I had a good weekend of bike racing, and the goodness had nothing to do with my results or my performance. I wish I could say this happens more frequently but — like most bike racers — my self-worth is inextricably linked to my cycling ability. However, this weekend, I simply had fun being a bike racer instead of stressing about my failure to become a good one.
I’ll start with a quote from today’s Dunlap ITT winner Chris Lyman, to whom I introduced myself after he (and four other riders) emphatically reaffirmed my inability to time-trial. As I looked over the results sheet and tenderly wiped a tear from my eye, Lyman rolled up, resplendent in his Specialized Junior Team-wannabe kit emblazoned with a bunch of star- and stripe-shaped, red, white, and blue patterns around the cuffs.
Me: “Hey man, way to crush my soul out there. Great ride.”
Lyman: “Thanks. Who are you?” [Excellent question. Well-played, sir.]
Me: “No one. My name’s Rand.”
Lyman: “Oh. Nice to meet you. You have an entertaining cycling blog. I love reading it.”
Me: [Mental fist pump.] “Thanks. I’m glad to know you read it.” [Play it cool, Rand, he's actually fast.]
Now, it’s not completely ludicrous to think that people I’ve never met might read my blog, but I’m confused why those people who have talent would bother to read about what it’s like to lack it. I mean, I’m happy they’re reading, but that would be like me reading…I don’t know…David Benkoski’s blog or something (I’m only assuming he has a blog because he’s an emo seventeen-year-old with no girlfriend and a girly-ass hobby). Oh, snap.
Moving onward (and backward in time), let’s talk about yesterday’s ICCC Dash for Cash. My teammate Joel Robertson had expressed some interest in winning this race, having won it last year with a brilliant display of “Old Man Strength,” so we hoisted Joel into the throne of leadership for the day. I was happy to relinquish my “leadership,” since I’ve recently grown tired of trying to win races only to be beaten by “savvy,” “tactical” “bike racers.”
I spent most of the day off the front with Steve Reaney (Cal Giant), which sucks unless you’re a horse or a motorized Cancellara (I’m neither). Meanwhile, Team Captain Joel calmly waited for the right moment to escape, since his sprint is only slightly better than Mike Hernandez’.
In the end, Reaney and Joel escaped from a late breakaway of six riders, and Joel pulled through for the glorious win. In the meantime, I jostled around in the pack like an angry koala bear, finishing in eighth place from the bunch sprint. It was an awesome display of teamwork by all involved.
To my knowledge, this is what every crotchety, old, male cyclist’s wet dream looks like: Robertson (1st), Reaney (2nd), LaBerge (3rd).
Anyway, It was a lot of fun to commit to Joel’s victory plans and have it work out perfectly. It was made all the more fun by the fact that I don’t have to write some stupid “race report” for the Alto Velo list; that’s Joel’s job this time.
Next up, I’ve got a photograph that’s been shamelessly plagiarized from my own facebook status: The “WTF Photograph of the Day.”
Yeah. I actually transferred teams, mostly because of the free hats and the awesome team dynamic. As my sarcastic eye/grin combo alludes, I’m very excited about the prospects.
Special thanks to my female Webcor teammate Maura Kinsella for three things:
- Obtaining that purple monstrosity,
- Taking the photograph of my smug grin while wearing it, and
- Pointing out that I have quite patchy facial hair when I get lazy and don’t shave for a few days. I’m prepubescent, what do you want me to say?
In the absence of official results, I’m going to assume that Maura won the W/1/2/3 ITT, simply because she looked hella fast and because she talked some mad game pre-race. When the results are posted, I’ll let you know whether my biased “journalism” is correct.