I can practically feel the warmth of their rotten gargoyle breath on the back of my neck from the peels of their laughter as they look over my shoulder at the forecast on my screen. My gargoyles live with me year-round but are especially excitable during periods of cabin fever.....And they are invisible to all but me. I have discussed them at length with the GEEC, but she thinks I'm crazy....."There are no cosmic forces at work against you," she says as I spill a venti cinnamon dolce latte in my crotch. The heat of it initially feels good, until the scalding, burning sensation takes over. I feel like Mr. Robert Wilson as he tries to fly home from a sanitarium where he just spent the previous 6 months recovering from a nervous breakdown in the Twighlight Zone episode called Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.
Not seen it? Nevermind......I'm not surprised. My gargoyles are my own - no one else can see them. I alone bear witness to their scheming. No one was there to see me try to drink from my frozen bottle while riding last weekend, only to have the plastic literally split in half within my squeezing hand, thus showering my face and chest with ice cold water. I looked over my shoulder to see if they were on their bikes behind me, smiling with the smug satisfaction of possums sniffing shit.
Can you settle a bet for me? Which cyclist has the best mane of all time? Cipo?
Not even close.....I'm calling a tie between Roberto Gaggioli and Laurent Brochard.
I'm entering my first road race this spring and because I don't belong to a team, I don't know what to wear. If I wear my replica Team Discovery pro kit, I'm going to be accused of being a poseur. If I wear my Pink Floyd jersey, I'm going to be accused of being a Fred. If I just wear a plain jersey, I'm going to look like a complete amateur. Do you have any advice?
Several things to realize. You are in a no-win situation. No matter what you show up in, you will be laughed at, either blatantly or privately, but more likely, both. Welcome to the wonderful world of cycling. Secondly, it's best to realize now that you are all three of those things....a poseur, a Fred, and an amateur. So am I. This is our lot in life. Tough titty. So, my best advice for being in a situation in which any decision is bad, is to go in deeper....all the way. Don't be afraid of the Fred. Embrace the Fred. Be the Fred, Sheldon. And remember this....."Do or do not.....there is no try".