Tuesday, March 27, 2007

monday bike riding

i went for a bike ride
with little richard monday afternoon.

he's a senior at roosevelt; good kid.
loves the idea of bike riding and racing.
he's going to tcu this fall,
and he visited the campus over his spring break
to meet the other guys on the college cycling team.
he's even living in the athlete's dormitory.
i wonder what the big old football players will think
when they see this little kid running around
with his tight pants and cleated shoes and his bicycle.
[college students can be so mean, you know.]
~ ~ ~ ~
mondays are always recovery days; the theory being that
you've raced on saturday and sunday,
and need a day of "active recovery" before getting down to
another week of intense training.
lots of people don't really understand the concept of active recovery.
it's simple: it's that riding that is so easy
that you feel guilty about doing it.
that's why some folks can't do it.
they treat cycling like it's a job; a job that they hate.
makes no sense to me.
most professional cyclists, whose job really IS riding a bike,
LIKE their jobs. no, most of them LOVE their jobs.
michael fatka, of michael's cyclery in ames
[back in the day: early 70s through mid to late 90s?]
used to be the director of one of THE cycling teams of the day,
the raleigh team, which featured some of the best riders of that era,
including some who are still racing today.
but that's another post; today, we're talking about monday rides.
anyway, michael always said to keep it 80/20:
20% hard cycling, and 80% easy.
that's why i have a basement full of old bicycles--
just for fun.
i've got multiple stingrays, many cruisers,
a couple old tandems, my bmx bikes,
my flamed-out 20" specialized, &
my classic looking gt 24" cruiser class gt.
these bikes are great.
i can't help but have fun riding those damned things.
and i pull out one or the other on a regular basis.
it helps me remember why i ride bikes,
and why and how much i love riding.
you've seen the pictures of me during the gravel races,
covered with all kinds of shit, head to toe.
and happy as a clam.
christ, i have a racing age of 54.
i'm out there sloggin around with guys 18 to 40,
holding my own, bitching and cussing,
and having fun.
i don't know that little richard ever had been on
such a ride as we had monday:
50 miles, three hours, some gravel, some easy rolling hills.
and absolutely NO pressure.
we left town with dave lippold,
who is a strict adherent to the notion of easy mondays,
and we met up with dave cornelison,
still getting over his anxiety since getting
pegged by some asshole kid in a pickup last may.
lippold had to turn back early [imagine THAT!],
so the three of us just rolled along:
east side of des moines, avon lake, carlisle, banner state park,
gravel to just outside norwalk,
and back into des moines on s.w. 9th.
just west of carlise, we met norah, dave's wife,
and the four of us rolled for a while.
none of this "hurry hustle gotta kick it" bullshit.
little ring riding. chatting.
passing along cycling knowledge
and racing and training insights.
i've been lucky enough to have several friends
who rode with me like this over the years.
valuable nuggets. we talked about
headwinds [gotta love them; they make you strong],
hills [gotta love them; they make you strong],
heat and humidity [gotta love it; it will make you strong].
it's this kind of riding that makes the rest of it so nice.
i hope little richard gets more serious,
but that he keeps it in perspective;
he's got a long time to enjoy it.
and it really IS worth it.


Richard said...

That was one of the most fun rides i have ever done...it truly put the sport in perspective. Im in for a steady monday recovery ride.

thanks kim

Anonymous said...


I seem to remember some similar rides when I was a senior in high school. You and Lippold ... schooling me on the life of a bike racer as we rode nice and easy. I also remember You, Lippold, and occasionally Ralph kicking my ass until I got fast.

That post brought back some good memories!

Great to hear you are passing the torch on to yet
another generation of bike racer. Very cool.

As for Little Richard - Don't stop riding when you go to college. Trust me.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that you are mentoring rev! I started in college too, but I never had a mentor. Almost everything about racing I had to figure out myself. Wish I had someone to teach me.