Thursday, January 15, 2009


So I'm sitting here tonight just thinking. I spend a lot of time trying to find ways to describe certain moments in cycling to those striving to join the community. You know those moments that contain crazy amounts of glory/pain/pleasure/passion/excellence/failure of the experience. The moments that keep us coming back.

There's too many to list, but one specific one struck me tonight. I know I've talked about it in my race reports before. It's that moment right before the race starts. You're lined up, a ball of nerves, thinking about 1,000 things.

Who is in the field? Did that guy really wear a pro kit? Is that Super Record? Did I remember to tighten that skewer? Is that the guy who chopped me? Do I have time to go take a dump? Don't go out too hard....don't go out too hard....don't go out too hard. Am I going to blow up again? Is this going to be the best race I have ever had? Can I kick thier asses? I can kick their asses. I can't kick anyone's ass. I'm such an ass.

Then the official gives some sort of speech. "OK Guys this is Cat4/5. You're doing 30 minutes. Lap counter will show minutes until there are 5 to go. Free lap is in effect today. The wheel pit is located over there. Free lap stops with 2 to go. Keep it clean. Ok we'll start in 10 seconds."

Right now. That moment. It's when it dawns on you that you're really in a race and all hell is about to break loose. Pain is about to wash over your body like some sort of velo baptism. I imagine it's the kind of rush people feel just before stepping off the ledge for a bungee jump.

It's this moment that becomes a mix of butterflies and tension when I sometimes experince what I'm getting to. It's a strange calm. A slow breath in. A clearing of the mind. Switching the brain from "think" to "react". It's like a light calm cool breeze blows over your soul - a zephyr. Silence.



Runner Susan said...

Velo baptism? That's pretty good.

I wonder if I'll ever have a Zephyr moment on my rollers.

BBVP-Bob said...

Dude, you need spring to come fast. Because I feel that you are going to go into mind overload if it doesn’t.


BBVP-Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Biffbradford said...

The worst pre-race words I ever heard: "looks like you boys are about to get wet!" (big black cloud rolling in fast). 15 minutes later I'm looking for an ambulance with a broken hand. DOH !! But on the upside, that gave me a 3 week vacation from work in July and I was team manager for the Tour of Michigan. LOL!