Thoughts From Atop My Rollers (Goddamn You For This Stoepid Week)
The question was never if it can be done. Hell, I ride with three or four people every day at lunch who could do this thing with a day’s notice.
The question was: Could it be done by us?
We work too much and we ride too little, most of us, and we get sick (and got sick: hospital-sick and home-in-bed-flu sick, and I’ll-ride-anyway-fuck-you-little-virus sick through all this), and we coach kids in sports and work godawful retail hours and leave for work this time of year before sunrise and come home after sunup too many sometimes to be accurately termed anything other than many times, and there was too much on planes, in cars, at desks. And maybe someone now and then considers us fast, but we’ve always known (because we’ve known the fast): In truth we’re nothing more than as good as it gets for slow.
There’s Ben, of course. The good one, the true good one among us. He rides too much —if any qualifier needs to be put on his riding — but that is its own curse when it comes to this sort of ignorant undertaking. Full pro cross season, Europe and America, capped with a win in Tokyo just a few weeks ago, and you know all the guy wants to do is sit back and take in the season that was and not think about the season that must be, yet here he is doing this and doing it with the likes of us, and out of the six giving this a go he’s going to suffer the most mentally, no questions, all in, issue closed.
Can this be done by a guy who has no reason to do this, who has nothing to prove, who is at the ragged tail of a long and great season riding harder and faster than any of the rest of us? And can it done by the rest of us, who also have no reason to even think about doing this, who have something to prove but no idea who to prove it to or what sufficient proof is, guys getting on toward the ragged and shaggy ass-end of their dogs’ lives as mediocre amateur cyclists?
You go ahead and bet against us.
- Bill Strickland