Thursday, September 2, 2010

Antelope Fall Classic Stage 2: Biceps, butt crack, and death tattoos

Should a Wednesday evening be this much fun? 23 riders came to contest Stage 2 of the Classic on Wednesday as word is getting out that Watkinsville is the place to ride on "hump day." Here is a preride parking lot shot.

Antelope Central

There were several new herd members as well as old timers who missed stage 1.  Tim J,  ChuckN, and Chris H signed in and old friends Superdraft, Joey, Evan, and Adam found their way back to the herd. It was immediately apparent that Bruce "Triceps Guy" and Tim "Biceps Guy" shared an end of the gene pool or perhaps the same gym. Although we were sorely tempted, the members of Team Body Fat decided not to kick sand on either of those guys.  Here is Val chatting Tim up before the ride.

So on Elder Mill Hill if you would just grab my saddle and sling me ahead of Bethany and Kathleen...

There was also one guy who didn't sign in, a very sad thing. The gossip is that his name is Bill and he has some wicked tattoos. So if you see a cyclist, looks to be in his 40's, maybe answers to Bill, and has tattoos like this

Sign in sheet? I don't need no stinking sign in sheet!

Please remind him of the importance of signing in. The other big news was the re-appearance of Troy "The Beast" who in a move of great compassion gave his Litespeed the gift of gears (see this post for description of the suffering of Troy's bike).

Ahhh, gears, I am so happy!

And we were off (as well as beginning the ride). Now in the first 15 miles before the sufferfest begins, we all have time to relax, chat, and enjoy the view. In a tight paceline, that view will inevitably include the rear end of the person on the bike you are drafting. A rarely talked about part of cycling is that we spend quite a bit of time with other people's butts right in front of us just below head height. Here is what a typical antelope butt looks like:

Do these bib shorts make my butt look hairy?

Another rarely talked about  part of cycling is that shorts are expensive and most of us really spend a lot of time on the bike so the thin lycra material can get pretty worn. Before you know it, you could be in the running for a coveted "Sheer Elegance" point in the Antelope Fall Classic. Unlike childhood, where you got in trouble for "showing your butt" in the antelope pack you get rewarded! Now I'm not saying anyone was showing their butt last Wednesday, but a stealth photographer managed to capture this shot somewhere in the area of Watson Springs Rd.

Give this man a sheer elegance point!

Of course if someone wears see-through shorts which permit the person drafting them to view their death skull tattoo, that is an immediate reward of 5 points.

 There are also Helpful Antelope Points available to herd members who help their sheerly elegant friends:

 But I digress. The antelope herd sped along at a brisk 20-21mph clip. Traffic was light but several herd members refused to mind the don't cross the yellow line rule.
"Car up"

We made it safely to the first sprint zone and it was off to the races.A breakaway formed on first steep slope consisting of Ben, Mark, Beast, Jeff, and Bill "Death Tattoo". As many Antelope newbies do, death tat underestimated the length of the sprint  and cracked soon there after. Steve, JoeF, and Dave formed a chase group. There was no hope of actually chasing down the leaders on Elder Mill--- if you are not in the front group after the first thigh searing climb, you ain't gonna win. As the leaders stampeded to the line, MarkY took his first victory on Elder Mill. Way to go Mark! Troy confounded by too many gear choices was just edged off the podium.

1st    Mark Y      3 points
2nd   Ben G        2 points
3rd   Jeff Y         1 point

The antelope queen of the mountain point was neck and neck until Kathleen cracked just inches off the line.

Antelope Queen Point   Bethany

The pack reassembled and heart rates slowly came down to normal exhaustion as we readied ourselves for Old Bishop. The herd began slugglishly hoping  no one would kick up the pace.  Not wanting 20 people bunch sprinting together in the last 100 meters I invoked my authority as commissioner to chastise the people ahead to me go faster and thin the herd out. Now, I would have gone up front and done it myself but I was busy breathing and chastising.  The pace picked up and on the last 1.5k Tim took the herd by horns with a massive 28-29 mph pull into the wind. Antelopes were cracking left and right and as the finish line came in sight I bid adieu to the friendly wheel I had been desperately trying to follow and watched the strong men of the herd thunder by. After a fast and furious charge to the line it was:

1st    TonyG     3 points
2nd    Ben         2 points
3rd    JeffY       1 point

Winning the highly valued Jens Voigt Lead Out Point:                    TimJ     

A mere 3 seconds passed before Kathleen crossed the line leaving an exhausted Bethany in her wake.

Antelope Queen Sprint point                  Kathleen    

 Average speed? 20 mph. With stage 2 in the books BenG ties Jeff Y for the Antelope King competition.

GC Standings
1. Jeff Y                9 points
1. Ben G               9 points
3. TonyG              7 points
4. MarkY             5 points

For complete standings, please visit AthensGaBicycling.

Want more Antelope Action this weekend. Join us Saturday morning, 8am, Wtkville Courthouse.

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