Monday, May 09, 2005

Mass Hysteria: The Psychology of Crowds

Ever read the book “Mass Hysteria: The Psychology of Crowds” ?

So we get to the start of the "60 mile race", there’s about 20 people, it’s a little wet cold, dreary. Everyone is griping about the weather being shitty and not wanting to race. It’s suggested we ride “Around the Block”. (120 miles)

Too cold and wet to ride race pace for 3 hrs, so let’s do a group ride Around the Block instead.

Ever read the book “Mass Hysteria: The Psychology of Crowds” ?

Weather is too cold to ride 3 hrs...So let’s ride 6 hrs over two 9000ft passes.

Ever read the book “Mass Hysteria: The Psychology of Crowds” ?

Excerpt: "1% of any given population can affect the other 99%, given that 1% has the respect of the other 99%"

So here we go Around the Block with no money, no food except for 2 water bottles and a hammer gel. Why didn’t I have more? ‘Cause I’m just supposed to be doing 60 miles hard!

And of course, Around the Block turns into a race. I’m going pretty hard to the top of the Pass, we wait for people in Victor. Continue up Pine Creek, people are strewn to the Four Corners all over the road, I’m in the front group with Stinky, Good Doctor, Bike Shop and Hitler. We get to Swan Valley, those guys want to stop and regroup again. Shit....we can’t even see the following group. Bike Shop, Good Doctor and I go off and are never caught again.

So now I’m riding with Good Dr. and Bike Shop through all the rollers between Swan Valley and Alpine. The sun comes out, it’s warm. Too warm, I can’t sit up long enough to get my jacket off, because they are hammering and if I get dropped I’ll never get back on and I'll be lunch for the turkey vultures that seem to be circling overhead. I’m dying. Every one of the rollers, I’m sitting in at 250-280 watts, I’m starting to feel not so well. At one point they surged and I couldn’t stay with them on the climb even when I looked down and saw 380 watts.

Nice tailwind all the way up the Canyon.....good for speed, bad because Podium Boy ain’t getting too much draft. Note to self...the Canyon is really, really, really, long. Finally make it back to the bike path and I start getting dropped on all the “climbs” on the path. Get to High School Rd...shattered...Good Dr. says “Let’s do a loop on South Park”....I say ok.

Ever read the book “Mass Hysteria: The Psychology of Crowds” ?

I get back into town, get into my car, seriously contemplate taking a nap in the front seat, drive to Abuelitos, eat and go home to fall asleep on my couch watching Paycheck, starrng Bird Woman and Ben "Thank god Matt Damon is my friend 'cause I'd be working at McD's without Goodwill Hunting" Affleck.