You Big Bully.

Last year I won the Arctic Warrior Olympics road race after being taken out by an inexperienced rider. A week later I carried that road rash to Fairbanks.

This year I hit the deck in Fairbanks (my fault alone), lost more skin, and banged myself up a bit. A week later I carried that road rash into the AWO road race and won again.

I don't necessarily feel good about winning.

The competition wasn't there this year. Every time I went to the front, I'd end up opening a gap without trying. Not interested in doing a individual time trial, I sat in and watched the pack slowly dissolve around me.

The two riders I had pegged as the strongest of the bunch were on the front when the final selection was made on a longer uphill drag. A triathlete was on the front, drilling it for all he was worth, and a short, muscular guy was on his wheel. I sat just behind, and never noticed when the remaining riders fell away. Suddenly the short guy pulled off and disappeared, so I moved up and grabbed the triathlete's wheel. When we reached the top, there was nobody there.

I pointed out the fact when I pulled through, and gave him the option of us riding together in a civilized manner or formally declaring hostilities for the remaining miles. He didn't seem interested in fighting, so we settled into a moderate pace that further opened the gap. Meanwhile, the short rider's pedal had come off so he was occupied with cross-threading the spindle and the rest of the group was more or less cooked.

When the finish came, I rolled out of the draft, put in four or five good pedal strokes, and then sat up and spun across the line. The triathlete never really changed speed.

Anticlimactic.

For my commanding win, I got a $15 off coupon from RoadID. The funny thing is, I'd just bought one a week before. Somehow the award seems fitting.

That afternoon I did another hour and a half to make up for the workout I didn't get during the race. While the weather was nice, I figured I needed to get in as many hours as possible. It's not always going to be blue skies and warm temperatures. Sooner or later the rainy season will start, and I'll return to the world of fenders, shoe covers, and rain jackets. I'll watch the drips fall from my cycling cap's brim and hopefully find a comfortable place in the soggy world.

For now, there's sun. Even a playground bully like me can appreciate a nice day when he finds one.

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