Upsides to recovery weeks: Riding with people I normally wouldn’t be able to! In this case, my 14 year-old little brother, Alex.
As you can see, Alex is a bit of a Schleckian waif, and goes uphill like it to boot. I attribute this to his carefully-researched diet that mostly consists of cereal, cheese, Wonderbread, and sauceless pasta (and possibly his freakish adolescent metabolism). None of those crazy-exotic things like fruit, vegetables, or protein-heavy foods to upset this budding racer’s delicate GI tract. Dysfunctional dietary ribbing aside, Alex competed in his first race Saturday, taking second in his category on his miniature BMC. Stoked!
We went out the day before the race for a mellow spin, where I taught him some racer essentials. The magic of drafting, spinning fast on the flats (especially useful for the juniors on 14-tooth cassettes), doing as little work as possible until it counts, and finally (and in my humble opinion, the primary reason for a bike ride), the coffee shop stop. But seriously - teaching others about racing/riding, and sharing my experiences as a racer is one of my favorite things as the cyclist-next-door. Or, in Alex’s case, in the basement. It not only gives me the general warm-fuzzies, but it makes me feel like I might be paying forward (in the slightest bit) all of the help and support over the years that I’ve received from everyone around me.
Needless to say, I can’t wait to see if Alex keeps it up, though I’m not quite sure about how my mom feels. I’m sure she’s thrilled at the prospect of more gut-wrenching crit racing with another wayward member of her offspring!