Friday, August 7, 2009

Man up

Last Saturday I was halfway through my long ride and halfway up Squaw Peak when I had to pull off the side of the road to catch a 10 AM conference call for work. I'm glad I didn't blow it off (I seriously considered it) because a couple of people who skipped out got a verbal lashing by one of the VPs on the call. The call lasted about a 1/2 hour and I was walking back to hop back on my bike when a guy and a girl, both on rode bikes, passed by climbing up the mountain. I said hello as they passed and then resumed checking my email on my blackberry. I sent an email and called my wife to let her know of my whereabouts as I was already late getting back. As I was prepping to mount up again, I was thinking to myself, "I wonder if I can catch those two before they reach the summit?" By then a few minutes had already elapsed since they passed by and the summitt was only 15 minutes away, so I dismissed that entertaining thought and started pedaling a good tempo.

To my surprise I caught them on the 2nd to last switchback before the top. Even more surpising was the fact that the girl was kicking her boyfriend's (or husband's) trash up the climb. I'm not saying that women are inferior cyclists to men as there are plenty of women around the valley that would leave me in the dust. It's just that this guy looked pretty fit, definitely not overweight and he was wearing my employer's team kit (last year's version), so I was expecting a better showing from him. You might suggest that he was sandbagging. I thought that too, but then I noticed he was doing something I'd never seen done before on a climb. He was actually zigzagging the road!! Granted the last 2 switchbacks on Squaw are about an 11% grade, but come on, zigzagging it! In the meantime, while he was making his own switchbacks back and forth accross the road, his girl was powering to the top, about 50 feet ahead of him. All I can say is that's some dang good motivation to get your sorry self out of bed in the morning and ride...

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