Sunday, October 19, 2008


The Red Sox are on right now, game 7 of the ALCS with Tampa Bay. Baseball never appealed to me much, too much watching and not enough doing. Hockey caught my interest, the speed and contact were addicting even though it isn't the prettiest game when played at the levels I played. Blessed with Ham and Egger skills I was fortunate that my High School and College teams weren't well above or well below my ability. That allowed me to play the game competitively well into my early adult years. 

My teammates and I (and much of our competition) had no delusions of turning professional or doing much more with the sport than working as hard as we could and having as much fun as possible while we could. The last college game I played was a painful end to an important part of my life. I feared that I'd never find something that would challenge me as much mentally and physically as hockey could. 

I tried a few men's ice hockey leagues, but that sucked. No one really tried and other than wearing the same uniforms I never felt as though I was part of a team.  The disparity between a team's best and worst players was really wide. The little bit of flow that I had come to expect from the game was non existent. 

I happened upon cycling, through a hockey friend who's roommate was a budding triathlete. In cycling I've found much of what has been missing since my college hockey ended 15 years ago. The camaraderie, the physical exertion, the speed, the different venues, the road trips, the endless pursuit of new gear and yes, even the physical contact.  

Here's my pal Bob. Bob is a master's racer (35+, maybe older, I never asked) and he's no threat to win a master's race any time soon (that's no slight, neither am I). 

Bob's a Ham and Egger. 

Bob loves the sport and the challenge it presents him and his equipment.

Somehow he got caught up on a set of barriers at today's race and took a rear wheel directly to the end of his nose. Sounds funny if you weren't looking at the photo. The wheel hit him so hard on the end of the nose that it ripped a 2cm long gash up on the bridge of his nose. There was copious amounts of blood.  He's an eye doctor.. or optometrist... or something like that, and he was pretty sure that he had fractured the bone just below his right eye next to his schnazoots. 

Notice he's not on the ground in the photo. He finished his race. Where he placed isn't important.

When I tell people I race cyclocross they kind of look at me funny. Explaining that it is a kind of bike racing makes it easier for them to understand the medium, but it does nothing to explain the sport. Yeah, the legs are shaved and the uniforms are spandex, but don't make the mistake of thinking that it is anything like road cycling.

From now on, I'll send them a link to this picture of Bob. 

That my friends, is cyclocross

This photo and people like Bob are why I love this sport. 

Canton race report coming soon.


gewilli said...

amen brother, amen

EyeBob said...

Ham and eggar




Lunch pail guy

41 BTW

G-ride said...

Hey Bob - GTFO...

Think HTFU and figure it out.

Just kidding. That was a pretty hardman thing to do...for an Army guy.

Says the wimpering Marine as Army guy blows past him in race.

Your pretty tough for a skinny kid... Army 1, Marine Corps 0


NVdK said...

It's all about the race and not the winning. Props to your bud Bob. My 14 y/o daughter just can't quite figure out why I do this even tho, like Bob, I'll likely never podium. Bob is why.

Radio Freddy said...

Nicely said.

EyeBob said...

I am the reason for the season?


Who knew.