|A very long peloton on PCH.|
This blathering blog entry profiles my recollections of the second of what I can only hope will be a centuries-long series of unsanctioned races disorganized by C. Casper Casparian. (What can the first C be short for? Cas Casper Casparian? That'd be great, because then saying his name would sound like you have a stuttering problem.) C-c-Casper calls them Old School Club Races, and I love these races for their brutal, no-holds-barred friendly competition to determine who is the alpha dog.
|State Champ Hime Herbert reppin' I. Martin. Arf. Tuttle lurks in the "unattached" kit, a 180 from his world champ stripes.|
|Joe of Joe's on Abbot Kinney fame, The Funk and style king Jack show Westside Velo. Sorry I didn't do the squad as proud as I should've.|
As we turned onto Mulholland and began to climb the coastal mountains after 26 miles on the Pacific Coast Highway, I did not rocket off the front only to implode. I didn't even try to stay with the fastest guys. I rode my own pace, saving energy for the final ascents of the race, which I notice tend to hand people's asses to their faces after 60-something miles. My plan was to catch a group that'd overextended themselves before the final climbs, and stick it to them right at the end because I had fresher legs. It's the little things for me -- especially little vendettas. I was well hydrated, eating right -- everything was on track. But as the miles went by, I found myself just getting slower. And sadder as a result.
|Marc Thomas, wiped. He laid like this for 90 minutes at the finish.|
|Marco looks like he had a tough day, too.|
The rest of the time I'd been pedaling, and just assumed that my lackluster legs were to blame for my lack of speed. But when I got home I noticed my back tire was unusually soft. I took out my trusty pressure gauge, and it read 30 psi. I'd started the day at a carefully calibrated 116 psi.
Had my tire been slowly leaking the whole time, sabotaging my race? Or was the leak a recent development? The devil is a slow leak; it will sap you as badly as roofies in your water bottle. (Maybe, haven't tried that.)
I don't know that I can blame tire pressure for my finishing place. But I'll try. If a slow leak was a culprit, what wickedness... Now instead of blaming myself, I can take solace that maybe it wasn't all my fault.
It's kind of like backing over someone, getting out of your car, and finding them dead. "I've killed them!" you'd wail. But then a lady standing there says, "No, he died of a heart attack ten minutes ago; you just backed over his dead body." It's still not a great situation. But you won't feel so bad, will you?
Maybe it's not quite like that.
Well, another 73 miles of speed racing, another 4200 calories burned before 11 am according to the heart rate monitor.
And of course the coda: my rockstorephotos.com permission-free borrowed image, or theft.
Does my back tire look low?