It's always a good Sunday when the pro team you sponsor wins a big race the day before. I still can't believe that Mark Hekman pulled off the win. I'm so very proud of him and the team... I feel all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. Seriously... I do.
So, in honor of Mark and the boys, I actually got out and rode my bike today. I did a nice little 45 mile loop that I like- not too many hills, though there are a few really good ones, and plenty of open roads to simply put your head down and plow away! The winds were a little much, since I didn't get out until nearly 3:00, so the coastal winds were coming in pretty good. The sun was mostly behind the marine layer (fog), but it burned through and I got a good day on the bike in the sun (yes, I wore my sunscreen). Since I was still all pumped up on the news of the big win, I put my head down and pretty much spent the whole time hammering like I was in a breakaway of my own. I flogged myself pretty good and powered away, not allowing myself to ease off the power on the pedals. With as little training as I've been able to do, it was kind of cool to just open the throttle and pour on the gas! I was able to blow the crap out of the cylinders and got things firing the way they should. The engine still needs a tune-up, but it still runs.
How cool. My boys pull of the upset win of the young race season... and I get to ride hard on a Sunday. FYI- I ride bikes still because I love them, I love the sport and I love to ride. I felt a lot like I used to when I was 16 years old and would pretend that I was in a break at Flanders, or Roubaix, or on L'Alpe D'Huez. I envisioned a pack of chasers breathing down my neck. They were clawing away at my narrow lead, but they didn't want it as much as me. In between daydreams of race glory, I felt alive and one with my bike. Just like I did as a kid dreaming of Tour glory. The legs felt good. The bike rode well. I climbed as hard as I could, even groaning a little when needed. I sprinted for stop lights. I flew through turns. I fought off cramps. I gritted my teeth and thought, "yeah, I can still do this!" The race isn't over yet, not by a long shot. Maybe, just maybe, my best racing days are still ahead of me. If not, maybe my best riding days are.
My eyes burned with sweat and sunscreen. My right calf cramped so hard I could see the muscle spasming... and I rode it out and powered on into the headwind. I was flying to the finish line and nothing was going to get in the way.
Good Sunday, indeed.