One of the cool things about fake bike racing on profamateur group rides is that you’ll be riding along minding your own business when some dude who you’ve kind of noticed before but never paid attention to is suddenly up at the front, driving it, in the mix. Then the ride goes on and said dude keeps turning the screws and suddenly the pre-ride favorites get real busy taking their excuses out of their jersey pockets, dusting them off, and doing show-and-tell about last week’s hard race, or how today was a rest day (at 450 watts for six minutes) and other fun stuff and nonesuch.
On the Donut yesterday I had the pleasure of watching a guy named Matthieu Broussard, who has always been pack fodder, take out a shiny new pair of steel-toed boots and stomp dicks. Unlike me and pretty much everyone else on the Donut Ride who cowers and hides on the way to the first climb up the Switchbacks, he was lining it out with the hitters who included Chris & Rex from Team Pacific Show Up and Kick Your Ass, and one or two others. Alex Barnes was there, Smasher, Kevin Phillips, beastly RJ Pearce, Bud Somethingorother, Dude in Allblackkit, Tasker, and some very deep ranks of B and C listers.
We were coasting down from the Domes after our second ascent, which had left the cremains of the peloton scattered to the four winds. “Dude,” I said to Matthieu, a Big Orange teammate who hasn’t yet learned our team’s trademark of chasing down people wearing the same jersey, “you are riding so well. It’s so impressive. Even with the French name.”
“Thanks!” he cheerily replied. “This so much fun!”
“Do you know Sam Boardman?” I asked.
“No, but I’ve seen him on Strava. He’s some pro dude, right?”
“He’s one of the top U-23 riders in the state.”
“That good, huh?”
“Better. A total assassin.”
“Man, I wish he’d come out to the Donut Ride sometime. Not that I could hang with him or anything, but it would be cool to see him come out and crush it.”
“Matt,” I said.
“You know that guy you’ve been riding with in our four-man break for the last twenty minutes?”
“That was him.”
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