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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bruised Butts...

Just got back Sunday night from the Firestone Walker Classic mountain bike race in Los Olivos, the heart of the Central Coast’s wine country. The event was held on the grounds of the Firestone Walker winery.

I really like wine.

This California State Series XC was a “character builder”. That’s a euphemism for discomfort. Though it was truly a beautiful course through which to suffer a bike race. The grapes in neat rows of terraced vine. Hints of rose and clay and pencil shavings. I got nipped in the sprint finish and placed fourth...and afterwards though I was really tempted, I didn’t even have a taste. Afterall, the podium was only three deep.

Pinot, pinot everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

But that’s a good thing, because I need to practice self-control in preparation for next week’s festivities. Tomorrow, after dumping my laundry bag of race gear still damp and heavy from the Sea Otter trip into the washing machine, I’ll begin getting ready for the Fruita Fat Tire Festival in Colorado. That means clothes, kit, bike, Treo and i-Pod into one bag. For 1,500 miles at 55 mp, I’ll be riding shot gun in the Luna Team Truck.

Went to Fruita last year. Had a blast. Resplendent trails. Bonfires at night. An old downhilling buddy who now manages the Over The Edge Bike Shop put me up for a week. There was much celebration.

Part of the reason I’m shying away from the dangerous world of downhilling, where you can fall from a 40 foot drop-off, back to cross country is the safety factor.

I mean, how can you get hurt warming up on a stationary trainer? What are the odds of ‘face planting’ while tootling around in the woods on single track? Kept thinking of stuff like that during the Firestone race.

It would have been easy, even therapeutic after that finish to stroll over to the tasting room and sample some 2004 cabernet. A glass or two of Reserve Merlot, perhaps? Dare I suggest a shallow sip of Estate Syrah?

But I didn’t. Not because I knew that it simply be the wrong thing after a poor finish to find comfort with a carafe, but because I knew even then that I was in preparations for the Fruita Fat Tire Festival!

And last year while there I had too much Red Bull and vodka...

marla streb
Marla shows why biking and vodka don't mix...

That bruise which I got while Just Riding Along ranks in the top ten list of my all time injuries.

A year later and two surgeries, and I still have a ‘lump’. Can’t wear a bikini anymore because it looks like I’m trying to hide a grapefruit back there. That thing’s become my alter-ego. And it keeps reminding me to practice a little self-control.


Eric Sutton said...

Thats freakin fantastic Marla. Not only are you an unbelievable pro cyclist, but your also a great writer with a nice tush to boot! No shame... what a gal.

2:33 PM  
Jeroen said...

yes indeed i almost could'nt believe it was you.. i just found this site yesterday.but its really entertaining to read.


4:05 PM  
Mike said..., i mean, how unfortunate

4:49 PM  

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