The Secret to the Cyclocross Remount: Herb Brooks Knows It’s Not a Miracle
So, last week I killed a bird and gained a remount. My mother sent me an email that said, “Poor birdie.” My old friend Tej commented likewise.
Yesterday, I got my new racing bike. The deal has been in the works for a long time, so for me, the novelty had worn off a bit. I knew it was coming and I was patient.
I waited and relaxed.
Sal said, “When is it coming?” and I said, “It will come. You have to be patient.”
It came. It came and it was light. And fast. When it arrived at my door, I acted casual. But when I was alone with it I held my breath and thought, “What the f— have I gotten myself into?”
It was late so I carried it upstairs (it was so light I barely felt it on my shoulder) and leaned it against our king-sized bed on the left side where Sal usually sleeps. He is out of town, so I figured he wouldn’t mind.
In the morning I woke up at 4:45am before the alarm and looked over my shoulder at it – all carbon fiber and selle san marco saddle. Intimidating, like a new lover with unlimited possibilities.
It was a bad day with the new bike. The remount that had been so hard-won the week before was gone. The new Veloforma, with it’s soaring euro bottom bracket was effectively taller than my old LeMond. By a lot.
I took it to the clinic and flatted the new tubeless tires. Twice. I couldn’t get rid of the stutter step. Again.
I went home, got to bed too late, and sat in the shop in front of a container of Stan’s No Tubes with my head in my palms. Sal called me and told me to give it time. To take it out again. To be patient.
And in the early afternoon I set out for ‘cross park. The park where I first learned to dismount. The place where Sal and I practiced together in our first year. It was welcoming and comfortable.
While I scanned the grassy expanse for small animals to offer skyward, I remembered how I’d figured this out in the first place.
Circles. Endless circles of mounts and remounts. The skill executed over and over and over and over. Just when I thought I couldn’t turn another loop, I did.
Again and again and again and again and again.
Hundreds of them.
There are movies that you can never see too many times – and “Miracle” is one of them. When I’m suffering, and when I think I’ve worked hard enough, this is the scene that plays in my mind. Over and over and over.
I got the remount back. Bottom bracket and all. No dead birds.
This weekend I’ll head to Washington to continue the quest for my race legs. It was cool today and perfect.
Bring me Starcrossed.
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