Dear Friends and Family:
It has been a wonderful year that we can all look back on with great happiness and satisfaction; not just at a job well done but at all jobs done superlatively well.
Although 2016 began with a crushed nutsack and mandated time off the bike to allow it to grow back, things quickly became wonderful and great in pretty much every way. At the Santa Barbara Road Race I was leading the charge and positioned to win first place in the Somewhat Elderly But Not Yet Dead category, when I got a puncture. Still it was very satisfying to stand by the road in the mud holding up a wheel and looking very spiffy, along with that “But for this wheel I would have won” look, which I have patented.
Next came my favorite race of the year where I typically am unstoppable and have in the past dominated with numerous impressive moves that have almost resulted in winning or even finishing, such as the time I flatted on my way to victory in a two-man break with a couple of miles to go with Jon Flagg who although I have never beaten would surely have beaten that day but for the flat tire. This year Boulevard Road Race saw me unleash a tour of force and I was on the cusp of snatching victory were it not for deciding that on Lap 2 of the three-lap race that it made more sense for me to prepare for next year by helping my teammates when they came through the start-finish so I pulled out and sacrificed what everyone agreed were impeccable chances for victory that was almost sewn up.
I had another impressive victory facsimile at Vlees Huis Road Race, where I dominated the field up until the last little bit and decided to then ride by myself for a while, giving the peloton, which included my teammates Greg Leibert and Greg Seyranian, a chance for a victory because it would have been rude and lame to beat them. Although I technically finished behind everyone, in fact I finished ahead of everyone who quit and finished even farther ahead of those who didn’t even race, which was over seven billion people.
Few race results, however, were as satisfying as the UCLA Road Race. A couple of hard efforts in the first ten minutes signaled to the field that I was the rider to beat, so they all worked against me to make sure that I was isolated fifteen minutes into the race and forced to ride by myself. I won the time trial that day and it did not bother me at all that other riders were ahead of me, drafting and riding tactically while I showed the true grit of riding solo some few minutes in the rear along with a truly impressive pair of Cat 5 riders who had been dropped from their group and I taught them several important riding skills and techniques. Which they appreciated.
But enough about me, if such a thing is possible. Many great things were achieved by others in our humble cycling community as well.
Prez purchased one of the new Samsung invisibility cloaks and vanished. Somewhere someone is buying $423,000 worth of used cycling equipment and bright green bicycle clothing on eBay. Prez has been missed, most especially on the Donut Ride and Wheatgrass Ride where he climbs in his 54 x 11 to build amazing off-season power and provide job security to his knee specialist.
Homegrown pro Krista D-H won her first national title thanks to the coaching advice and instruction I provided when she first began cycling. I remember it like it was yesterday. She had not asked me for any advice, so I gave her some. “Don’t listen to anyone who you’re not paying to tell you what to do. Especially me.” The rest is history.
Local hero and jockstrap model Dopefinn Dopesquatch was tested more times than Lance Armstrong and rode his way cleanly to 10,000 of the toughest Strava KOMs in Los Angeles despite a federal criminal conviction for the illegal sale and distribution of bad things. Then retired professional racer Phil Gaimon moved to town, and Dopesquatch’s KOM count now stands at 2, one for the .002-mile stretch of pavement behind the security gate, and one for the hallway between his kitchen and bathroom. But we are rooting for you, Dopefinn! You can take back the Mandy KOM if you’ll just drink more fruit juice.
Adventure capitalist and very tiny bald Internet troll Robert Buttchaps is rumored to have embarked on a “Save the Cyclists” program designed to support the installation of Bikes May Use Full Lane signage in Palos Verdes Estates, in conjunction with a “Lunada Bay Boys Love-In” featuring a tummy-rubbing of various middle-aged men still living on mom’s couch. If this report is true, we are hopeful that “Shrimpy McTroll” will show up at the city council meetings to lend his pint-sized authority and prestige to this worthy cause, or at least come dressed in his best sandwich board!
Hope all of you cyclists out there in cycle land have a great holiday season and much cycling success in 2017, too, but not so much success that you keep beating me in races or on the Donut Ride. This means you, Derek.
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