Here I'm talking ridiculous coping mechanisms like excessive attention to having my tires at 102psi, using the expression "Watts up?" among freds, and filling a second refrigerator with loads and loads of top-shelf wine coolers.
But as I was saying...thinking about Tim Rugg got me thinking of some of the other great Tims we've had in MABRA. In particular, Tim Brown.
I've written about Tim winning crit championships and I've mocked him for foaming at the mouth in front of the Capital, and I've wished him farewell as he headed out to California to to discover himself and various venereal diseases (I'm assuming this to be the case, since what else but disease would lead him to quit bike racing?)
Since then, Brown has headed to Paris where he purportedly went to study and to try to figure out if losing his virginity is possible, given his unfortunate and hideous genetic inability to grow a full-blown Ruggstache.
Within the first week he sought out the Statue of Liberty, Paris version 1.0, which is so small that it really only stands for mild tolerance rather than full-blown liberty. Please, he prayed to the Statue of Mild Tolerance, please let me find love here on the mean, Camembert and brie-filled streets of this gluten-intolerant intolerant, winy town.
He immediately kitted up in his Battley kit and sought out le Frederigos, as freds are called in France. He was astonished by the number of frederigos: so many slow, old and lazy, on their way to look at art, collect French government checks and be better dressed and healthier, but inferior to Americans.
Then there was the trip to the beach where Brownie did sand intervals and attempted with all urgency to avoid looking at bare breasts, which cause him strange, tingly feelings in the taint
Brownie represented the U.S. at the Louvre with honor in the "desecrate sacred national shrines with a wheelie" contest being held on those grounds.
We intercepted an email in which a new, penitent Brownie voices a new humility:
"The real 'problem' (I know, cry me a river, I get to ride my bike) with commuting is wearing a heavy-ish backpack. It's like some form of penance for years of crotch chopping Freds at HP [emphasis added].This is a classic case of Brownspeak: the slower he says he is, the faster he actually is.
I'm Sisyphus. Destined to push a full fendered carbon race bike up a nameless hill in the suburbs of Pars . With no time in the week to do anything but commute and study, all my rides are with a sweatlogged high vis covered brick on my back. It's really soul sucking.
Interval training? Sounds like a great idea, but a backpack quickly puts that idea to bed. Beyond the bulk making it feel slightly awkward, it's really the weight of the bag and its mental strain that makes transitioning from bike racer to commuter difficult. I no longer know what it feels like to be fast [emphasis added]."
Even more heartwarming, Brownie may be rekindling the bike racing fire. He says, " I have an 8 week summer break from mid July to the beginning of August, so if I stick around Paris for an internship then maybe I can dabble in some racing."
This picture of his steed on the Champs-Élysées may provide some clue about where Brownie plans to finish his "mid-July to the beginning of August."
And so we offer up our own prayers to the dear mildly interesting and surprisingly not inspiring Statue of Mild Toleration--
Dear short and uninspiring lady, watch over our beloved Monsieur Brown with his filthy mustache and depraved hair and former greatness on the bicycle...let his feet find swift pedaling and let ASO grant passage to Battley to enter the Tour de France...not only so Brown can smite the heathen Frenchies like Lance seemed to do before he was uncloaked as a charlatan...but also so these damn Battley guys give us a chance to mop up here in MABRA.
Oh, and let Tim Brown find love over there in Paris. Jesus, give the poor, hideous-haired man a break.