Sometime this off-season

Hello again all my Cyclingnews fans and mom, This off-season I decided to stowaway (note new sponsor...

Hello again all my Cyclingnews fans and mom,

This off-season I decided to stowaway (note new sponsor Stowaway 2 - I am sly) my bicycle for a bit and see how a normal 32 year-old lives. How exactly have my classmates been spending their time while I have been riding 30 hours a week, traveling the world and lying exhausted on a couch?

1. Night - Unbenknownst to me, 32 year olds not competing in professional sports sometimes stay out after 8:30 pm. The desire to stay up after 8:30 pm, apparently is not proportional to ridiculousness of the bedtime one's parents enforced.

2. This off-season, carefully sandwiched between a heated mattress pad and overstuffed down comforter, my friends and I, spent the morning hours, not laboring up mountains in the cold and rain, but working up enough energy to, and this was not easy, roll over in bed. After a substantial recovery interval, we would then, check the alarm clock and emit a deep muffled sound vaguely resembling a cow being lead to the slaughterhouse, before finally rising at the crack of noon.

3. Never-Been Sports Leagues - often confused by the participants, but never the spectators, with has-been leagues (the truth being we never-were and are way too old to ever be), myself and other 32 year olds sprint around an indoor gym, oblivious to black lines, walls and piercing objects protruding from the walls, in the hopes that a round orange ball will land near or on our arms, head or other body parts. Occasionally, this orange ball makes its way in the vicinity of a round hoop. Rarely does it go in.

4. Cross-training - excerpts from an actual email trying to coordinate a jog with a friend:

a. "Hey Nicole, sorry, I just got back from my morning trot" b. "I saw you out there, I think. I was out on my morning lope and I saw an orange thing waddle by me while I was curled up on the bench."

5. Home Purchases - While I thought nothing of spending the last decade of my life either living in a van or sleeping in the same twin bed I grew up in at my parents house, my friends had secretly been saving up to purchase more traditional homes.

I must admit, a person could get used to this life of sleeping in, casual lopes, afternoon trots, never-been leagues, staying awake later than the average toddler and waking up in a home without wheels or parents. How I love each week's new bruise on the back of my head, staying awake to see the sunset, missing every sunrise and perusing the real estate listings for my first dream home. Am I finally ready to join the other 32 year olds of the world?

Sometime late, VERY late December - I broke down. I crawled down into the basement to look at my Javelin bicycle. Those mid-day, midweek rides along the California coast, intervals up New Mexico's Mount Apache, sprinting for the finish line at the Tour de Toona... I miss those rides. My Javelin and I went out for a ride today and it felt so good.

Here's to another season of racing with my Ford-Basis teammates.

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