I had been absent from the NPR for a long time. Thursdays was the Flog Ride, and Tuesdays was Telo. Plus, the handful of times I’d shown up to sample the NPR it had been nothing but a sad collection of preeners, the glorious days of “Go to the front!” having shamefully been replaced by “Cower and sprunt!”
David Miller, where art thou?
Now that I’d enjoyed my five-day rest from cycling and could return fully energized, ready to attack the off-season faux racing and fitness destruction period that runs from September to the New Year, and now that Telo had been euthanized, and now that the Flog Ride had been castrated and left to wander harmlessly about, rechristened the Friendly Fucking Flog until December, it was time to return and see if the NPR had changed for the better.
Last Tuesday confirmed the rumors. A happy, friendly, well-adjusted herd of baby seals gladly pedaled around the Parkway for four laps, enjoying friendly conversation, slurping new flavors of energy drink from their sippy cups, and then roaring to the imaginary finish line at the beginning of the third traffic island before the stop light that precedes the final stop light at Pershing.
I reflected on how miserable this once-proud ride had become. Gone were the days of bloodthirsty, antisocial misfits hurling themselves into the bleating throng of soft seal pups, bludgeoning the helpless and shattering the field within minutes of the Pershing launch. Gone were the days of grim, miserable, self-loathing outcasts whose sole goal at the NPR was to leave the pups in bloody tatters.
All that remained were happy people out enjoying healthy exercise before going to work. I’ve never been so sad. What had happened to the feared NPR, now reduced to a hand-holding love-in among friends who respected one another? What was next? Condoms and commitment?
Fortunately, on Monday I had received a brand new aero Wend Waxworks kit in the mail, crafted by StageOne Sports, tailored to my size and sporting the patented StageOne Pooch Hider, a slim, unobtrusive elastic band along the bottom of the jersey that pushes your tummy pooch back up towards your rib cage so that it is either hidden or that it sort of looks like muscle meat, a-la tofurkey.
My chain had a fresh application of Wend chain wax, the miracle, no-mess lube that doubles as a chick magnet, underarm deodorant, surfboard wax, bikini-line purifier, and aromatic candle that you can use for romantic evenings with that special Mr./Ms. Dudechick. [Pro Tip: To get the most out of your stick, put the lid back on after each use and return the container to a zip-lock baggie. This keeps the wax moist and soft, and ensures that your chain will continue to glide noiselessly along the cogs of destruction.]
My excitement level was pretty much like this awesome video clip. And with my chain purring, my tummy tucked, and my hi-tech kit sporting the following awesome features, I was ready to hit the NPR full club ahead since I knew I was wearing:
- Lighweight Italian fabric aero front and arm panels
- 7cm lycra compression sleeve band with comfort silicone
- Dragonfly mesh back panel offers breathability and SPF 50 protection
- EB waist band for comfort and fit
- 3 vertical drop rear cargo pockets
- Elasticized waist and rear silicone gripper
- YKK Camlock full length front zipper with StageOne Zipper Garage
- Body sculpted race cut
- Technical anatomic fit bib short for superior comfort
- 240g performance Power Lycra outer leg panels
- Thunderbike Coldblack outer leg panels reflect UV rays and keep the rider up to 30% cooler than standard lycra
- CyTech Elastic Interface 7hr Endurance 2.5 Super Air chamois
- Fully sublimated mesh stretch back panel for ventilation and breathability
- SOne Pro flat bib straps for maximum comfort
- 7cm lycra compression leg band with comfort silicone
Ray Colquhoun and I set a casual 28 mph pace out Vista del Mar, and by the time we hit Pershing there were baby seal pelts everywhere. Ray jammed it up Pershing then swung over and let Uncle Eric Anderson drive for a while, and the stone cold bleating pups waiting atop Pershing because they were too weak to join up on VdM were forced to accelerate from zero to thirty in a few seconds.
Many didn’t make it, and their NPR ended the way that all NPRs used to end: In disappointment and failure. Others were unlucky enough to latch on, and Eric’s nasty effort at the front was replaced by a chainsaw-leafblower-meathook multi-tool wielded by Evens Stievenart. More baby seal pups were ground into a reddish paste and left to drain down through the curbside sewer gratings.
By the eastbound turnaround on Lap One half of the baby seals had been relieved of the onerous weight of their skins, and the detritus up and down the Parkway was fearsome to see. Once-proud sit-and-sprunters had been mercilessly gaffed in the neck, only to catch their breath and play the Hop In Wanker Game as they cut across the Parkway and attempted to latch back on before they choked on their own blood. Each Hop In Wanker was given a spanking, sent to his room without any supper, and forced to write 200 times in his notebook “I will throw away my power meter and learn to suffer like the worthless seal pup I am.”
EA Sports, Inc., Jean Girard, and Dawg kept the knives slicing, and each time we hit a turnaround it was a full-on acceleration as another handful of sad sack seal pups was dropped headfirst into the stump grinder. The screaming complaints at each stop light were lovely and musical: “It’s the off season!” “You fuckers are ruining the ride!” “This isn’t a race!” “Fuck you, Davidson, you dick!” and many more etceteras expressed the sadness of once-happy baby seals who had been forced to pedal their bicycles at unhappy speeds in order to avoid the swinging scythes.
By Lap Four the small surviving group of hunters was too worn out to sprint, while Ray and Attila the Hun made a last ditch bid for glory. The Hun rolled across the line for an amazing imaginary victory.
Afterwards we sat around at CotKU, stripped skins from the carcasses of the pups and cracked their bones to suck out the raw marrow,which was still warm. I think pretty much everyone spent the workday drooling at the computer or twitching helplessly as mid-day cramps set in.
For the sad-faced seal pups who survived the slaughter, we regaled them with tales of slaughter from the days of yore and promised that from now until January each Tuesday morning would involve gaffing, knifing, skinning, and throat-slitting of the very worst kind. Why? Because NPR.
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