Golfers (especially hackers like me) are familiar with the term "Sandbagger" - it refers to someone who shows up for a golf day claiming a 24 handicap and then promptly plays like a pro and sweeps up the main prize. When challenged, the Sandbagger will say things like "I don't really know what my handicap is", "I haven't played for a while" or "I don't know this course". I've recently become aware that something similar happens in online Scrabble, of all things. One of my regular opponents, who I know has a great vocabulary, has been playing words like "dupped", "nain", "ditt" and "tocher", and just beat me with them. You wouldn't get away with this in regular Scrabble, but when Prof.Google is on the next tab...... The rough equivalent of a Sandbagger in cycling is a "liar", someone who goes out with the 16-18mph pace group and promptly drops everyone like a bad habit.
Kevin is anything but a liar but I did accuse him of sandbagging me last Saturday morning. He picked me up for a Zube run and made lots of noise about not wanting to ride Sealy and keeping the pace reasonable because he was out of shape and practise. Sure Kevin.
Off we went, just the two of us (the Mules were doing one of the organized rides), under threatening, grey skies. As ever Kevin set a hot pace to "warm up" but I was able to hang on. When we got to the first set of climbs, where I mugged him last week, I put on a good surge and got in front, but he was right on my wheel all the way. Out of shape and tired? I don't think so and chaffed him a bit, whereupon he invoked "muscle memory", which I refuse to believe is a thing.
The wind was on our rear quarter on the way out and we got to the gas station with an average over 18mph, pretty hot for me. This meant the run back would be tough and indeed it was, but I talked him into sharing the pulling duties half-a-mile at a time, and that helped us a lot.
Back at the start and we'd run the 46 miles at a little over 15 mph average. If we get the same wind for the MS150 we'll be laughing all the way - fingers crossed!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
|Looks like fun!|
I hadn't been out two weekends in a row (first one was due to work, the second because of a sore lower back) so I was chafing for a ride, particularly with the MS barely a month away. Kevin spent the week in sub-Saharan Africa and got back feeling bone-tired and a little under the weather, so was out of commission. The Mules were not much in evidence on Facebook, probably due to the crappy weather forecast, but Shawn was looking for a Zube ride and suggested an 8am start. With the clocks going forward this would mean a 5am alarm and I just couldn't face it. It didn't help that I put away a big tray of crawfish at Pappadeaux on Saturday either. So I decided to ignore Daylight Savings Time and see how the weather looked when I woke up.
And of course it was peeing with rain at 7am! But the radar and forecast for Zube was dry, so no excuses, off I went. When I got to Zube there was one vehicle only in the parking lot and no sign of Shawn. He's much faster than me anyway so I decided to be the Lone Mule. The car was showing 45 degF and there was a stiff breeze from the north - on with all the gear (but I forgot the leggings, which I would grow to regret). Off I went, trying for a steady 17-18mph - very feasible running south, not an option when I turned west unfortunately, it was a struggle to hold 15mph. It was also damn cold, my feet were like size 9 blocks of ice, especially into the wind.
The run out is mainly north and it was tough all the way. I was glad to turn west once more and start the run down to the gas station. With the wind on my back I was cooking along in fine style, but oddly I felt even colder, perhaps because I wasn't working as hard. Halfway down Laneview I saw a few egrets in a flooded field. I spooked them and when they took off, three blue herons that I hadn't seen went with them, a spectacular sight.
At the gas station I strained spuds and got my water bottle from a nice lady who asked how I was today, as you do. "I'm freezing" I replied, getting a laugh, so I went on to comment that I didn't know whose idea this ride was but it was a bad one. At this the lady looked around and noted that as I was on my own, it was actually pretty clear whose idea it was! Gales of laughter ensued.
Back at it and I opted for the standard run in down Business 290, expecting the wind to be on my rear quarter, which it was. The roads were quiet and dry and I made good time. With only a few miles to run I spotted a caracara on a fallen tree, pretty close to the road. I should have stopped for a photo but I would probably have spooked him. Not much further along I saw what appeared to be two dogs on the side of the road - here we go, I thought, getting ready for a sprint - but when I got closer they turned out to be goats and they ignored me completely.
The last few hundred yards were dead into the wind but a full bladder gave me wings! Back at the car, I changed into warmer gear but could barely get my socks on, my feet were so cold. It was several hours later, back home after a nap, before I felt warm again. But I managed 43 miles at a little over 15mph average all on my big boy own.