Monday, September 20, 2010

Forget the Coach, Hire a Psychiatrist

There are so many adages of cycling.  The moment you upgrade for the sake of having something new, something old will fail.  Let the words, “I’ve never rolled a tubular,” escape your word-hole and you better start gluing tonight.  Yesterday at King’s CX, the sayings came true, including: “Practice riding through the pit and you’re bound for a return trip.”  This may sound crazy but, I think it all had something to do with the new gloves and set of Hudz I bought recently.  Let me explain my irrational train of thought, because certainly if you ride bikes this will all make perfect sense.

Cyclocross makes one so neurotic that nothing can be left for chance.  This is precisely why 8 out of 10 cyclocrossers walk around like Rainman on race day morning and, no doubt, buy their underwear at K-mart Cincinnati.  Or, it could be accidental inhalation of tubular glue.  Seriously, there are two types of people that sport a full beard and knee-high argyle socks: deranged glue sniffing people that live under the freeway overpass and cyclocrossers.  It’s no surprise.  

Cyclocross is insanely confounding.  It’s a double edged sword of fate versus wisdom.  The reason is in cyclocross, you’re the only one to blame.  We take great pains in preparation, to lessen the chances of stupidity, to learn from those that have come before us, and to not tempt fate.  If all else fails and the budget allows, in a perfect world we hire someone to blame, such as a coach.

A Facebook friend commented that I looked so smooth and calculated in the pits changing my wheel during the race.  That’s because I had practiced it, like any coach would advise.  You can’t be fast in the pits, if you don’t practice it.  So on a warm up lap, 10 to 20 meters before entry, I upshifting into the highest gear like I was preparing for a rear wheel change, zipped into the pit, located my wheels, downshifted and exited.  However, in making preparation, I tempted fate.  Had I NOT practiced it, I would never have rolled my tire in the first place.  You following me camera guy?  Bikefucious say: be wise and do not tempt fate. 

As much as I’d like to blame it on tempting fate, my preparation surely must have been flawed.  I’m the only one to blame right?  Somewhere my wisdom failed me.   Herein is where the neurosis of self depreciation and a stay in the psycho ward on top floor of the local hospital begins.  The question undoubtedly is NOT why did my tubular roll off the rim, but what in great Belgium did I do wrong that caused my tubular to roll of the rim? 

Here’s why.  I broke cyclocross rules #397 and 842.  If you’ve forgotten:

Cyclocross Rule #397: Don’t be a cheap wad lazy-ass and always reglue your tires at the beginning of every season. 

Cyclocross Rule #842:Never splurge on needless upgrades until the basics have been covered.

Remember that set of Hudz and pair of gloves?  They cost about fifty bucks, coincidentally exactly the same amount of money the shop charges to glue up tubular tires.  Instead I opted for the pretty blue Hudz and year-old glue on my tubies.  Excuse me while I put on my helmet, curl up in a fetal position and rock under the freeway overpass.


Mr Fixie said...

Awesome blog Joe! But why deny yourself? Get the re-glue AND the sweet blue Hudz! ;-) Fund it from a less deserving budget, like gardening equipment or something...

Andrew said...

Foget the $50 reglue, use a 5.99 roll of Belgian tubie tape the first time.

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