Blood, Sweat, And Bikes

Los Alamos

It’s the motto on the Team Rally USA semi leading their race convoy, Blood, Sweat, and Bikes.  Any road cycling parent seeing it go by must restrain themselves from falling to their knees and praying someday their kid’s bike hangs within its hallowed walls.

It’s probably in Silver City at the Tour of the Gila right now.  I wish I was.  Sitting at the Drifter Diner having breakfast before a race is my idea of heaven.  My son, the cyclist, though is doing the sensible thing though finishing a degree or two, working a research job in hopes of a good doctoral program.  The good life — or is it?

My husband, the sensible parent, would say so.  The first thing my son said to me last time I saw him was that the callus’ on his hands were gone.  To a normal person this might be good but not to someone who lives to ride it sucks.

The first time he rode the Gila he was maybe sixteen.  At the finish line on the first day I felt sort of sick when one of the first riders back was in ripped lycra held up by his own dried blood.  He cried to his father that he had failed to make win the KOM, king if the mountain sprint.  You can buy your kid a canyon maybe but you can’t buy the determination it takes to excel in the very incredibly competitive world of cycling.  They have it or they don’t.

You can go far as a cyclist in Los Alamos.  We have Triatomics, Pajarito Riders, etc.  If you are determined to rise to the top as a road cyclist you really need to get yourself to Europe ASAP.  The Durango Kid, Sepp Kuss, is leading a Grand Tour team this week.  Serious mountain bikers abound in Durango.  It’s a bad time though for cycling in the American West with teams and races falling victim to hard times.

The notion that developing a local canyon into some sort of cycling center is just goofy.  My impression is that most riders become riders because they love the wild, untamed outdoors.  The good life is a race away.