If it’s 70 degrees in Omaha in March, it’s windy. These are among the things you learn pretty quickly around these parts.
With extra daylight … finally … and warmer temperatures, rides are popping up at all times of day. I rolled out with a group at 6 last night – complete with the standard 20mph wind from the southwest. It was short and sweet, but it reminded me just how hard it is to go really fast on a bike.
All winter we dream of pulling down the arm warmers – or leaving them home entirely – and feeling the sunshine on our pasty Midwestern skin. And we dream of pulling through a charging paceline, speed unabated over rolling hills. And town-line sprints, KOM points and off-the-front breakaways.
We spend the winter forgetting just how hard that stuff is – how much it hurts. But it takes only one hill, one sprint and one turn through the line to remember.
I think it’s our willingness to accept that pain that makes pro cycling’s spring classics so intriguing. More often than not, the weather is less than ideal – cold, damp, windy, dark. Those who reach the finish line in the classics – to say nothing of those who actually win them – have to dig deep through innumerable challenges along the way.
The pain needed to dig through our challenges pales in comparison to those undertaken on the harsh cobbles of Europe. But the fact that we know what it feels like – even on a much smaller scale – makes the classics a must-watch.
Milan-San Remo gets it rolling on Sunday, and from there it’s six weeks of cobblestones, narrow farm roads, mud and pain. Enjoy the ride.
Random link time:
- We’re not the only ones that have noticed a huge change in Cadel Evans since he pulled on the rainbow stripes.
- If it’s not a motor, it must be … bearings? Really?
- Bike polo, as far as I’m concerned, can go jump. But a six-pack holster? Uh, yeah.
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