The Boiling Point

The problem with making adjustments when you feel like your life is out of balance is that it takes a certain amount of balance to be aware of the problem. Often, it takes a catalyst to prompt you.

Nicking up Barbie’s little dream truck (Oh poor BLDT!) was just the wake up call I needed to take a look at the schedule and figure out how to act more deliberately, less reactively.

It was a glancing blow and nobody was hurt, but it could have been ugly. The other driver was speeding, I was creeping out to look. My fault though, pure and simple. Too much on my mind, out of synch with my surroundings (I never drive at rush hour, why would I?) and I got checked. Scary.

So- take stock of your inner chaos, and if necessary, clean house.

Yesterday morning we put off riding until it was good and hot. A general rule of thumb is if you don’t want to ride, don’t answer the phone. Over here on 10th Ave we all answered the phone, but I don’t think any of of us were really prepared for the molten beatdown we received.

98 degrees in September. Pretty typical really. This summer I have learned the heat-related symptoms all too well, and surprisingly they are very similar to hypothermia.

Shortness of breath, mild hyperventilating.
Disoriented thoughts.
Tendency to go mute.
Bad taste in mouth (yes I brush my damn teeth).
Immediate and constant lactic burn.

We cruised through the Florida State Championship race scene at Tom Brown Park . Those poor bastards. The ego juice was flowing so hard out there. Nobody speaks civil, nobody waves.

That’s a big strike against future racing considerations.

This is the South. We wave down here.

Later y’all


25 Responses to The Boiling Point

  1. That’s such a good way to put it –the ego juice was flowing hard. It was like somebody air lifted a couple hundred dogs in and they were all waiting for the alpha test to begin so they could sort it all out and relax. It just made me want to ride my bike — somewhere else.

    I’d like to hear what the regular bike racers have to say about the pre-race scene. Sascha?

  2. I was there and racing on Sunday. I did lousy, crashing twice, and finally succumbing to the heat and inability to pedal my bike any further.

    I try to be nice to everyone I pass, ringing my bell and telling them to have a nice race. Riding my bike is supposed to be fun and if all it did was stress me out and make me aggro, I wouldn’t do it.

    That said, I don’t do it much, especially not the roundy rounds. I love the long rides, Tour de Felasco, ORAMM, etc. I get dizzy having to ride around in circles.

  3. That was in reference to fishwithabike’s comment.

    notso- maybe racers are cool to racers, but too preoccupied to acknowledge non-racers?

    We encountered a dozen on the Goose Pond trail on the way from the Fern and same stoic stare from all of ’em. I’ll cut some slack due to pre-race jitters, game face, psyche up, and all, but you know-there ain’t no substitute for manners.

  4. hmm, never thought of it that way. I thought the collective atmosphere of competition bred the attitude. Like toddlers stuck in parallel play.

  5. Everyone has an ego, but maybe the ego becomes more prominent when there’s more at stake. I didn’t mean to insinuate that because you wave at people you suck at riding.

  6. Fishwithabike, there’s no need to apologize. We do suck at riding, and now I see that it’s because we’re so damn friendly.

    I’m going to remember that the next time I’m soundly dropped, that not everybody can be as nice as me. Even as they spin away I’ll be kicking their asses in the “nice guy” competition, going upside their skinny little heads with my grinning and waving.

    Then, later, when I’m dead, I’ll get the fastest bike in heaven and whip their asses for eternity. In heaven, I’ll fuck em up good.

  7. That’s OK fish. We DO wave and we DO suck at riding, or S’quatch does anyway.

    This is a venue where everyone should feel free to insinuate, or even lie outright. Go ahead, it feels good.

  8. Um, well, I’m a racer grrl. All biker boys wave at me and my female compatriots. In addition, 99% of the female race scene I have encounted is friendly and supportive.

    We race against each other but it’s not fueled by testoterone and stuff.
    We’re still competitive, but we’re all still friends afterwards (mostly). And we actually do crossteam rides and stuff. Friendships cross team boundaries and so I cannot say what it’s like for the guys, but with us, we’re just one big happy group of girls.

