The Jarring Transition

The sight of exposed skin on my wrist was startling. It's been a couple weeks since they haven't been covered by long-sleeve jerseys or arm warmers.

The sight of beaded water running down that skin was downright shocking. It wasn't raining where I was riding (in my garage), so that must mean it was just copious amounts of sweat.

Weird.

With temperatures in the high 30s and rain falling, I just couldn't bring myself to ride outside. It would have been another low-effort ride in a long string of low-effort rides. Besides, with the wife out drinking... um, scrap-booking with her friends all weekend in Girdwood, I had to watch the kids. No four-hour climbing routes for me today.

I kitted up and strode into the garage exuding purpose and confidence. That is, as much as a pale white guy with shaved legs wearing lycra can exude. I did suck in my gut, so I had that going for me.

I logged onto Zwift and did all of the pre-ride stuff that my trainer sessions will likely entail this season. Today I could only ride the Richmond World Championships course, which I had never ridden before. I didn't need to. I lived on Monument Avenue when I went to college at VCU, while I was still under the delusion that I had musical talent or the interest in teaching. In fact, I could pick out my apartment on TV during the U23 and women's races. Still looks like an overpriced dump. The digitized version on Zwift is cleaner.

Since I hadn't ridden the course before, I didn't know where any of the sprint lines were. I usually was right on top of them before I started, which was too late. I squeaked by a third place on a couple of the sprints, then limped my way up the climbs. It was good intensity, and that's what I really needed after grinding out a bunch of long, slow distance.

The trainer still sucks, but at least the time passes a little quicker. I'm not mentally ready to be stuck on the trainer just yet, but the weather this year is making it an occasional necessity. I can deal with that, as long as I can get outside for a little while longer.

The road season is over. While I'm winning virtual douchebag contests on the interweb, other riders are doing stuff like winning sprints to see who can run into the side of a van the hardest. While I'm trying to shave a couple pounds off my midsection, they're having their collarbones surgically shortened for aerodynamics (and that whole structural repair thing).

I need to step up my game.

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