Eugene Roubaix – April 18, 2009 Apr22


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Eugene Roubaix – April 18, 2009

The race started out well matched and fast paced: Sam Nicoletti and I both attended the Eugene Roubaix, even going so far as to get a ride in the same van. We both observed all the glories that rural Oregon hatched up for us this fine day. We both put on spandex and rode around in large circles competitively. Then, at the end, we both kicked it in big ring and got ready to blog about it.

You see I am not much of an internet surfer. Sometimes I check some email, occasionally I google things, and once in a while I do some online banking. But then my friend told me that I should really read Sam Nicoletti’s blog. And I did and found it to be just as hilarious and un-race-related as sosovelo. So now I feel both compelled to continue reading it and somehow challenged to keep up with his quips.

Sam had the advantage from the start; he has more blogging experience than I do. And I am guessing he has some sort of internet connection at his house. My only hope was to observe and invent funnier things from our race day than he could. I started planning an attack when I noticed some farmers herding a bunch of sheep next to the start/finish line.

“Sheep make the exact sounds that people make when they imitate them,” I mused. “It sounds like a joke.”

You can imagine my frustration when moments later I overheard my rival making the exact same comment to a teammate! Sam had closed the gap on my initial attempt at a breakaway.

Downtrodden, but far from giving up, I moved on to the next stage: actually racing.

This day marked my first race as a member of the inaptly named “Senior Women” category. While this title may conjure up a vision of a group of grandmas slowly meandering their cruiser bikes down an empty road, it is actually a more difficult category than the one I had been racing. Needless to say I was nervous, and with good reason; one lap into the race it became apparent that I don’t know anything about road bicycle racing.

I had previously assumed that I had a pretty good handle on the aspect of racing known by cycling theologians as “strategy.” I was (I assumed) a seasoned competitive cyclist who had finally figured it all out. Road racing works like this: you ride kind of fast (but not too fast) in the beginning. Do a good amount of drafting. Don’t get dropped. Then sprint at the end.

What else could there be?

Well, as it turns out, there’s slightly more to it than that. I would love to explain what that entails, but sadly, I have no idea what was going on in my race.

My cycling naiveté seemed blog-worthy and I started having that exhilarating feeling that one gets when they start to gain confidence in a race: Hey, I could actually win this blog off!

As we drove home I could just see myself typing up what had transpired that day. The sheep, the lovely scenery, the race confusion, when Tony did a flip into a trash pile for no real reason. Twice. It all seemed so achievable. Then at the blogging equivalent of the 100 meter mark, a wrench was thrown into my proverbial cogs: the sun came out.

I found myself unable to face the indoors. The indoors is where the computer is. The computer is where the blogging takes place. Sam has to be indoors and near a computer for work. I didn’t stand a chance. It was over. I sat up and just let myself coast towards the finish line.

The preliminary results from the day are as follows:

Blogging Category

1st: Sam. And everyone else
DFL: Dawn Riddle

Hilarity Category

1st: A sign on a trailer on the said of the road that read: “$500 OR I WILL TRADE FOR A GUN”
2nd: The sheep. If you haven’t heard sheep talk recently I suggest you find some and take a listen. Or you can just ask a friend to make a sheep sound. The result will be identical.
3rd: A turkey running across a road. Turkeys have a funny run.