This kind of work is more for the body and soul than it is for the  road.

The Cleansing

The Cleansing

by / / 39 posts

After a night of sinning, the body must be cleansed.

-The Prophet, Eddy Merckx

After a week away in Atlanta for business, I feel thick and heavy. These trips away are killers; the shift in time zones means the already-too long work day is extended by a further three hours. I try my best to watch my diet, but in a town like Atlanta where even sushi is deep-fried, it’s virtually impossible. Crap food, crap sleep, and crap hours is no way to keep this fine-tuned engine of mine humming; every day I felt the sharpness leaving my body little by little.

So today, through the application of a sense of desperation combined with a not-insignificant amount of stupidity, I will cleanse the body in a single flash of blinding brilliance. I will start by skipping lunch, which is always a good way to sharpen the senses even if it tends to speed up any prospective visit from the Man with the Hammer. But the purpose of my ride today is to venture as deeply into the Caveau du Pain as quickly as possible; I find this is a good way to jump-start the process.

I will point the bike at the biggest and steepest hills and hit the first of them at full gas. I want the legs deadened as quickly as possible. This ride is meant to cleanse the mind as much as the body and a strong body can be a crutch for a weak mind; if I soften my legs from the start, I will need to rely more heavily on my Will, the total focus and concentration on forcing the legs will serve to flush it further.

As I cast my mind forward to the ride this afternoon, I can see myself on the steepest climb of the day – a 1.5 km leg-breaker with 22% pitches of several hundred meters. I can feel the pressure in my legs, the bursting sensation of my lungs as I claw my way up. I’m not built for this sort of climb; I can get up it fairly well on sheer determination, but it will take its pound of flesh. At the summit, I will feel crippled as the change in rhythm of hitting the false flat over the top is almost as brutal as the climb itself. But soon the lactic acid will flush away and leave me feeling renewed.

Pain is like a sieve for the soul whose purifying effect is directly proportional to the magnitude of the suffering. I will feel clean tonight, I will be renewed. VLVV.

// Defining Moments // La Vie Velominatus

  1. Good.

  2. Excellent, will try this after my week in Scotland and off the bike! Junk food and alcohol will be the only things on the menu. Roll on next Sunday and the Beasting can begin!

  3. “Yes, excellent”

    – Mr. Burns

  4. Caveau du Pain.  Hmmm.  Let me see.

    Caveau is the French word given to a small cellar used exclusively to house the finest of wines.

    Pain = Bread

    So the “legs deadened as quickly as possible” is a figment of the second bottle down in the cellar, the “cast my mind forward….” is a figment of bottle #3.  The Bread is just to keep you going and the Man with the Hammer will be there in the morning?

    Methinks we’ve finally sussed you?

  5. @Teocalli

    Caveau du Pain. Hmmm. Let me see.

    Caveau is the French word given to a small cellar used exclusively to house the finest of wines.

    Pain = Bread

    So the “legs deadened as quickly as possible” is a figment of the second bottle down in the cellar, the “cast my mind forward….” is a figment of bottle #3. The Bread is just to keep you going and the Man with the Hammer will be there in the morning?

    Methinks we’ve finally sussed you?

    Obviously @frank is aging his bread in the caveau until the ergot fungus germinates on it. He eats the moldy bread. Then while he is hallucinating from its effects he pens these deeply philosophical articles.

  6. VMH is out of town with friends this weekend, and I have grand plans to hang out tonight with a good friend of mine who also happens to be the head brewer at a spot in town. What do we think, 15-20K penance in the morning per beer consumed this evening?

  7. @Nate

    @Teocalli

    Caveau du Pain. Hmmm. Let me see.

    Caveau is the French word given to a small cellar used exclusively to house the finest of wines.

    Pain = Bread

    So the “legs deadened as quickly as possible” is a figment of the second bottle down in the cellar, the “cast my mind forward….” is a figment of bottle #3. The Bread is just to keep you going and the Man with the Hammer will be there in the morning?

