It’s race day with the boys (bois). There’s somewhere between 6 and 12 of you crammed into a house, condo, or hotel room (never more than 1 hotel room) someplace in the American Heartland. Here's an inside look at what's happening in the morning before the event.
1. Jerry: Jerry is only a year older than me, but as the proud holder of a job, house, and wife, he’s among the most “mature” on the team. That means, as an athlete, he wakes up and does things like making coffee (for everyone, a few times), checking every cycling video on YouTube, and adding power overlay to GoPro footage.
2. Me (Steve): “Steve doesn’t work.” “Steve barely goes to school, even.” “That Steve’s a real goofball.” Everybody loves to chirp about my challenging two days of school a week, but I’ll have them know I’m up at 6:30, every Tuesday/Thursday, ready to put some TSS on my brain. These habits die hard, and I’m up early at the races and on the groupchat, waiting for everybody else.
3. Chris: “Yup, it’s Chris. Yeah, I have time to talk. Uh Huh.” No need to set an alarm, as Chris spends about 6 hours a day on the phone, doing some mysterious work that he claims helps keep the American economy going. I’m not sure who he thinks he’s kidding, it’s parking lot crits in the dark that sustains the red-white-and-blue machine. We spend upwards of $40 at Waffle House every race!
4. Ryan: Ryan gets up early, for one reason: he’s the only one that actually goes to bed early. Despite his reputation as a “chiller,” Ryan possesses every recovery tool known to man, from compression boots to weird massage tools he claims to have picked up on sale on the internet (but may be from Adult World). 9 hours of sleep are a key part of Ryan’s patented anti-aging plan, helping make sure he’s looked 19 for the last decade (or 2).
5. Paul: Whatever time Paul wakes up is the right time. He’s seen it all. On his first team, they used an hourglass to make sure they made it to races on time.
6. Becker: Becker is the only one on the team to dial in his training to EXACTLY match his weekend racing schedule. Meaning, he’s not up before noon no matter what. Somebody has to take care of business at the bike shop, and the Skittles aren’t going to eat themselves.
7. Benny: As the most wholesome member of the team, Benny needs at least 10 hours a night to keep his farm boy work ethic up. Riding 7 hours a day probably doesn’t help the situation.
8. Robert: Robert isn’t getting up until he smells a full spread of pancakes, eggs, and bacon. His education makes him acutely aware of the nutritional requirements of top-level cycling, and he leaves no stone unturned in keeping his sugars up.
9. Jack: They say recovery is half of training, and Jack takes this to heart. In fact, he finds training often gets in the way of his recovery, so he makes bold moves to defend his form-- often sleeping through rides entirely to keep his training load manageable. You’re going to need to build in about an hour to try to wake the bear.
That’s a typical morning with the men and boys (I’ll let you decide who is who) of First Internet Bank Cycling!