I was standing in the bar, downing my third craft water and feeling my prostate start to bulge. BD was downing something with a bit more horsepower, and he was not happy.
“Fuggin’ wanker brake-checked me! Tried to take me out.”
“Bummer, dude,” I said.
“Bummer? Eff that! That guy’s a fuggin’ head case! He brake-checked me and tried to take me out! Why didn’t you do anything?”
“I didn’t see it. And I’m not your mother.”
“Eff that! It’s your ride, dude. You’re the enforcer. That was bullshit!”
“It’s not my ride, I’m not the enforcer, and every pelodrama has at least two versions, if not a dozen. Plus, you’ve been doing this long enough to know The Rule.”
“The only person responsible for what happens to your front wheel is you.”
He thought about it and drank some more Thought Stimulator. “What’s your next race?”
“I don’t know. Barry Wolfe?”
“Ugh. Crits. So no Dana Point?”
“No. I’m off the bike for the next few days.”
“I just did three back-to-back days of 5-hour rides and I need to rest.”
“What are you training for?”
“I’m taking a trip next week.”
“Mallorca for ten days.”
BD stared, then had some more Thought Stimulator. “Dude! You’re going to Mallorca? To ride?”
“Yes. And yes.”
“Oh my fuggin’ dog! That’s bike porn! You’re going to be buried in bike porn for ten fuggin’ days!”
“Dude! It’s the best riding on earth! It’s Disneycycleland times a billion! Who are you going with?”
“A group of crazy people, unfortunately.”
“Taking the family, eh?”
“No, they’re staying home. I’m meeting up with Ol’ Grizzles from Texas and his band of Ted Cruz Moral Majority crazies, and then we’re going to be joined by Ole Oleson and his band of Merrily Grim Norwegian Salted Fish Eaters.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Ol’ Grizzles is a riding buddy from Texas. We became immediate and lifelong friends when I showed up on a ride on my steel Eddy, no helmet, and wool jersey, and beat the snot out of the local West Houston posers. He and some of his gun nut abortion-haters go to Mallorca every year and do a week or so of super hard riding, which basically means one day of going full gas and seven days of recovery beer and feasting on smoked hog testicles.”
“What’s the Norwegian reference?”
“So Ol’ Grizzles and his buddy Shit in the Lane had another friend, Ole Oleson from Norway, who was stationed in Houston as part of his company’s plea-deal to avoid prison. He could have gone to jail or to Houston, so he picked what he thought was the lesser of two evils and found out he was wrong. Anyway, Ole rides like a maniac for the three weeks every year that Norway isn’t covered in snow and ice and mud and vodka, and he brings some of his buddies to meet up with the Texas crazies, and it’s kind of a Man Tour on testosterone supplements. They’ve badgered me the last couple of years to join them as they need riding lessons, but all of my kindergarten-bike classes are too advanced for them so I’ve always declined.”
BD heard about half of what I said, maybe. “Dude!” he urgled. “Bike porn!”
“Yeah,” I said. “Bike porn. Whatever that is.”
“So what’s the plan? What rides are you doing?”
I took out my phone and showed him the latest missive from our Directeur de Démembrement:
Dear Weak-legged Ones,
Le Tour de Mallorca 2016 is coming up fast, much faster even than your carefully planned training schedule, which you meticulously plotted out last August yet doubtlessly put off until the week before departure. That is okay. You are likely well prepared for eight days of hard, mountainous riding with those two extra-long rides to and from the liquor store. Mallorca is mostly easy riding and will accommodate your efforts much as your manufacturing sector has accommodated the “inferior” competition from China.
In short, do not worry.
As Directeur de Démembrement I have promised to come up with an assortment of rides. This seemed daunting at first since, given your riding profiles the only “assortment” that would fit involved flat rides to the liquor store, as mentioned above. However, there should be something for everyone, from large sections of flats where Shit in the Lane will hammer for a mile or two until he has to dig deeply into his Suitcase of Excuses (which will be well-filled prior to departure), and climbs where our Norwegian contingent has finished translating a few chapters of Egyptian hieroglyphics before the Ted Cruz Contingent catches up. We even have rides where Ol’ Grizzles will be able to tag along, at least until the right turn out of the driveway. Maybe. The distances vary from 65-ish to 100-miles with a possibility to cut some of them short, and a guarantee to cut all of them short for Grizzles and SITL. Note that I use miles because the complexity of the metric system is too confusing for a group of Texans who are still trying to decide whether a birther Nazi or an Islamic State Christian are the better standard bearers for America’s highest office.
We are a rather large group, although we will become much smaller as the days pass and the rides tend to select towards fitness, preparation, ability, and mental fortitude, meaning that we will more and more tend to be exclusively Norwegian. My hope is that early on, if the Cruz Contingent can avoid complete drunkenness on Night One, we can manage some discipline and should be able to cover some ground. However, knowing some of you guys and my experience with you on the West Oaks rides I know that things will most likely fall apart. My scheduled plans for the rides are just that; plans. To borrow one and the only intelligible quote from Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
Just a suggestion, but bring face masks.
Enclosed are both the GPX and KML coordinates for the rides. I doubt that anyone with an American high school or college degree can read them, however, the files can be uploaded to Google Earth or other applications such as AskYourChild.com. Mapmyride is free and takes only a couple of minutes to register, although its terrible interface and complexities (you will need to have your child help you with the instructions to “log in” and “register”) will deter most of you. Your 5-year-old, however, will be good to go and will see the routes with distances, feet of climbing, and other cold, hard facts that no amount of bragging to your wife will now allay. SITL and others should be wearing diapers when they see the daily routes for the first time.
Should you have a GPS device please upload the rides. It won’t help you go faster, and it will certainly subject you to merciless shame should you have the bad judgment to upload your ride times to Strava, but it will help when you get utterly, completely, and thoroughly lost, which will happen each time the road tilts up, the speed picks up, or we pass a bar. You do not want me at the front all the time shouting directions, as when excited I revert to my native Norwegian, and for safety reasons we certainly do do not want any of you up there.
After speaking with our Officier d’Hébergement I trust that he is in control of the accommodations. The left pig sty is for SITL, and Ol’ Grizzles has first dibs on the horse barn. I know you will all enjoy the new culinary experience of Mallorca. Make sure to bring your favorite bowel irrigation device.
Please make sure that you all include cycling shoes, a bib short, and jersey in your carry-on, though for most of you a pair of gym shorts and flip-flops would more than suffice given the length of time you will survive the actual rides. The Specialized “bicycles” that our US friends will be shipping over may be impounded by Spanish authorities as imitation bikes; don’t say we didn’t warn you in advance to rent rather than travel with 400-lbs. of poorly made American-branded junk.
Please let me know how the GPX/KML files work out and if there are any issues uploading them that your children can’t immediately resolve.
Directeur de Démembrement
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