I sat in the family room, the cool gray dawn creeping to light, and thought to myself – I think this is the last one. I can’t imagine doing any more races. I haven’t been training, or riding at all. My fitness level is terrible. I own nothing near a “race bike” anymore.
Free entries are a mixed blessing. You are stoked to get the nod, and feel obligated to accept. But if you were paying crisp green money for this shit, you’d probably just stay home.
I said goodbye to my wife as she lay in bed, as I have countless times before with a bike helmet in my hand. I thought, as I also have countless times before, long and hard about saying fuck it and climbing back beneath the warm welcoming blankets.
As Gnome and I drove out of town together, sipping coffee and bullshitting on our way to yet another race, one thing was different. We both now have children at home. A few years ago we went down to Prescott and made a full weekend out of it. Two nights in a hotel with Jackass and Big M as well. Did our best to drink the town dry following the event. This year we’ll be heading due north in short order to get back to our families.
We passed a truck pulling a big ass bass boat heading north on the interstate. I turned and said, we need go give up this bike shit and get one of those. We’d be halfway through a thirty pack of Coors Light by now and nowhere near the water.
As it should be, as it should be.
As sat around in my car after all my friends left for the 50. I have no idea how I’m going to finish this fucking thing. Last year I rode the 15 mile version, and I think I was in better shape then. Beer be damned, I’m a fat fuck this spring. At least I had fun getting here. And by here, I mean damn near 220 pounds.
I could be at home right now fucking with my sprinkler system and playing the suburban dad card to the hilt – marinating something for a late afternoon BBQ and stocking the fridge with cans of Tecate. Instead I’m left wondering just what in the hell is going on out on the sidewalk in front of me.
There is a rather odd looking fellow in a classic sleeveless t-shirt, blue jeans and basketball sneakers. I’m guessing this cat can’t even dribble a basketball. He’s got a tattoo in Sanskrit across his upper arm. I doubt he has any idea what it says.
He’s bringing it like Posh Spice. Without the whole “hot” part.
He is bothering every local looking woman who happens by. The seem all to eager to wrap up any conversation he tries to start with as few words as possible and get on with their mornings. Don’t mention eye contact, this clown ain’t seen that in years.
One woman barely broke her stride as she related news of her fathers poor health. That is not the type of information one generally hurries through – the old man ain’t doing well.
EverClever then engaged what appeared to be a homeless wreck or wizard. Or both.
“Looks like they got some kind of bike race going on.”
“Huh?” the HomelessWizard asked.
Never one to state, or repeat, the obvious, EverClever did anyway. “Looks like they got some kind of bike race going on.”
“No?” EverClever queried.
The HomelessWizard replied, “It’s a marathon.”
I’m getting my cycling shoes, sunglasses and helmet sorted out and this is the shit I have to listen to? I am so going to die today. God help me.
In case any of you are actually wondering – I started but did not finish the 25 mile event. I did ride for four hours, even with my grand shortcut back to town. The first two hours were fun, the third ok, the fourth not so much.
I did run into some of Flagstaff’s own Hobo crew loitering out on course, and they had a rather large bottle of Early Times. Which is, of course, the King Hell Chieftain of bottom shelf liquors. I’d sooner slam my dick in a drawer than drink that shit.
Since there were no drawers handy, I went with the Early Times. A good move I think.
It certainly helped my attitude for next 45 minutes or so. I sat on one hillside with my man Erik from Slippery Pig and dug the view. The area around Prescott is drop dead gorgeous. When the fitness sucks balls, at least you can soak up the scenery.by