Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rhymes with Alone

Landis in a strappy summer dress, photo courtesy Sacramento BeeAhh, Sunday. To many, Sunday is a day of atonement. A day to make up for the sins one has committed. To others, it is a day of 'at-one-ment', or communing with one's self, in a posture of sin. In the world of pro cycling, this was a week of accused sin, and eternal suffering. From the introduction of Italian mountains in the Giro, or yesterday's time trial stage at the Tour of California, or even the scandal to which this sport is now accustomed, it's been a punishing weekend to be a cyclist.

If you're not a pro, and celebrated what most of the nation called, Bike to Work Day, this weekend was one of recovering from Friday's commute-stop-induced sugar high. Rest assured, our collective cycling hedonism has not gone unpunished. Here in Seattle, our punishment arrived in the form of a thunderstorm on the way home. Thunderstorms are, otherwise, uncommon here, so it stands to reason that we, cyclists (as is often assumed to be the case--wrongly or rightly,) must have been to blame.

Today, the Giro riders climbed Monte Zoncolan, with an occasional, twenty-two percent grade. The name of this mountain, alone, sounds like level fifteen of some video game featuring some horrible creature dressed in pink, with green-, white- and red-striped, horns. Or maybe the goal is to free this creature from some kind of captivity. (I'm not good with video games. I imagine the conversation goes something like, "Dude, I made it to the Zoncolan today. Totally kicked my ass, too." "Really? You're full of shit; they would never put that thing in.") I'm not sure which sin these racers are atoning for, but my guess is that it has something to do with shaving.

Anyway, I'm not one to make spiritual judgments on anyone. I'll leave that to those that feel they are qualified to do so, which is to say, I have not met that person yet. Nonetheless, I learned, while hanging out in the comments-section of BikeSnob's blog, that Buddhist monks create sand mandalas for the benefit of everyone else's eternal souls. An altruistic act of creation and destruction, similar to those of other faiths. Apparently, this inspired Team Garmin to simultaneously baptize each other, after winning the Team competition in the Tour of Califiornia. I'm not familiar with the faith they practice, and why this was a sin requiring ablution, but bless them, and their and their newly washed souls.

It is in this extended spirit of atonement, that I will be taking next weekend off from posting. I don't know that I've reached the pudding-like gooey tastiness of this blog to deserve a break yet, but it's probably time to act like I have a soul, and scrub it a little cleaner. Like a small business still learning the disciplines required, I venture forward in my quest.

Ride safe. I love you all.

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