Website Watch: Ben Berden's Stoepidest Week

8:25 PM

There are times in your life where you get to experience amazing cycling moments.  It might be a race where you get to line up alongside an assembly of outstanding athletes, and you are pushed to an extraordinary performance because of those around you.  It might be cycling in an exotic location, and seeing the world from a new perspective as it rolls under your tires.  It might be a breakthrough moment on the bike, where you discover that a skill that eluded you is now automatic and accomplished with ease.

Can't take credit for this, see more of Ben at his Stoepid site
…but its March in  my world, literally and figuratively, so I’m not having any awesome moments.  That doesn’t mean I can’t experience a few vicariously, and Ben Berden is giving all of us cycling fans a peak at something damn cool with his Stoepidest Week (  Here is the deal: he and a group of (totally not insane) friends will be completing five spring classics in five days.  Between March 18 – 24 they will ride Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. 

The reason for all of this stoepidity?  They are a bit vague on the details (suffering and friendship are mentioned), but who cares?!  Who wouldn’t want to ride all of these great courses…with full support…in one week…you know, before you have the time to think about how stoepid it all is?

Ok, no way could I do this.  I’m currently contemplating a 75-mile ride two weeks from now, and even that is making me a little nervous.  I do, however, have a great appreciation for crazy, outrageous plans undertaken with total spontaneity.  (This one may not be all that spontaneous, given the nice list of sponsors for their undertaking, but still, pretty bad-ass cool).  It is so easy to be a nice, responsible adult and stick to your training plan like a well-behaved, obedient athlete.  Sometimes you have to take those risks, particularly those you would never take if you actually sat down and thought it through, if you want to really meet a different side of yourself. 

So it is a stoepid plan – so what – just like we first learned to ride our bikes by taking off the training wheels and leaping into the unknown, a stoepid idea can quickly turn into a moment of genius.  I’m beginning to think my training plan is missing one major component…something stoepid…

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