Thoughts on biking and Czech life through the Eyes of an American

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Being out of shape & Wheel Sucking Posers

Ride Stats

  • Distance:53.6

  • Time:3:11:07

  • Avg. Speed17.1 mph

  • Max. Speed41.6 mph

  • Climbing:4980 feet

  • Avg. HR:139 bpm

  • Energy:2420 cal

todays bike ride



High: 43° Low: 30°

Considering yesterday's ride and a poor night sleep, I decided to take it slow today. After all, doing the miles and the time is what early season rides are all about. We had a great day here weather-wise, still cold and the wind required serious layers but the sun was a welcomed sight after several days of rain.

After riding for about 40 minutes I came to an intersection and noticed a rider climbing the hill towards me. I crossed the road but wasn't sure if he was also heading in my direction. About 1 mile later I was having some shifter issues at the base of a 2.3km (about 1.6 mile) long climb. I wrestled with the shifter as the shim seemed to be stuck then proceeded to slowly climb the hill since my rhythm was wrecked. Then, in the corner of my eye I caught a glimps of a shadow that wasn't mine. Initially I thought it was some mountain biker that was trying to tag along but I didn't want to turn around to look. (Note: I think there is an unwritten rule that if you turn to look then it immediately turns into a race). I pressed on, not too hard but just enough to see if he/she would drop away.

A half mile passed and I could still see the shadow glued to my rear wheel. At this point I was a little pissed. I've never liked people who suck on my wheel especially if I don't know them. This never was really an issue back when I was fast because not many people would do training rides at my speeds (usually solo at 22mph with 3300 feet of climbing on the windy coast). Now that I'm out of shape I guess I have to get used to the fact that I might get someone on my wheel from time to time. It only happened once last year on a long climb and I got schooled!

At this point I was getting angry. Everyone knows that sitting on someone's wheel makes it easier and I was getting a little pissed that he wasn't doing any of the pacemaking ... AT LEAST ride up beside me and say "Hi" or "Dobre Den"... I mean, if you are so great, you ride up front! We rounded a 90 degree switchback, zig-zagging along the forested road as my heart rate continued to climb. Getting impatient, I thought "I am just going to turn around and say..'enjoying the ride back there?'" I decided against it since I don't think it would be very friendly and who knows if this guy speaks English anyway.

Finally with only 500 feet to the top he came around me and I got my first glimpse of the leech who had been sucking my wheel for the past mile of climbing... Sure enough, he was a poser of the worst kind... decked out head-to-toe in full "Team Discovery Channel" garb. I've never been a fan of wearing pro-team jerseys because it just looks like you are trying hard to be someone you're not. If you really want to be good, wear your own stuff or support you local bike shop with their jersey. "Alright Lance, go for it," I thought as he attacked out of the saddle. I didn't make any effort since I'm never one for "drag race" sprints on training rides (especially when I still had 43 miles to go and this is only my second ride of the season).

Watching for behind I did notice that he was pretty good though. I'm positive I would have been able to keep up or even drop him back when I was a Cat 1 climber... not the Cat 5 wash-up I am now.

Then I started thinking... "what a loser, he even had the Trek Madone carbon bike.. the shoes... the booties... the sunglasses. Why Discovery anyway? I would think people here in Europe might support a more local team, T-Mobile isn't far away, Italy isn't too far... what's the infatuation with Discovery or Lance Armstrong? I thought I expect it in the US but not here. "Geez, he is even wearing one of the team knit hats they were when training in the spring... this guy went all out. But can you even buy those hats? And isn't that the new 2007 jersey?"

"That isn't a poser WEARING Discovery Channel stuff... that's Pavel Padrnos, A DISCOVERY TEAM RIDER!!!"
Pavel Padrnos at the front... for once
I completely forgot that Pavel Padrnos lives in Czech Republic.. I originally thought he lived nowhere near me but I discovered that he lives in Ostopovice which I go by nearly every ride. Its a very small village (pop 1,400) that you certainly wouldn't expect to produce a rider who's been in the Tour de France 5 or 6 times and is a 2-time Olympian! He was on Armstrong's team to help him win 5 of his Tour de France titles.

Was it really him... hmmm, we may never know.

He took the a different road as I was headed to the big hills to do more climbing. Check out what you missed Pavel!
Pozor! Fun ahead!
So I guess you never know what you might see on your next "boring ride". But honestly, Pav, next time do some work on the front. Dik. :)

Further Reading:
ThePaceline: Pavel Padrnos - The Czech Republic's Pavel Padrnos is truly a giant among men in the sport of cycling. Standing 1.89m (6'3") and weighing 82kg (180 lbs) he towers above most of the other riders in the pro peloton... [more]

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Anonymous Boruvka said...

Je pense que tu gagnerais si une competition unofficiale avait lieu. T´es mon champion. Bisous

February 18, 2007 at 4:43 PM

Blogger weak and feeble said...

That's a funny story! I had a similar experience a number of years back but it was all Motorola gear at an XC ski place in Vermont, I made some comment and then realized it was Andy Bishop who did in fact ride for them, to make matters worse I had a poster of him in my gear room at the time!

Funny you should mention Sugarloaf in your comment our our blog- one TWAF'er (NK) will be up that way in a couple weeks and I may tag along so if we get up there we'll let you know!



February 18, 2007 at 8:02 PM

Blogger JV said...

I know Andy! I've actually been skiing with him and Pavel Tchekasov over at Stowe (Trapp Family Lodge actually). He was also in my Macroeconomics class and always was sucking up to the professor!

February 19, 2007 at 4:35 AM

Blogger Omni said...

How wild to just run into him like that!!

February 19, 2007 at 5:03 AM

Blogger weak and feeble said...

What a small world! I worked with Andy's wife, Daria, in Burlington and actually my wife and I got married at Trapps.

Crazy world.



February 20, 2007 at 1:12 PM


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