Last Saturday I rode the 2012 edition of the Harpoon Brewery to Brewery (B2B) ride. This was my fifth time doing it. It's one of those rides that I both love, and hate: love because after the fact I feel a good sense of accomplishment having done, and hate - especially in the last couple of hours of the ride and the day or two after - because it is painful.
Key memories in life are formed when you must go thru extreme difficulties, whether by accident or choice. If you're lucky, some memories will cross an invisible line and become history, sometimes yours, sometimes part of a history that is bigger than you. I'm pretty sure that I and some good friends just became part of (some) history, having ridden the 2012 Ronde van Vlaanderen Cyclosportive.
Time to start planning for 2012. In 2010, I went with my buddies Scott & Joe to the Ronde van Vlaanderen professional cycling race in Belgium. The day before the pros race, the route is open to amateur cyclists of all levels.
We rode with 8,000 (or more) other crazy cyclists over a route full of cobbled roads, leg-ripping short hills called "muurs", and had a blast. It was a rainy day in April, which made it even more epic.
Yeah, well --
I went to Belgium this year and did the route of the Ronde van Vlaanderen. I did create a blog entry for the trip; I just decided to do it on the website for my cycling club. Then, promptly forgot to link to it from here.
(Update 4 Nov 2012 - looks like when ECV moved the website to a new solution, they nuked my blog post. And sadly, I didn't keep a copy of it. Bummah.)
My friend Tom Pincince sent me the below in email. I've so often wanted to point cyclists to a good list like this (but not had one) that I thought I'd capture it here for posterity.
Items 7-10 are my own additions.
A note from one of the stronger guys I ride with in the morning. He just got back from climbing the Tourmalet. Note that I was dropped mercilessly this morning.
Subject: Paceline etiquette -- staying out of the hospital
Hey guys - -
Well, I finally wrote the "big check," and bought the bike of my dreams. Yeah, I know this blog site is called underheadphones, and yes, I do like spinning.
But truth be told, I spend MANY more hours on a bike than I do spinning records. And it's my real passion. (Does that suggest I should rename my blog? Hmmm...)
Four+ years ago, I saw my first copy of VeloNews on the news stand at Belmont Cycleworks. It was full of shiny pictures of the pro peleton, all the high-end bike porn I could consume. I was in love.
I ordered my first subscription to the magazine almost immediately.
I was looking a little more deeply into him, watching his videos on Vimeo. Ok, I'll admit it: I'm an immature, lame adolescent at heart. I got joy from this short video. I want one.
I'm an unabashed fan of Professional Cycling. The big European races thrill me to no end. I love talking about them, participating as a full-fledged tifosi from the US.
It's hard for us here in the US to truly get "full race" coverage in video. We either have to buy a subscription to cycling.tv (not cheap), which in my experience has been about as painful to use as tearing a bandage off 8-hour-old road rash. This year's Giro d'Italia was nearly a casualty of cycling not being a big-enough sport here in the US to get us good coverage. Nearly.
Note the bamboo frame. Was this fixie rider after the lightweight, the stiffness, or the green-ness? I think none of the above; even with baskets (vs. clips), those shoes aren't shoes to ride in. She had to be just a model for the photo shoot. We'll never know....
But a hot skinny chick on a bamboo bike? I just had to blog about that. ;-)
Thanks velogogo.com. (Great "blog" you should subscribe to.)