Good evening riders,
Well, we have been blessed with some really nice weather in the last couple of days, and it's a pleasure to see so many of you out there riding. Nice job!
Yesterday was one such day, and so we took advantage of it and really savored the opportunity. 4 of us rolled out of BCC, 2 more jumped on along the way, The Oz met us at the bottom of Lawson and together we ascended. Steve and Tim, good to have you guys!
At the top of the hill, waiting for us was none other than Niel! So good to see you back and on the bike friendo! Along with Niel and the other riders it so happened that a nice group of ladies had pulled over to take photos in front of the spectacular Wilson Peak. So nice were they, that they offered to take a few photos of the wolf pack; chests out and chins high. Xanthe took the honors, and courtesy of her is the attached photo.
Having such a nice day we took our sweet time and kept it together for the most part, at least to the bottom of Lizardhead, where to no one's surprise Brian and Noah lit it up and off the front they went. I was crawling along from the sweeper position and took the time to chat with the other folks along the way. Since the temperature was so mild I felt no need to bury myself.... yet.
This time came though, when the next rider in front of me was in the shape of my lovely wife Becca. As most of you who know her, she is a phenomenal athlete and betters me at most activities, however, after 18 years of marriage, I still have the upper hand on her at the following: Chess, Dance Battles with our Kids, Ping-Pong and Cycling. I hold these dear as they are the last stand of dignity I hold in the eyes of our children. God bless them...
So together my wife and I ride side by side chatting. I'm saying less and less since I choose to be as efficient as possible with my oxygen intake, and with the top of the pass within sight, I need to demonstrate that I still hold the upper hand in this specific vocation. With about 100 meters to go, I turn on the gas, but so does she. This is no good... So I stand up to sprint but I realize I'm a bit too far out to really hold it. With my head down, I see her front wheel start to gain on me. What choice have I, I ask? Succumb to losing the climb or dig deeper into my repertoire of cycling tricks and see what works. The one strategy I choose falls under the category of "dirty cycling" at that is to start changing your line and shutting the door on your opponent by basically pinching them off. This is frowned upon, and many have had their wins taken away by the UCI for employing such techniques.
Speaking of "dirty racing" one of my favorite sprinters from the late 80's and early 90's was Djamolidine Abdoujaparov; Abdu for short, he was from one of the former soviet states. Due to the erratic nature of his racing style, he was known as "The Tashkent Terror". He sprinted with his head down, wearing no helmet or at best the ever popular 80's hair net. This colorful member of the peleton, with elbows out and swinging his bike from side to side would sprint like a mad man and often would change his line; check out his famous crash where he changed his line right into the barriers at the Tour de France.
1991 Tour De France Abdu Crash!! - YouTube
The Tashkent terror Djamolidine Abdujaparov crashing on the final stage of the '91 Tour De France while in the green jersey. Go to 3.47 to get a real idea of...
I will never forget an interview with Abdu, where the host asked him what he liked to do in his spare time when not riding his bike. Abdu, soft spoken and a man of few words, answered:
"I enjoy watching my pigeons"
Yes, that's right.... the guy had pigeons!
Curious character, that man.
Why the aside? Well, because this is what I was thinking about when I was in danger of being passed by my wife. Pigeons fluttering from my imagination, I close the door on her, her only choice is to tap her brakes and go around the other side. "Jerk!" says she, but I can't answer right now and frankly what's done is done.
Much like the executioner said when he realized he mistakenly decapitated the wrong prisoner..."Well.... no use talking about it now...."
At the top we all regroup, take in the views, cool air and the beauty we live in. WOW! How fortunate we really are. Hard to leave such a good place, so we marinate a bit longer in the utopian setting before getting back on the bikes.
Once mounted we get up to speed for the descent. Becca is not very comfortable with the speeds the guys go at, so Brian (who has actually raced against Abdu) gives her the following lesson:
"Hang on tight and stay on my wheel. STAY ON MY WHEEL!" Well, what else can the poor lass do but abide by this principle. The descent is fast and we hit some cold air pockets but soon enough we are passing San Bernardo and are back into the last rays of the setting sun. The pace eases again and so we roll; conversations abounding within the peleton all the way to Heartbreak Hill where the tempo rises.
For the sprint, Noah goes in style, by winding up the lead out, tucking and still winning by a generous margin.
Very well done sir, and one day I would like to do that myself but until then, what a great evening we had! Perfect weather, good daylight and a good group.
Telluride Cycling Club
...ride forth victoriously!