The Atheist Training Bible for Old Bicycle Racers, Chapter 21: Don’t you dare
September 23, 2016 § 19 Comments
The most fertile or febrile part of your year is here. It’s the time when you can do other things than cycle. You can explore new activities and develop new skills, strengthen your weaknesses and strengthen your strengthiness. You can give your legs, and most importantly, your feeble mind a rest. You can relax a little bit and even try out sports that you’ve always been a bit interested in but have never had the time or energy to squeeze in between your 3-a-day interval workouts.
You can do all of that and more. Don’t.
Specifically, don’t do the following:
- Tell me about how you’ve started running. Running is for runners. You are an old worn out shoe of a fake bike racer doper who dribbles pee at night. Running will improve none of that and only hurt your knee. Plus, you will never be a runner. You are a jogger. If you can say, “I’ve taken up jogging in the off season!” with a straight face, okay, go ahead.
- Post gym selfies. The gym is a place where insane cycling delusions go to get pumped up on steroids. Lifting weights only improves your ability to lift weights. Doing squats only helps you squat down better with a chest of drawers on your back. You are not a lifter, you are a weight-obsessed worn out old shoe and lifting even a carton of milk gains useless muscles and hints to your S/O that you might be able to do something useful around the house. Strava Jr. tosses his water bottles, cell phone, and socks at the base of the Switchbacks and whips you like a pissed off wench in a dominatrix show, and he ain’t lifting no weights.
- Sign up for yoga. Yoga will help you live a better more fulfilling life, ergo it’s stupid as fuck. Mindfulness is the enemy of the crafty, shrewd, back-stabbing instincts that will allow you dominate the 55+ mid-pack position in every crit finish. And shut up yesterday about flexibility. You should look the same way off the bike as on: hunched, bowbacked, goofy-kneed, crany-necked, and as unsteady on your pegs as a drunken sailor. The more permanently hunched you are in real life, the more aero when they pry apart your arms and legs to set you on the bike.
- Hit the pool. You know how many people drowned in pools between 2004 and 2014? 3,536. You know how many people drowned on bikes since the beginning of time? One. And it was a triathlete (of course) who got the order mixed up and biked off into the ocean at Kona.
- Base miles. The only thing you had better be doing with the word “base” in it is “freebase.” Bike miles are for hammering. If you don’t hurt, why are you even alive? Rest when you’re dead.
- Training camp. If your clubteam has a training camp, change clubteams. Training camp implies a) You haven’t been training and b) You think roasting marshmallows over a burning tire and crapping in a trench is fun. If a), get the hell out of the yoga gym pool, slap it in the big dog and go knock out six consecutive 700-mile weeks that are heavy on sprints, 20-minute threshold efforts, 1-hour time trials, standing starts, and hill repeats. If b), sell your bike and become a scoutmaster.
- Cyclocross. Cylocross will leave you exhausted, injured, slow, and in the possession of a bike that’s so bad for riding you have to carry it. The only thing ‘cross has going for it is that it’s fun, and nothing ruins a road season, a road racing mentality, or life in general as thoroughly as fun.
- Group rides. These will wreck your season because you will get to know, like, and appreciate your clubteam mates. Nothing sucks away your ability to lie, cheat, betray and crush a person like friendship and empathy. The only acceptable group rides are ones you advertise as “no drop, beginners welcome” and begin at 32 mph into a stiff headwind.
That’s all for now. Gotta go do some intervals. It’s already Sepfuckingtember.
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The Atheist Training Bible for Old Bicycle Racers, Chapter 16: Assume the position
February 11, 2016 § 14 Comments
It’s been proven time and time again that if you want to rise to the top as a SoCal masters profamateur leaky prostate underwear racer, the best thing you can do is go full carbon with 100% carbon items made of guaranteed unadulterated carbon.
After that your best bet is a motor in the seat tube and plenty of drugs.
However, if you can’t afford a good EPO program or a secret motor, there are ways to do better without spending more money, although frankly, what fun is that?
One of the least-explored aspects of not getting killed while racing, and not getting dropped right off the bat, is positioning. Every peloton has three anatomical parts: The head, the tummy, and the butt.
