The Freakin’ Olympics!
I was in Olympia Cycle recently. Killing time, cruising bikes, and overheard two older guys talking cycling. I soon realized they were talking about the roller races at the Belgian Club, one of which I had gone to see before Christmas. These things are true suffer-fests, with two participants going head to head on fixed wheel bikes on rollers for 500 meters, full tilt. The bikes are connected to a big clock behind the riders and each rider is represented by a needle on the clock. First needle to meet 500 meters wins. The whole thing is a bit surreal, being in a bar and all. But if you love cycling and you love beer, this is the place to be. Riders don’t have a chance to warm up, and it’s a true sprint, with cadence getting up to ridiculous speeds. Speeds it’s unlikely these legs will ever see. I was amazed to see one rider gobble down a cheeseburger and fries, then hop up on stage and go on to win the whole kit and kabootle. AND he didn’t puke (although I imaging the folks in the first row were pretty nervous).
Right, back to the Olympics. So it turns out one of the older fellas at the bike shop was Linsday Gauld. Just so happens that Lindsay was in the 1972 Olympics in Munich. For Cycling. The freaking Olympics. And here we are shooting the shit about cycling. Ok, I managed to insert myself into the conversation, shocking, I know. The guy is 60 years old now (although you’d never guess that) and still kicking some pretty significant ass. I often lament the fact that I came to cycling late in life, but it turns out I could easily have 30 more years to enjoy this sport. Hopefully even more.