January 16, 2006
Is there anyone out there who can honestly say they've never raced a bike hungover, at least once? I know I can't. For instance, I raced the Athens Twilight Crit once (and only once, that race was nuts) back in 1992. I maybe moved up all of two places in the peloton the whole night, but I didn't get dropped and I wanted to celebrate. Caught up in the frenzy of about 20,000 drunk crazy people screaming their lungs out around the 1km loop all night, and with plenty of drinking establishments to satiate one's boozing desires right on the course, it only seemed right that I have a few beers. And a few more. Maybe one more. Ah, fuck it, sure I'll have another. And then the alarm goes off too damn early the following morning for Sunday's road race. Oops, forgot about day 2 of the race weekend. But I race about 100km in the am, a bit green in the gills and groggy, and sweat all that booze out of the system just in time to contest the field sprint. Mission accomplished, no big deal.
Now I'm hardly endorsing such behavior, but when you're in your 20s you can get away with competing under less than ideal physical states. Which is why the whole hubbub about Bode Miller racing World Cup downhill events with a hangover is so amusing to me. I don't see why Bode had to apologize. If anything, the other downhillers who got their asses kicked by a person who may have failed a breathalyzer in the starting gate should apologize to their fans. What's even funnier is Nike's glorification of Bode Miller's predilection for projectile vomiting (albeit under different circumstances). If you happen to visit Nike's Bode Miller love-fest, check out the option "training sled" in the pulldown menu.