The guns of August, the pea-shooters of September

Photo Credit: Danny Munson, copyright 2015.

Although I generally despise the “off season” let me say that I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, which is the first day of September, which in turn marks the first day of my off season.

I need a break. For the first time in more than 30 years I didn’t flame out in early April, to which I can only credit having finally learned that you can’t keep training hard once race season starts, and to this little pearl of wisdom: The older you get, the less you recover.

It was an exciting year of racing even though I only fell off my bicycle once, at the BWR going around a turn with my head down into a cactus. A smattering of top-ten placings hint at even more mediocrity to come, which is encouraging. Best of all, I have no idea how many miles I rode this year, but it was at least 500, maybe even more.

In addition to the euphoria of not having to lace up my cycling jockstrap for a while, there was the sad news about my sobriety. “What sad news?” you ask. “The sobriety,” I answer. “That’s the sad news.”

But every sad occurrence is balanced by something not totally awful, and in this case for the first time in four years I won’t be entering September with the awful, heavy, painful dread of cyclocross hanging around my balls. I sold my ‘cross bike and won’t be buying it back. Thank you Major Bob for cutting the seat post so low that I couldn’t ride it even if I wanted to.

Will I miss not racing for a few months? Probably. What joy compares with having “Payday” Johnny Walsh, alleged teammate, chase me down in a breakaway with two laps to go so that he can score a $20 prime? Johnny, next time just come up to me after the race. I will give you the twenty dollars and a spare inner tube.

What thrill compares with bridging to the monsters of the crit peloton, Pat Bos, Derek Brauch, and Thurlow Rogers, with two laps to go in the 40+ race, only to get mown down and discarded by the hungry peloton and finishing so far back that they didn’t even put me on the results sheet?

What joy compares with getting dropped at Boulevard, dropped at Punchbowl, dropped at Lake Castaic, and dropped at Bakersfield? I know! It’s the joy of having my saddle fall off with one lap to go at the Poor College Kids RR and the super, super, super joy of having pro photographers like Danny Munson and Phil Beckman take exciting photos of me whizzing around a corner looking fast when actually I’m in 78th place with one lap to go.

And of course 2015 is ending with a sort of sputter, as all years in profamateur cycling end. The great SPY-Giant-RIDE p/b GQ6 team is merging with Monster Media to form … what? SPY Monster? Media SPY? Team Blurge? And then the best of all reasons to take a break in September is so that I can properly evaluate the high dollar offers pouring in from masters teams around the state who want my services. Perhaps I’ll hire an agent.



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16 thoughts on “The guns of August, the pea-shooters of September”

  1. Ahhh the off-season! The end of stringent calorie-counting, obsessive power-meter reading and recording and re-reading and interpreting, of iron-clad weekly workout schedules, including iron-pumping and mandatory race days. Time to go just enjoy riding your bike!
    Or not.
    “Hurry up, it’s almost March, and they’ve been busy”.

    1. Calorie counting: Never ends.
      Power meter reading: Ditched three years ago.
      Weekly workout schedule: Non-existent.
      Iron pumping: What is this? Taking mineral supplements?
      Enjoy bike riding: Enjoy NOT bike riding.

      It’s almost January!!!

      1. Wasn’t talking ’bout *you*, Wank-man…
        “For, just as cross-training is physical activity that makes one irritable…”

  2. HeeHee about Walsh. I thought the same thing. He’s taking us all up there cause he needs 20 bucks…?

    You forgot to mention how sharp you looked on the Rosena Ranch Podium! :-). See you soon


  3. Uhhh… so apparently Wanky’s “off-season” entails hammering the front of NPR this morning. I may or may not be making this up and may or may not have the GoPro footage to prove it.

  4. Mmmmm….if my memory serves me correctly (always questionable), and by secret communication text messaging with Dogg and G$, Wanker himself won Rosena Ranch Circuit Race this year. Twice.

    Let’s do some higher math (another questionable activity for me). If the vast majority of the people reading this blog took the total number of races they won this year, doubled it…and then multiplied that product by 87….the resulting integer is still infinitely smaller than the number or races Wanker won.

    This is true even if Wanker halves his total number of wins and the exercise is repeated.

    Some people reading this blog won a race this year. Maybe several. but do they have families, a job and perhaps interests other than biking? Probably some of them do. In that case they are truly studly. But I could likely count them on one hand. And they are certainly way better racers than I am. But not better than Wanker. His 2015 results prove it!

    Congratulations Wanker!

    BTW, how was the cactus after you head-butted it on the BWR?

    1. The cactus has filed a complaint in San Diego Superior Court alleging negligence, gross negligence, battery, and general stupidity. It’s a strong case.

    1. Snowballs appear regularly in hell compared to the probability that I would be anything there other than what I am here: fodder for the cannons.

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