i’m an easy target
March 5, 2009
A long time ago, the core team used to gather at Gary’s house in Alpine, and ride Hog Hollow. We’d wander from Gary’s house through Alpine, until we got to the dirt, the base of the climb, and then pause, breathe, drink, pee, joke, and then go like bats out of hell up the 3 mile Hog Hollow climb to the saddle.
I used to be first to the saddle as often as not in those days. Those halcyon days. Those wonderful, heady, youthful years. Okay, sorry, I realize you didn’t mean to stumble into the nursing home to listen to me reminisce. There is a point.
The point is, one day, as I climbed so fast my eyes were bleeding, I didn’t feel so hot, and not from the bleeding eyes. I felt sluggish, clumsy. Slow.
“How you feelin?” Scott said, as he passed me, something that never happened.
“Like smeared dog shit.”
I couldn’t understand it. Because earlier in the day, I had stopped by Gourmet Bicycles in Provo, and picked up my new rear wheel. A wheel so fancy, so expensive, I had FIANANCED it. Just the wheel. I made monthly payments at like 20% interest for a YEAR for that wheel, with its super light rim, with its rattlesnake sounding Hugi hub.
Greg had built it up just for me, and when I picked it up that afternoon, I put it on the rack, and gave it a spin. It stopped pretty fast, and when I look questioningly at Greg, he just said “yeah, the grease is settling in. Spin it again.”
I didn’t bother.
But when I reached the Hog Hollow saddle in decidedly NOT first place, and laid down to throw up, I was aware that not ALL the deafening sound in my head was rushing blood.
No, most of the sound was everybody laughing their asses off. Laughing and pointing.
Turns out, while Greg put the finishing touches on my super wheel, Jeremy patiently filled the tube as much as possible with water, mouthful by mouthful, through the pista valve. And when he had put as much water in as he could, he topped it off with actual air.
I don’t know by how much the water increased the actual weight of my wheel. Or how much it increased rolling resistance. Or gave the wheel a herky jerky movement.
But I know THIS: I wasn’t the last one to the top.