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Confessions of a Roadie Gone Bad(12 posts)

Confessions of a Roadie Gone BadMarlon
Dec 9, 2001 1:14 AM
Wow - my first post on RBR.com since 2 months ago. I feel, I feel: like I'm coming back. But only somewhat. Here's why...

Long long ago, in a racing season that had just passed, I was a roadie. Yup, a full-blown shaved-leg, euro-jersey, bib-short-wearing roadie making his first foray into racing. A year of preparation had made me strong, and despite being a Cat 5, I was a strong Cat 5, able to hold my own with the Cat 4s and even the Cat 3s at times. My dreams were filled with polka-dot jerseys, my talk studded with words like "peleton" and "criterium", and I even had a dark coloured patch of a tan mark on the back of each hand. Best of all was my UCI licence that proudly said: Cat 5 racer. That was me, and I knew I was headed for Cat 4, perhaps even Cat 3 in two seasons. And then, I made the first step on the path of darkness: I met The Woman.

The Woman, oh The Woman... at first, I disregarded her. Yes, she was a cyclist, which made me interested at first, but oh horror of horrors - she was a mountain biker. An off-roader, and worse: a North Shore rider, a Canadian girl who thrived on twisty trails filled with drops, ramps, and teeter-totters. She rode all of this on a (shocker) +20 pound bike!!! But worst of all: she used flats. Flats! No clipless pedals for this woman. No, I could never fall in love with such a female. Might as well marry an overweight Mack truck driver from Flin Flon, Manitoba. But somehow, something deep inside me had been stirred, and would not rest. The Off-Road Trails were calling me through this woman, and my heart responded unconsciously.

First, there was the fling with cyclocrossing. Yes, I became a 'crosser, but I justified it - the Belgians did it, and look what Belgium had produced: Eddy Merckx. In my mind, I was just doing what any Flemish "flahute" would do in the off-season: seek to punish himself to the utmost. And somehow, through all the self-inflicted pain, something stirred within me - I LIKED the mud. The grit, the sand, the snow even: it was fun. At this same time, despite my initial dismissal of The Woman, I found myself talking to her, even befriending her. Of course, this could go nowhere, she was "just" a mountain biker. Still...

Shortly after the 'cross season has finished, the self-preservation instinct in me began to drop to dangerously low levels, and I began pushing the limits with my winter road/'cross bike. I found myself tackling some singletrack fairly aggressively on my skinny 700x27c tires, and even dared to take a few jumps and drops. The highlight of this period? Scaring the local BMX kids at the local dirt jumps (two words of advice from my experiences: 36 hole rims with 14 gauge spokes, and don't go off the jump in the drops). Simultaneously, I found myself cooking dinner for The Woman one night and borrowing a friend's urban assault bike to go on a group mountain bike ride with her. The only comment from the group on my first mountain bike ride: "This is your first mtn. bike ride?!? Holy S**T." Apparently, I didn't do too badly. My conversion to the dark was almost complete.

That was a month and a half ago. Today, I am the proud owner of a heavily modified full-suspension x-country bike used for the North Shore. I own my own body armour and have cordura pants. Worst of all... I have a new pair of mountain bike shoes. And a beautiful, wonderful woman with whom I share my passion for cycling: off-road. I am a full roadie no longer, but I could not care less. I'll still train hard and aim to race on the road, but I am no longer a full roadie: I am a Roadie Gone Bad, and I love it. My only saving grace?

I still refuse to use flats. It's clipless or nothing.
You have come out of the dark. (nm)BrianU
Dec 9, 2001 6:31 AM
re: Confessions of a Roadie Gone Badweiwentg
Dec 9, 2001 6:57 AM
a biker is still a biker. and you're still part roadie. AND you've got a girlfriend to whom you will never have to justify bike expenditures...
congratulations!!
Get her on a roadbike..koala
Dec 9, 2001 7:04 AM
and congratulations on expanding your experience in every way.
Does she have a sister? nmThorman
Dec 9, 2001 7:48 AM
Sounds like you won the lottery to me! (nm)Applejuice
Dec 9, 2001 9:41 AM
nm.
What you are saying is that you have become a "Crossdresser" nmBirddog
Dec 9, 2001 11:05 AM
nm
Great storySamDC
Dec 9, 2001 11:15 AM
Seems like Cupid's arrow has caused you a delightful flat. Anyway, I'm not a writer or even an English major, but I know good writing when I come across it. I like how you seemlessly weave cycling jargon into your narative and how smoothly it flows. Again, great story! Keep us abreast of your adventures.

P.S. I think you've found a diamond in the rough... don't lose it!
re: Confessions of a Roadie Gone Badflyinbowlofmilk
Dec 9, 2001 4:58 PM
Congradulations,Marlon. Good luck with MTB biking and racing. Watch out for those nasty hills and blind drops and rock garden. As far as I see there is nothing wrong with it. You will find out that being a roadie and Moutain biker will come in handy. (Just a hint: they will complement each other). Good luck and keep everyone posted.
Next step: bring her to the road!Tig
Dec 10, 2001 6:30 AM
When the snow melts and turns the trails to mush, you can tempt her with a ride on the road. The rest is up to you. No, your father wasn't really Darth Vader!
that's thinkingDog
Dec 10, 2001 8:03 AM
Yup, convert her. It's only fair. Maybe a tandem?

Dog
I admire your honesty but...Crankist
Dec 10, 2001 7:13 AM
...there is no excuse for that behavior.
Mike