Monday, January 11, 2010


Just because you don't put cuts in your wrists and write poetry like this...

my heart, obsidian
gagging on roses
shards of glass
give me a cigarette
[slow clap]

...doesn't mean you aren't into self-multilation. And by you, I mean every one of you who ever turned a pedal in anger.

Almost every training ride is going to hurt, and on many, you'll see Pain, shades on, coming walking toward you across the meadow looking like Big Bad Jawetz:

Don't be ashamed of the painful nature of the sport; it's what makes it beautiful and ridiculous. Poetry and cycling are rooted in pain, like Simon rooted in Garfunkel. Kierkegaard described the poet as a man in pain:
"A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music... and then people crowd about the poet and say to him: "Sing for us soon again;" that is as much as to say, "May new sufferings torment your soul.--Kierkegaard
Poetry, baby, like the 1988 Giro on Gavia.

Look at the Hulk here. This is before his 42 accidents which obliterated his backbone and set the world of philosophy back at least three months:

The trick is to suffer and not feel sorry for yourself, to look around and remember the wounded, the dead, and those whose suffering makes yours look pitiful. Remember Lawrence's words: "A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” Your pain may approach "Hurts worst" on the Wong scale of pain, but so does everyone else's except Brown, who has evolved beyond pain into "owwweee."

I was feeling like whining yesterday. I went out for about 60 miles in the cold, and by the end both my legs were wrecked, my toes were numb and I had that strange bonked feeling where it feels like the shades are trying to come down from your forehead over your eyes.

"What happened to the one hour a week plan?" Brown joked. He was on his way out to Poolesville wearing nothing but a strange chamois that he's evolved, Waterworld-style, on his taint. (I suppose, technically, he's not wearing it, since it is now part of his body.)

I explained that I won't be training at all through March, so this 4-hour ride is my way of covering all of March. Brown, being a little slow due to the strange transorformation of his brain into a power meter, nodded.

Someday, we will go outside without lobster claw gloves.

Some day soon we will sit in the sun in our shirtsleeves thinking "this is how it always is."


dennis said...

ah, erik breukink, now manager of the Rabobank team.

Calvini said...

Yeah! He won that stage, I believe. Then his team let him go. Or something like that.