Tag Archives: hate

From Hate to Haute

Yesterday morning, somewhere between avoiding work and answering PSIMET/Zilla emails, a headline crossed the ticker: “Scientists working in Geneva, Switzerland find cure for cycling induced hate—Epicness.” Ok, I am not entirely sure that’s how it went down, but the cure did come from Switzerland and the cure was indeed Epic.

The Haute Route. That term means different things to different people. If you’re a skier, you immediately think of daylong skins up and over high alpine passes (As well as sweaty dudes crammed into huts chowing on stinky cheese and sausage). If you’re a hiker, well, its kind of the same idea.

But, if you’re a cyclist… you think of 800km with 21,000m (yes, meters) of climbing over seven days. Lets break that down for the American folk: that’s 498 miles of climbing over 19 of the most amazingly grueling Alpine passes in the world. When all is said and done, you climb just shy of 68,000ft; that’s the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest (from sea level mind you) twice and then throwing in another 10,000 ft for good measure. L'Alpe d'Huez

Most notably, is that the ‘race’ climbs up l’Alpe d’Huez twice—once along the race route from Villard Reculas and again the following day in an Individual Time Trial via Bourg d’Oisans. Beyond that, the hits just keep in coming, including an ascent up the Col de la Madeleine, a ride to Courchevel, and a slog up the Col de St. Rachael (to name a few).

In short, it is just plain EPIC and I would love to be apart of it. It is not in the cards for me this year due to some scheduling conflicts (not to mention that I am more or less flat broke), but damn, just thinking about that kind of route gets the blood flowing.

One thing to note, which I think also adds to the mystique of the event, is that The Haute Route is a cyclosportive. This designation seems particularly French to me in that, while it is not a race, you are timed and the ‘winners’ are given prizes. While it is no secret that I generally dislike Gran Fondos and the large group-ride events outside of governed racing, an event like this strikes a chord.

Now if you will excuse me I have to go wipe the drool off the keyboard.

-m

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The Honest Truth

The blog has been pretty silent this past week, though not for lack of topics (A nugget starts growing in my mind almost everyday). In reality, I have felt a little disconnected from my steeds. As much as it may seem like I have a never ending river of love for all things bicycle running through my veins, the Honest Truth is that I often… Hate it.

It comes and it goes from time to time; often it is fleeting, though sometimes it is a long and drawn out period of utter disgust. This is not a euphemism for something suffering related, or some grand scheme of motivation, where I’ll turn all the negativity upside down in the last paragraph. It is plainly true and, I think, every racer suffers (no pun intended) from the same thoughts from time to time.

I hate riding in 40mph crosswinds because I am ‘scheduled’ to. I hate that a single goat’s head or touch of the wheels can displace months and months of hard work. I hate that cycling complicates seemingly mundane questions like: “What are we doing this weekend?” and “Will you be home for dinner?”

I hate dragging a carload of groceries up three flights of stairs after three hours on the trainer and a nine-hour workday. I hate never having money to do much of anything other than racing. I hate that I am so mental that I have to buy every damn Hammer supplement out there just to placate my thoughts of ‘missing something.’

I hate defining my life at the lowest possible point in the sport. I hate constantly greasing the wheels of 30 odd people that are doing the same under my watch. I hate not having time to get a second job and break free of paycheck to paycheck. I hate getting up predawn on Saturday and Sunday to ride more than some do in a week.

I hate cold feet 3 miles into a six-hour day. I hate getting dropped by juniors. I hate that my place in cycling, on and off the bike, has added to an otherwise hefty stress load. I hate that ideals about cycling create riffs. I hate that I have lost contact with a lot of people, mainly because I don’t see them on training rides or at races every week.

Perhaps most notably, I hate that cycling makes me hate it. After all, it has done tremendous things for my health, wellbeing, social life, motivation, and a slew of other things that I probably don’t even realize. I should be entirely thankful, nay entirely faithful, to the sport. Alas, I am an ungrateful Lover.

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