Meyruis, Lozere, June 26, 1977. Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me.(from "The Rider", by Tim Krabbe*)
|Photo courtesy of Mike Briggs|
I live for June and July. This is my prime time. It's the thick of the road racing season, what I've worked so hard for, since the end of last year's racing season. I'm in the best condition right now than I have been all year, or that I will be until this time again next year (hopefully).
Mid-summer racing is the reason for all those mountainous base miles in Death Valley at the end of February. It's the reason for all those 3+ hour,cold rides throughout fall and winter, dressed in layers but still numb from the soaked-to-the-bone icy rain. It's the reason for all those painfully long and boring indoor sufferfests (so dreaded). It's the reason - the only reason - to forego that second beer I desperately want/need at the end of a long training ride.
And it especially comes down to the contre le montre, the race of truth that is the Time Trial. I've worked my ass off for this. Now I'm ready to face the truth.
*Thanks to Steve 'Protoceratops' Barnes for turning me on to this excellent book.