Friday, September 25, 2009
En traînant mon cul épais partout dans le Midwest
Photo courtesy of Mark Keller
It is with some regret that I am posting this message on our board, since it reports no impressive cycling endeavors, unlike the preceding messages which did celebrate yet another championship win by a member of the Bouledogue team.
This story is largely one of athletic failure. For me, 2009 was the year that I showed up to race the Blue Mounds road race with a 12-23 cassette and 35 pounds overweight (try smashing that gear over...you get passed by everyone), suffered and failed in nearly every race--although there were rare instances where I outlasted my rivals--and raced the second half of July and parts of August with a broken collarbone and separated shoulder. I was the worst category three rider in the Midwest.I can handle being an awful rider because almost one year ago I was crippled. I had spent over a week in the hospital after doctors ripped the lining of my spinal cord open in an unfortunate surgical accident. It left me essentially disabled (hence the weight gain) and the resulting muscular spasms left my spine twisted and maladjusted to this day.
Regardless, 2009 was the most successful year in this team's three-year history. We became leaner and meaner. It marked the point when we took control of who we were as athletes and members of the cycling community. We chose to made a stand, and were better off for it. We promoted causes that mattered to us and helped other people rather than promoting ourselves, and the rewards were greater.
It was also the year that I got back on my bike. I made sure to finish every race even after it had become an embarrassment to continue. I had dearly missed cycle racing, and was overjoyed to have it back in my life.
As we gear up for the future there are many reasons to look ahead. Our team is growing in quality because of who we are, not because of what we give to people. We now have riders in multiple states, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, and Louisiana, and are riding the best bicycles (Storck**) manufactured today. Most importantly, we are friends.
**Do you think carbon fiber bikes are brittle? My Storck went 20 feet in the air when someone decided to ride no handed in front of me during a race. My shoulder did not survive, but the Storck was not even scratched. Try that with your Cannondale.