So there’s this misguided roadie-kid, alwayz in a Flanders jersey, that routinely snubs me out on Jean Duluth Road...Several weeks ago (maybe itz been a good month—roadies don’t ride in the cold), he snubbed me big time, so I turned and chased him. When I finally caught up to him, I struck up a conversation with him, and he starting going on and on about power wattages and power meters and power graphics and max heart-rates and thatz why he routinely snubs me, “Cuz I’m burying the power meter and so I’m too gassed to wave to another biker.” His lame explanation got me to thinking…Power wattage? Power meters? Heart rate training zones? VO2 Max? Lactate threshold? Mallory never needed any power wattage meter gizmo to tell him to go harder!!! Mallory went harder cuz he was Mallory. So then I did me some more thinkin’ and then I thinks to myself, “Since Mallory refuses to give interviews, why not ask a few of my hard-core buddies how they know when they are totally maxed out? This novel, albeit vague idea, with the help of a more clear thinking friend of mine, then morphed into an idea to ask some of my hard-core buddies to describe one of their worst days out on THE ROAD. Therefore, below is the first installment of a new section of this amateurish blog-site. Itz called “One of My Worst Dayz Out There!” Our first contributor is Dave Pramann. Dave Pramann is the Arrowhead 135 record-holder. He has ridden the Arrowhead faster than anybody else two times. Or in other words, he owns the two fastest Arrowhead times ever. He is also an outstanding cyclist in all genres of the sport and more importantly he is a great guy and a connoisseur of fine stouts. The following is a personal narrative from Mr. Pramann describing one of his worst dayz out back in his youthful dayz at the University of Wisconsin in Mad-Town—
“Surely have several stories, but bore you with only one. There I was, just riding along. The Duluthian off to college in hippie-city Madison mid-late 1970's. Real cyclists pretty much do not exist in Duluth, but I have my Fuji Special 10-speed from Stewarts Wheelgoods. I believe I am fast and good from the 25 mile Paoli bike rides and a decent Birkebeiner XC-ski and run background. I join in on a Yellow Jersey Century ride out to the west of Madison. Beautiful Fall colors at their finest. Harvest time. Cool and Sunny. I have never before ridden in a group. Drafting is something Engineering students practice in school. Did you know there are big hills west of Madison? Lots of Big hills. Carry as little as possible cause light is good. Latch on to the early fast group. I notice a couple strangely smooth-looking fast riders with big thighs in this bunch. They are really hunched over. Both a girl and a guy about my age. Maybe one stop to get something to eat at about 30 miles. At 60 miles am feeling good, thinking, "Yeah I can do this." I am young and strong and from the North, and I have toe-clips and tennies. The group kinda rides away from me on a small rise. At 75 miles I feel a serious pit in my stomach. At 80 miles I am wandering all over the road seeing beautiful but dull-grey colors. Going real slow. I again latch on to a small group of older people. They are munching and eating and drinking. They talk about some Heiden kids who are riding up ahead and are pretty impressive (Editor’s note: Eric and Beth Heiden of the OLYMPICS—Like tons of Gold Medals in speed skating!) I have no idea. I have nothing. I beg. They give. Still my sorry ass is dropped. I go real slow. At 90 miles I am still seeing colors and going real real slow. A moth flies past. Its getting late. A possum runs much faster up a small rise. I stop. No place to buy anything. Plus who needs to bring money on a ride? Hmmm. That corn looks good. Wait, my summer on the distant uncle's farm tells me that is Field Corn. But hey, it must have calories. I stumble into the partially harvested fields and tear open corn stalks and chew and swallow and at least it is something. Glad my parents gave me good teeth. I am OK. At 98 miles I am still riding darn slow. Spaghetti at the finish. I must finish or die here at mile 98. I finish. I sit. Someone brings me a plate of Spaghetti. A bonfire is off in the distance. I stagger to it. Another plate. And another. I am still hungry and then they run out because it is late and I am close to the end of the finishers anyway. This must have been the dreaded bonk. It was. I go back to my apartment and eat.