Yesterday was only my second Telo of 2019. I had been placed under a temporary ban and gag order due to the fact that I had been spotted not wearing my helmet in bed, in the shower, in the car, and occasionally on my bicycle.
Plus, I was keeping a low profile because The Bike Palace has placed a bounty on Telo’s head, offering an amazing pair of brand-new, $500 Specialized shoes to the rider who completes the most NPR-Telo doubles this year. That ends up being at least a hundred miles every Tuesday, and from the moment that Baby Seal announced the bounty, hordes of riders had been showing up to make sure they clocked their attendance. In other words, however hard Telo was, it had become way harder.
My Telo reticence had also been heightened by my one and only participation a few weeks ago, where the shock to my system was so great that I fell sick the following day and wound up in bed for six straight days.
However, my fan club, led by none other than Heavy D., had been bombarding my inbox with encouraging emails like this one:
Yo, Wanky! I know we have gotten crossways in the past but you are an awesome dude, a great bike racer, and a super addition to every ride. Please let’s let bygones be bygones. We need you at Telo!
As if that weren’t enough to melt any heart, even one as hard as mine, I started getting anonymous bouquets of flowers and cold deliveries from the Cheesecake Factory. Each delivery had a note like this:
Yo, Wanky! You are the heart and soul of the South Bay. Without you, we are nothing. I know that I have trashed the shit out of you for being a helmetless wanker, a complete jerk, an asshole deluxe, and the worst human being on earth since Satan, but on reflection I was wrong and you are a super guy. Please come back to Telo! I will work for you to get you the VEEEEE!
With love like that, how could I refuse?
So Baby Seal and Foxy and I suited up and pedaled over to Telo for another fun session of happiness and love. Imagine my surprise when Heavy D. was waiting for me with ANOTHER bouquet and cheesecake! “Dude,” he said, “I’m your one-man wrecking crew. Sit tight!”
With that, Heavy D. lit the matchbox with a flamethrower, set the throttle at 4,000 gigawatts, and proceeded to shred the entire field. I hung on as best I could, gritting my teeth in pain, sure that we were approaching my physical limit of 20 mph. As Heavy D. swung over, the attacks began in earnest. Gagging on my liver I couldn’t respond, but not to worry! Heavy D. sprinted up to each and every break, clawing them back to the field one after another as I sat safely in the back, refusing to do a lick of work, licking my wounds, and trying to find the little switch that turns on my electric downtube motor.
Suddenly a huge move came up the side, the decisive split, and I wasn’t there! But Heavy D. was! “C’mon, Wanky!” he said, grabbing my shorts by the hip and flinging me up into the break. With this heroic effort he gapped himself out, but with this sacrifice he guaranteed that I, too weak to do it on my own, had made it up to the escapees.
After a series of huge accelerations, Peter the Hungarian flicked me through, but none of my drugs had kicked in yet so I waited a bit. This was the key point in the race! The pack saw us leave and organized a bitter chase! But!!!!
Heavy D. clogged the lane, disrupted the rotation, and threw so many monkey wrenches into the chase that they were unable to get organized and bring us back. I heard his voice echo off the sides of the buildings, “Go Wanky! I GOT YOUR BACK!”
Peter swung over and Evens Stievenart attacked. At just that moment all the drugs and electric motors kicked in and somehow I managed to grab his wheel. For forty minutes he towed me around like a tin can hitched to the bumper of a newlywed station wagon.
Heavy D. patrolled the back, making sure no one bridged until, sure that our break would stick, he pulled out of the race to give someone else a chance to win the field sprint. I hung onto Evens’s wheel, barely, but with the help of a small bungee cord it worked out.
As I crossed the line for a glorious almost-Telo victory, who should be standing there to cheer me loudest but Heavy D.? I got off my bike totally winded as he hugged me, slapped my back, covered me in kisses, gave me a $25 gift card to the Cheesecake Factory, and offered to carry me home on his back.
For the podium picture he spent fifteen minutes getting the photo angle away from my weak chin and bad tooth, and then immediately posted everything on twelve social media platforms along with endorsements of Donald Trump, #maketelogreatagain, #buildthewall, and #impeachcongress. I am still going through all the kudos, likes, attaboys, and attagirls resulting from his outpouring of praise at my accomplishment.
But truth be known: I owe it all to him!
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