Conversations with my father

My dad second from the right
My dad is second from the right

My cell phone’s “alarm” ringtone woke me out of my usual 3:00 PM nap. I have that ringtone set for only two people and I know that one of those will no longer call (mental note – remove that person from contacts), so it could only be one other person. The European phone number prefix only confirmed what I knew. “Hey dad – what’s up?”

“I just read your internet story and saw you are still messing around with cyclocross.” My dad considers cyclocross an activity to be done just after drinking, just before drinking or you should be drinking during it. Ideally all three options would take place. To take ‘cross seriously, in his book, is just stupid.

“Yeah. Drove north and did a couple of races for the hell of it.”

“Well, at least you had the common sense to be drinking during it.” I was actually surprised that he had seen the blog and had taken the time to read it. My parents are at that age where modern conveniences like the internet, ATMs, and drive-thrus might as well be alien technology and not trusted. I gave him more details of the weekend’s events: the mud, the boozing and the people we met. In return he retold the story of how a young teammate of his almost drowned in a puddle of water during a ‘cross race because he was so drunk he crashed and passed out face down in it. He loves telling that story as a cautionary tale of how, if you are going to pass out, do it on your side so as not to choke on your own vomit. And then he laughs. The story always ends with, “What a dumb arse!”

With rain dumping my only training option is the indoor trainer. Sure I could do a structured workout to keep my form sharp for the upcoming ‘cross race, however I still remember my dad’s words. Am I taking cyclocross too seriously? Should I just ride ‘cross for the hell of it and not be concerned about results? So after some soul searching I decided to split the middle and do one more race “full gas” and then slide into slacker mode. We’ll see how that goes…