Saturday, April 10, 2010


The run up to Roubaix has been stunning this year. Cancellara is displaying world-class form, Boonen is riding right at the top of his game and the races we've seen thus far have all been riveting. Boonen has already knocked out 4 second place finishes in the classics campaign. He's maintained a (Belgian) sense of humor and is still my top pick for the Roubaix podium. Plus, he appears to be keeping clear of coke and I always like to see that.

Cancellara has seemed super-human as he can pull away from sprinters like Boonen without leaving his saddle. I've always liked Spartacus. Dude's got class. Remember Flanders last year, when his chain broke at the bottom of the Koppenberg? He went back, picked it up and hammed it up with the press and fans while the race tore on without him. What can you do? (Take note here, Matti Breschel, nobody likes to watch a child throw a tantrum).

My podium (not that anyone cares):
1.) Boonen
2.) Cancellara
3.) Hushovd

Sadly, unless purple bunny rabbits begin to fall from the sky while ACDC's Highway to hell blares out from the clouds above, then Hincapie's probably not going to make the top 5 (although THAT would be pretty good).

My Printable Roubingo Board

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An easy ride.

I'm riding through a neighborhood called Solterra, it's a new developement in the hills above Golden and this street is lined with "patio homes" that offend me a little bit. I mean, yea, they DO have patios, but they're all between 3,000 and 5,000 sq ft with big yards and pricing starts (according to a sign we pass) in the low $400,000s. As we ride further up, the patio homes are dwarfed by single family mansions that I could describe as both capacious and palatial--in the same sentence--without worry of exaggeration. One of them actually has a three-story bell tower. Comparatively, the homes we just passed do seem patioesque. Otherwise, the view is truly amazing.

It is steep, I've been in my 27T cog for as long as I can remember, we're almost 2 hours in and have already gained something like 3,000 ft in elevation. There is a pretty serious headwind, I do not like it. I'm tucked in behind Matt, who's tucked in behind Joe. I can't really tell if the draft is helping matters any, the wind seems to be coming from every direction at once. Ahead, Joe's pedalstroke is like magic, constant, smooth. I glance down and can only compare the stilted, squarish motion of my own legs to chopping broccoli. We cross an intersection and the road tilts up further, I try to shift into an easier gear before I remember that I don't have one. Joe doesn't pedal faster, he doesn't slow down, I'm pretty sure he's not even breathing heavy. Matt stands up, hammers out a few pedal strokes and regains Joe's wheel. I do none of those things. As the gap widens I am, however, pretty sure that I can see Jesus over the next rise. He looks disappointed.

Later, in an unusual move for us, we decide to pretend like we we're friends who are just out for a good time on bikes instead of dudes who are out training for something and correspondingly, stop for coffee and pastries before heading back up the mountain and home on the final leg. The pastries are tasty and the respite has a reviving effect, if not for my lungs, then certainly for my soul.

On the final climb back home, I crack. Hard. Joe and Matt circle back for me and begin making excuses so I don't have to. That's what friends are for. After I've eaten something and am no longer dizzy, some light hearted ribbing will follow, that's what friends are for, too. Note: apparently, even during an "easy" ride, it is wise to consume more water than coffee. Also, one should eat stuff and apparently, 1/3 of a scone--no matter how delicious--doesn't replace 1,500 calories. Good tip.