The 2014 Spy Belgian Waffle Ride: Bikini-clad Carnage Edition
Orbea ambassador Nate King simultaneously enjoys and loathes the 2014 BWR as he survives the pitfalls of the event and his own mind.
As far as we can tell, Nate King is a pro bike rider. He doesn't appear to have full-time employment, rather he's full-time on his bike and out conjuring stories and imagery from far-flung cycling destinations. In our book, a pro indeed. We're lucky to have him create his stories from aboard his Orbea Orca and Avant. And that he's good at sharing them with us.
Nate entered the 2014 Spy Optics Belgian Waffle Ride with four objectives:
1. Make the front group
2. Slowly grind the front group into powder
3. Win. Or at least stand on the podium
4. Destroy vast quantities of food/beer upon finishing
What we know for sure is that he succeeded in meeting the first and last objectives. Somewhere in between, Nate was involved in a bizarre, race-for-the-singletrack crash that involved hurt feelings, limb entanglement, bent and broken (bike) parts, and the heartache of losing touch with an elite group of front runners.
Nate was quick to point out how wonderful his wife was because she pulled a favor and arranged for a SRAM neutral support bike. We assume her love and devotion goes far beyond roadside emergencies (we've heard good things!). Once aboard the new steed, Nate settled into his 6-hour solo rhythm and experienced what can only be described as conflicting thoughts:
"Cool things happened. The hundreds of people I passed cheered me on. Aid station workers were psyched. I was psyched. I was singing. Saying hi to everyone I saw. I was in Hell. And I loved every infernal minute of it. I was twisting my cranks with sheer rage, mad at the Large Something for knocking me down, mad at myself for not staying up, mad for taking someone out with me. Mad that my bike was broken. Mad that I was feeling more or less useless, in the grand scheme of things. Mad that Chase was dead. Mad that I was (bikeracer) fat."
The event continued - flat tires, steep hills with Faux-Classics nomenclature (see: Muur van Dubbelberg and Zwartenberg), sandy washes, rockgardens.
Another favorite excerpt fills the reader with recollections of the lactic acid/exhaustion induced visions we’ve all had at one time or another. Perhaps his reality was even better… “As I ascended, rhythmic thumping sounded over the arid atmosphere. I could’ve sworn I was hearing Deadmau5. It got louder. My back arched my body out of the saddle, and at the crest of the hill I saw what was surely an apparition. I was tired – but I wasn’t delusional. There was an oasis ahead. Women in bikinis. A kiddie pool. Innertubes. Beer and Redbull. For the first time in the BWR, save my bike change, flatting, and hurriedly refilling water, I stopped with purpose – to marvel at something I’d never experienced in even the coolest of road races. I joyously slammed both proffered beverages, and realized that I was having a lot more fun than the guys in the front group. I awarded myself with a shit-eating grin for the remaining 22 miles.”
While Nate finished the event, he was a long way off the front group. However, we understand that Nate dominated the après-race waffle-eating contest, so we’re very proud of him. See the full report at http://localsarepainting.com