A dog day afternoon

Boom, there went the whistle and in two hundred yards I’m pegged my heart is ripping at the bottom of my throat and there are twelve guys ahead of me when the paving shifts to hardpack and grass and gopher holes and bumps that rattle your hair follicles so hard they scratch your brain and boom, the first wall with sand and sliding and the back gives way and I’m tangled with the tape and barely keeping the stake from driving into my face with gravity throwing me down the dip and now the leaders have gone and they ain’t coming back and my front wheel is grinding and heaving on the dirt as my back wheel skids and skitters to the tune of what the fuck am I doing here I don’t want to crash I don’t want to get hurt I don’t want to die but fuck that motherfucker two wheels ahead so dig like a welldigger until the searing burn of sand and dust and grit and shit and the hundred-degree steel smelting blast furnace smothering fire has covered you outside and inside and up around the little bend full throttle then brake and tumble off the bike in what’s supposed to be a dismount but is really just a panicked oh fuck leap for glory and don’t shatter my fucking shins on the barriers and then remount with both nuts banged hard on the saddle just as the fool with the camera in the corner catches the total flail that’ll look nice on Facebook fuck you and then full gas through more grit and grass and shit and around another turn and finally a straight where I can put some muscle into it as I hit the corner filled with Arik Jeff Brendan Matt Todd Carey Marilyne Paige Don Will and some asshole spraying cheap beer oh fuck you that’s not cheap beer that’s my top shelf IPA from my cooler you fucktard whoosh! it’s cold though so there’s that and by the end of lap one there’s nothing I’m so ground up and the wheels whine and the bike shakes and the bumps and holes shake and pound and batter and beat and now I’ve picked up two more riders and four laps in my whole body is wrecked and the dryness has sucked the wet out of my guts and eyes and throat and heart and lungs please let three things happen let it be over let me not crash and not let that motherfucker bearing down catch me before the end which is only two laps to go which might as well be a lightyear then boom I cross the line and it takes ten whole yes ten entire minutes before my eyes can even focus again drenched in a nasty sop-bath of sweat and dust and spit from head to toe my legs splayed out in the chair under the tent my hacking chest still heaving and me unsure where or what or why I am with buddies laughing and ribbing and best of all cracking the top off a cold motherfucking beer and thrusting it into my hand as the cold liquid shoots down my throat life is, of course, unquestionably, filled with self-inflicted silliness and agony and oh it is good.

22 thoughts on “A dog day afternoon”

    1. Isn’t that the truth! After the first five you’re like, “Is it over yet? Can I quit now?”

  1. You’re thinking thermonuclear war or a Somali takeover would be better than two more laps…

    1. It could be interchanged with an LA street commute by bike. Or trying to discuss politics on Twitter.

  2. From another FB friend who does crazy things: “Wanna know what cyclocross racing feels like? Lap one: slam you hand in your car door. Lap two: whack your knee with a sledge hammer. Lap three: blow up a hot air balloon through a straw.”

  3. Cross in S.Cali? Don’t you need mud, snow and cold weather? If you can feel your feet then it’s off road riding.

  4. Pingback: Cyclocross. | cogzilla attackscogzilla attacks

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