Yesterday the Tour of Utah had an uphill finish in Nebo Canyon. As the locals around here know, that is the very long climb that makes up the Nebo Loop, one of the best road rides in Utah – and probably anywhere. Naturally, I wanted to go watch. But what good is standing on the side of the road during a massive mountain stage if one cannot look, and act, like a complete jack-ass?
$3 at the thrift store and I was all set.
But I wasn’t content to just wear the, uh, dress (if that thing can be called a dress) as the riders went by. I decided to ride up the entire climb wearing that atrocity. The flapping in the wind, and the quizzical looks and honks from passersby made the discomfort of wearing the heavy cotton monstrosity up the hot pavement all the more worthwhile. I was, by all accounts a sexy, sexy beast.
But the real payoff came when the largest group of racers came by. In the most obnoxious drill sergeant tone I could muster I harangued and ridiculed and urged the group to get their collective arses up the mountain. I got a few chuckles, probably some unheard insults, and a lot of sideways glances from the weary faces of these riders who were about to finish a long, hot, demanding day in the saddle.
One of the racers must have thought that I too was hot. Because as I bellowed nonsense about “this not being the Wednesday night social ride!” I got plastered with a face full of cold water. Apparently it was more worthwhile for that racer to douse me, in hopes that I would shut up, than it was for him to drink the cold water during the remainder of the mountain top stage.
Indeed, it actually cooled me off quite nicely. I’d say that it turned out to be a win-win. No?
And finally, and sadly I was too busy yelling, and Aaron was too busy being embarrassed for me to get any photographic evidence of this, but my favorite image of the day was Floyd “testipatch” Landis sitting in behind the Mellow Johnny’s truck all alone, while the main chase group left him behind. I can’t quite explain it, but seeing that seemed to sum up the last couple of years for Landis… from Yellow Jersey winner (and loser) to sucking the wheel of a gigantic pick up truck. I’m still rooting for you Floyd, but next time, try and grab the wheel of something not diesel powered.
And in case anyone was wondering, yes, wearing a thick, ultra wide dress while riding down a mountain highway is a great way to slow yourself down without using your brakes. It was, in effect, a very ugly parachute.