Monday, February 8, 2010

To Live and Train in L.A. #2

When life gives you lemons?

My immediate goal in life – and this is a serious-shit situation – is to eliminate my natural cyclist’s tendency to complain about my fitness, my weight, my equipment, my available training roads and trails, my time available for training, my basically everything. True enough, before I got into cycling as a way of life, I used to be naturally grumpy, naturally prone to finding the worst in everything, but once I started hanging around with dedicated cyclists, my bitch-about-shit qualities matured into an Olympic-level activity. Much of the bitching in cycling stems from people making excuses for not performing well in a race: I’ve had a cold all week, I had to work extra hours and couldn’t train the way I normally would, I was having problems with my shifters, the cleat on my left shoe is coming loose. That sort of thing. I’ve never actually heard anybody say, “You know what? I’m a total pussy and I just didn’t feel like trying very hard on the racecourse today.” Then again, I guess I have heard that. I have said that, in fact, on a number of occasions, because I guess, deep down, when it comes to bike racing, I’m a pussy. You’ll still be my Facebook friend anyway?


So yeah, I don’t think L.A. is a perfect place to ride bikes, but I don’t have any alternative, so I’m going to get it done in the space I can find. Funny item: A few weeks ago, I posted some nonsense on Mag’s Sentence about how I was going to race in the Tour de France this summer. Honest to God, somebody read that and got in touch with me and said, “Mag, you’ve got an awful lot on your plate professionally this spring. You honestly think you have time to prepare for the Tour de France?” Obviously, this sweet person is not a cycling fan. The Tour de France? I fucking wish. Then again, I don’t really wish. The Tour de France would hurt more than this old boy wants to hurt. I still want a little hurt in my life, though, and I’ve got this crazy dream of racing cyclocross every weekend next fall, from mid-September till Christmas. I don’t want to race to win, because I couldn’t win anyway. I want to race because this would be an entertaining pasttime and also a terrific excuse to avoid eating cheese and drinking heavily and watching the NFL every Sunday in the fall.

But cross season is a long time away. This means I can wait a few months before getting serious, right? Wrong. I’ve dialed in a couple of excellent bike-path routes, places where a person can spin in the little ring for a couple of hours a day, and for the next six weeks, that’s all I’m going to do on the bike: flat paths, little ring, high rpm spinning, no aggression, two hours a day, six days a week. If you think about a plan like that, you will know that if I actually follow through with it for the full six weeks, I will likely end up babbling and in need of a drool cup. But I don’t give a shit: Maybe I’ll get my spin back and by April be ready to go on the Tuesday/Thursday morning group racer ride that meets near my house and the racers won’t laugh at me when I pedal up to the parking lot.

Meantime, I’m gone spinning, and I’m not bitching about a goddam thing.


  1. I'll still be your Friend. Because "yeah, I pussed out and got beat" is really the only reason any of us need.

  2. pain is an acquired taste. it tastes like a fine concoction of shit and bile, and if you really want to be good at something, you have to like the taste of shit. spin away - it's good fer ya. not sure where you are on the map, but Captain Agro used to live and ride in LA, and i am certain he has some goodies if you want em?


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