Sunday, July 12, 2009


I came in second or third to last and still got exactly the prize I wanted—Mathauser brake shoes—which is a perfect metaphor for how the positive and negative sides of today’s race: The Tour de Watertower: Guerilla Time Trial—embraced one another, so that, in every case, the worse the hill, the better the ride, or at least that’s what I think when I reflect upon it, now in the relative comfort of my home, and after a few pain-killing drafts of grains and greens, as well as a lovely dinner leftover for me on the counter in the kitchen.

The route took us to seven of the highest spots in town—makes sense, those are where you put watertowers—and after four of them, notably Magnolia’s at the second top of Dravus near 38th—I was really all about just holding on for dear life, finishing, rather than finishing fast being my only true priority.

My low point was after leaving the Magnolia tower; I made a few wrong turns and ended up at the bottom of a cul de sac from which I had to ride uphill to escape; that had me wasting many minutes consulting my map at the next unclear point.

Dumbest decision was to go east on 85th from Phinney; grinding up the unnecessary I-5 overpass, my left thigh cramped up and I had to hotfoot it on the sidewalk; that was the only time I really could imagine giving up, and once I was on my way downhill from Maple Leaf—even in the thunderstorm (a nice touch which almost added hypothermia to my collection of ills)—I knew that I’d make it, although that could have been a result of the safety meeting I belatedly indulged in as I headed down Roosevelt.

Props to the organizers and sponsors, to all the riders and to the winner, who finished more than an hour and a half faster than me.


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