Aaah beer... sweet nectar, and source of my bicycle sloth!... For the first time tonight, I attempted to roll forth and meet one of the local training rides out on the road. Since time is of the essence and the ride hits the road so early (relative to the time I leave work), I have to park the car at a local nature preserve, and do the route "backwards," meeting the pack out on the road. This also allows for a bit more of an appropriate warm-up than I might otherwise have. The ride is SUPER-fast, and super competitive. It is basically a combination of a bike race, giant chess match, and test of physical stamina, populated by a bunch of neurotic, narcissistic, obsessive alpha-males (or those that aspire to alpha-male-dom). Maybe that's my problem all these years... just not "alpha" enough, but more resigned to my happy fate as a more mellow "beta.." (is that how that all works? I'm making assumptions here..) Mellooowww... Mellooowwww... Racing a bicycle is really hard. REALLY hard... Training for bicycle racing is also really hard. Most racers would say that ideally, one should try and replicate "racing conditions" while training. No problem there, as these guys are so fast, that I'm suffering like a pig on a spit almost instantly. I have some friends who complain that these guys go too hard, too fast, too soon. Part of it is of course, testosterone-fueled. The other part is cabin fever with the advent of spring temperatures in the Midwest. Add to this, the fact that I am pretty much an undisciplined slob when it comes to training over the winter months (okay, I'm ALWAYS an undisciplined slob!!), and it just adds to the pain, suffering, and dejection that the early season will have in store. Not only did I spend many an hour this winter eating pizza, fatty sandwiches, fries, sweets, and drinking beer and wine, but also wrapped up the better part of a 300 page doctoral thesis, so, needless to say, the girth increased. But as I've said before and will say again.. THE PARTY IS OVER..!!!