The head is where the thinking occurs, where the racing occurs, and where the race gets won. This is where you want to always be, and where I never am except for those races I target because there are only one or two other participants.
The tummy is the middle of the pack, bulgy and comfy but mostly concerned with flabbing around and wondering why the belt feels so tight. Much carbon is digested in the middle of the pack, because this is most often where bicycle-falling-off-incidents occur, and expensive pieces of bicycle toy are quickly reduced to odd-shaped carbon splinters and twisted pieces of soft metal and skin chunks and howling fellows who don’t have health insurance so they refuse the ambulance ride and bleed out in the back of a buddy’s Corolla.
The butt is a necessary place because that’s where the useless bits get pooped out after having had all the nutrients and utility stripped out of them. Lots of stuff goes from the head to the butt, but nothing good ever goes the other way. So if you find yourself there, you are in the wrong place unless you’re Kent Bostic, who used to tailgun every crit until the last lap, when he would magically move up 100 places and win.
Please remember: You’re not the Bostisaurus.
There are a few simple reasons you wind up in the tummy and butt.
- You let other people get ahead of you because you are weak and fearful.
- You drift to the back because you are weak and fearful.
- You’re hanging onto the end because you’re weak, and probably fearful too.
In order to position yourself so that you’re always in the head you must push down hard on the pedals and not let others in front of you. Try sticking out your elbows, or if you have big, droopy love handles, wiggling them. If the riders you just passed get back in front of you, you must push down hard on the pedals again and get back in front of them.
After a while someone will get tired of this and move down the digestive tract and get dropped off at the pool. Don’t let it be you.
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The Atheist Training Bible for Old Bicycle Racers, Chapter 15: Endeavor to persevere
December 26, 2015 § 20 Comments
Starting tomorrow or the day after we’re going to be awash in resolutions for 2016, but in reality every cyclist has one and one resolution only, and it’s this: “Stop eating during the holidays.”
This is impossible, and the intensity of the desire to stop eating is perfectly balanced with the insane quantity and quality of lip-smacking yummies at every turn. How about the bastard who gave me TWO pecan pies, one for my birthday and one for fucking Christmas?
FUCK YOU, Smasher, you fucking fucker.
What about the “friend” who gave me a “Merry Birthmas” packet of homemade chocolate smunchers with nuts and sugar and butter and chocolate and powdered yumminess?
FUCK YOU, fake friend!
What about the wife who bought my son a fucking Baskin-Robbins Giant-Sized Oreo Ice Cream Cake, served it on Thursday, and then on Friday dragged out a 10-lb. chocolate-and-strawberry birthday cake flanked with cream, sugar, frosting, and a giant chocolate placard that read “Happy Birthday, I love you”?
FUCK YOU, treasonous and perfidious wife!
That doesn’t even begin to count the “invitations” to parties loaded with cookies and goodies and cake (you bastards know who you are), the boxes of chocolates and goodies from the Big Island Gout Factory, and the sorry dungheads at Quill Office Products who sent a fucking can of Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookies along with an order for ink toner.
I’VE RUN OUT OF FUCKS! I’VE RUN OUT OF FUCKS!
So bottom line is you’re already deep in a calorie hole that a Caterpillar couldn’t dig out of, and you barely have a garden trowel. So all you can do is try to slow down the giant vacuuming sound your mouth makes every time someone drops off a new load of diet-destroying sugary goodies, destined to make you happy and miserable all at the same time, with the misery attaching mostly to your tummy and butt and thighs and hanging around waaaaaay longer than the happy, which really only lingered on your tongue for a few seconds anyway.
Here, then, are your pre-New Year’s Resolutions, designed to get you safely through to Jan. 1, 2016.
- When someone offers you something to eat, snarl and say “FUCK YOU!” Bite their hand if you have to.
- Throw away all the food in the house. Now. All of it. Don’t worry, by 9:00 PM tonight there will be a whole new pile.
- Pour out all the booze. And milk. Pour out everything except what’s in the faucet.
