Pondering the difficulties of collegiate cycling, one has to wonder if cycling suffers at a school where the students are spread across the country, versus a commuter school. The summer (May to late August) has the highest concentration of events and venues, but the students are spread across the globe. The Chronicle of Higher Ed had a recent article wondering if the semester model is outmoded in the current economic climate students find themselves in.
The day was so pretty with a light cool breeze and mild temperatures that it even brought out Hillsman. Now that school is over and the school has no ceremonies for the official university photographer to chronicle, we were ready to rumble. Only it was Michael, Caryn and myself that left the flagpole to meet up with Greg and Hillsman at TP Hill. Sam was waiting with Hillsman, so we did have a student! Sam has no philosophy tutoring this summer so he had time for a cardio ride (HR range limit.) We asked about tutoring, and Sam said he could tell you everything you need to know in 30 minutes or less! If only someone could do the same for me with critical theory and lit crit (de Saussure, Lacan, Kristeva, Derrida, Foucault, Habermas et al, ad nauseum!)
We did what were are now referring to as the "Horseshoe" (up to Flagpole Hill, into Lake Highlands, back to White Rock at the Bath House, then spillway, and Loving.) Sam made it a point to hide behind Caryn as we descended, then climbed the rollers away from Flagpole Hill, spinning past me near the crest of the last hill, pointing out he was in a very small gear, almost taunting, but a common ritual from our rides. Cycling as a ritualized activity would benefit from a hermenuetical analysis of the various behaviours (30 minutes, right...)
As we ride toward the spillway, Hillsman (who hasn't shown his usual facial polychromic display on this day i.e. shades of red with a little green thrown in) decided to take off and win that imaginary sprint. Since he lives in the neighborhood, he called it a day. He explained this action to me this morning, knowing that Loving was not in the cards for him. We joked about Paul Sherwin's matches all day, he had not heard the expression before. Hillsman asked how many matches were in a box, some people seem to have thousands, others only three. The key is to use what you have at the right time!
The rest of us went over to Loving, and an awkward turn from Winsted to Loving and we immediately saw the brand new and flashy jersey of the Texas State Criterium Champion flash by (I have typed those words so many times tha last few days she should hire me as a publicist!) Caryn and I decide to chase Jen Purcell so that we could congratulate her in person. She is doing intervals and following a lithe, waif like GS Tensing rider who is gliding up the Muur de Loving (but inexplicably misses the middle of the three!) Caryn went into the red zone but was close behind, I chase hard so that I could say something to her, but when I reached her at the top, my breathing was so labored I don't even know that she understood what I said, so a pat on the back was all I could manage.
A safe ride back and my moratorium on the city limit sign was ignored, but I was undergeared and Michael dedicated it to Noah, whose was celebrating his birthday today.