As has been happening all over the world recently, teams are meeting up in exotic locations to engage in their annual Spring training camps. Just like every year around this time, I too have joined forces with my team, resulting in long days in the saddle.
One of the hot topics this year was coming up with a name. I wanted to be called “The Blazing Tyrants of Ass Kickery” but was voted down 8 to 1, (plus I was relegated to take the photo) so instead we’re going to be called “Team Awesombulance”.
It’s only a matter of time before I throw a coup d’état, and demand the name be changed, but until then it’s training as usual.
Truth be told, I’m lying. Just like the American armed forces advertisements have brainwashed me to believe, I now know that I am an army of one, and as such have spent time in the trenches alone. I would have taken an actual team photo, but I was unable to find anyone who was willing to not only snap the shot, but that would wait for me while I found something with which to stuff in my shorts as well;
The life of a professional amateur cyclist is truly a trying one.
However, as I Tweeted after day four of camp, I was the lucky recipient of my team’s ‘Can I Borrow $15.00 For New Cleats’ Award.
Very few have been bestowed such an honor, and it is one that I shall take with me to my grave.
As it turns out, while riding a road bike off road is indeed a fun thing to do, it wreaks havoc on your tap shoes, though nobody told me that, and you can bet my coach is going to get an ear full just as soon as he gets back from his “massage” appointment.
Not only has my team been hard at work, but all of the teams in the NorCal Highschool League have as well. Actually the season’s starting shot has been fired, and their first official race was this past weekend just a stone’s throw from my own backyard.
The mentor-type of one of the participants got in touch to let me know how it went down;
Well, we got Tyler out for the first of the NorCal MTB High School races this Sunday out in Fort Ord. It’s an interesting place, to say the least. I didn’t get out on the trails, but it was apparently a pretty fast, flowy kinda course that they setup for the kids. The turnout was massive! Over 500 high schoolers on mountain bikes. The freshmen class had well over a hundred racers split into two waves. Crazy!
Photos courtesy of NorCal MTB.
Tyler was a bit nervous, to say the least. He tried to play it cool. I told him to go out, try hard, keep something in reserve for the last lap and have a good time. And you know what? He did just that. When he came by the first couple of laps, Tyler didn’t look stressed at all. He was working hard, for sure, but obviously not tapping himself out.
Calm, focused and collected. It was super cool to see. But then, well, he didn’t show up at the Finish line. All the other Freshmen came in, the Varsity class was let loose and…no Tyler!
His Mom and I were starting to go from worried to mildly panicked. OK, she wasn’t. I was. Just as we’re putting out the call through the course radios, they tell us he’s at the EMT tent. Turns out he washed out the front end on the last lap. His knee became a temporary part of a rock-knee-bike frame sandwich. A course marshal (a buddy of yours named BoBo, who by the way says “Hello”) picked him up off the ground and he got a ride in with the EMT’s.
Now, I could say this was a bummer, and it kinda was. Except that Tyler showed me something he hadn’t shown me before. In that med tent, he looked great. Not winded at all. And his first words weren’t all down or negative. They were “I really wanted to finish, but my knee told me ‘No’. But I need to practice! I have to work on my skills in the sand and the mud. I gotta go riding! When can I go out again? When’s the next race?” Which is a total win. He’s into it, he’s hooked, and I am stoked! If bikes can give him 1/4 of what they’ve given me in my life, my mission is accomplished.
So, there you go. Thanks for sponsoring the boy. He’s over the moon to rock your stickers and hat (although he’s wore his hard earned DFL hat on Sunday). His next race is in two weeks. I’ll keep you in the loop.
Have a great damn day, and thanks again!
Yeah, you read that right. Not only is Tyler one of hundreds of enthusiastic members of the mountain bike league, but he is my first and only sponsored rider. What this means specifically I’m still not sure. So far it’s been a few stickers and other odds and ends, but I’m sure as soon as he starts winning, he’ll want to renegotiate the contract and I’ll wind up losing him to another team who can afford to buy him an occasional piece of pizza.
I gotta ask.. Where was the high school mountain bike league when I was that age?
I can tell you one thing. It wasn’t inside of a bong or on top of a skateboard.
In other news, just out of curiosity.. Do you know what’s better than one moustache?
Four of them.
From Ian, I offer you this clip of the band Ventura featuring David Yow on vocals only because it is good for the grey matter, and ’cause Mr. Yow is one person I might consider going gay for.
Now in parting on this fine Friday, let me remind you that once something has been seen, it is almost always impossible for it to be unseen;
I guess now I’ll button todays post up with a reminder that you only have six days left to get in on the Black Market kits. After that, I’m gonna check myself into some mental care, and get a good brain flossins.
I should also mention that any accessories to keep inside of the shorts will be an extra charge, because as I’m sure you’re well aware, bundles of socks don’t grow on trees.
As always, I thank you for your time and consideration on this matter as I bid you a-dü.