Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After I watched Lance on the Podium in Paris I pulled on my riding duds, went out to the shed, and pumped up my road bike tires. I took some grease from the chain (roadie chains are nasty!) and wrote LANCE in grease on the outside of my left leg below my knee.
I proceeded to do my 24 mile time trial which goes along the backside of San Pablo Ridge for 9 miles and then climbs directly over it at 6%-9% for 2 1/2 miles. Ahead of me uphill about 200 yards was a guy in a yellow jersey, I swear to god, and I thought of reeling him in and just chuckled to myself, settling into my climbing.
The first 1/3 of this climb is the stiffest so I just kept my head into getting out of the saddle and then back in, as the slope varies from ravine to ridge, watching for cars and such, spinning under the madrone, oak, and bay trees. About half way through the stiff part the Yellow Jersey was just ahead of me and laboring and I caught him in the next turn. He was pushing a pretty hard gear (39/21) and had two lower to use. A I pulled next to him I said, "great job in that stiff gear" and he smiled and shifted down.
At that moment another rider on a red bike, butt planted firmly in the saddle, passed us doing pretty well and I went to follow him. Inside of 2 turns he had put 30 yards on me inspite of my best Jan Ullrich grimmace.
The second 1/3 of the road is 6% and allows for harder gears. A lot of riders take this opportunity to stay in their easy gears for a break but I tried to keep the pressure up and he kept pullng away. The last 1/3 is about 3% and I usually get into my big ring and stand to pick up speed and keep the tempo up. The Red Rider was gone. I never saw the guy again.
I was tempted to report the abduction of a fellow rider by aliens as he just flat out disappeared into nowhere. I looked down into the ravines thinking that he may have crashed or looked to find him pulled off to the side of the climb collapsed over the bars wheezing like a bellows with the difficulty I put him through, chagrinned at his audacity.
A cooler head reasoned that a good rider ran into another good rider and was passed by a even gooder rider. At the same time I recalled that the TDF riders raced up slopes steeper than these, at altitude, for distances 5-7 times longer at much higher speeds, racing for a total distance of 125 miles or so and THEN sprint to the finish. And, they get up the next day and do it again. And the next day. And the next. They are that good.
The ride across the park straddling the nexus of the San Pablo and Berkeley ridges is known to me. There are places for tempo, false flats, a down with an esse, a short nasty climb where you can attack and overtake better riders, and a gradual gentle 1% down where you can keep 25 mph without a huge effort and feel like you can really ride. It feels good enough to get a teensy taste of what great is, in the small pond just outside my sofa.
Salute'!
 

·
Code Monkey
Joined
·
652 Posts
here here

Few sports fans really know the hell the Tour puts a rider through. And how perfectly tuned the body has to be to even come close to participating in a road race in the first place.

Thanks for the post! Now I can't wait for my Old La Honda road ride tomorrow.
 

·
It's about showing up.
Joined
·
12,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
A friend sent me this

I hear you.

My commute down B'way to downtown Oakland isn't really the L'Alpe de Huez.
And my tie is flapping in the breeze as I chase after guys wearing leather
dress shoes with their trouser legs stuck in their silk socks. And my
Schwinn Mtn Bike that's been converted to a street bike w/ skinny tires?
Let's just say I'll have no problem meeting the tour's 6.5 kilo minimum --
twice.

But I do arrive at work much sweatier than I did a month ago....

ciao,

d.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
my trib

bought a new yellow jersey...now i just need 5 more to round out the collection.
on a somewhat unrelated thread, i re-read an old ish of velo news from Lance's world's win in 93 and mere youngster - was fun to read the quotes from the sages of the peloton. most cogradulated him on the win but the jack a$$ of the peloton [chiapucci - gad i hated that guy] had the best line:
he may become a good rider in the classics but he will never win a major tour

:D
think you got that backwards claude!
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top