Down is up and up is underground. Our man Hottie, formerly the leanest man in masters bike racing has portlied himself up to a whopping 165 lbs! What to do! He confesses that without all the group rides and races, plus a bit more beer than he used to allow himself. (He once rationed beers at a rate of half a beer every third full moon. In a good year that was about 2.5 brewskis). So he asks a guy with a politically incorrect nickname and another guy whose weight rarely varies by more than five pounds in a year just how he should lose weight. Hilarity ensues.
Fatty is obsessed with bike races that take place at altitudes mostly reserved for Alpinists and small plane pilots. Don’t worry, we wonder why as well. This time around, his obsession is with the Breck Epic, a mountain bike stage race that happens seemingly entirely above the timberline. But rather than talk about what he’s planning to do, he interviews veterans Rebecca Gross and Juan Carlos Hernandez. While, yes, they are veterans of the race, they are, more significantly, veterans of the U.S. armed forces. Gross was in the Air Force while Hernandez was in the Army. Hernandez lost his leg when his Chinook helicopter was hit with an RPG. That he competes post-amputation in an event like the Breck Epic makes him a badass of a different order.
Fresh of the most recent Grasshopper, Patrick admits that he’s been here before. After two days at the Sea Otter Classic meeting with bike brands, he drove home only to ride at a pace a Galapagos tortoise could draft. It’s a challenge most riders have probably encountered: you get to the start of an event knowing your legs are unlikely to be amazing. The question becomes, what do you do? Do you choose not to start? Do you start and then pull out? Do you adjust your expectations?
The Paceline is also supported by Eliel Cycling. Crafted in California, the Eliel brand combines the latest technology with cycling tradition to deliver an experience that is authentically California. View their retail gear and custom program at www.elielcycling.com