"Hey, wanna race 'cross?"
Marcus asked me this as he, Eric, and I lingered on Harvard Ave last night after an IBC sushi fest. He just got a new cross bike that he's building up today so maybe I should have expected the question. And even with a belly full of sushi, I nearly pounced at that question.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
That question lingered in my head and greeted me this morning, bright and somewhat early. My legs were a little worn out from the psycho 40-miler-plus-running workout combo of yesterday, and I was tempted to do an easy 30 mile loop instead. The hills I'll have to tackle on my decided route...the fact that I'm on a single-speed...my leg being a little achy...
All those got shoved aside as I swung a leg over my bike and didn't stop until I hit Arlington, again. And on the way, I remembered something that made me detour into the heart of Lexington. My aunt used to live here. Between Brussels and Tokyo, my aunt, uncle, and cousins lived in this quaint, little New England town. It was only for a few years, and because I associate my aunt with Belgium instead, it's a fact that I tend to forget.
And sometimes, I wonder if my aunt has as many memories of Lexington as she does of Brussels. I remember one Christmas [yes, my family celebrates it even though we're complete heathens], she brought a small casserole dish that smelled deliciously of cream and cheese. Hiding between those gooey layers were endives, pale with a browned corner here and there, their distinctive bitterness tempered by butter, cream, and Gruyere. My first mouth-watering encounter with the vegetable, I gulped and gobbled it down. That gratin d'endives still has me yearning for Belgium.
As I took pictures of Lexington, I was tempted to call my aunt and cousins. Endives and waffles are amazing, but why did they never get into cycling? Why did they keep secret this sport called cyclocross?
"Wait, oh, you'll have to get another bike," Marcus said, last night.
"That's a 'cross bike. I can race it single-speed," I said as I pointed to my Bianchi.
"Dude, that would be so awesome!"
Or it could just be incredibly embarrassing. Maybe it'll get me to Belgium, though. And even if that takes a few years, I'd endure an hour or so of incredible pain to sink my teeth into a sugary waffle.
Alright, a cupcake might do, too, in a pinch.