Tuesday, February 11

For whom the bell (still doesn't) toll

I was thinking the other day (rare), this whole Winter Short Track Series is like one strange, sporadic, oddly formatted endurance/stage race.  It takes a fair level of commitment to do the whole thing.  In the last five weeks, I think (I'm thinking again) I've been on two rides for nothing but fun.  All other recreational cycling moments have been on the track, and I've still got a week to go before it's over.  That's what it takes though.  If you want to do well, you have to do them all.

For six weeks right in the heart of winter, you need to stay as healthy as possible.  Germ-laden kids, coworkers and spouses have to be avoided at all costs, or at least treated like lepers in order to stay on top of your game.  Not that you shouldn't do that anyways (my version of a flu shot).  I don't ever remember doing the whole series without getting a cold part way through or that one year when I broke a rib washing my bike...  srsly.

We've been fortunate so far this year. Usually there's at least one brake pad eating, bearing disintegrating, spend an hour hosing out your kit and cleaning your bike mud-fest. So far... winter's coming again, you say?

Staying motivated in longer events has always been a problem for me.  Thoughts of quitting, dropping out of future races, sitting up and taking it easy fill my head.  This is no different.

So one might wonder why I do it all.

It's that feeling I get right before the race starts.  The asses and elbows of those first few seconds.  The passing, the looking over my shoulder, the scanning in front of me for carrots, the internal dialogue that turns into arguing factions wanting to quit or push till I puke.  It's better than staying home and watching ballsportballs on TV. 

Fun times indeed.  Short track racing delivers these goods in tolerable (for my winter condition) amounts.  I've had fun, relatively speaking.  Just like I can't go back to the Icycle until I'm able to forget how bad the hangover was from the last one I went to, I imagine it will be a couple years before I do the whole short track series again.

I don't need to race to see this:

photo cred: Lunchbox
And because everybody wants to know, I am this much closer to getting my bell(s):

Raw bells are already shipping, but because I got one each (raw and black), I am still wait.  Black domes are in, black do-dads and thingy-dos are not.

When I get my bells, I might just have to mount both of them on The Fastest Bike in the World just so I can enjoy each one as much as possible on a daily basis.  The idea of the black bell sitting on my work bench with all the other parts until the Vertigo arrives is just too sad to consider.

Perhaps if I get them before March 14th, I shall mount them both to a hispter length handlebar (with pink Oury grips) and walk around the showroom floor at the North American Handmade Bike Show ringing my bell whenever I see a/an:

*waxed mustache
*flannel shirt
*pair of skinny jeans
*unfortunate tattoo
*chain wallet
*person taking photos with an iPad
*bike I'd actually want for my own personal use
*bike with too many bent tubes
*exhibitor who shouldn't really be included in the show but is because "$$$ over everything"
*anything Enduro™

Speaking of which, I think I'll bring my leftover Enduro™ stickers with me and hand out my own prizes.  650b need only apply.

and yes, I'm looking forward to the next two to three days of shitty southern winter and the possibility of my half-rotten toes going full rotten by the end of the week.


Big E said...

Two thoughts.

Thought one: You assuming that the bells will show up before your Vertigo is completed and delivered is perhaps one of the most optimistic things I've heard you say in a long time.

Thought two: If you go through with your NAHBS plan you may have carpel tunnel or some sort of repetitive use injury by the end of the day. I suggest starting your interval thumb training now.

Anonymous said...

short track sounds like cyclocross, except more expensive! that bell looks great!

Montana said...

"Slipping, sliding, almost busting my ass, getting caught in car tire tracks," - who needs a fat bike? You needs a fat bike (today, but probably not tomorrow).