Monday, February 5, 2007

Fear and Superstition in Fremont

I was torn between entitling this post The Number of the Beast and its current title. You see, AWfoSho walked back to the car after reg'ing for the final Earlybird Crit carrying the number 666... for those of you old enough to remember heavy metal, you may recall a completely whacked band (Iron Maiden) and their mascot, Eddie... "666, The number of the beast... hell and fire born to be released" so the song goes... perhaps if AWfoSho had unleashed his hell and fire on the pro/1/2/3 field of 75 or so I might have changed my mind about the title...

Instead, Riki gave us a brief pep talk on superstitions and the number of the beast was put to rest. In its place fear reared its ugly head...

For those of you that have never experienced watching your kids gallop through the final five laps of a nearly full crit field you quite possibly haven't experienced fear... there is something about the posibility of picking one's offspring up off the pavement that strikes terror in one's heart.

So, imagine my relief when, with two to go, El Gigante had delivered AWfoSho to fifteenth wheel in the charging group (fewer riders to deck in front of him). My sense of relief increased when the AMD/Discovery team hit the front and strung the pack out. Funny thing about bike racing... the faster it goes, the safer it is... usually. Anyways, that relief gave way to excitement as the group came out of the final corner, still single file, with AWfoSho sitting fifth wheel behind two household names...

Dean LaBerge is a rider that the boys will always gravitate towards. He's has been more than a competing bike racer to them. He has always had something good to say, some word of encouraqgement, a quiet confident demeaner. Not to mention that he is really fast. The other name, Roman Kilun, ex-DBC'er turned Healthnet pro, is another household name, more so because he gives the kiddos no quarter when they bump into eachother at the races, usually at the earlybirds. He has successfully spit both AWfoSho and El Gigante out of breaks, pushed them off wheels, and single-handedly brought back a good break that AWfoSho was in. So when the kids mention Roman it's usually along the lines of "Oh gawd, Roman's here."

...After spinning out for the entire last lap at or around 35 mph thanks to junior gears, AWforSho didn't have enough hell and fire left in his legs to put a kick into Dean and Roman, but he did hang on for the final podium spot. While he was up front, the Garden of Edan cruised in with El Gigante towards the rear, both having done their jobs. Garden banked a few more miles for the spring campaign. El Gigante, proud of his work delivering his teammate to the front, crossed the line full of an even greater pride because at one point in the race he did battle with Roman. It seems Roman wanted the wheel he was sucking... instead of backing down, El Gigante put his bar into the black spandex with the Healthnet logo and successfully defended the wheel... not much in the big scheme of things, but then neither is bike racing. And taking pride in your riding is sometimes all you can take away from a race... sometimes the podium doesn't matter.

3 comments:

G'Ma said...

Nice work all around! Way to go, guys! Who says the little moments aren't the best treasures, anyway?

romank said...

Hey Guys,

I am very proud and impressed with all of the progress all of the DBC juniors have made. I think that DBC is the best club in Nor Cal and I am proud and thankful that it helped me get my start.
In light of this I am more than a little bummed that I have projected a negative image or intimidated anyone on the team.
To be comletely honest I really never know exactly who anyone is in a race unless i see them all the time so I never know if I am bumping bars with a DBC junior or some 30 year old dude from Sac.
Point is it is never personal and if I treat a junior a little rough its probably b/c he is riding really well and I don't realize he is junior.
Having said that I want to offer all of my help and support to the team and want to make sure all of you feel free to talk to me even if it is to call me an a-hole for cutting you off. I promise, I will be the first to admit i was wrong.

Best Regards
Roman

Steve said...

Today I come with the humblest of apologies. My English teacher has failed me again. Seems I wasn't provided with the proper literary devices to convey my meaning.

I was trying to convey the kiddos sense of awe when they race against Roman. Instead it came across as negativity. For that I offer my apologies, because at some point in our lives we have to stop blaming our English teachers and take repsonsibility for our own fumblings.

Roman, the kids love to race against you because you don't cut them any breaks. They wouldn't be able to test themselves if you didn't ride them out of breaks, bump them in the pack, and otherwise treat them the way they can expect to be treated if they ever ride at the level that you ride at. And, I love to hear them chatter endlessly on the way home about how they stacked up against Roman.

We at DBC are very proud of the fact that you came through our ranks and always pull for you as we follow your career. Please accept my apologies for my lack of literary skill. And know that the kids look up to you as much as anybody they race against because, not inspite of, the fact that you treat them like any other rider in the peloton.

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