The fall is an exciting time. This is in part due to the season’s name being the only one of the four that’s a verb–and a shocking one at that, but the excitement is also due to the end of the cycling season and the beginning of another. You know, I’ve it before and I’ll say it again…on second thought I guess I won’t say it again. So if you want to know what it was that I was just about to say, go back and re-read everything in this blog because I said it in here.
It’s an exciting time because, like a normal person’s New Year’s Eve, the fall is a cyclist’s time for a fresh start. All those bad races and missed opportunities can fade to forgotten memories while the next season’s fantasies take over. Aside from the normal fantasies of 2013 race glory, new team prospects, and hard winter training, I’ve also been fantasizing about finding a real person type of job for next year. I had an interview for a job that would pay just short of infinity percent more than any past job I’ve had, and just thinking about all the money I’d make and the things I’d spend it on have been the most disgustingly selfish, capitalistic, consumeristic…and rewarding thoughts I’ve ever had. There are so many things I want to buy!!! I’ve even been checking out ebay to get some price quotes (on a side note my ebay account has been frozen due to an unpaid balance of $6.21 on my last transaction that I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO PAY!!! The bastards).
My wish list includes a Garmin 800 with the overly-priced K-edge alloy mount that’s a complete rip off but I’ve got to have it anyways because it’s so cool and I’ll be rich so it won’t matter, a 50cc scooter for motor pacing, a new top of the line time trial bike, a set of rollers, a Quarq power meter, maybe two–one for my TT bike and one for my road bike, a nice single speed for commuting that’s equipped with a front basket for carrying groceries, a mountain bike, a fancy metal snow shovel–no scratch that I won’t have to shovel snow any more–, a massage every week, a year’s membership to one of Boulder’s finest Bikram yoga studios, a new cycling winter wardrobe, and 10KG of steal cut oats. Now I haven’t gotten this job yet, and I haven’t heard back from them in almost two weeks, but I’m keeping positive. I have to. I’ve never lived a life of this kind of carefree spending luxury, and like I said, just thinking about this lifestyle of richness has turned me into a spoiled prep-school delinquent hell bent on spending dolla dolla bills. I can’t go back to living like a bum, scrounging craigslist for third-hand mattresses, stealing onions from fields, and marking the expensive nuts from the bulk food aisle as peanuts. Oh dear me, Winston, the humiliation of my unkempt former self is quite repulsive indeed! I’ve been corrupted by nothing more than my own fantasies.
Jake and I visited a cycling friend in the hospital this evening. Will was hit by a car on his ride today. Will and I had planned to meet up this afternoon for a trip to Colruyt to shop for groceries/mainly just eat free samples, but he never showed so I went by myself. Turned out he was in the hospital with some minor internal bleeding. He didn’t miss much. The samples at Colruyt were minimal today.
Violent wind and rain had shut down Jake’s race today. Only 15 riders were left after just one lap. Everyone else had been either blown off the road or gapped off by those who’d been blown off the road. It was violent today. When Will facebooked me asking how my ride had gone (I rode earlier than him and he wanted to know what the weather was like) I told him it wasn’t too bad. I guess I should have warned him. Beware of the forty mile an hour gusting wind, torrential sideways rain, and cars that cannot see you in said conditions.
Pretty much the first thing that came up as we sat in his hospital room talking to Will was the question about the food. “They said WHAT?? You can’t eat? Oh, so they did give you something eventually then? Just some bread and cheese? Damn. That’s rough. Oh, by the way how’s your spleen doing?” Actually I think we asked about the damage to his bike before we asked about his spleen or liver or kidney or whichever stupid organ was damaged in the collision.
Before we took off Will asked us if we could stop by his house and bring him back a few things from home (including food). Jake, the lazy bastard that he is, tried to convince Will that he didn’t need his laptop or food because he should be going to bed early tonight. But we ended up agreeing to Will’s selfish demands and went out into the night to ride to Will’s house for his belongings. Just as we stepped outside we realized that visiting hours were long gone and there was no way we could get back inside. The front door was locked and all the staff from the front desk were gone. So we did the only sensible thing and went around the back side of the building and started throwing sticks up at what we thought was Will’s window to get his attention and let him know we wouldn’t be bringing anything back. (Turned out to not be his window). As we were throwing sticks, Jake noticed that a back door was cracked open. We crept inside, ever so silent and ever so stealthy. We found the staff lunch room. Jake and I gasped and squealed like little girls. We found cookies and the expensive kind of mineral water that’s in glass bottles. After more creeping and sneaking about, we delivered the stolen goodies to Will’s room and told him that this would have to do because we couldn’t get back into the hospital because the front doors were locked…and I suddenly realized how stupid that must have sounded.
Anyways, Will had just gotten off the phone and someone else was coming with his stuff and the staff was going to let them in, so Jake and I could just go home. We snuck back out the way we’d came and I grabbed one more cookie on the way. We were caught just as we stepped outside in the ally way where we’d left our bikes. Luckily our lack of Flemish lead to a short and confused (faked on our part) conversation before we hopped on our bikes and rode home. For some reason foreigners are all thought of as being dumb, lost, and oblivious to everything that’s going on around them, and therefore can easily get away with things that the natives wouldn’t be able to. This is probably why we’ve been conned into believing Canadians are so innocent and well-intentioned.
I started getting sick again last Thursday so I haven’t raced in almost a week now. I start up again tomorrow and I’m crossing my fingers that I’ve recovered enough. I’m attempting to fit in eight or nine more races before I leave. People are dropping like flies. Belgium has become a sea of coughing and runny noses.