Correction, internet silence, rather.
Admittedly, something of a blogging hiatus occurred after my unvirginization of Paris-Roubaix last Sunday – sorry about that. Let’s sum it up by saying that Sunday wasn’t my day. Aaand then rather than forgetting about it entirely, let’s continue that thought by stewing over it briefly here. Let me (not) be the first to tell you that that race is an beast. Here’s a nice photo early on in the day before the start gun fired and while everything is still tranquil and peachy.
Let’s call this photo Pre-Roubaix. (Get it?! Pre, which almost sounds like “Paris” when pronounced really quickly with the proper French silent S. Comedian-slash-pro-cyclist Ted King strikes again.) By the way, this photo is courtesy of BrakeThrough Media. Thanks Jim!
As I was saying, Paris-Roubaix is an animal. Similarly, it’s an awesome! It’s an adventure, it’s incredibly hard almost beyond words, and among other things, it can be a brutally honest kick to the teeth. The dusty road conditions were a bit like talcum powder lubricating the road and cobbles in a way I’ve truly never experienced before.
As for my day, things started off swimmingly. A really fast start and I was content to be shuffling in and out of early moves. This of course being Paris-Roubaix, virtually every team is told to be represented in the break so it’s no small feat to make the successful breakaway. To be expected. So after about three hours of action, a pretty gnarly crash unfolded directly in front of me which was followed by my ensuring up close and personal meeting with the pave. A few scrapes and a slight tweak to my knee (unrelated to my other knee woes from earlier this spring… uuugh) left me breathing dust as I chased through the cars. My brother-from-another-mother, Ben King (no actual familial relation), was also caught behind this early mayhem. The only good news from this frantic escapade is that someone snapped a photo of we two Kings chasing. Yes, very astute loyal reader, I am suffering while I think Ben has something of a Mona Lisa smile. That sly dog.
I was sent this photo second hand, so if I’m totally encroaching on someone’s intellectual property rights (or whatever goes alongside photography), I am sorry. Send me a comment if you’re upset and I’ll take it down and/or give you appropriate shout out. Otherwise, thank you very much for your artistic handiwork.
So let’s now fast-forward to the present. If you scope your favorite Schedule page with any regularity, you will see that Tour of California is my next race and that I am no longer racing Romandie. I was on the roster, off the roster, on the roster, and ultimately I opted to be off the roster for Romandie so that I could muster a proper bit of post-Classic RnR and really be moving for ToCA. This spring has been full of tumult and turbulence that I thankfully haven’t had to experience up until this season. Namely a chronic knee injury. Therefore, this break after the Classics, immediate trip back Stateside, is like the best pressing-and-holding of the Reset button I could have asked for.
I returned stateside late last week and this time home has been extremely refreshing. Seeing the people I have needed to see in tandem with really focusing on the rest has been key. (Along with sincere apologies to the friends and good folks I have not had the time to visit.) For additional peace of mind, I visited Access Sports Medicine and had them give me their assessment of my knee including a see-all MRI. Outstanding news of the day is that everything I gleaned from my Italian diagnosis/therapy/treatment related to my knee while back in Italia was echoed by Access (mind you, they don’t cover orthopaedic medical terminology in Rosetta Stone). That is to say, I did everything correctly to expedite a full and timely recovery, so thank you to the crew on both sides of the pond. There is still a lot of racing on the horizon, so I excitedly have my jazz-hands spinning uncontrollably as I get ready for 2011 part II.
Among other things on the at home hit bregade, I’ve hung out with these chumps while taking in the Boston Marathon from Jerry’s Washington Tavern. I’ve never witnessed a marathon before, so why not absorb the biggest one out there from the world’s greatest city? Enormous props to the 26,000+ who ran it, including my two awesome cousins, whom I somehow missed amid the 26-thou’. The diversity of runners is phenomenal – all ages, all body types, all with a different reason or story for doing the race. The gamut from smiles to looks of absolute agony is incredible and interestingly occurs in a bell curve fashion. That is, the super fast folks are serious and don’t smile, the middle few hours are the brunt of the running peloton and the smiles are more abundant, and the last 1/3 of the crowd is just SUUUUUFFERING. No matter who you are, more power to you. The completely smashed audience was nearly as entertaining.
Here is a photo courtesy of amateur camera photographer, Ted King.
That’s a good smattering of the goings-on lately. As much as I appreciate the 44 degree rides with piercing rain soaking me to the bone here in New England, I’m fairly amped to get out to California next week. That said, it’s also nice to score hundred mile days in under five hours while pumping some watts throughout New Hampshire and Maine.
In any event, Napa, Tahoe, Tour of California: strap on your seatbelt, here I come.
Oh for the curious green-thumbed reader out there, I have hired my good friend Phil to oversee – correction, babysit – my tomatoes and basil while I’m half the world away. He reports that they are doing excellent and well kept. In related news, yesterday was his birthday, so happy birthday Phil.