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James Selman, long-time friend and Rapha Continental rider told me some years back something to the effect of "You don't get out of the saddle until April." To him winter and early spring are for building, so you sit, climb and strengthen.
After being on the road away from the bike the whole month of January, strength is something that I am very much lacking right now. Actually anything resembling fitness currently escapes me. So when I hit the base of a small rise (presently posing as a major hill) on a quick lunch spin on a sunny Portland winter day I thought of James when I saw a rider standing and stomping up the climb.
Wearing a classic Lemond long-sleeve team jersey and riding a lovely metallic purple Lemond of the same era, fully fendered for winter riding in Portland, I liked this gentleman's style. Still it's February 2nd, too early to be pouncing uphill.
Rolling by him with a simple "how's it going", I was immediately amused and understanding of his response.
Me: "How you doing?"
Lemond rider: "Fat."
Not a "good", or "alright", nor silence—just "fat". I couldn't have said it better myself.
I know that I am in fact not fat by any standard of American scales, but with a full month layoff coming on the heels of two weeks of post-cyclocross season blues, I am fat. For a cyclist. For me anyway. I can blame my slow pace on my lovely winter training Ira Ryan bicycle all I want but I don't have to pinch too hard to know the problem doesn't lay with the bike, but rather the rider.
Good news is that I also know the solution.
- No change overall at the Ras today, Rich Handley remains in 5th, and Mike Cuming stills leads KOM
- RT @anpostras: Provisional GC after Stage 5: Bialoblocki, McConvey, Guldhammer <all @st, Handley & Pelletier-Roy @24secs, Fodor @46secs, Hu…
- RT @anpostras: Mike Cuming (Rapha Condor JLT) Will wear Mountains Jersey again, after Stage 5 #Ras2013
- RT @NickLathamPhoto: @raphacondor Photos of Kristian House winning Durham stage in a blog post at http://t.co/wHX8d0mlQc #tourseries Pls R…
- RT @IonaNiDhalaigh: Yahhh mountain jersey in the bag!!! Nice one @mike_cuming!!! @raphacondor http://t.co/GrGqSL0Kgl
- RT @CondorWarehouse: Nice to see the @raphacondor JLT team bike on display @campagnolosrl HQ with so many top pro teams http://t.co/5CgE0tY…
- RT @anpostras: GC after Stage 4: Bialoblocki,, McConvey, Guldhammer, Handley, Pelletier-Roy, Hunal, Simon Yates, Fodor, Roger Aiken, Archbo…
- Spare a thought for @Porterelliott who punctured out of the yellow jersey group, when will he get some luck!
- Took the @anpostras on today. Didn't quite pull it off. @RichHandley90 4th on GC and @mike_cuming in the KoM jersey.
- Tour series update from Stoke up on the site http://t.co/aVdcnGnkOX