Greetings from humanity’s sewer. The modern day airport is everything that’s wrong with the world. The low-wage laborers toil through mundane days with little pay, are fed a steady diet of McDonalds and diet Pepsi as they throw my Precious around like a bikecase full of trash. Fake security instills our fear of fake terror–an old ploy by the missile man to sell three million dollar peace-makers built for reigning down shock and awe upon 30-dollar mud huts. The airport is a place where everyone is in a hurry to go sit down some more. It’s a dirty trough filled with stinking lines of impatient slobs tripping upon themselves in a crowded, uncomfortably sterile, fluorescently lighted mall of coughing, diseased, overweight and out of breath sheep who stand and pant upon moving sidewalks and stairs while they spike their insulin with frappacinos in preparation for going down to sit some more. Meanwhile, snow-capped peaks loom on the fading horizon, completely unfilled to the brim with screaming babies and crying parents. Silent they are, and filled only with cool, fresh mountain air and pine trees…still smoldering from last season’s forest fires and ready to ignite from the first Spring spark. Dry and dead, decaying in a dying world, the trees are proof that our blinders are so tight we can’t even see straight ahead. We’re fighting for seating zone 2, complaining about the lack of free snacks aboard our three-hour flight, texting incoherent crap in boredom instead of talking to the person sitting next to us. We’re prodded onto the plane, sit down in front of our personalized advertisement screens which are implanted in the seatback 20-inches from our face. They chant USA, USA and scream Best Buy, Burger King’s Baconator, and also get a Cadillac to haul your lard-laden ass to and from nowhere and nowhere.
Each of us is everything to somebody. Each of us is nobody to everyone else. So fuck em I guess. Fuck em all to hell, except you of course. For some reason I thought about this as I lay in a nest of 75 million down feathers in the backseat of Adelaide’s car while she and I and her sister, Lydia, drove down from the mountains two weekends ago on a Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining brightly upon my face, I’d recently eaten leftover Mexican food and I’d just finished a four-hour ride. Content doesn’t begin to describe my disposition at the time.
We’d spent the weekend in Salida, leaving work and a snowstorm down in Boulder on Friday, arriving at a hostel late at night to lay in bunks and only dream of sleep all night long. The snores from one of the other patrons would have been loud enough to keep a sleep-deprived narcoleptic awake and annoyed. I hit the culprit with a pillow multiple times to no avail.
The next morning Adelaide set out on a 26-mile trail race, which left the cozy mountain town of Salida and went straight up into the surrounding peaks. The run would take her over five hours. 150 other runners set out with her, some finishing and some succumbing to reality. It was cold, growing colder and began snowing later in the day. Since my legs were crushed from back-to-back days of VO2 intervals, but mainly because I was barely functioning on the three hours of sleep I’d gotten the night before, I decided to spend the day inside and in bed back at the hostel. But before that I rode to a breakfast diner and devoured a thick stack of pancakes and biscuits and gravy, all drowned in syrup and peanut butter.
On the start line for a long, cold day.
Adelaide, before the race and also before she lost her Camel-pack.
I was all set to race in Tucson last weekend at the Tucson Bicycle Classic but I got sick the day before my flight. I cancelled last minute, took two days off work to sleep and eat chicken soup, and quickly regained my strength in time to start up my intervals again before San Dimas. That takes us up to present time. Already today I’ve spent a full day at work, got a ride to Denver with Dan, who I work with, did an hour spin from his house, packed my bike and got delivered to the bus station just in time for the bus to the airport. Now all I have to do is fly, get picked up by a college friend, Will, and crash at his house tonight, somehow get to San Dimas tomorrow morning from LA (not sure how this will happen yet but it will likely involve buses and walking), meet Colin and Ross, whom I’m rooming with, ride the road race course for two or so hours, do packet pick up, eat dinner, find our cheap, run-down motel, and finally sleep before the race starts on Friday. Keeping the stress levels low before a travel race is key. Sometimes it’s easy to burn out before you even get to the start line.
Also of importance: we had our team presentation a few weeks ago right after I got back from Merco. A section of Boulder’s Rio Grande was closed off for the event while Dave Towel announced and did a quick interview with each of us and a number of our sponsors, including Rio’s owner Pat McGaughran and BCSM founder Andy Pruitt. I managed to stay pretty professional and only dropped the F-bomb eight times by accident. It would have been easy to REALLY overeat, considering there was a fajita bar, endless enchiladas, stuffed peppers, horse-meat hors d’oeuvres, and drinks. I refrained and only had two and a half plates of food and two slices of cake from Kim and Jake’s Cakes.
And last but not least, I waxed my chain a few nights ago. According to recent science, but not previous science, paraffin wax is the shit for riding fast and clean. I’ll attest to the cleanliness part of the claim. After cleaning my drivetrain and applying the wax there’s still not even one spot of grease or muck on my chain and I haven’t cleaned it since. It was super easy to do and pretty fun.
I bought two pounds of Paraffin but only needed one. They’re $5 each. One pound will probably last for 20 waxes or more.
It took like 20 minutes to melt while I cleaned my chain.
I did quite a bit of finger waxing too.
I let the chain sit in the pot for 15 minutes or so.
Seasoned the chain.
Once it dried it came out real stiff of course but is running super smoothly now. I estimate that it saves roughly between 1 and 40 watts.