Overnight there was a huge shuffle in the 2016 Tour de Mallorca Leaky Prostate standings. Ol’ Grizzles almost died in his sleep after losing three units of blood to a scrape that he got from tipping over at a stoplight when he couldn’t unclip in time. Stig and most of Team Helicopter Crash tried to abandon by sneaking away under cover of darkness due to the beatings administered the day before and the grim realization that they would probably not get the 12,000,000 bonus points required to get them out of last place.
Iberian Airlines had finally found Ol’ Grizzles’s full carbon Ritchie Breakintopieces folding tricycle and shipped it from the Wal-Mart Children’s Toy Distribution Center to sunny Mallorca, which was being doused in another massive rainstorm. By now everyone on Team Trump knew that the key to victory lay in drinking all the coffee and eating all the eggs and letting the air out of the Norwegians’ tires before they got up. Bruce and Steve had found Stig’s I.V. drip bags and swapped out the fresh blood with coffee grounds, spit, and chicken skin.
We had a quick team meeting in which we planned to isolate Stiginator. Suddenly Shit in the Lane piped up. “Hey guys, Team Norway has a new recruit. They’re picking him up this morning.”
“What’s wrong with those motherfuckers? Don’t they know they can’t sub in riders?”
“This new guy is supposedly better than Stigtastic,” said Shit in the Lane.
“That’s not saying much,” said Dan.
“Stig who?” said Ol’ Grizzles.
The ride route was decided. We would ride to Palma and from there do the four hardest climbs on the island, the Col de Fuckthishurts, the Col de Endless Misery, the Col de Wedroppedstigagain, and the Col de Deadlegs for a total of 13,000 feet over 100 miles. In the rain.
First though we had to go to the local bike shop to get some rain gear. What had started as a quick rain cape purchase turned into a free-for-all the second that Brian and Shit in the Lane found the discount clothing bin; they looked like gypsies at a rag bazaar the way they pounced on that shit.
Soon enough the ride began and since we were cozily situated in a gorgeous corner of a true island paradise the Norwegians routed us along the the freeway feeder road into Palma, an ugly, diesel-choked hellhole that looked like it had been shot with a shit cannon. “To get more miles,” Munch explained, since getting dropped repeatedly the day before for 165km was apparently not enough.
On the first climb out of Palma, a 7km leg softener, Stigosaurus got ready to teach a climbing clinic but he lost the lesson plan again as Ol’ Grizzles attacked early and was not seen again. “That didn’t count,” the Norwegians complained, but since we were in charge of bonus points, unfortunately for them it did.
Once you leave Palma, Mallorca is beautiful beyond any words. It’s not simply the secluded roads where, over the course of an hour you’ll see 500 cyclists and two cars, it’s the knowledge that you are seen, respected, and treated like you belong. After a few hours on the roads here it sinks in; your presence is accepted and welcomed, and that’s when you realize what a burden of fear and low-level anxiety you’ve been carrying around. And as that dissolves the true wonder of cycling sets in, in ways big and small.
For example, every road is suitable for a rotating paceline, a blobbish peloton, a single commuter … it doesn’t matter, you belong and have the right of way. Or for example, when you are out-sprinting Stig on the first climb, walkers at the top if the pass clap–they get it. Or for example, when you ride Stig off your wheel after he tells you “You’re no fucking good,” the cars behind give you plenty of room to suck his wheel and pretend you’re gassed just before blowing by like a $2,500 hooker.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the magic of the place resides in its acceptance of bicycles. All along any route you choose can find cafes with bike racks and menu boards with “Cyclist Specials.” If I ever ran across a place like that in LA my poor heart wouldn’t stand the shock. That being said, the magic dissipated markedly at about hour five, far from home, high in the mountains, and with the prospects of another long climb less than appealing.
Ol’ Grizzles was already thinking about how he’d care for the scabs he’d gotten from dragging his dick up all the climbs. Shit in the Lane had packed it in along with Steve, Dan, and Bruce and when we reached the scenic town of Anthrax the rest of us were famished. Since nutrition is super important for cyclists, Stig took a swig from his bottle filled with water and raw oats while everyone else piled in and loaded up on bacon and egg burgers with fries and coffee.
It is generally a great idea after eating a huge lunch and sitting for half an hour to immediately attack a 10km climb, especially if you like the taste of vomit. Since Team Norway had lost every sprint and climb for the last two days, they had to throw everything they had into the climb out of Anthrax.
Munch immediately went off the back to block and I was left isolated with Posi-Tron and Stiginator, who had earlier in the day had said, “You talk too much.”
“I will use simpler words,” I’d responded, but he remained unmollified and attacked the shit out if me.
When I followed he began to jeer. “How you like it now, tough guy? Tired already enough?”
“You talk too much,” I said hanging on for dear life as he unleashed some more tremendous power which was really filled with power.
Since this unleashing failed to dislodge me, he began giving me orders. “No ride behind. Ride over dere,” he said, pointing to an unsheltered spot off to the side.
“OVER DERE!” he shouted again.
“You talk too much,” I said, hunkering down as more tremendous power was unleashed.
A long time later we got close to what looked like the top, and it appeared to me that his feet were moving in a geometrical shape generally referred to as a “square,” so I rode off and did a victory salute to the English hikers standing at the summit.
After he got to the top I gave him some encouragement. “With a lot of practice and a good coach and a cheeseburger you might be mediocre someday. You have something similar to talent, kind of.”
But some people can’t accept praise and he snarled, “You are no fucking good.”
I wholeheartedly agreed. “It’s true, yet I’m ahead of you. Weird, huh?”
Many miles later Chef Leiv, the revelation of the Tour, continued to smash and pound, as Ol’ Grizzles took another mountaintop win from Stiggles. What had started as a rout became total defeat for Team Norway. At the last climb, Posi-Tron tried a sneak mountaintop sprunt but lost that as well.
Six hours into the ride, Team America was exhausted, and Munch was finally coming into his element. At the fork in the road he announced, “Short way dere, long way dere.”
“How long is long?”
“Hour and half to climb, hour up climb, hour and half home.”
“Dude, it will be night.”
“Dude, I’m very tired.”
“Dude, I’m very weak.”
“Dude, my prostate just broke.”
The Norwegians looked at us contemptuously, and with obvious relief that we wouldn’t be humiliating them on another climb. While they soldiered on to ride more heroic miles as they gently touched each other’s tremendous power, we descended to a cake and pastry and pizza and beer and coffee shop and admitted that all in all we were really sorry that we had passed on the opportunity to ride with people who hated us.
Back at home Steve and Chef Leiv had shown the kind of international cooperation that never happens at the U.N. They made an astonishing meal of pasta with meatballs and gallons of wine, garnished with excuses about why Team Norway was unable to win anything attended by an American. Afterwards we sat around and looked each other’s phone porn. Team America won that competition, too, as most of the Norwegian porn was of goats.