Posted by: fizzhogg | January 31, 2012

Of Weight Gain, Choo-Choo’s and Pelotonic Wars

This week’s weigh-in…


Yes. I have put one full pound back on. How?

No riding.

My eating was pretty good. On a scale of 1 to 10 — with 1 being I ate only fast food after 10pm at night, and 10 being I ate only fruits and veggies and lean turkey, and drank 8 bottles of water a day…

I was a 7.

But I was not in Cycling Mecca for most of the past 2 weeks, or when I was, I was buried with work, and thus – as you can see from the sidebar – I did not ride.

My mate, however, rode his Colombian arse off. Joe Hortua, heretofore known as Little Joey Choo-Choo, is a fellow TV scribe, who, after 20 years off the bike, was convinced by yours truly to get back on.

And get back on he did, buying a Specialized Tarmac this past summer, and conquering the hills of Philadelphia. Now in Cycling Mecca with me, he is a proud member of CVC – Conejo Valley Cyclists – my uber cool club, and has already surpassed me on the color scale of rides.

I rode with the Gold group last year for the most part. Gold is one level above purple – which is beginner. The rides are all color-coded based on distance and elevation gain. Anyway, by the end of my first season in Cycling Mecca, I was either riding at the front of the Gold Group, or at the back of the Orange group – one level above Gold.

Above Orange there is Red… the Red Riders are fast. They ride far and they climb high, and they do it fast. An example: a typical Orange ride might be 43 miles with 3500 feet of climbing. A Red ride that same day will be 55-60 miles with 4500 feet of climbing.

And the pace will be several mph higher than Orange.

Bringing Little Joey Choo-Choo out to CVC was a pleasure and I felt like quite the rider on our first outing together when I could sense that I needed to slow down so as not to drop my friend, being as how I am such a superior rider.

But… remember when I mentioned Little Joey Choo-Choo had been off the bike? Well, turns out that when he was on the bike – 20 years ago – he didn’t just ride. He raced.


And now, 20 years later, with only 6 months back in the saddle, he is racing again. Only he doesn’t know it.

See, he is racing me.

After our little outing where I was so generous to my friend so as not to embarrass him by dropping his hickory bronze Colombian arse, Little Joey Choo-Choo went out and rode with the club again… while I was out of town. Or working. Or both. I don’t remember. I’m still in a bit of a haze about it all.

See, Little Joey Choo-Choo went out – in only his third ride with the club – and rode with the Red riders.

And stayed with them. The whole way. Over 60 miles.

Stayed with the FRONT group. On a day that had 40mph winds.

Uh, huh.

So, I’m going to take my much-too-large Gold group riding arse and get it into shape even faster than before. Before Little Joey Choo-Choo made me question what little manhood I have left.

I now have a new resolve to add to my other 2012 resolves.

I resolve to catch Little Joey Choo-Choo before I leave Cycling Mecca again. Catch his svelte, red-riding, hickory bronze, Colombian arse…

and drop him.

I don’t care if it’s the rudest thing I ever do. I don’t care if it’s in the middle of a downpour and he’s lost his gps and has no idea how to get home to his wife and beautiful children.

He is getting dropped…

I resolve to drop my friend.

Now, some of you more astute readers might have noticed that the week I put ON a pound is probably not the best week to make this resolve.

But timing has never been my strong suit.

I must get back to work now. Back to the trainer. The bike. The healthy food. I leave you with an open letter to Little Joey Choo-Choo…

Dear Lying, Cheating, Arrogant, Oh-I-Haven’t-Ridden-In-20-Years-So-I-Suck-And-So-Please-Be-Kind-To-Me-Cuz-I’m-So-Slow Little Joey Choo-Choo,

Somewhere, sometime, when you least expect it, you’ll be out on a ride – maybe one of your fancy schmancy Red rides – but you will be out on a ride, enjoying yourself, pedaling along, admiring your Sammy Sanchezesque technique via your perfect shadow, and you will hear something.

You’ll think it’s the wind at first, but then realize there is no wind. You’ll think perhaps there is an issue with your Specialized Tarmac, but then you’ll realize, no, it’s coming from…


And the moment you turn and look back to identify the noise, it will be at that moment that you will see the source of the noise… it will be me and The Goat, flying by you like Contador by a dropped-chain Schleck.

And by the time you get your head back around, and more so – get your brain back around the Chriss Angel mindFREAK that just happened – you will have been officially dropped.

By a tubby guy who you didn’t know you were even racing.

So there.

Oh, and you descend like a little girl.



Eat better.

Ride your bike.

There are no friends in the peloton.


Fair winds and following seas, Willy


  1. […] Choo Choo […]

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