Thursday, January 21, 2010

Me, my mom and a lot of Belgian mud.

My mom is a wonder woman and I love her to death. She is such a sweetheart, always there for us. Today I wanted to explore a new route, so I gave her a call to see if she would follow along behind, as usual she said she would, so with Nan in toe (no pun intended, for those of you who know her), she showed up about 10 mins. after I called. When I met her outside, I dropped the camera on her and suggested that along with her soigneur duties, if that was not already asking enough, that she could serve as the official team photographer as well. She looked at the camera and I think was a bit bewildered with what must have looked pretty complicated for someone who does not regularly use a digital SLR with zoom lens.

I'm not sure if this is in reaction to hearing I was planning to ride for 2.5 hours or finding out about her new role as team photographer.

We headed up towards Cherry Valley along the back roads--I have not been out along these roads for 2 years. I remember suffering up these hills several winters ago on the mountain bike--it was a different kind of suffering today with the 21x11.

The roads started out pretty decent and rapidly deteriorated--just what I was looking for. I think my mom was horrified.

The top coat of ice was not too bad until it was time to go downhill--just a touch sketchy.

I tried to pick lines that had already been broken up by cars, though the mud underneath was even tougher to ride as it was so wet. I was sinking in half an inch, getting totally bogged down--so much for a z1z2 ride.

As you can see, it was a perfect day--maybe 32-34 degrees. At times I forgot it was even cold because it was so comfortable. Supposedly the next couple of days are going to be just as nice--not the best time to have a scheduled rest week and the time off to ride--I swore I would stick to my plan.

So what's Belgian mud? As I understand it, it's a fine mixture of native mud mixed with cow shit then heavily watered. Apparently the roads of rural Belgium are covered with the mixture and the springtime rains make it an every day battle while out riding--ever seen Paris Roubaix when it's wet? I used to think playing in the mud was fun as a kid and truth be told, I still do not mind it as an adult, but this mud literally sinks like shit. As I was plowing over this mile-long muddy stretch bumping all over the place, I noticed a handful of cows and 4 people stopped on snowmobiles watching me aghast. I got goose bumps and said out loud "pave." I spent the next 5 mins. racing head to head with Big Georgie over the famed cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. As I hit the cement, my mom was waiting with her window down, screaming "Way to go--that was awful!" I said, "Are you kidding me? That was the most fun I've had all winter--that was awesome!"

It may take awhile to get her clean tomorrow--just to do it all over again.

I just want to say how great my mom did taking pictures (she took all of these)--I was really impressed. Poor thing is screwed though as she just earned herself a new job. Tomorrow I'll get her mic'd up with the radios and give her a cue sheet so she does not get lost when she stops to take the "detail" shots.
Now that I'm thinking about it, I may see if I can get her on food and drink duty. Again, Mom, thank you so much for being you--you are a pretty cool chickadee.

I brought extra gloves--did not know what to expect. I was actually more thinking I would soak the insides rather than get cold.

I'm a beast of habit--what else can I say.


Anonymous said...

Actually, I like following along, not now too horrified by the huge lens on the camera, having Nanny in-tow/with-toe for nice company and emergency chipping, checking out the beautiful landscape and the impressive way you do the hills makes for a few hours of real peace for me! And, Nan loves coming along, so it is a win situation for all of us!! Love you much!!! Mom

Bigdave said...

You guys are a real pair. The Duck and the Nan running support. Matty I am totally jealous. I wish I had a support crew here. Dude here is how I picture it...your mom drives and takes action shots...Nan talks on the radio with motivational snippets from the past. You know shit like "it was huge and made of gopher wood"..."40 cubits long"...stuff like that. Then C pulls up with a huge cooler of goodies. Shit when is camp?

suemagill said...

Your Mom is awesome, just like you!! Nice shots, hate the mud though!