- Open your “cycling energy” drawer and toss everything in a wrapper or bottle, except the Percocet.
- Decline all invitations, go nowhere.
- Don’t let anyone come in.
- Pull the covers up over your head.
And remember, after Jan. 1, you’re on your own.
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The Atheist Training Bible for Old Bicycle Racers, Chapter 14: : It gets easier, you just go slower
December 10, 2015 § 29 Comments
One of the greatest lines in old man cycling lore was coined by Greg Lemond, and we’ve all tattooed it on our foreheads for those mornings when it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s dark, it’s nasty, it’s punishing, plus it’s all those things outdoors, too.
Here, of course, is the mantra: “It doesn’t get easier, you just go faster.”
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth, or farther, if you’re still stuck in that further/farther grammar debate that was resolved in the last century. And to find the ludicrous falsity of the statement we need look no further/farther than Greg himself.
He’s so slow now that I could beat him with one leg tied behind your back. And talk about going easier … that guy shows up on charity rides and practically has to be pushed. On the flats. He’s bigger than the cargo hold of a C-5 Galaxy, and far from gutting out the pain as he suffers like a dog, when he pedals he looks happier than vegan at a tofu slaughterhouse.
So today’s atheist old fart cycling clinic, the mantra is this: “It gets easier, you just go slower.” This idea that you’re a fitness machine on an ever-ascending scale to the summit of Mt. Eddy is a big, fat, stinking bucket of rotten dogsbodies, and in today’s workout regimen you’re finally going to remove your head from the swill and take a breath of fresh air.
To recap: You are older each day. As you age you become irreversibly weaker, Meeker notwithstanding, and then you die. This can’t be prevented by strengthening your core or RuggedMaxx2 vegan organic sex pills.
The “easier and slower” mantra perfectly comports with the natural collapse of all physical and mental systems as you age. Even if you’re Todd Hickman and pumped full of stanozolol, you’re still going slower than you did when you were 25. And if you’re going faster at 45 than you were at 25, it’s because you weren’t very fast back then, or perhaps you were dead.
I can hear the wailing and teeth-gnashing now. “Uh-uh! I PR’ed the Strive segment by my mailbox! By five seconds!”
“Studies show that [insert ridiculous claim here]!”
“Older riders have better endurance!”
Blah de blah de blah de Bladi.
In response, please note that there are a host of parameters to measure your slowness, and the best one is your placing in UCI Pro Tour races. Oh? You don’t do those? Well then you’re so slow that you’re way behind last place. You know how people deride second place as the “first loser”? If you’re not racing the Pro Tour you’re the zillionth loser. (Pro tip: Masters racing isn’t equivalent to the UCI Pro Tour .)
So here’s how you integrate the “slower but easier” methodology into your training regimen, customized for your decaying body and mind.
- When doing intervals, which, by the way, you should not be doing at your age, and for which you should frankly be ashamed of yourself, as soon as you start to “feel the burn” in your lungs or legs, douse the fire by pushing down less hard on the pedals. It will feel better and you will go slower.
- When climbing out of the saddle and you’re “on the rivet,” sit down and get “off the rivet.” Inhale deeply as you push down less hard. Get off your bike and sit on a guardrail. See how many bird species you can identify in the next thirty minutes. See how much easier it got?
- If the peloton begins ramping it up for a sprunt, move your hand from your drops to the hoods and then to the tops, and pushing down less hard on the pedals until you are by yourself which will be immediately. You will be going much slower and your groin parts will be feeling lots better, plus you will not be the guy skidding on his gums after Wanks McGee chopped his wheel to take the imaginary victory. Genteelly remove your cigarette case and enjoy a Virginia Slims.
- Set up your indoor trainer with the 95-inch TV monitor for a simulated interval sesh on a hilly stage of the Tour, and program it for at least four hours. Then set up a card table with a catered 12-course sushi and fried chicken and chocolate cake lunch with leftover tins of Danish butter cookies. Turn on the sim program, pull up a chair to the card table, and see if you can eat all the food before the program ends.
There. You’ve gone easier, and you just went slower. A shit ton slower. Didn’t that feel better anyway?
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