- a 40-something Johan Van Summern-type character who bent over every now and then put his hands on his knees, and emitted a goat-like bleat of pain and impatience. It is hard to wait for drugs!
- an elderly black woman who looked fabricated from electrician's tape, tape pants, tape jacket, tape hat, all wrapped around an emptiness that billowed out when she coughed, like the sound of two boulders grinding
- two silent obese women, obese in exactly the same way--that is, burdened with enormous un-detatchable paunches of fat drooping down from the lower abdomen and over the front thighs--resting their proportionately tiny hands on their lipode-ous fronts
Of course, I was just as disgusting a sight, with my hacking cough and wild eyes and blubbering on about people taking the corner too hot at the crit at Rock Lititz.
From the doctor's office I wandered home and slept for 16 hours straight. When I wasn't actually, sleeping, I was supine with my eyes closed, and trying to figure out what put me here.
On Saturday morning I'd arisen and traveled with the Dutchman up to Hammer Creek, PA. We'd parked literally within a sheep enclosure for staging. The 80-mile road race was itself uneventful in following the same pattern as the last two--a break went about 2/3 through the race, and I missed it, as did NCVC. Some breaks were tried, but sad little Sysiphean things--at least, my own was.
But the road race was not the point. The point, for me team, was the TTT. This is something different! This is five or six dudes riding in unison, a race against the clock, a race of truth!
We were up against quite a few obstacles (in the patois of Tony Robbins, challenges):
(1) None of us can TT worth a damn;
(2) The 2/5 of us with TT bikes just started training on them;
(3) We'd never practiced TTT-ing together;
(4) There were only 5 of us (other teams had six);
(5) One of us can't tell right from left (I'm not making this up);
(6) Another of us has a flowing blond mane that is gorgeous, but very distracting;
(7) We spent the previous evening at the Shady Maple Smorgasbord.
If Phil Ligget had been calling our TTT, he would have called it like this, "And DVR is out of the starting gate. Paps has attacked...and he is gone. Paul, this man has only one gear, and it is always the wrong gear."
Other teams arrived at the top in threes or even fours. Consider (photos by Julie Elliot):
Bike Doctor: Custer, Warner, Neto
Composite: Four guys who have never ridden together
Clearly, the fastest approach--three men, working together, all the way to the finish, to minimize the time of the third man--the one that counts.
Well, we shun such cowardice. Here's our picture:
Not only did we drop several of our teammates with aplomb, we also managed a mechanical and, if my doctor was correct in her diagnoses, instigated in one of us a huge case of piss all in the lungs.
The results? DFL. A proud moment for us. That is, despite my straining to the utmost, causing myself the most dire physical effects possible excluding death or Rugg-ticular gonadalism disease, we managed to beat no one.
Jesus. Sometimes bike racing never ceases to humble.
On the other hand, the old man's solace, always a comfort to Paps, is at hand...living vicariously through others!
(1) Joe Dombrowski and Nate Wilson just smoked America's best bike racers.
(2) Lindsay Bayer just smoked America's best bike racers.
(3) Rumor has it Tim Brown is back in town, and not just to get a Brazilian.