Last entry to this little corner of the cycling world was focused on sickness and setbacks! This entry could easily continue that theme, but I refuse to give in! Like Jens Voigt, I am a head banger and must always be pushing forward, attacking.
In the midst of all the negative news and circumstances today, there is much to be joyful about and rest assured the biggest event is the Good News, which we are reminded of each spring! The next big good news is the assurance that warmer and more enjoyable riding time is moving closer!
I was first introduced to cycling by an older kid, who lived across the street from me in Evansville. It was 1985 that Mike told me about a bicycle race in France, where the fittest rider was not the winner. He was forced to wait for his team leader. I was confused, but captured by the concept! It would be another two years before I ever ventured out on a ride with Mike.
I tell you this story to help you understand that I have been seriously pretending to be a serious bicycle race for well over 20 years! In that time I have developed some spring time rituals!
- Early spring rides are to be epic! These are the rides we share at the coffee shop with our friends. They include words like cold, punishing, bonk, suffer fest and ridiculously steep! These stories bond all cyclists of all levels together. We all suffer on our bikes, our passion for the two wheels hurts at times and no cyclist can escape this fact!
- It is hard to explain, but at some point during the spring, the switch comes on and I decided to shave the legs. To be quite honest, it is a pain to keep up…But this act of converting hairy, coarse legs into smooth, pedaling pistons just fires me up and mentally prepares me for war! It also allows for easier application of embrocation.
- Embrocation is a ritual I learned later in my cycling life. Now if the temps are below 55, I can’t imagine starting a ride without it! Again, it is a ritual of cycling that is passes from master to journeyman. It is potent, just the smell of it makes my twitch with anticipation of a ride!
So there you have it, James’ spring cycling rituals. No great wisdom, but plenty to share at the next coffee shop stop. One last thing, mostly a warning about the evil temptress that lurks around this time of year. She made her self know this weekend at our home….Samoas….need I say more? Sorry Allison, shouldn't have left me home alone with an open box!