A Cycling Vignette: Blue Igloo/ Ice Magenta- Part 1
Excavation made by a seal in the snow over its breathing hole in the ice.
1860, in allusion to the Battle of Magenta, in Italy, where the French and Sardinians defeated the Austrians in 1859, because the brilliant crimson aniline dye was discovered shortly after the battle, which advanced the cause of It. independence and fired the imagination of European liberals.
March 15th- Here I stand pretty much butt naked! Aside from the cleats, black good luck socks, and bike undies. Damn! I shouldn’t’ have chowed down those slightly aged pears with that salad last night. I guess the 3rd cup of coffee didn’t help either. Sometimes I just hate bib shorts. Cathy calls it “Snow suit syndrome”. When you dress up a kid to go out in the cold they’ll always have to go to the bathroom. A necessary evil I guess… I feel strangely and somewhat comforted in this blue igloo. It was still quite dark, and the suns first rays of light created an eerie azul glow within this strange surrogate womb. Standing in the quiet of this embryonic hideaway. I was safe and sound. How strange this thought would enter my mind when I am about to perform in my first official time trial that ironically I dedicated to the memory of my mother who passed from this earth by the ugly extinguisher of life… cancer. Also, how ironic yet apropos, that I would be doing this on a day of remembrance, for two dynamic athletes, fellow cyclists, taken away by another destroyer of life… the automobile.
As I climbed out of the porta-potty and scampered across the parking lot I thought. I hope I don’t slip off that fence again. Why do they lock this parking lot any way. I could have waited in line at the lone porta-potty by the starting line, but I gambled that I could make it the two-point-something miles in less time. Plus disrobing and dressing would have people with flaming torches pelting the door with rocks to get in. Shouting “You monster”! I’m stressing enough. 7:47, and my start time is 8:06, I’ve gotta move! I had brought my Cycleops trainer to try and warm up for 40 minutes or so. What a waste. As I cautiously climb the gate, I feel like I’m doing better this time…Just as I think that, my cleat slips of the chain and my glove is caught on the barb at the top. Bang! Goes my back into the aluminum pole. Ouch! Focus, focus I tell myself.
My bike is wet with the morning dew. Like Iced Magenta… It looks so beautiful in the orange light, stripped naked, no bottles, cages, nor saddle bag. A thing of beauty, the original vision that would have sat Mr. Klein straight up in bed, and running down to his workshop for his torch and aluminum tubing before this apparition disappeared into the void. I touch this lover of mine and something immediately feels different? The bike is freezing cold but it speaks to me with the warmth of a familiar soul who’s been with me forever. I love my bike. I love the way I feel, gliding the cold air and sun on my face. The quiet solitude is broken by a deep and methodical fwoop, fwoop, fwoop! For one second my lizard brain reflexes and thinks to duck and cover! Bird of prey! Bird of prey. Quickly my analytical mind interprets this sound as the sound of a competitor not the preditor. The disc wheel coming towards me excites my painted pony. I feel the adrenaline begin to pulse through my veins as I pass my compadre and holler “GGggoo get em !!! My friend nods and wipes his mouth. I look at my heart monitor as I spin up Edgewood hill. I’m already at 85% of my max! This is not the way I wanted to warm up. I move to the middle of the road to let my two pretty young female athletes pass inside. I yell encouragement. “Hit that Hill” “Move, move” “Last hill!!” I think my God! So young, so intense and dedicated. Maybe there is hope for the world. Their Dads must be on top of the world. I look at my phone clock… I might not make it back! I hop on the back of the last girls wheel. I need to reserve some energy, so on I go…….
Too be continued…………….