Thursday, August 25, 2011

Qaddafi, Leezza, and Greenbelt: A Love Story

Among the odd discoveries in Qaddafi's lair was a trove of Condoleezza Rice photos, done up in precious memories albums--the kind your grandmother keeps of you and your siblings as children. Or, of the kind that stalkers keep of the women they hunt.

To those who paid attention to Qaddafi's ramblings, we were already aware something was afoot. "I support my darling black African woman," he stated in a 2007 interview, "I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders...Leezza, Leezza, Leezza...I love her very much. I admire her and I'm proud of her because she's a black woman of African origin."

Although it's linguistically unclear what Qaddafi meant by saying he was proud of Condi for "leaning back," it's connotatively clear: the good Colonel's heart had been stolen by the ice dancing, football loving, Chopin playing, elliptical machine ravaging former Stanford Provost.

Qaddafi was not alone among world leaders in his creepy admiration for Condoleezza. Ariel Sharon once stated, "I have to confess, it was hard for me to concentrate in the conversation with Condoleezza Rice because she has such nice legs."

I bring up this weird fascination for Condi because it illustrates a broader point about the mystery of attraction: it often makes fools of us.

This is not to say that Qaddafi, had he not collected and probably drooled over photos of Condi, would have otherwise been a distinguished old gentlemen. It is just to say that passion drives us to do some really idiotic stuff.

Bike racing, for example.

Last night at Greenbelt when our favorite referee, the ponytailed badass who begins his spiels with a hearty, "GENTLEMEN...",announced that tonight would be the very rare double points night, due to high attendance in the A race, my heart skipped a beat--just as Qaddafi's heart had done when suddenly, Leezza Leezza leaned back and barked an order at an Arab leader. Suddenly, Qaddafi sat up and gave her the once over--who was this goreous African-American goddess, to bark orders at Arab leaders?

This is not impossible, I thought, I can do this! I can win this thing!

In the same kind of pathetic way that Qaddafi must've thought, This is not impossible--this eerily robatic, allegedly politically neo-conservative black woman is amazing, and must be mine!

You see, I've given my heart to Greenbelt, no matter that it is a training series. I love it's steady left-hand turns, its gentle uphill, its greeny goodness.

And I wanted to win its heart:

No matter that I hadn't won a single edition of it, even editions with less than 20 people.
No matter that the new racers coming up from the B race were sure to ride negatively and not allow any breakaways.
No matter that a Greyhound bus in Nashville discharged four vapor-spewing cannisters of bull semen yesterday , a slippery disaster some (i.e., me) have called "the Deepwater Horizon of bull semen spills." No word if the bull semen was headed for Pete Cannell's laboratory as of yet.
Forget about the so-called "training series" nature of the event, I told myself. Damn the bull semen hazards! This is a storied event, and if I put my heart to it, I can achieve anything I dream.

What did I have going for me?
For once, Harley was not the only team presence: DVR had six, NCVC at least five, Route 1 at least five. I could take advantage of the newbies.
I was an outside shot. The contenders surely alerted their teammates to the threat men: Brown, Abbott, and Lumm. They may have not been aware of my mathematical chance at the win, given the double points situation.
A dream driven by delusional passion.

So delusional was I that the following possibility ccurred to me: I lap the field, then win the field sprint. That would give me both first AND second, which would surely be enough to give me the win.

Believe me, I considered this a very real possibility. In the throes of passion, of which I have limitless quantities when it comes to Greenbelt (and Ho Hos, but we won't go into that at the moment), one doesn't think about probability. One is in LOVE, moaning "Leezza, Leezza, LEEZZA!" And clutching precious moments album to bosom.

Because that's what love is: humiliating and dreamy.

Unfortunately, reality is usually overly eager to dish out humiliation, in both my case and in Qaddafi's.

The race started, and I managed to get away for a few laps, but I was alone and completely lacking the engine to stay away for 12 laps, which is what I would've had to do. Still, while the field was out of sight behind me for a couple of laps, I dreamed I was approaching them from behind. I indulged in a few daydreams of victory, of my torso clad in yellow and the goofy little carwash print on the front of it, and Julie Elliott taking my photo--the drama of a come-from-behind win to take the whole damn thing! Lapping the field and then winning the field sprint for both first and second! Everyone wondering, "Who is this middle aged man who suddenly came alive and crushed the field?" I'd come home after the race and showering my girlfriend in carwash tokens and she laughed and laughed, her wildest dreams come true...

Reality, of course, delights in crushing such idylls. I was shortly caught by the pack. Like Qaddafi, I was driven from my glorious position of lonely leadership, dreams crushed.

Brown took a vicious field sprint, edging out Greg Abbott by the slightest of margins. I rolled in and couldn't even grab fifth.

For most of the season Brigham Lumm wore the jersey, helped by his brother Brandon.


Greg Abbott always threatened, and it looked like it was bound to be a two-man race. It wasn't until Tim Brown started winning, at the end of the season, though, that someone else looked like a likely candidate.

Brown was aided by having one of the larger and more powerful squads. And he is, of course, currently listed as the BAR leader until Keck's points from Church Creek are tallied. That is, Brown's not too shabby as a rider.

After the race I did, however, eat my first Chipotle burrito in months, which, as wonderful as it was, I couldn't finish. This was astonishing, because last year I ate two in 45 minutes. While I haven't managed to get much better as a bike racer, all my starving has, in the end, apparently shrunken my stomach.

That's the best I got out of this whole thing, I guess.

Well, time to move on. Qaddafi and Greenbelt are both gone, and Condi is playing her piano somewhere, I suppose.

C'mon, Momo, let's get on with life, nursing our broken hearts and lingering no more on what might have away, Leezza and away...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you may have noticed that all the turns are right-handed