobNYC has, he is pretty close, and does it will less words, and more photos. Caught a glimpse of that gem, and once again I thought that i had a.) been born on the wrong continent, and b.) during the wrong decade. That's the kind of cycling I can wrap my head around, gearless, faces covered in grime, occasional wine breaks taken, and old men in suits sharing the same road. So with that, the first cup of coffee had been drained, Elliot just popped in and shared some of his morning treats, and I was not pissed off anymore.
Now onto shit that is actually my own original thoughts. This is my 100th post, and I have something that resembles a feeling of pride. I started this poor excuse for a blog, to simply post information about a bike race I was gonna put on. Well I never had too much information to post on a regular basis, and it morphed into ride/race/adventure/life reports, a spot for me to vent about things, and a way for the folks to keep tabs on the real happenings of my life. So with that time for some reflection, since that first post, I have completed a full MTB race season, lost a job, put on a race, drove across the country in a car that was always three seconds away from falling apart, figured out the next step of my "life", drove back across the country, took a standardized test, applies to grad school, spent time with old college friends, spent time with old mountain bike friends, got accepted to grad schools, and grew the greatest mustache in the history of my facial hair. So yeah, shit starts somewhere, there is a journey where you learn lessons, and get to somewhere new, and get to start a new journey. Cliche? Sure, but hey, cliches are there cause they're true.
Might as well take some time to reflect on the whole cycling things, seeing as though this is a cycling related regurgitation. Got the above picture from the 2007 version of SSAZ, taken by Dejay. I had only been "racing bikes" for a few months at this point, didn't know many bike folks, and had just been worked over like a load of laundry climbing Reddington Road. I spent a bunch of time sucking down that PBR, eating chips, and trying to get to know folks. Back then it was steel frame and suspension, hydration packs full of my "Boy Scout Be Prepared" gear, sweatbands on my wrist, and GPS mounted on the handlebar. I looked like a rookie because I was, and boy did I have a bunch to learn.
Now this was from the 2010 version of SSUSA/SSAZ. I'm back on Reddington, this time riding in the top 5, and feeling really good. I don't stop to enjoy the beer, just throw it in the jersey pocket, and save it for a fast chug during the next descent. Bike is now Scandium and totally rigid, I've upgraded from one sweatbands to two, and they are halfway up my forearms, no need for the GPS, I know where I'm going this time, and I only carry what I can stuff into my jersey pockets. Yeah things have changed, I might have gotten faster, fitter, and all that stuff you can gauge yourself by. But I'd rather gauge myself by the fact that in the three years between the two pictures I had made a bunch of friends in the SS/MTB community. Back then I basically knew Scooby (who is still one of the greatest people in the AZ MTB community). Now that list has expanded to include a bunch of great people (from a bunch of great places), so I guess this cycling thing I have focused on has been worthwhile.
Enough of this sappy end of the year sorority meeting shit, I just read that Alex Rodriguez is gonna meet with federal folks about his involvement with the Canadian Doctor who is under investigation for giving out HGH like Halloween Candy. The steam is starting to come out of my ears, and I am wondering why they don't have Johnny Walker here. Happy Thursday, thanks for reading, I need a drink.