Hello Ladies & Gentlemen,
Training camp is only 3 months away. As you may know, your value as a person will be measured there (in my eyes anyway) by the number of pull-ups you can do. Regardless of how well your biking practice may be going at this point, what really matters is you lat and bicep strength (duh). My point is, I just did 11 pull-ups. So I’m already way ahead. Good luck, cause I’m going to do like 13 or 14 by the time team camp gets here.
PS: Tad, please don’t change the team camp challenge, my entire self-worth is riding on this.
Want to find out what a pride lion is made of? Toss a bunch (of lions) into a saltwater pool filled to the brim with great white sharks, the one still living and looking for more fish, that’s your pride lion. To find out what a champion bike racer is made of, have him compete in a pull up contest. The pull up contest strips away the tallied fitness and the nuanced stratagems, catches our competitor off guard, offers him no advantage, no recourse, no out. For the competitive road cyclist the pull up is anathema to all that they work for it, it adds muscle where it is not needed, therefore useless and forgettable. The upper body, its shoulders and arms, are at best mechanisms for steering, control rods whose only duty is to manage wind’s exacerbated effect on the front wheel’s advanced technology and the impressive totality of what has become the modern headset. The function of these relies much more on subtle nuance than any kind of true or primal force. In short, a professional road racer’s arms only ever need to be able to hold on to the handlebars, nothing more.
The lack of need, the bare essence of the muscle, the atrophy, we are venturing into Jack London territory here, man at his quintessential, man at his most naked. Coming into training camp, after putting in a long season of hours alone in a basement watching past seasons of Arrested Development or on the wet windy hometown streets blasting hard house music while vigilantly controlling wattage output leaves a competitor coming into training camp anxious, unsure, and ready to see all the hard winter work pay off. Take this away and leave it cold, if you are looking for character on your team assign something they haven’t been preparing for, this is the acid test, the true challenge, and those that come out satisfied, those that gave it their all, with them you know where you stand.