President Trump promised to Make America Great Again. Well, so far at our Telo Tuesday fake crit he sure failed. He not only failed to make America great again, he couldn’t even get the stars ‘n stripes on the fuggin’ podium.
Those honors went to Potatoes Julienne (FRA), Frexit (FRA), followed by Smasher (UK), who is possibly a UK/USA double agent as he rides under dual passports. The First American wasn’t great, and he certainly wasn’t great again. Instead he was leaky, creaky, aged, infirm, wobbling, plodding, doddering, muttering, and badly in need of a diaper change.
In other words, I was fourth again. Was that our president’s election campaign slogan? Make America Fourth Again?
I think not. Not even close.
Anyway, the build-up to the fake race was intense, starting with the morning NPR line-em-up-and-knock-em-down brawl that claimed the nutsack and ribs of Junkyard, and left thirty yards of skin on the asphalt, most of which belonged to P. Jones, a/k/a Crusher. Uncle Junkyard was unable to attend and hold up lap cards due to prescription-strength painkillers, however, the tension was extreme thanks to a high quality video production created afterwards by Heavy D.:
Last week I had been given two key pieces of advice from riders I’ve never beaten:
- Don’t attack at the same place every time on the course from the front, dummy. (Courtesy of Eric A.)
- Don’t tell people your legs are good when they ask, dummy. And at least put your money in a savings account where you get one percent instead of zero in checking, dummy (Courtesy of Derek B.)
The race started rather briskly, with a series of early accelerations softening up the already soft field for the decisive beatings administered sometime around Lap 5 that permanently shed large chunks of the aspiring hopefuls and sent them to bed without any BonkBreaker.
Then there were more accelerations. A dangerous move evolved with Eric and Derek (rhymes), Smasher and Frexit. However, the super dangerous move was made on Lap 2, when Potatoes Julienne attacked early and rode away.
Unwilling to tow everyone around all day, Frexit allowed the break to come back. I’d been crushed and fermented back in the second chase group and was only dragged back up to the action by the head-banging of Daniel Park. Daniel is a junior rider who is getting better every week, unfortunately. He rides aggressively and isn’t afraid to stick his nose in the wind.
Eventually Frexit and Smasher got tired of waiting for the group to chase down Potatoes Julienne, so they launched and I rolled with them. “Rolled” is a cool way of saying “I thought I was going to give birth to various internal organs.”
We had a most excellent trio and after my heart rate settled down to 210 it wasn’t that bad. Then I noticed that Smasher was skipping pulls. Then I noticed that Frexit was slowing down. “I wonder what that’s all about?”
You see, I had been really happy there with my two good friends, pedaling along, happily enjoying the sensation of being in the chase that was going to bring pack Potatoes, and generally enjoying the good friendship and camaraderie of a breakaway. So what if I was pulling a little bit longer and harder into the gnarly 1,000 mph headwind? Isn’t that what good friends do?
Yes, it is.
Until you remember that in bike racing there are no friends, only vicious slit-throats who despise your very existence and seek to castrate you quickly before moving on to the jugular. I swung off just as Smasher smashed, with Frexit in tow. “Hey, fellahs!” I shouted. “Wh-wh-wh-what about m-m-m-me?”
The answer was the howling wind.
The pack caught me after a bunch of lonely laps and a short-lived bridge ‘n batter with Jon D. Absorbed by the group I looked around at all the riders who were going to beat me in the sprunt.
“How are the legs?” Derek asked.
“Terrible,” I said.
“Good answer,” he said. “You’re learning.”
Then instead of rolling to the front and attacking from the front in the same place I always did, I rolled to the back and attacked just before Turn 3, where no one ever attacks. Daniel went with me, and then brought us up to SB Baby Seal, who was in No Seal’s Land. The gap was large and Baby Seal’s flippers were going full paddle. I mean pedal.
As we hit the straightaway, Stathis the Wily Greek gave us the one-to-go signal. I think that’s what it was.
Now it was time to help Daniel hone his race skills. “Daniel,” I cursed. “You gotta pull here or they’ll catch us.”
He charged by, giving it his all, without checking to see if “they” were anywhere in sight.
“Good job!” I said. “Harder!”
He strained like a horse in the traces and tore it up along the backside, dragging me and Baby Seal through Turn 1 and into the ferocious windward side of Turn 2. “Way to go!” I said as I attacked and dropped him, and soloed in for fourth.
Fourth place, by the way, isn’t all that great. So Donald needn’t bother with any more of his Making America Fourth. I’ll settle for third.
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