Don't get me started on the passage of time. I'll start blubbering, and you'll get uncomfortable, and we'll both leave this awkward blog post a little stranger than we started, and no one wants that.
Yesterday, under a huge blue sky and on near perfect dirt, The tenth Pantani ride went live after a rough go of weather for the last 6 weeks. Sensory shock and springtime bliss being as they are, it was pretty surreal. There was this long stretch in the middle of the afternoon, 2 pm or so I guess, and I was climbing brokenback and feeling pretty dizzy, and the sun was beating down and it was finally full-on hot, and I couldn't remember how old Scud was when he passed away, or what the last song was on the Metallica black album, or when I started riding bikes.
These are the things you begin to forget, I've been told. But they also stick with you, in ways that you can't identify.
The last time I rode with Scud was up there, on a full moon ride to flattop, and the dirt that night might have been the only time it's ever been better. So I always feel a little connected to Scud when I'm up that way.
Then, to make his point perhaps, there was this massive tailwind on the ride back in, maybe 20 miles/hour or more at times, and as I came past the turn for Davis Shop - for my tenth Pantani finish that is - there were dead leaves blowing up the hill faster than I could pedal. I was physically and suddenly awakened by that, and I had to pause and smile. Son of a bitch crafty old bike rats always know when to attack.
Chris Michaels from Rocktown took the W in fine form with a 30+ mile solo breakaway. On a full suspension mountain bike. Into a headwind. Along the way, he got all 5 kom's, and he finished in 2:58. That's some Pro level shit.
Not as pro, but way, way better, Chris is now the proud owner of the tackiest kit on Earth, that being the Maillot Pistachio for the W and the accompanying but not-so-matching handknit knickers. I'll track those down and deliver them for you, Chris, after a really minimal amount of wearing them myself.
Anyway, a big crew hung about for a while, we followed all of the action up with a few hours of lying around in the sunshine on my front deck, eating chips and drinking beers, and swapping war stories and ride plans, and things finally came into focus. It was like the afternoon was celebrating us just as much as vice versa, and you only get so many days like that.
So anyway, thanks to all of you for coming out and getting rad, and thanks for peeking in on us Scud, wherever you are, where I hope that you're out riding and not waiting for us.