I still remember three-ish years ago when Kristie said, “I want to win NPR.”
“Never gonna happen.”
“Look around. See all these wankers? 98% of them have never won and never will.”
“If it ends in a bunch sprint you have to be able to bunch sprint. Only a few riders can. If it ends in a break you have to be strong enough to make the break, ride the break, then attack the break or outsprint the break. Only a few can. If you go solo you have to be strong enough to stay out there and run all the red lights for four laps. Only a few can.”
“How do you know I can’t?”
“You’re a woman. Women have been riding the NPR since it began and none has ever won it. Suze Sonye never won it, for dog’s sake. Tink, Lolo, Emmy Sue, Katie D., Kate V., the list goes on and on. It’s woman-proof.”
“I’m gonna win it one day.”
“In your dreams,” I said.
The Rule of Brauch
Derek the Destroyer once told me the secret of bike racing. “Your race is decided by who shows up.”
On Wednesday night Kristie sent me a text. “NPR tomorrow? 100% chance of rain and 40 mph wind gusts.”
“In,” I said.
We rode down there in the nastiest gale imaginable and by the time we got to the pier the rain had slackened but the wind was insane. We were a crowd of two.
The rain resumed. We hammered out Vista del Mar, the rain beating so hard it drilled into my face like needles. Atop the Pershing Bump there was no one. “Gonna be your day,” I said.
Four laps later Kristie cruised to the win. We were frozen to the core as we pedaled back to CotKU. “But did I really win?” she said. “Does it count?”
“Did you leave the MB Pier on a Tuesday or Thursday at 6:40 AM, pointy-sharp?”
“Did you complete the entire NPR course?”
“Were you the first rider across the #imaginary #fake finish line?”
“Then you won the NPR.”
“But didn’t you let me win?”
“Bike racing has a hallowed tradition of breakaway riders cutting deals. Sometimes it’s for a past favor. Sometimes it’s for a future favor. Sometimes it’s for cash. But that actually makes it more legit because while you’re cutting deals for the win, the Pillowbabies are back there slitting throats for third, or hitting snooze for the fifth time.”
“So what do I owe you?”
“Coffee,” I said.
Of course the hardest thing about a chick winning the NPR is all the guys who HAVE NEVER WON IT AND NEVER WILL. It is quite painful for them. There they were, lying in bed. The alarm went off but they hit snooze after listening to the rainfall. “Ain’t nobody stupid enough to do the ride today,” they thought.
Unfortunately, Gary Cziko, who lives atop the Pershing Bump and trains his video camera on the NPR every Tuesday and Thursday, recorded the morning’s heroics and posted the video on Facebag. “Who’s stupid enough to do NPR this morning?” he asked rhetorically, before answering “Seth and some guy.”
So far so good until it was pointed out that the other guy was Kristie Fox. The Pillowbabies moaned. Facebook creaked. The excuse factory went into overdrive as each Pillowbaby angrily thought about how HE couldashouldwoulda #won the most prestigious #fakerace in California.
Below are the top Pillowbaby excuses for getting owned by a chick:
- There wuz only two riders! [Please refer to Rule of Brauch, above.]
- I woulda beat that chick if I’da been there! [You weren’t.]
- They wuz goin’ eezy! [They were going full gas, per eyewitness and video footage of Dr. Cziko.]
- That’s bullshit! [Please refer to Rule of Brauch, above.]
- Aw, man! [Please refer to Rule of Brauch, above.]
- I’m gonna kill it next week! [Along with 80 others, which means you’ll get 35th. Again.]
- Next time it rains I’m gonna show up and beat two other people! [We’ll be waiting.]
- This sucks! [You snooze, you lose.]
- I am gonna totally kill the Gram later today! [Okay.]
- Check out these new socks and kit I just bought! [Nice.]
- It’s the off season! [Which is now 12 months in SoCal.]
- Aw, man! [We heard you the first time.]
When it rains, it pours. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!