Sunday, August 12, 2012

Funny Things Happen on the Road

What a weekend!

The db Performance Jay Lap races were awesome! Huge props to all the Speed Theory Club members who raced, volunteered, helped organize, came out to cheer and in general supported our chunk of the 1st ever Alberta Cycling Super Week.

Our club, and Trev in particular, were a huge part of this series of 8 races in 10 days coming together (and Tom there were more than a few complaints about who the sick MoFo was that finished 8 races in 10 days with that ghastly uphill finish, in the same breath the same people were saying how much they liked the course, it's hard to please cyclists).

Trev took a lot of heat over our having to change course for the Hill Climb, yet everyone who did it raved about the course. It was hard, offered a variety of challenges and if you really didn't feel like hurting yourself there were some nice views and damn there are some nice houses in that area!

The downtown Crit was great, as it always is. If you didn't get down in time to see the Kids Crit, particularly the 3-6 year olds, do yourself a favour and  make sure you do next year. It was mayhem! There were at least 150 kids all ringing their bike bells and thrilled to be riding downtown. The purity of their enthusiasm, the flat out joy of the simple pleasure of riding a bike is something we all can and should reconnect with. Add to that the chance to have their picture taken with Ben, our National Crit Champion, in his jersey and his "super human" quads, these kids were over the moon! For those of you who don't know my professional background it started with Event Management and I have the good fortune to produce events around the world. Rarely, if ever, have I felt the energy that was in the air at the end of the Kids Crit. We should all be very proud to be able to put on something like this, it was simply amazing!

So that brings us back to the subject line "Funny Things Happen on the Road". Most of you know Mark Michalski, he doesn't come out to all the races, he is super strong, a terrific family guy, a really good mountain biker, a strong running and a general good guy. His wife Marie might be more familiar to many of you, she comes out to lots of races and is a regular at spin classes. Bear with me while I put today's events into context

Two years ago it starts with "in incident" some of you may know that story, some may not. Mark & Marie showed up at Penticton for the 1st time. They arrived 4 or 5 days in, the rest of us were already getting pretty tired having done a bunch of the huge rides already. Oh have I ever mentioned it before COME TO PENTICTON, BOOK THE TIME OFF NOW, it's about the most fun you will ever have on a bike.

So were are finishing up a long ride, coming back from Osoyoos to Penticton, into a headwind, this is just transportation, getting home at the end of a long day and we have our biggest group with a wide range of ability levels. Mark (he of fresh legs) gets to the front and is setting pace that is shattering our group (in fairness he honestly believes he is just helping get the group home faster) that was not the outcome. So I fell compelled to ride up through the group and calmly and politely suggest we back off the pace so that some of the crew could stay in contact. That works fine until Mark gets to the front again, same deal, I ride up and this time I bit more emphatically make the same suggestion. The 3rd time is happens I have been told that what came out of my mouth makes "Gangster Rap" sound like Sesame Street (I swear I was calm and composed). This time Mark goes to the back and asks Trev for a refund on his jersey and wants my address so he can come kick my ass. To his undying credit Trev assures Mark I am a good guy, but when I bonk it gets kind of weird. 

I then spend the rest of year trying to demonstrate through my actions (at least when I am not bonking) that I am a decent guy. This year, in Penticton it comes full circle. I am on the front, on the same stretch of road and who else, but Mark rolls up and tears a strip out of me, while laughing his ass off and, finally we are good, I have a clear conscious.

That brings us to today... I have been shelled in the Cat 4 race (thanks to both Tom for picking the course and his brother Stephen for setting a merciless pace) and I am minding my own business getting a long base training ride in, when the Cat 5's are overtaking me. I move to the extreme right side of the road, as in the only thing right of me is gravel and the ditch, and sit up, so they can move by without interference, when to my astonishment 2 guys pass on my right! Bear in mind these guys have seen in up the road for about the last 45 minutes (they didn't come by very fast). Evidently no one in the group said "rider up" or signalled to move left (but I digress). As I am looking to my right in astonishment, I am forcibly struck from behind. 

In what I can only speculate might have been one last misguided attempt at final retribution Mark tried to insert his shifter in the same part of my anatomy that, that witch border lady felt the need to inspect (OK so me veering 2 metres to the left for no apparent reason may have in some small way have contributed to the situation) Let's put it this way if Mark has been 2 cms to the right, no amount of bleach would clean those handlebars! (As the old joke goes "it didn't kill him, but it damn near rectum")

The good news is we both stayed upright, we gave Andy in the commisaire car some great entertainment and btw I have strongly encouraged Marie to take care of her man at home. There's a lot I will put up with but an unwarranted attempt at sexual assault, there I draw the line.

Thanks for reading, I hope everyone had a great weekend, be proud, our club did a great job both in terms of results on the road and in terms of the races we put on!


Mark said...

You try to help the guy by pulling at the front and he gets mad. So, I try to help him from behind and he gets mad. There's just no winning with this guy!!!

Sorry Mike, I owe you a beer.

mgodfrey said...

Like I said Mark. Cyclists are hard to please... the course was too hard, the course was too easy, the pace was too fast, the pace was too slow, it never ends! We're good, but beer, anytime!

Slayer Dan said...

That is so funny to read. I can imagine all those scenarios and apply my own context to them with Ironman experiences on the bike. Like, "Hey it's really sunny out but what is splashing all over me, why am I getting wet, why is the guy in front of me leaning like that, what is he doing with his butt cheeks, why does it smell like pee? WTF!!!!!!"

Darcy G said...

As the person who was riding beside Mark when "the incident" in Penticton occurred, so I can attest that it's true. I was also Mike's roommate for the week, so goes who had to put up with a lot of venting that night...

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