photo by Steve Penland

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ride Along

I skate for fun.  The Hubster drives a modified Chevy Pickup through forests on really narrow bumpy roads as fast as he can for fun.  It's called Rally Racing, and I used to be his Co-Driver; the previous sentence should nicely explain the "used to be" part.

Actually, the following "in-car" video clip from my co-driver days will do a better job of explaining, and will be a nice segue into the real point of this post:
(Caution--the audio in this clip is definitely not G-rated...the Hubster gets a little profane when faced with impending death and/or disaster)
Yes, that's the in-car view of part of a race the Hubster and I did back in 2001...our second race, actually.  Yes, we rolled.  Yes, we landed back on the tires.  Yes, we kept going (and eventually finished the race).  Yes, I got back in the truck for more races after that, although I'm still not sure why.

And yes, that's me making the little whimpering sound you hear as the truck rolls over.

At any rate, the point of this video (other than the fact that it's pretty cool) is to lead in to what I was thinking about as I skated this morning:  what if I had a skating version of "in-car" video?  My fellow skater Andrew Love used to do this from time to time, with a hand-held camera I think, and others have probably used a helmet cam to show what it looks like from the skater's point of view.

But...what if, instead of just seeing the track from a skater's-eye view, we could actually do a Ride Along in the skater's brain?  What are they thinking during a workout like, say, the last 800 meters of my "3x200/200 rest, 400/400 rest, 600/600 rest, 800/8 minute rest" workout this morning?

Want to find out?  C'mon, climb on in between my ears...there's plenty of room!  (Oh...just step over that pile there; that's just my sense of humor.  I know; it looks a little warped...oh, sorry, you'll have to squeeze past this huge thing in the middle of my brain here...yeah, this is just my skating obsession...suck in a little and I think you can scootch past on the right...NO!  Don't step on that!  That's my coordination--I have little enough of that as it is!  Here, have a seat on my's nice and comfy...there.  Ready?)

Note:  words in regular text are my thoughts; words in bold text are my thoughts yelling at my other thoughts; words in italics are what Coach TieGuy would undoubtedly be saying were he standing trackside with a walkie talkie.  Also, you'll just have to imagine the Darth Vader-like inhaling and exhaling that punctuate the thoughts...

So...we join the body already in progress, coasting out of the corner and preparing to launch into the final 800 meters of the interval workout.

"All right, time to go, just one more...Get it going!  Shoulders down!  C'mon, drive the knees..ooh, stopwatch!  Hope I pushed the button hard the knees, drive the knees...set up the!   Tempo up!  Tempo up!  Tempo up!  More lean!  Tempo tempo arm to the hip short arm swing short arm swing lean lean lean  extra crossover...don't linger on that left foot...tempo up...tempo up, light and lively, ooh, that's right, shoulders right, damn, almost forgot and I'm almost to the corner, ooh, getting tired No you're not shut up shut up drive the knees!  Damn, too close to the blocks, tempo up, not tired not tired get it going lean Lose the chicken wing!  Oops, damn, there, wing the knees, drive the knees, STOPWATCH!  C'mon one more one more lap... Tempo up, drive the knees! Corner with the wind drive lean c'mon, tempo up!  Crossover, extra crossover, tired, tired, feels like a 43...Shut up no it's not, get going you need a 42!  Set up the corner!  Short arm swing!  Don't slow down don't slow down don't slow down I'm slowing down, 50 meters come on, come on...STOPWATCH!!  Don't puke breathe breathe don't puke done done done.  Damn, it was a 43.  Oh, well--DONE!

There...wasn't that exciting?  Aren't you glad you came along for the ride?


  1. That video was pretty rad. >:)

  2. Woo Hoo-my first comment! Thanks, Mel! And now you see why I like rollovers!