Thursday, August 12, 2010

Weekly Beatdown

Today, I needed a miracle, but Johan Bruyneel says there are no miracles in cycling and dammit, I think he's right. I've been sick since last Thursday with some kind of crud that approximates every known minor illness but isn't precisely any one of them. It kept me home from work yesterday, and this morning the only reason I even went in was because I had a dentist appointment that sort-of "got me going". It goes without saying that I haven't ridden to work this week, and without my usual 25 mile warm-up, I got ejected from the A group like a spent round. P'ching! I don't think I could have hung on with B1 any more easily though. I'm starting to think that the A group has about 6 or 8 really strong riders, about 10 guys that are a bit stronger than me, and about 10 guys that are roughly my level, give or take. The B1 group, by comparison is just 30 guys that are roughly my level. The B1 group goes flat out, forms an awkward paceline and steadily drops riders off the back. That's the ride, every time. Unless you're tip-top, you're getting dropped, eventually. The A group has breakaways, chase groups, a peloton, and all manner of dynamics. It might be possible to sit on all day in the A group. This is next to impossible in the B group. Though sitting on with A is nearly as much work as taking your turns with B1. It's cool. I'm digging it, but I'm definitely digging it more when I'm healthy.

So, today I got shelled, teamed up with another guy who also got shelled, and eventually got caught by and jumped in with the B2 group. I can best describe that experience by quoting H.G. Wells, whom I quote often in this blog: "And this was no disciplined march; it was a stampede...without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of Mankind." Basically, by that, I mean that I was terrified of crashing, almost perpetually. We realized quickly that we'd be better off getting ahead of and staying on the front of that particular stampede. Up there we ran into more A group refugees with the same idea. And so it was, all the way back into town.

What a day. I hope I'm well soon. Fools Gold is coming up. I guess it's not doing me any good staying up 'til 3AM screwing around like this though. Sleep.

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