So Sean FILED his Diss back at Berkeley. Some very few of you know what it is like to have a dissertation from a prime piece of academic real-estate hanging over your head. SEAN MAC, my main man, with whom I rode Northern California compulsively hiding from my own dissertation, finally filed. He has a great story of bureaucratic fumbling and near-misses and the usual luxury horrors (he does have a Ph.D after all) that you’ll have to ask him about.
Holla at me. Here Kiko rides with Mike, which is VERY intimidating when it comes right down to it. I want to speed up the pace, but I am mad-busy (don’t tell Mason I said that). And of course, if you want to start from the beginning, go here.
Kiko, wanting to try this thin and expensive bike, to see what he could do if he had a chance on something that was good, docilely tried to understand Mike’s instructions, completely understanding the measure even if the theory escaped him. He understood why his seat was too low on his work bike, and how the straight mountain bars pushed him up into the wind, slowing him down from Jamaica to Wall St. In Mike’s tontería Kiko found the answer to lots of questions he hadn’t thought to ask yet, and this made him trust the angloparlante.
Finally, once they had finished the adjustments and locked up the delivery bike, they set off towards the East. The bike that Mike had brought for Kiko was a bit vintage, so the shifters were on the tube that ran from the headset to the crank and it took Kiko a while to be able to stay in his tuck, hold his line and change gears. There were other riders out there in matching team kits, and they looked at Mike in an older Discovery Channel jersey from the Tour de France three years ago and Kiko in jeans and a t-shirt like the mismatched pair that they were.
Mike was trying to make clear the theories surrounding shifting (“start easy, shift down once your cadence, RPMs are over 90 or a 100”), drafting (“if you stay right behind me there is less resistance, and you can rest”), sprinting (“you only want to thrash around site-to-side to keep people behind you, otherwise it is a waste of energy”) and, most importantly, pack behavior (“you want to keep going straight, hold your line, it’s like being in a band, the drummer doesn’t pay attention to what the guitarist does; keep your beat”).
They went out practicing these ideas to a bit past Old Westerbury, and on the way back they put them into practice. It was a bout noon and the riders from Long Island who had looked at this odd couple on their ride in saw them firing on all cylinders on the way back. Kiko was drafting off of Mike and then, when mike pulled out of line, he charged up and offered his draft to Mike, though he rode so hard and fast on that slim little bike that it was hard for Mike to hold on and keep his draft.