One of the really great horrible things about cycling here in the South Bay is that there are so many opportunities to get on your bicycle and go have a wonderful miserable ride. One of the best most terrible rides is the Telo World Championships, held every Tuesday at 6:00 PM after the switch to daylight-saving-but-sanity-losing time.
Telo is often referred to as a training crit but no one is sure what it really trains you for except perhaps to make poor choices and suffer unpleasant consequences. I’m not sure that by age 52 I need any more of those opportunities, having already elected marriage, children, law, and a host of other fantastic awful choices.
Still, the hallmark of truly stupid people is that they apply poor judgment skills across a wide spectrum of experience, and Telo is no exception. As a beneficially destructive training crit, the mythology goes like this.
KK: What do you think about me doing Telo?
Wanky: You crashed in the Cat 4 race and said you were going to quit racing for a while.
KK: But I was told Telo is a great training crit by really experienced people.
Wanky: Are these the same people who encouraged you to race your bike?
Wanky: Well okay then.
KK: But do you think I should so it?
Wanky: My coaching services have been suspended by the state so we’ll pretend this is Scrabble and all I have is a “q” and an “x.” I’ll pass.
KK: But my thinking is that since I’m really freaked out by Cat 4 races that maybe I can get acclimated to racing better by doing Telo.
Wanky: That’s possible. I’m just not aware of any 27-second crits being promoted by Lotts. Or anyone else.
KK: What do you mean? I thought Telo was a hour long.
Wanky: It is for some people.
KK: What’s that supposed to mean?
Wanky: Unlike sanctioned crits, Telo lumps everyone together. So the leaky prostate profamateurs like me and the boot-shaking Cat 4’s like you have to race with the young, the strong, the fast, the quick, the savvy, the relentless, and basically everyone who has a 30-second recovery whereas we have like, 3 minutes. Plus we have to race with Smasher who specializes in attacking the shit out of everyone all the time, especially his breakaway mates with a lap to go so the breakaway can fail and get caught by the swarm and all our efforts can result in 38nd place.
KK: But why 27 seconds?
Wanky: That’s the average time that a newcomer lasts at Telo.
KK: So it’s harder than my Cat 4 race?
Wanky: The first 27 seconds will be. After that you can leisurely pedal around the office park and memorize the lessees of all the offices.
KK: So why do you always do it then?
Wanky: I don’t. I didn’t do it at all last year, and only a handful of times the year before. It’s a really fun unhappy race with lots of very safe deadly opportunities to get hit head-on by traffic in the chicane, plus it has a 25-mph headwind for half a mile every lap that feels really good fucking awful beyond belief.
KK: So I shouldn’t do it?
Wanky: Still nothing here but x’s and q’s.
Shortly thereafter, KK and I lined up and did Telo. KK’s race lasted a lot longer than 27 seconds but it was nonetheless very helpful in a tearing-down, lonely, and defeating kind of way. We chatted afterwards.
Wanky: So, how was it?
KK: I loved it! It was awesome! This is just what I need! I can’t wait ’til next week!
Wanky: Oh, brother.
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