    I’m pretty sure it’s way different with the guys though.

    However, I don’t tell people to have a nice day. It’s usually just a helmet nod in passing to opposing traffic and a “hey” when I’m passing or being passed by someone.

  9. Yeah, being a girl makes it different. Rather than get all ego-ey, we say things like “well, you gals have fun up there, I’ll be off the back right away so this is the last you’ll see of me,” and everyone else responds with “oh gosh no, I’ll be back there too, I haven’t been training at ALL,” and THEN the beat-downs are administered. The catty crap doesn’t start until mid-race.

  10. Hmmmm . . .I both suck and am testy to other riders. Worst of both worlds, and no heavenly reward. No, I usually do some version of Sascha’s nod or “hey.” More is a waste of precious calories, and it’s hard to be friendly when you’re in pain. But it’s a cleansing pain.

  11. A nod, a raised (index) finger, a muttered “‘sup!”. It doesn’t take much. I often go with “Howdy!”

    Of course the comment I use most frequently on the trail is “On your left!”

  12. Many times while working on a trail (so you selfish bastards would have a place to spin your philosophies), riders have passed me and either ignored me or shot me a dirty look for messing up their trail.

    I’ll never forget the very first rider that I saw on the Fern trail. It was within days of the full route being completed and before any maps or word-of-mouth declared the trail existed. I was doing some clearing along the ditch near Victory Garden, a section that even a rodent could not have passed through just weeks before, and a lone mountain biker toddled up to me. He gave me a blank look and continued on. It was a significant event for me and my heart was waiting for this inaugural rider to say “holy shit, can you believe this trail started all the way back at Winn Dixie and it looks like it may go all the way to Tom Brown! Some fool must have been working on this thing for years!”. But I would have gladly taken one of Juancho’s “Howdy’s”.

  13. Lower your eyes you wretched beasts, can’t you see there is nobility in the room?

    We rode the Fern trail out Sunday morning. I swear it is getting faster and faster. I miss the old slick, white ,death bridge though.

  14. That’s classic Big Bend mtb history right there! I want to hear some more stories involving trail origins and inaugural rides.

    That story makes me want to roll up on the folks recently cutting the Miccosukee road singletrack so I can give up some big appreciation for that work.

    I think I’m going to cut some singletrack in my back yard so I can be an inaugural rider. I’ll thank myself profusely, too. That’s just the way I was raised.

  15. Inaugural rides are special. At least that what you have to keep telling yourself after grunting along at 3mph and pulling thorns out of your tires every mile or so.

    When we had just finished the Lake Lafayette multi-use trail segment between the new foot bridge at Tom Brown and the boat landing at Lafayette Heritage Trail Park, I asked the head FSU Cycling Trail Captain Dude if he wanted to ride it. NO THANKS he said, you crazy? I’ll wait until it’s broken in and riding fast.” I said “but Captain Dude, its inaugural!”

    You see, I love sweet single-track but have always believed the ultimate ride was one where you covered good distances through the forest or badlands with no trail except the occasional animal path. A brand new trail segment is neither bushwhack nor sweet track but it is honorable, eh? His reaction took me by surprise. But not really. Generation X? nah, I call you Generation Mall.

  16. Not to change the subject, but here’s a question for you folks of Tallahassee who seem to know a lot about cycling: Where are some good trails for a novice?

  17. Oops, I was talking to “IfIhadabike” which is not the same as “fishwithabike” but its close. Trails for novices? Here you go…

    Munson hills- spurs off of the St. Marks Trail.

    Lake Overstreet-across from Forest Meadows (out Meridian).

    Lafayette Heritage trail-starts behind Tom Brown, weaves out to some lakes. Wide and smooth, really fast and fun.

    Miccosukee Greenway- not much singletrack, lots of hills.

    Avoid- Rebug, Live Oak Connector, TB Park, & Cadillac unless you want the rough ride.

    Sorry about the confusion.