Wednesday, June 28, 2006

When days feel like weeks

So…it has officially been a whole week. I’ve been latent for a full seven days. Can I even call myself a cyclist anymore? It’s amazing how easy it is to be obsessive about this sport. If it weren’t for the bike, would I direct this energy, this attention, this craving, this anxiety, and this guilt elsewhere? Hard to say. Also, are cyclists more prone to this deranged behavior? I’m inclined to say, ‘Yes.’ As for the meaning behind it all, I’ll leave the analysis to another day. After all, the idea here is to think a little less about being careful and deliberate with what I post.

Other than lungs that hurt, legs that feel weak and drained, and confidence that’s diminished, I have a few things to actually look forward to when I return to riding. Check out what Pinks helped me do to the Ritchey this past Saturday. I made the appointment with the expectation that the deluge we saw the past four days would start a day sooner. In the end, Saturday was dry and I could’ve ridden. Drats!!! At least I got some much needed junk done to the beater. Check the new, shiny, squeaky-clean, and fully-functional chain, cassette, and rear shifter.

Dang. Hot stuff. Now…time to put it to use.

In other cycling news (other than my own), le Tour is officially three days away. I’ll save rambling commentary about how disappointing the whole Operacion Puerto is and cut to my tentative TOP TEN picks for this year’s race. The list was sparked by the second year of a competition of sorts with Rob. This year we’ve adopted a points system. Here are the rules:

  • 1 point awarded for each rider we select that finishes in the top ten, regardless of specific placing
  • 3 points awarded for each rider we select that finishes in the exact slot chosen
  • 3 points awarded for each rider we select that is awarded the jersey we choose for them

These choices can certainly change before riders set off Saturday, but…for now…here goes.

1. Basso
2. Ullrich
3. Landis
4. Valverde
5. Vino
6. Hincapie
7. Mancebo
8. Leipheimer
9. Evans
10. Moreau

Yellow: Basso

Polka Dot: Rujano

Green: McEwen

I think my biggest risk is with Rujano. I think many have doubts about whether he'll even be able to finish. Of course, I think he has a lot to prove to his new team, Quick-Step. With a bizarre performance at the Giro, he'll need a conventional (read: he can't unexpectedly pull out of the race without explanation) and impressive three weeks to secure solid ground with the established Belgian team. Don't be surprised if I squeeze in a revision before July 1.