Monday, January 16, 2012

Confirming the Existence of Gravity

Happy January 16th everybody!! Just like New Years day only two weeks later and without the hangover. Ok, so the holidays have passed, the world has returned to work and I can now go on living my snarky little anti-consumer existence without having to justify my lack of a shopping list to anyone. My relationship with Christmas has been fading for years but this past holiday really sealed the deal. Was it the mace attack that made my day? Nope. How about a bunch of people fighting over cheap waffle irons at Walmart? No, not that one either. My personal favorite was hearing that all three malls in the Queen City had to be shut down and evacuated because of the fighting that broke out over the new limited edition Air Jordan sneaker. I saw a young lady on the news explaining to a bewildered reporter that while pushing through the crowds to get at this new shoe she actually managed to lose the shoes she was wearing. To wait in line for 12 hours only to return home with a net loss is not so good. Hee Hee.

I love January for just one reason. Ok, make that two. The first of course is having the opportunity to call people up North to ask them about the weather. I like to do this while sitting on my balcony. I like to tell my Northern friends that it almost cool enough out for me to need a sweater. Almost. Something about that conversation always makes me smile. The second reason I love January is that it marks the start of the Winter Short Track Series. Yesterday was the first race of the series and it did not disappoint. The weather was fantastic, the crowd was huge and I was...well, I was there.

First and foremost, I was there on a new bike. I like new bikes. They are the only thing I really spend any money on evidenced by the fact that I am writing this post while wearing a shirt I bought during my sophomore year of college. That was the best $11.99 I have ever spent.

For the foreseeable future I will be riding a Felt 9 Solo. Yes it is a 29er. Yes it is a single speed. Yes it is awesome. As awesome as my Stumpjumper you ask? Well, the jury is still out on that one. I'll need to spend a little more time in the saddle before I'm comfortable enough to commit to that. Either way, it certainly does look good...

New bike day is the best day.

Armed with my shiny new weapon of choice I lined up for my first race of the season yesterday afternoon. Of course, I was in the single speed class. Why do I ride and race a single speed? Because I am very, very stupid. You should all really know that by now. Please try to pay attention.

I was actually pretty optimistic about my chances despite the fact that I have not ridden my bike much in the past three months. I could even go so far as to say I felt strong. The first lap was a mess as always but that had more to do with the fact that I always line up at exactly the wrong spot in the middle of the pack. I did manage to move up four spots by the end of the lap and even fell into pretty nice rhythm. Two or three laps in I was moving well and seemed to be picking up speed. Then it happened....I cramped. First in my left calf and then my right. I have had cramping problems for the past eight months and can say with the utmost confidence that I am not a fan. But, given the short distance of the race, I kept going and just tried to hold my position. When the call rang out that we had one lap to go I took off with everything I had. That is never a good idea. It turns out that just because you can make the bike go really fast it does not necessarily mean you can control it. For those of you out there wondering if the laws of gravity are still in effect you can sleep well tonight knowing you won't be floating away any time soon. I hit the ground hard and just for good measure I slid for a while. That was fun. I lost a few places while dusting myself off and limped through the finish line with a slightly rearranged left leg.

Are you hungry? I’m hungry. We should get salad.

As you can see, my season is off to a bumpy start. There are four more races in the series and if you put them all together into one race it would still be too short for me. But alas, I love racing in any form I can get it. Keep your fingers crossed next Sunday and maybe, just maybe, I’ll keep my bike upright and my legs intact so I can deliver a good and proper mid-pack finish. Momma always told me to aim high……