    Methinks we’ve finally sussed you?

    Obviously @frank is aging his bread in the caveau until the ergot fungus germinates on it. He eats the moldy bread. Then while he is hallucinating from its effects he pens these deeply philosophical articles.

    Like it, you could be onto something there!

  8. @Teocalli

    @Nate

    @Teocalli

    Caveau du Pain. Hmmm. Let me see.

    Caveau is the French word given to a small cellar used exclusively to house the finest of wines.

    Pain = Bread

    So the “legs deadened as quickly as possible” is a figment of the second bottle down in the cellar, the “cast my mind forward….” is a figment of bottle #3. The Bread is just to keep you going and the Man with the Hammer will be there in the morning?

    Methinks we’ve finally sussed you?

    Obviously @frank is aging his bread in the caveau until the ergot fungus germinates on it. He eats the moldy bread. Then while he is hallucinating from its effects he pens these deeply philosophical articles.

    Like it, you could be onto something there!

    Are we certain he’s not on something harder than ergot fungus when he’s penning these?

  9. On the other hand a good shit and a quick bash of the bishop can have the same effect in a fraction of the time.

  10. I’m definitely a subscriber to this. Between family obligations and work, I’ll often be lucky to get in two stints on the bike in a week. With that said, I try to make them count. Mid-week evening workout in the torture chamber courtesy of The Sufferfest, with one ride of at least 2.5hrs with a heavy dose of V on the weekend.

    If quantity cannot be had, I’d better make it as quality as I can.

  11. @BatDan

    On the other hand a good shit and a quick bash of the bishop can have the same effect in a fraction of the time.

    This man has just won the internet

  12. You’ve just brought into sharp relief what a terrible idea a week in Vegas is going to turn out to be when I get back and realize I have 7 days before the start of ‘cross season.  Much suffering will be required.

  13. @mouse

    @BatDan

    On the other hand a good shit and a quick bash of the bishop can have the same effect in a fraction of the time.

    This man has just won the internet

    Agreed. I think his full name is Master BatDan.

  14. Purification thru suffering. Yes.

  15. I’m pretty happy I don’t have to travel for work that often. I absolutely cannot sleep in hotel beds. It awful.

    Atlanta. The closest I got was the 15 lanes on the highway. For some reason, I feel like that was enough of the city for me.

  16. Notwithstanding Rule #5, is it so necessary to construe masochism with joy, as a means to atonement?

  17. @Harminator

    @mouse

    @BatDan

    On the other hand a good shit and a quick bash of the bishop can have the same effect in a fraction of the time.

    This man has just won the internet

    Agreed. I think his full name is Master BatDan.

    Ha ha ha! This +1

    Quite often, a quick shit, a burp of the worm and then a flat 10km along the coast does the job for me. Empty bowels, empty nuts, sea air. Purification at it’s finest.

  18. If ever there was a time to observe the masturbation principle, certainly this has to be it.

    Oh by the way 5 beers so 80K. Don’t worry cabs were in effect. Heavy legs this morning and I’m reasonably certain I smelled like a distillery.

  19. @VeloJello

    Quite often, a quick shit, a burp of the worm and then a flat 10km along the coast does the job for me. Empty bowels, empty nuts, sea air. Purification at it’s finest.

    Aristotle?

  20. @Nate

    @Teocalli

    Caveau du Pain. Hmmm. Let me see.

    Caveau is the French word given to a small cellar used exclusively to house the finest of wines.

    Pain = Bread

    So the “legs deadened as quickly as possible” is a figment of the second bottle down in the cellar, the “cast my mind forward….” is a figment of bottle #3. The Bread is just to keep you going and the Man with the Hammer will be there in the morning?

    Methinks we’ve finally sussed you?

    Obviously @frank is aging his bread in the caveau until the ergot fungus germinates on it. He eats the moldy bread. Then while he is hallucinating from its effects he pens these deeply philosophical articles.

    I’m right here you guys. I can read this, you know.

