December 24, 2014 § 19 Comments
The older I get, the more I appreciate people who aren’t sociopaths. Not that the SoCal Profamateur™ ranks are filled with them, but I do run across them from time to time. A sociopath, of course, is a person who reduces the entirety of human existence to “I am in the right.”
Here’s a quick quiz to find out if you are a cycling sociopath, but if you’re really a sociopath one of the key qualities is the inability to recognize it.
- I never caused a crash.
- I’ve had bad luck before, but never been beaten.
- I dope because everyone else dopes, so it’s not cheating.
- I cut the course because I had to.
- There’s nothing wrong with banditing a ride because the organizers plan for a certain level of banditing.
Of course cycling sociopaths, compared to the ones I run across in my day job, are pretty harmless. Whereas cycling sociopaths are trying to cheat you out of a pair of socks or a fistful of gels, litigation sociopaths are often trying to ruin a client’s life, and sometimes mine as well. But despite their relative harmlessness, their presence causes the good guys out there to shine even more brightly.
One of my favorite Old Fellow Leaky Prostate Cycling Stars is Greg Leibert, a/k/a G$ a/k/a G-Munnnnny. I can’t help rooting for him, even when he’s plucking out my legs like an evil little kid yanking off the twitching limbs of a helpless insect. I root for G$ because he rides with class, he wins graciously, and he loses with a smile and a congratulations for the winner. I root for G$ because when he wins, the good guy really does win. And of course I root for him in the hope that one day I’ll beat him, and therefore have beaten the very best.
The last two seasons G$ has had a rough go of it on the race course, so much so that it almost seemed like he might be done for good. The guy who soloed to victory at Boulevard a few years back, the guy who regularly stomped the dicks of the best leaky prostates on the toughest SoCal road courses, had been “relegated” to “only” one or two wins a season. The saddest moment of my old fellow cycling career was this year at Boulevard, when I punctured a few miles from the finish. The peloton whooshed by, and then a few minutes later along came Greg, who stopped to help change my flat.
“Are you okay?” I asked in disbelief.
Greg smiled. “I didn’t have it today. They went, and I didn’t.”
It was like learning that there is no Santa Claus, only worse, since I was raised an atheist and we kept getting Christmas swag even after figuring out that the old fat drunk in the mall was nothing more glamorous than an old fat drunk in the mall. So you can imagine how happy I was to hear through the grapevine that G$ was back on track for 2015.
I’d see him doing lonely big ring workouts on Via del Monte. I’d hear rumors about the gradually increasing fitness. Best of all — or worst — I’d pump him about his condition and he’s say with a smile, “It’s coming around.”
Last Saturday G$ showed up for the Donut Ride, which is rare because he only shows up to check his fitness. Unlike the other wankers who throw themselves headlong into their “base intensity” programs 12 months a year, G$ builds, tests, then goes back to work.
As we snaked through Portuguese Bend, there was the familiar sight of the Legs From Planet Zebulon, the slightly hunched back, the smooth cadence, and the sinewy strips of calf, ham, and quad popping out from the stretched skin. Best of all, though, was the hollering.
G$ will never pointlessly ride on the front — he’s too smart for that — but he loves it when you do, and he has a well-worn method for getting the idiots to pound themselves into oblivion. Here’s how he does it: Some maroon will take a dig, and a fellow maroon will follow through, and then the pace will slack. “Sixteen mph?” G$ will yell from five wheels back. “Are we riding our bikes or pushing a baby stroller?”
No one has the man parts to turn around and say, “Hey, wanker, if you want the speed to pick up, there’s plenty of room at the front to give us a demo.”
Instead, we hunker down, all butt-hurt and such, and then take turns killing ourselves in pointless efforts to show that WE AREN’T GONNA GO SIXTEEN. Then G$ will yell a little more until we’re totally pooped, we reach the climb, and he leaves us like we are chained to a liberal piece of legislation in the US Congress.
But on Saturday, I bided my time until we hit the Switchbacks, followed wheels, and before long had left the wankoton in the rear, latched onto the wheel of Boy Jules, who hates being shadowed by creaky old men. The impossible had happened — a fit-and-getting-fitter G$ had been shelled by Boy Jules and Creaky Wanky.
The euphoria was intense, followed by sadness (“If G$ can’t keep up with me, he really is finished,”) followed by an unspeakable beatdown. Half a mile from the end of the climb G$ hunted me down like an old tom closing in on a crippled rat. He roared by, I latched on (having shed Boy Jules at the wall), and G$ played his favorite role of train conductor. It goes like this:
G$: I see you are riding on the train.
Me: Yes, sir.
G$: May I see your ticket?
Me: I ain’t got no ticket.
G$: Well, son, no one rides for free.
Then he came out of the saddle, fired the pistons, and vanished around the bend. I deflated and crumpled as he put a couple of football fields between us in a matter of seconds. I was deflated, but elated. You know why?
Because Munnnnnnny is back.
For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog, and you can follow the money. But you probably can’t follow the Munnnnnnny. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!
The best writing comes from things close to us.
and here all this time I was reading him as Gee Dollah
Either way …
He’s the Billy Jack of cycling.
Nothing better to watch than G$ when he’s feelin it
From a distance …
Yo G-Munny’s back!!!!!
Which gets me inspired to get a better sign on name! Hmmmm….. what will it be for ’15?
BTW, does anyone have a date on the first Donut ride? I might have been on it, but it wasn’t you guys I’m pretty sure.
G$ is definitely coming back full force, couldn’t happen to a better man. He’s going to collect some wins this season!
Scalps. He will collect scalps!
Fantastic News, I can’t wait for the beat downs
Right? It’s a comin’ …
A couple of years ago, LA Circuit Race. Last lap of the Leaky Prostate Race has just started. They ring a bell and all that, but there is still a loooonnnnngggg way to go.
A famous sprinter, Mr. Fast, flats going down the long ramp. His teammate stops and swaps, so Mr. Fast is ready to go again. Except he is well off the back. 40-45mph down the ramp and things happen pretty quickly.
I look up and see a rider from a different team making little circles in the intersection, taking a pull from a Big Orange water bottle and waiting for the wheel change. Without a word, he takes off, Mr. Fast tucking in. G$ ramps it up to Warp Three and starts to close the gap. Mr. Fast just spinning along, enjoying the Cadillac draft.
They make the first U turn, G$ banging through the gears. They have a long way to go…but they are going to catch the pack. Maybe. Up the ramp, G$ is starting to feel it. Down a couple of gears. Mr. Fast comes around to take a turn. Rather, Mr. Fast *tries* to come around. He spends a few seconds riding side by side, and gives up. The fastest guy in the room can’t figure out how to get around G$!
Just after the second U turn, half a mile to go, our heroes weave through a dozen shattered wankers, and G$ drops Mr. F off at the tail of the peloton.
No, this is not a Disney ending, Mr. Fast doesn’t win, and nobody else even saw it happening. An hour later, I caught up with G$. Why did he do it? Well, there was no way he was going to win a field sprunt…and maybe he could help somebody else out that could.
You know the thing about that story? Everybody who knows Greg believes it.
a bunch of tall tales…made me cry anyway. Thanks for that.
Fairy tales are that way!