A mild Winter makes for a fast Spring. Every bike racer I know is going to be flying come April because they're all out there training like madmen in this warm winter that we've been having. No snow. Temps in the mid-30s every day. We've had summers that have struggled to be this nice.
While out for a ride today with a friend, we ran into a couple of friends riding in the opposite direction. We hadn't seen them since Labor Day, so we stopped to say hi. Rather than begin with a customary handshake, one of them reached over and pinched my belly to see if I had lost, gained, or maintained weight.
"Yeah, you're having a good winter," he remarked.
That's how cyclists think.
We all have the same question: how are the others doing? And how do I compare?
Am I getting dropped - before we even get on the bike?
Is everyone else working harder than me?
Are my miles adequate?
Did I manage my diet better this time?
Will it matter that I gave up a long list of foods?
Will it matter that I haven't had any Hint of Lime Tostitos all winter?
We'll find out in March when the first race finally arrives. That's when we'll be able to look around and see who spent too much time at the office and who spent too much time with a bowl of ice cream in their lap. Who is having a tough time fitting into their jersey. Who came back from a trip to Florida tan and fit.
And no matter what: we'll all lie about how much we've been training.
But we'll know better. EVERYONE is going to come to the first race in great shape.