Tuesday, November 14, 2006


So I've decided to become bike race boy. Or BRB. I've never raced though over the past 25 years I've done my share of triathlons (including two Ironman races), duathlons, 10Ks, 50Ks, and the like. But never bike racing, wherein you shave your legs and, from the looks of watching the Tour de France on TV, ride uncomfortably close to a large group of other men wearing tight Lycra shorts. I can't wait!

Looking forward to being part of a team too. Fanatik Bike Co., a shop here in Bellingham, Washington, is sponsoring the team and being mucho generous in doing so.

I haven't been on a team in a long time. Probably since my high school baseball team, when I broke my arm in the first game of my senior season. Batted second, singled up the middle, stole second and heard an odd crack when I slid into the base. I had a habit, I guess, of putting my left hand down when I slid and when I hit the dirt I cracked my whatever that bone is just above the wrist. Super bummer, not just because I couldn't play, but the day before I broke my arm, I'd bought a beautiful black Stratocaster that played like buttuh. Rich, creamery buttuh. No matter, I waited a couple days then cut the cast so I could finger the fretboard.

Sunday was the second team ride. In absolute pouring, the old man is snoring, close to freezing rain. We rode in a paceline--about 10 of us with me trying not to be the new guy who screws up this group of mostly experienced racers. We had two lines of five, side-by-side, with the riders rotating slow-motion like in a counter-clockwise direction the whole time. Riding this way, the group can maintain high speeds for long periods of time, blocking the wind super efficiently.

As soon as we started doing it, I realized that this is what I always see them doing on the Tour de France on those long, flat days where they’re covering lots of ground in the peleton. I'd never ridden in anything like this before and to me it was a thing of real beauty. The miles flew by which was great because with the rain and cold, we were drenched. It was nice to have something to concentrate on.

Apropos of nothing, my cell phone rings on the ride down to Lake Samish. Rachel and Kylie, two second-grade cuties, are calling to see if my seven-year-old son Baker could come out to play. Some guys just seem to have it made.

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