Friday, May 2, 2008

Lady Luck is an Evil Heartless Bitch.

So I was well on my redeeming myself. Was being the operative word there. Let's start with yesterday's stage:

Stage Two of the 2008 tour of the Gila -- I remember this stage well. Historically I spend the bulk of this stage in no man's land either by myself (in between the breakaway and the field in 2006) or as part of a small chase group (in between the two halves of the split field in 2007). Determined to save as much energy as possible, I did something a little counterintuitive--- I throttled it through the first 10 miles of climbing, and fought hard to stay near the front all day. That way I stayed in the field all day, as opposed to the numerous schmucks who got popped in the hills or through the wind throughout the day. Tecos -- that team of mighty Mexicans and colossal Columbians did a fantastic job of keeping control of the race lead. With a few miles left to go, the pace quickened, and the crosswinds plastered the leftovers of the field against the gutter. I decided it would be about as hard to fight for a spot in the top twenty as it would to get guttered and leapfrog guys as they got popped (or worse yet, get popped myself). With two miles to go, no team had really grabbed the race by the horns (despite the fact that the fill Toyota and Bissell teams were up there), and I just took a deep breath and put in a hard effort, moving up along the outside, into the top ten guys. Finally the Colavita team managed to get an attack together, and I wasn't in position to respond (although I could have been -- I was a little timid being around all those big-name guys/teams). Instead I waited for the Race Leader to surge hard (in what I assume was a desperate attempt to avoid losing time), and sprinted around him and his teammate in the final 200m. I actually won some money ($45 whole dollars ma!!), something I didn't really expect to pull off, seeing as how I'm now fully out of the GC. You can see me in the background of this picture (I'm the blurry guy):

Now let's get to Stage 3:

I miiiiiight have to rant here. Bare with me.


LADY LUCK, FUCK YOU! NO SERIOUSLY, FUCK YOU, I CURSE YOUR NAME, AND WISH ALL SORTS OF NASTY AILMENTS AND AFFLICTIONS UPON YOU. LIKE MUMPS, OR MEASLES--BOTH OF WHICH I'M SURE ARE NASTY, AWFUL THINGS TO HAVE (despite my not really knowing what the heck mumps or measles are). I HOPE YOU TOTALLY GET CUT OFF IN TRAFFIC AND SUFFER ROAD RAGE AND GET PULLED OVER FOR GOING 135 MPH IN A 35 ZONE AND GET YOUR LICENSE REVOKED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING. LADY LUCK, DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW MAD AT YOU I AM???


Long story short -- I was having a great ride in the TT today, and I WAS ROBBED!!!! I nailed every section of the course: didn't blow up on the way out, drilled it over the top of the first climb, got into a really aero tuck on the steep descent, caught my 3 minute man by the turnaround, kept it steady on the way back, throttled it up the second big climb, and thanked my lucky stars I tracked down a 56 chainring for the last 4 miles because I needed every tooth. With 3 miles to go, just as I was BLAZING past my 7 minute man (to be fair, he was on a road bike), my front tire started to feel funny. With about 2 miles to go, I was certain I had a leaky tire, but through I could just ride it out. With about 2 k to go, my tire went completely flat, and I realized I was going to ruin my fancy carbon wheel if I kept racing on it. I pulled over with 1500 meters left in the race, and walked home -- but I screamed and cursed and had to use every OUNCE of restraint I had to keep myself from stomping my foot clean through my disc wheel.

I figured I'd earned the right to have a good ride, especially after the morning I'd had; I realized my bike wasn't UCI legal, and since they did check bikes at this race (as has reportedly been happening more and more (perhaps this increased curmudgeonly scrutiny is an attempt to make up for the fact that there is no drug testing at the race (which there fucking should be in my humble fucking opinion))) -- sorry -- anyway, where was I? Oh yeah -- I needed to make my aerobars 1 cm shorter this morning. Doing so involved asking every bike mechanic in the parking lot if they had the shims that make a 28.8mm handlebar fit a 31.1 mm stem clamp, finally finding a guy who had some, grinding a piece of metal off of said shims with a dremmel tool so they would fit under the face plate, and cautiously tightening my bars into this full blown kludgie of a hack job of a clusterfuck. See for yourself.

See that gap between my stem and my bars? That's a DICEY fuckin' way to ride some aerobars, I'll tell you -- but I somehow made it work. COME ON!!!

FUCK!!!!!!

Oh yeah, and I shaved off the mustache. WHATEVER!

6 comments:

vannablog said...

Shit Sam. Saying 'sorry, that sucks' doesn't really really cut it here, but I know how that must feel and I hope it goes better the next stage.

Brando said...

Sammy,
Remember when you flatted in the OSU road race in 2006? That afternoon, needing redemption, you tore my fucking legs off as you towed my sorry, broken ass around the TTT course like an Imperial Star Destroyer. Too bad we had to finish with two cause I only slowed you down. Ride like that tomorrow. Own those bitches.

And remember that a bad day at the races is better than a good day in the office, listening to the washed-up has-beens wax disdainfully about everything.
-Brando

Anonymous said...

STEADY...

LAV said...

these things happen. good job in stage two. ride like hell tomorrow.

J. Bing said...

Damn, Sam.

I'm glad to hear you were having a good ride up until that.

I'm glad you and the razor have worked through your differences. Your relationship will be much closer in the future, I can tell...

Justin Rose said...

not to change the subject or anything, but that means i won the walla walla TT, right? haha, no? ok, i'm cool with 2nd.