Oct 2, 2006
For my peeps who don't know what cyclo-cross is....let me explain. Imagine you're being chased by three guys with clubs who are just a bit slower than you and intent on having a little ultra-violence fun for the night. They are slow enough to not catch you as long as you keep running as fast as possible, but you can't stop or rest or even lose them because they are always breathing over your shoulder. Do that for an hour.
I simulated this event twice this weekend. Hit myself in the face with my bike and definatly got caught. We ride around on road bikes with knobby tires through fields, sometimes we are forced to dismount and run up hills and over barriers. My lungs hurt. Actually my throat from breathing so hard. I imagine my wind pipe to look like the wind swept cliffs of the western deserts.
Ryan Leech and I left town in what was to be the last trip for his '84 Volvo 240 wagon. Rain on the horizon, and his girlfriend Camilla waiting in Brooklyn we crushed it to NYC. Traffic on the BQE was a giant slinky with Asian kids rocking out all around us. We made it, went our seperate ways and agreed to meet in the morning. Drew, Gabe and Mark were hanging out and we proceeded to have a wine and cheese party.
Gabe went home, but Drew, Griffey and I went to the place where kids our age go to die and stare at each other. Lots of bangs, tights, glittered trucker hats and one-offs. A drink and bad DJ set later I decided to go back to the Apt. and sleep.
I awoke to a gut feeling that something was wrong. Fortunatly I was wrong and when Mark woke we went with his girfriend Tina to the farmers market and Enids. After some rushing through breakfast to meet Ryan, he was late due to "Bad" traffic.
Afer my second coffee and a chat with a random bike builder, (they're like flies) they showed and we took off like flies, in the Guvn'r.
Oh the laughs were great, and the halcyon day was filling us and overflowing as the destination and excitment neared. Camilla is a photographer with a partner, Kate, in NYC. Have a look at their sight but don't fall in love because she's taken and will only break your hearts' desires.
At the race I met my cross super-star teammate "Mo" Bruno, and Team Director/Racer Bruno. They ARE! not married. Just a strange coincidence of names. We raced through some fields, across a rocky culvert, through some woods and back to the field. It was the fun kind of pain, but lasted an hour. Being a UCI race both days, made the competition supernatural. Payout was high so every bad-ass in the country showed up. I had no chance. Thats all right. 26th on Sat and 24th on Sun showed a steady improvement. By my calc's I only have to do 12 more races to get to a winning spot.
Now to the excitment. Sunday we go to leave and Ryan warns me that the rain from the night before may be causing a problem with his car. Okay, I'm used to this and is the reason I decided to stop driving. We load up and Ryan turns the key......It's sick. Electro-Shock Therapy helps breifly. Delusion returns and we try repressed memory therapy to induce some sort of reboot to a more innocent period before all the problems began. After many group sessions the Guvn'r was diagnosed an incurable lunatic and was admitted to the walled confines of a scrap yard. A very moving moment for us and we all reflected on the fine line we live between sanity and complete mental breakdown.
Reuben administered some post-tramatic consultation, and his firm grounding in reality got the rest of us through the toughest of times. Ryan felt the lose the most since he had invested 6 years in a dying cause, but he finally let go of his christ complex and refused to participate in another hopless resurection.
After a little sleep and rehabilitaion at the House of Ginny we made our way to a newly rented chariot on Monday and darted across Long Island to return Camilla to her duties. Driving on Ryan and I enjoyed a new freedom from the burden of the unpredictable actions of the feeble minded Guvn'r. I could tell an old noose had been loosened from his jugular, while a new one was simultaneously constructed in the corner of his mind in the shape of a new metal master.