Day moves

May 3, 2016 § 26 Comments

Sometimes you see things that you don’t think you saw until somebody comes up to you afterwards and says, “Did you see that?”

This happened on the Donut Ride a couple of weeks ago. We had come out of Lunada Bay pretty hard and it was strung out in a line, with clumps of wankage already getting pinched off and flushed out of the bump past the elementary school. I was gritting my teeth and sitting about sixth wheel up against the right-hand curb.

I heard the whoosh-whoosh of full carbon that I’m pretty sure was 100% carbon and it was whooshing good except it was whooshing on the wrong side, my right, where there wasn’t but a handlebar-width between me and the curb. I moved over a fraction and sure enough, through came a pair of handlebars as smooth as a Brazilian wax job and the dude’s body language was “There’s plenty of room, plenty of room” which there was but only in retrospect and only because he had skilZ with a capital “Suicide.”

He passed me easy as butter and then moved over to the left and I opened up some space for him to slot in but the guy in front of him had started drifting back and the guy on his left, whose rear wheel he was now overlapping, hadn’t budged so that his front wheel was boxed in on either side.

Dude could have pedaled less hard and drifted back so that his wheel was clear but there was a super narrow gap he’d wedged into already and he decided that where he wanted to be was more ahead rather than more behind so he reached out to the guy on his left and gave him a pretty violent hip-shove in the universal bikespeak of “Move the fuck over now.”

Problems with this move:

  1. I was behind him starting to dribble poop because when this went south I was going to go south along with it.
  2. He was pushing on the wrong hip.

Wrong Hip happened to be Frenchy the Axe, an MTB phenom who absolutely shreds on the climbs. Wrong Hip, who would be my second oldest kid age-wise, has always been nice to me and let me sit on his wheel when he’s blowing people’s knees out on the Donut Ride. He sets it at tempo and you’re going along encouraging yourself, “I can DO it, I can DO it, I can DO it,” and then suddenly it’s, “No, fuck this I’m done,” and then you’re spiraling backwards hoping your eyes will come into focus before you veer into oncoming traffic.

The whole thing unfolded in an amazing dance of daring. Wrong Hip felt the hard push but he didn’t do what I would have done, which is roll over like a servile cur and give up the space. Nah, this was the world famous Donut Ride where every foot is fought for like it was real estate between enemy trenches at Verdun. You want to be where I am? Then you better not push and you better not shove.

Wrong Hip never glanced back. Ever so casually he reached back and grabbed Pushy McPusher’s left brake hood with his fist. Now, when the dude in front of you has his fingers wrapped around your hood, you are officially fucked. It’s like having your nuts in a pair of eunuch pincers and a 300-lb. bruiser getting ready to stand on the handles.

There was a massive clenching of sphincters because everyone saw the move and what had led up to it and now the only question was how many dozen people were going to chew a few plugs of asphalt tabacco. Then the magic unfolded. Wrong Hip slung the brake hood backwards, but Pushy didn’t do what everyone else would have done, which is a sideways flip-launch.

Instead, anticipating the push, he leaned slightly left so that his entire bike slid back about two feet, clearing the two overlapped wheels. We adjusted as he moved back.

Wrong Hip never even bothered to see who the poor slob was that he’d just owned in fee simple. And as awesome as the hood-check was, Pushy’s cool acceptance of the rear-shove and his casual readjustment was (maybe) even more amazing. Unfortunately, the testosterone was about to spill over and I saw Pushy get out of the saddle as he prepared to have words with Wrong Hip, words, I was pretty sure, that would be hard to take back.

I grabbed his jersey. He jerked his head around. “Easy, pal,” I said, “it’s only the Donut Ride.”

He looked at me for a second before deciding not to punch me out. “Yeah,” he said. “Right.”



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§ 26 Responses to Day moves

  • GT says:

    Conciliator needs to be added to your Sort of About section.

  • Winemaker says:

    Seger would be proud.

  • Tom Paterson says:

    I just now this second figured out that the Pushy-problem with bike racing is, too many racer-dudes have desk jobs.

  • East Coast baby seal says:

    Serious pucker factor here. It’s gonna take me the rest of the day to extract my chair cushion from my sphincter, just from reading that. Everyone behind you owes you a craft water for de-escalating that carbon mashup in the making.

  • Waldo says:

    15 seconds of testy testosterony ==> a column. Glad no one got hurt.

    Was there a subsequent chat with Pushy? How did it go?

  • Brian in VA says:

    My butt was nibbling skivvies during that read. Thanks for getting my blood pumping today!

    Once again, your calming influence came through in the clutch.

  • LesB says:

    “few plugs of asphalt tabacco.”

    Only tobacco that’s not carcinogenic.

  • Jorgensen says:

    In the old days, the major dudes of the group would have boxed the disruptive one against the curb then suggested it would be in his best interest to turn right at the next driveway or intersection and not return.

    • fsethd says:

      In the new days, we all hug and promise to try and do better next time but not really.

      • Winemaker says:

        In Belgium, it is way more simple than that….unless you have bona fides (a nice set of palmares) AND have almost always taken your pulls, especially in the shit weather there, you pull anything close to bullshit and the next thing you know, you are bouncing on the grass, butt first. -…There’s a lot of narrow roads there, and they all seem to have grass on the side of them.

        Always better to get shelled by cracking while fighting the wind on the wrong side of the echelon than to try to squeeze in anywhere. forget about even trying that stuff in Holland…the Dutchies just put you down like an old dog.

        • fsethd says:

          Yes, but I’ve never intentionally knocked anyone down. Not worth it … I’ve seen so many simple falls result in serious injuries. Reason #234 that I’m a crappy bike racer.

  • cgnewgirl says:

    The way you write, the way you put words together is so fun to read: “Clumps of wankage” “SkliZ with a capital “Suicide.” “Chew a few plugs of asphalt tobacco” Thank you for writing. 🙂

  • number1bikermonkey says:

    Beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed reding this, as I have so many of your writings recently.

  • Dink says:

    I keep coming back to this one.

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