The thought occurred to me …

… that I must look pretty strange to passers-by as I’m going to do my Kelly Canyon hillclimb. No really, there are maybe ten residences on the way up to Kelly Canyon, and I’m sure they all know each other. That means that, chances are, before I’ve even parked my car there are a dozen or so neighbors looking at it, thinking, "Who the heck is that?"

I’m sure that by the time I pull up to the ‘visitor parking’ in that red tourist-trap barn and don my cut-off shorts and my moisture-wicking Old Navy long-sleeve shirt accompanied by my … brown leather work shoes (not exactly as shown here, but you get the idea), people are probably thinking, "Who’s the circus freak?" I suppose I wouldn’t have felt so awkward if I hadn’t passed by a girl with a wide-lense camera photographing the local deer population, and if I hadn’t passed a father out with his daughter who gave me a weird look as I rode by. You’d think I’d be used to wearing spandex in public by now.

Nonetheless, the climb was good for the legs. Of course it was hot and sweaty on the ascents, freezing and windy on the descents, and that’s the way it should be. I’m sure it looked like I was bawling on the way up since the sweat came pouring off my forehead, past my eyes and then off my chin. Thank heaven there was no one around to poke fun at it. But the dirt road at the end of the climb is still inaccessible. I think the snow on that section is down to being a mere 3-6 inches thick. That means that in a couple of weeks it will be rideable, making Caloi a happy boy.

And I can’t help but scope the trailage out there. There are plenty of trails I haven’t ridden yet, and, for the most part, I didn’t even know they were out there. At the moment, they’re all soggy and slimy, but some of them look awesome (even with the motorcycle tread on the paths). Some internet research leads me to believe that if I climb from the road all the way up to the ski lift (which my bro-in-law and I have done before) that makes about 2,000 feet of climbing, some of which takes place on red-line steep trail. I’m thinking that could be good healthy training this year.

But yesterday it was just gorgeous. The cloud and mist was hovering between the hilltops above me. The rain had stopped, but the ground was soaked and shining. And it was nice and cool for the ride up. Just the way I like it–Les Deux Alps conditions. Perfect for imagining you’re Marco Pantani winning the Tour.


16 thoughts on “The thought occurred to me …

  1. Unknown

    I\’ve tried closing my eyes and imagining I\’m Marco Pantani winning the Tour, but all I get is one where I\’m Marco Pantani all coked out and dying in a hotel room.
    Come to think of it, that is probably what it feels like to climb the Col du Aubisque* the way Pantani used to, so maybe your idea works. 
    * I believe the name means "Cream of Anthracite Soup" in french.  My French teacher, Ron Burgundy, told me so.

  2. Zed

    Just keep up that diet, the overdosed and underpaid feeling goes away.
    I guess I could\’ve used Greg LeMond, since I have the highlight DVD from his last two Tours. Hmmmm … and he does look a bit like me (not the other way around).
    I find a lot of French entertaining, BTW. Eau de toilette–printed on all sorts of perfume and cologne bottles–tell me that\’s not "water of toilet." Then there are the French-rooted town names in Idaho, places like Portneuf (door nine–what were those explorers smoking?) and Malad (this one\’s a little more obvious: the only memorable thing about this spot of ground is that one of the explorers got sick and puked there).

  3. Zed

    Really? I haven\’t been outside since 8 am, so I haven\’t seen it. Rats. I was going to call you and ask if you wanted to meet me there last night, but you were probably busy chasing girls, eh?

  4. Unknown

    OK Caloi, we can do the 12 hours of E, but if you\’re dressed like that, we\’ll have to arrange a secret meeting place so no one sees me with you.  I have my image to uphold you know.

  5. Zed

    Okay, Pearl Izumis only–I promise … mostly. No cut-off shorts, though, I swear! Hey, but if we win, I reserve the right to grow a goatee and dye it yellow … sorry, too much Tour \’98 last night.

  6. Tom Stormcrowe

    I don\’t know, Caloi, a yellow goatee might make yopu more visible!::GRIN:: That or Blaze Orange! Shoot Rodman an email and see what auto store he buys his hair coloring from and which brand of custom auto paint works best!

  7. Zed

    Actually, the car could use a paint job, now that you mention it, but comparisons with Dennis Rodman weren\’t exactly what I had in mind. Okay, Botched, forget the yellow goatee. Besides, I don\’t think 12 hours is enough time to get that much length to my facial hair.

  8. Sue

    Speaking of cycling attire and style, since the weather is about to (hopefully) warm up, I took a census of my cycling shorts. Here\’s the count: 12 pair. 5 with medium sized holes in the butt, 2 with \’call the police, there\’s a flasher on a bicycle\’ sized holes, 2 with holes in the legs, and 3 without holes.
    It looks like this could be my most embarrassing year of cycling ever.
    P.S. Why do all my shorts have holes in the butt?  Uh, that\’s a rhetorical question and Al and Caloi, I want NO Brokeback Bike comments.

  9. Zed

    I\’m more curious about your \’flasher\’ holes, personally. Your butt\’s on the seat, so that\’s normal wear and tear, but the other ones? How in the heck?

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