Qualia, Cat 4 Race. p: Harry Fang
To this day, our mother sends her children periodicals meant to instill moral fiber and correct political beliefs. For this reason, I have been marked as a bastard by my neighbors at all of my residences in DC, the country's most liberal city. When a newsletter from James Dobson's Focus on the Family falls out of your mailbox and you live in DuPont, well, you're about as welcome as a hairy-legged Fred on a tribike with discwheels at Hains on a windy day.
Probably the earliest form of our mother's moral periodicals propaganda campaign was Highlights, a children's magazine that was short on color and long on guilt-inculcation. The publication was a series of lessons urging you not to be a jackass, a nudist, a libertine, a communist, a glutton, a pacifist, not white, or unhygenic (those were the fears of parents of the Reagan generation).
The most memorable, for me at least, of its regular characters were Goofus and Gallant. Here's a typical example:
The strip ascribes a metaphysical quality to the two: to Goofus, always evil; to Gallant always good. As an avid reader (what else could I do on a goat farm in Michigan?) of the series, I longed for the day when Gallant would finally stab somebody in the heart because he was running at top speed with a scimitar. Or why couldn't Goofus, just one time, help the old lady across the street or wash his hands properly, or raise a dead kitten from the grave, or not be a little bitch about a little road rash?
When Goofus falls and skins his knee he gets up angry.
When Gallant falls and skins his knee he gets up smiling.
But it never happened. Always with the evil, Goofus. Always with the good, Gallant. Week after week.
Sadly, my mother is something of a Goebbels--her moral propaganda campaign worked. Not that I'm moral in any way, just that I think of morality in terms of Goofus and Gallant.
What does this have to do with a bike race--specifically, Tyson's Corner Men's Cat 3, on April 11th, 2010?
I was a little bit Goofus, a little bit Gallant in the race.
In a Three Man break...
Goofus sits on the wheel of the super-strong tri-guy with hairy legs in the breakaway.
Gallant realizes when he's pathetically overmatched and drifts back to the safety of the pack.
When trying to hold a wheel...
Goofus barks, "My f'n wheel!" at one of the Lumm brothers.
Gallant (the Lumm brother in question) responds, "Take it easy, [Nutjob] there's plenty of space."
When jockeying for position at the finish...
Goofus maintains a wheel even if it means brushing an elbow with a very pissed off Bike Doctor rider.
Gallant uses the money from his 5th place win to support NCVC juniors by buying two BBQ sandwiches, three burgers and chocolate chip cookies, and shares the food with a friend.
Cheers to NCVC for, again, gallantly hosting a great race.