Monday, August 13, 2012

Speed....with style.

The Olympics are over.  And I'm very, very OK with that.  Watching the Olympics is kind of like eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  When you start eating it, it tastes so good that you are pretty sure you could easily ingest your own body weight in the stuff, but somewhere into the second box, you're thinking you should have probably stopped at one.  Similarly, when the Olympics started, I wanted to see it all.  This is the only explanation I have for watching people swim back and forth in a pool 4 different ways night after night.  But after a couple weeks of watching different swimming strokes, the whole thing started to strike me as a little ridiculous, because at some point I came to the realization that swimming is not necessarily about being fast.  I mean, shouldn't swimming be like running, or cycling in which the athletes perform whichever stroke gets them from point A to point B the fastest?  Why do the backstroke for 200 meters when the freestyle will get you there quicker?  It would be like repeating the 100 meter dash only making all the runners run backwards, or better yet, on all fours.  In this way, by the end of week one, any non-freestyle swimming competition started to remind me of the Ministry of Silly Walks...


Then I remembered that swimming already has its own version of the ministry of silly walks....which is actually the ministry of silly walks on acid.

But before any swimmers start sending me hate mail - let me say, I think I get it.  It's less about being fast and more about being fast in different ways.  And speaking of which, Saturday was the Missouri State Time Trial Championship, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that being fast wasn't nearly as important as being fast with style.....I'm talking about anyone who, say, made their own rear disc wheel out of some packing tape.
Quite possibly the coolest TT rig to ever have graced the Missouri State TT championships (photo courtesy Roger Hinson).

You can have your $2100 Zipp Sub 9 tubular carbon disc wheel and stick it in your chamois, I say.  The real recipe for speed with style is:  One 32-spoke wheel slathered with one-half roll of some Scotch Super Strength ($2.99 a roll), mix with an old-school chocolaty Masi, add one Austin Vinton lightly marinated in Gatorade, bake for 53 minutes, 44.6 seconds and out pops either the fifth fastest man of the day or the only UPS Store clerk you know with shaved legs and funny tan lines.  And whereas Austin (Mercy Cycling) might tell you he could have done better in the TT, it would have been hard for him to have improved his performance in the Missouri State Criterium championship the next day (which he won) besting among some other seriously talented cyclists, pro and mentor Brad Huff of Jelly Belly.
(Photo courtesy of Flannery Allison)

Another year, and another incredibly talented cyclist is showered with the pinnacle of achievements.  Meanwhile, we, the less-talented cycling horde of COMO are showered with the detritus of every day cycling life.  Case in point: a regular contributor to the blog has sent me the following photo of what was found by the bike rack outside of a friend's office here in COMO recently:
1 small tube of Crest toothpaste, 3 razors, one fork and a condom.

Fancying myself as a bit of a Sherlockian devotee, I've tried to piece together what we might deduce about the individual who dropped this assortment of items, assuming they fell from one's saddle bag.  At first I was convinced this individual must also be a roadie, hence the need for the razors.  But then I realized the collection of items must have actually been owned by a tri-geek because a) a tri-geek is more likely to need three razors versus one: one for each leg and a special one only used for the "bikini-area", b) serious roadies would never be caught actually eating anything in public, so would have no need for a fork and c) only the tri-geeks in this town are fully expecting to get laid by someone in their group at any given moment during a training ride. 

1 comment:

  1. I figured that had to be Austin's Masi. No one else would do that to a rear wheel. Though I too dig it...