  21. @Owen

    VMH is out of town with friends this weekend, and I have grand plans to hang out tonight with a good friend of mine who also happens to be the head brewer at a spot in town. What do we think, 15-20K penance in the morning per beer consumed this evening?

    Perfect.

    “I earned this beer. I’m working out tomorrow.”

  22. @Owen

    @Teocalli

    @Nate

    @Teocalli

    Caveau du Pain. Hmmm. Let me see.

    Caveau is the French word given to a small cellar used exclusively to house the finest of wines.

    Pain = Bread

    So the “legs deadened as quickly as possible” is a figment of the second bottle down in the cellar, the “cast my mind forward….” is a figment of bottle #3. The Bread is just to keep you going and the Man with the Hammer will be there in the morning?

    Methinks we’ve finally sussed you?

    Obviously @frank is aging his bread in the caveau until the ergot fungus germinates on it. He eats the moldy bread. Then while he is hallucinating from its effects he pens these deeply philosophical articles.

    Like it, you could be onto something there!

    Are we certain he’s not on something harder than ergot fungus when he’s penning these?

    Seriously. STILL HERE. STILL READING.

    Merckx.

    @BatDan

    On the other hand a good shit and a quick bash of the bishop can have the same effect in a fraction of the time.

    Da-na-da-na-da-na-da-na BATDAN!

  23. @razmaspaz

    You’ve just brought into sharp relief what a terrible idea a week in Vegas is going to turn out to be when I get back and realize I have 7 days before the start of ‘cross season. Much suffering will be required.

    That’s why they do Cross Vegas during Interbike.

    @Ron

    I’m pretty happy I don’t have to travel for work that often. I absolutely cannot sleep in hotel beds. It awful.

    Atlanta. The closest I got was the 15 lanes on the highway. For some reason, I feel like that was enough of the city for me.

    I was rushing up the escalator to get to the MARTA (awesome transit system BTW) and this woman was blocking my A-Type progress. She turns to me, “WHAT YOU RUSHIN’ FOR? IT MOVES FOR YOU!”

  24. @Bespoke

    Notwithstanding Rule #5, is it so necessary to construe masochism with joy, as a means to atonement?

    In a word, yes. But if it pays you back with happiness, is it really masochism?

  25. @Red Atom

    @VeloJello

    Quite often, a quick shit, a burp of the worm and then a flat 10km along the coast does the job for me. Empty bowels, empty nuts, sea air. Purification at it’s finest.

    Aristotle?

    Give this man a prize!

  26. @frank

    @Bespoke

    Notwithstanding Rule #5, is it so necessary to construe masochism with joy, as a means to atonement?

    In a word, yes. But if it pays you back with happiness, is it really masochism?

    Nice. To answer your question, I believe yes, in a perverse way. You’ll probably like this too:

    “I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.”

    The Life of Teresa of Jesus’ (1515-1582)

    Extasis santa teresa

  27. @frank

    @Nate

    @Teocalli

    Caveau du Pain. Hmmm. Let me see.

    Caveau is the French word given to a small cellar used exclusively to house the finest of wines.

    Pain = Bread

    So the “legs deadened as quickly as possible” is a figment of the second bottle down in the cellar, the “cast my mind forward….” is a figment of bottle #3. The Bread is just to keep you going and the Man with the Hammer will be there in the morning?

    Methinks we’ve finally sussed you?

    Obviously @frank is aging his bread in the caveau until the ergot fungus germinates on it. He eats the moldy bread. Then while he is hallucinating from its effects he pens these deeply philosophical articles.

    I’m right here you guys. I can read this, you know.

    One only formulates such absurd ideas out of a deep interest in discovering where the magic comes from.

  28. Thank you Frank. I’ve been away far too long. I resolve to fix that.

  29. @Bespoke

     

    The Life of Teresa of Jesus’ (1515-1582)

    Extasis santa teresa

    When that statue went on display, some wag is said to have remarked, “If this be spiritual love, I know it well.”

