Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Climbing and The Muffin

Marco Pantani Park and Monument in his hometown, Cesenatico, IT

Three-fer-Thursday out here at the Rancho Relaxo, and the Pantani ride looms on the horizon. And I've got knee pain. Shooooot. Perhaps all of that sketchy singletrack in slushy (perfect) conditions was not the appropriate training regimen for the upcoming Pantani ride. So it's a self-imposed rest day today, like yesterday, but if my history dealing with injury is any indication, that means I'll rally tonight with CHAM at Blue Ridge School.

So I thought in the days leading up to the Pantani ride, I might cast a few pictures in here for appropriate inspiration. And you're invited. If you've got a photo of you on your bike going up something epic and tall, hit me. I'll get it up here with minimal photoshop modification.

Let's get started. Here we have two complete dorks standing at the top of Mt. Ventoux in southern France.

We actually came up from the little town of Sault on the East side of the peak, only to find out later that was the "easy" way up. Shawn smoked me once it got steep, shamelessly dropping me in the last 5k, but he bought me gummy worms at the top to compensate.
Of note, on the way up Ventoux - the memorial to Tom Simpson is inspiring stuff and worth a stop to take it all in, but also it's a good excuse to tell your brother why you got to the top 45 minutes behind him.

Moving on, a few days later we climbed Alpe D'huez. This time, after properly fueling Shawn with French gas-station cupcakes and espresso, I would have my day in the sun. He got away from me at the base, but I later came back and passed him on the final switchback.

big mountain views, coffee-cupcake flatulence.

"wow it's pretty up here. smells like rotten cupcakes though."

Notably, Pantani won Stage 12 of the Tour De France on this same stretch of road in 2000, one of the final chapters in his bitter rivalry with Lance Armstrong. Say what you will about gifts, drugs, or cupcakes, Marco got to the top first and that counts for something.

Let's dive headlong, willy-nilly into the mailbag for a spell, because sometimes that's where the action is. First, here we have a poignant display of the sort of great mind that is educating the future of America.

From: Cham To: BFR I thought I was the only nut riding at night these days. I have been at it solo style ever since I got rid of that frigin rigid torture device that held my front wheel on, of note (front wheel optional at the ridge). Thursday, night ride, hills, rocks, and werewolf, (hair raising) noises coming out of the dark hollow (great song by the way). Get over here.

There's a real lack of clarity there, bike infected gibberish with rally on the brain. But I know exactly what he means. Proof positive that Johnny needs to rally, not read.

From: BigJohninRichmond To: BRC RE: Hilbert Enduro I need to get it in my head that enduro is only 5 hours. I keep thinking it is 6. For whatever reason 5 seems more reasonable.

I couldn't agree more. But I'll also state with total clarity that around hour 4 of such an effort, the proposition of either a 5 or 6 hour enduro are both terrible options. And anyway, let's focus on the immediate matter at hand: Marco Pantani. February 13th. BigJohn, in particular, has the sort of feathery, stiff, get-you-to-the-front-and-stay-there steed that would likely be the first bike over Fox mtn.

Last but certainly not least, the Muffin:
from: kev29ermuffin to: brc
Dangermuffin is coming to the Southern on the 10th! Help me get the word out, eh?
And for the Facebookers:
The lead singer and I go way back...back before he could grow a beard and I had long flowing locks.

As hard as it is to put aside the image of Kev29ers long flowing locks, try to do so for a moment and focus on the music. Because that's the good stuff right there. And it falls on three-fer-Thursday next week. Anyone with a hankering for a pre-show, post-dusk, ohill meltdown lap around 7 PM can apply herein.

You may now resume your focus on those long flowing locks, if indeed you were even able to tear your eyes away in the first place.

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