I still remember when the tall skinny guy came up to me. It was several years ago at Smasher’s old shop, before it had been inherited by Boozy P.
Telo was about to begin and he had a problem of some kind or another, or maybe he only needed air. “What’s your name?” I asked.
“Fred,” he said.
“Fred? You kidding me?”
“What the hell kind of name is that for a cyclist?”
“It’s my name, dude.”
“You’re gonna suffer for that, I hate to tell you.”
When freds collide
This morning I was riding to coffee and a bike whipped up alongside. “Hey, Seth.”
It was Fred. “Hey, Fred,” I said. “What’s new?”
“I was traveling in Greece and Croatia but now I’m home.”
“That’s pretty cool. Hey, man,” I said.
“You remember when we first met out at Telo?”
“And I told you you were gonna suffer from that name?”
He laughed. “Mansolino had already warned me. ‘That is the worst possible name ever for an aspiring cyclist.'”
“Yep. I was like, ‘What’s wrong with Fred?’ and he basically said, you know, Fred equals dork, period, end of discussion.”
“I was like ‘Whatever.’ But I made up my mind that I didn’t care. Whatever freds did, I was going to do the opposite. They could be freds, but I was gonna be Fred.”
I thought about that. Fred was light years better than I’ve ever been. He is super smooth, super strong, super friendly, always looking like he just stepped out of a VeloNews centerfold. And when he shows up on the Flog he leaves us in tatters.
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