"In fact, I'm a cycling super freak!". Ok, I may not be a Rick James protege, but I like to suffer a bit. Suffering and penance have a long and storied history in our sport. Our cycling forefathers endured excruciating races, with none of the technical gear and support we enjoy today. In case you forgot, Magni nearly won the Giro with a broken collarbone in '56; he held a rope in his teeth to give him leverage for turning the cranks. Our own NoCar has rivaled this feat, tweaking his skeletal structure on several occasions, riding through the pain, and claiming a medal made of pure Ti.
No matter the circumstances, we are drawn to pain, and perhaps to the notion we are paying a penance on the bike. Like we must make amends for some long lost sin. If that is the case, I will be paying up for many years to come :)
In norther Italy, near lake Como, they have a patroness saint of cycling, the Madonna del Ghisallo. At a small church near the top of a mountain pass, a flame burns for lost riders, and all comers may give an offering or prayer on their way through. They have a tiny museum, with artifacts and bicycles from legends and their races. I am drawn to this form of religion, to the blending of cycling and spirituality.
Whether it's guilt, wanderlust or the search for a decent shot of espresso, your councilman will make a pilgrimage to the old country in the coming months. I wonder if they make an It's It with gelato? More on that at the Knot table.
Live long, ride well. I will see some of you at Mosquito at 5:45.