  30. Committed to an 8-week cleansing series that requires riding each Sunday 50 miler recovery on an empty stomach. [ Grand Moff Tarkin voice ] “This had better work.”

  31. @Bespoke

    @frank

    @Bespoke

    Notwithstanding Rule #5, is it so necessary to construe masochism with joy, as a means to atonement?

    In a word, yes. But if it pays you back with happiness, is it really masochism?


    Nice. To answer your question, I believe yes, in a perverse way. You’ll probably like this too:

    “I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.”

    The Life of Teresa of Jesus’ (1515-1582)

    Extasis santa teresa

    Seeing this quote in the same conversation as @batdan’s is outrageous and slightly bewildering.  Makes me wonder what exactly this community is really on.

  32. @frank

    @razmaspaz

    That’s why they do Cross Vegas during Interbike.

    Unfortunately I’m going to miss this by one week.  If they would just put interbike the week of my anniversary I would be in a much better place to start the season.

    @Ron

    I was rushing up the escalator to get to the MARTA (awesome transit system BTW) and this woman was blocking my A-Type progress. She turns to me, “WHAT YOU RUSHIN’ FOR? IT MOVES FOR YOU!”

    If MARTA is your measure of good transportation you need to visit a proper city.  I spent a summer living in Atlanta, live in Chicago now, and I’ve made good use of Boston, NYC, and Munich’s (another summer) vast networks of awesomeness, and MARTA is hardly what I would call awesome.

  33. @therealpeel

    @Bespoke

    @frank

    @Bespoke

    Notwithstanding Rule #5, is it so necessary to construe masochism with joy, as a means to atonement?

    In a word, yes. But if it pays you back with happiness, is it really masochism?


    Nice. To answer your question, I believe yes, in a perverse way. You’ll probably like this too:

    “I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.”

    The Life of Teresa of Jesus’ (1515-1582)

    Extasis santa teresa

    Seeing this quote in the same conversation as @batdan’s is outrageous and slightly bewildering. Makes me wonder what exactly this community is really on.

    We are on Pure Awesome, unfiltered.

  34. @unversio

    Committed to an 8-week cleansing series that requires riding each Sunday 50 miler recovery on an empty stomach. [ Grand Moff Tarkin voice ] “This had better work.”

    You’re far too trusting.

    @scaler911

    Thank you Frank. I’ve been away far too long. I resolve to fix that.

    You are the only one who can make this happen, my friend!

    You training up for the Heck?

    @Nate Yeah sure whatever.

  35. Totally agree with the strategy for cleansing the body.  One must go at it hard.  No soft spins to just get the legs turning over and ease back into things.  Have to disagree about crap food in the big city of my neighbor to the north though.  Let me know next time you go and I will point you to the good places to eat.

  36. @frank

    @unversio

    Committed to an 8-week cleansing series that requires riding each Sunday 50 miler recovery on an empty stomach. [ Grand Moff Tarkin voice ] “This had better work.”

    You’re far too trusting.

    @scaler911

    Thank you Frank. I’ve been away far too long. I resolve to fix that.

    You are the only one who can make this happen, my friend!

    You training up for the Heck?

    @Nate Yeah sure whatever.

    Turns out running your own business is a lot more time consuming than working for the man. Shit, I even Delgado’d the Vuelta!

  37. Tarkin looks like he’s just coming in to form for the Vuelta.

  38. I recently attempted such a cleansing last weekend the day after returning from my own business trip (and before returning to the road the very next day).  The quiet solitude of slogging it out over the hills, in the relentless southern heat certainly made for a purifying of the mind.  There is something uniquely euphoric after such a day of suffering.  It lasts for about as long as I remain vertical, and in motion.  Set myself down on something soft, and the lights go out.  Confirmation of purification complete.

  39. I’ve been a lurker for sometime, but the mention of my city of residence was too much to pass up. When in Atlanta, one must ride as we do. On every hill possible that you can possibly hit as fast as you can. When you’re done, expect another.

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