Sunday, July 26, 2009


Getting older brings some realities - one of them is you have days of yin & yang. Saturday was mine. I got shelled in the afternoon crit. Pulled from the course after losing contact. Why is it the yang ends the day?

The Yin: I was really focused on the morning's TT. I know its my Achilles heel. To hold on to my 16th from stage 1 it was critical not to lose to much - maybe miracle-of-miracles gap the guy behind in the GC 30secs more. The 14 miles were good for me - lumpy and the longer than anything I had done before. I now know that hilliness hurts others and this old motor does better as the distance stretches.

I got this one nearly right - my Yin had taken over my attitude. I warmed up for nearly an hour, riding over 5 miles to the start and heaps of laps on local streets similar to the course (lumpy rolling stuff) for another half hour. The pump was primed. Hell, I timed this so perfectly I literally rolled to the start line, never unclipped as they held me and started the 30 sec countdown (a bit too close for OBRA officials - sorry guys).

The Yang: Riding over to the start the legs complained, the spark that hints of speed was not there, but for me crits are all about surviving - just sit on the back and stay alive. I planned to find Dave Zimbleman's wheel and stay there. Dave is the GC leader but doesn't get mixed up in front these speed fests if his lead (he's leading the Masters 45+ GC) isn't at risk. They, OBRA officials, neutralized scoring today because of complete mess up in stage 1 recordings - they're trying to sort out overnight. Its becoming crystal clear I and the a populous of the peloton have a distinctly different interpretation of the commonly used term "neutral". My good friends over at Merriam's online have this take on the word:
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 : one that is neutral 2 : a neutral color 3 : a position of disengagement (as of gears)

Now of course I, being a Masters and all, which means I have been on the planet for a few years, at least long enough to learn the language, would assume any word that has had 5 centuries of use should be fairly commonly accepted and understood. I guess that's one of those realities getting older still hasn't taught me, because I don't call taking off at over 31 miles per hour for the first sever laps neutral! No one that night except for the Pros went that fast - and even they were shelling each other at that speed!

Getting back to Merriam's, I especially like definition #3 "disengagement (as of gears). Could I just add - wheels, frame, derailleur, handle bars, saddle, pedals, etc. Ya I'm frustrated. If I decide to drop that's one thing, but working my arse off and getting pulled totally pisses me off. Yang is crappy, and not the way to end a day. We're back on the open roads in the morning - thank goodness... btw, did I mention I hated crits before and now even more!

Yang was tough on everyone. The above photo is of my friend and Lip Smacker pro Hilary Billington, she did a great job "hanging on" in the women's pro crit - they ripped it up in the high 20 mph range. Afterwords she looked beat, but no whistle, nice job Hil!

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