Thursday, October 14, 2010


Dateline Watkinsville:
Jeff Y. aka "Jeffy" dominated the final stage of the Antelope Fall Classic. This is only the latest installment in the story of Jeffy, one that I know most of us have been following in the Sunday funnies for decades:

Even at a young age Jeffy was known for really getting around, a wanderlust that would later be translated into cycling

 Yes Jeffy’s OCD would lead him to strange behaviors such as interval training with a heart rate monitor and soon it is alleged that he will be training with a power meter. But none of these things prepared the Antelope herd on Wednesday for Jeffy’s completely new take on sheer elegance.

Do these shorts make the back of my thighs look fast?

Approximately 15 riders got to appreciate the back of Jeffy’s thighs during Wednesday’s  final stage of the 2010 edition of the Antelope Fall Classic. Coming into the final stage BenG and Jeffy were knotted up in 24 to 24 point tie after BenG failed to sign in at last week’s race. Ben was claiming illness.

Dude, seriously I'm just too sick to ride today, Jeffy can have the points

Would it have mattered anyway? On Elder Mill BenG, Jeffy, BenS, and the spring Antelope King, Spinmaster Shiver began gapping the field at the sharp incline on the first climb. Crying for mercy, I was once again almost able to catch the last wheel of the breakaway  group. Then,  10 feet from the top of the hill, I was watching the gap grow and as the breakaway took off without me.

Missed it by that much!
BenG   (let’s call him Benjie, like the fluffy dog from the movies) was marking Jeffy’s back wheel like a lion in new territory or my angry cat on a sweaty jersey left on the floor by the litter box. As they hit the first roller, Benjie launched a blistering attack and when Jeffy countered, Benjie dropped his chain, yelling "wait, wait, your supposed to wait for the yellow jersey!" But Jeffie was gone, following the attacking wheels of BenS and Spin.

The cycling world was immediately abuzz as riders stopped to post to twitter. Should Jeffy have waited? Will the Hide Jersey be tainted by a breach of etiquette? Will it matter if Jeffy’s shorts are found by the UCI to be Lewd and Performance Disturbing Apparel  (LAPDA) resulting in disqualification and a 2 year ban from attending pole dancing class?

As the breakaway rounded the bend to the uphill finish, Jeffy stamped his authority on the peloton with a mighty hoof, taking the line with ease.  With double points he was now 6 points ahead of Benjie.

Damn chain

Back in the pack with the normal humans, Bethany who had been secretly training in the gaps knew she was too far down in the queen competition, but she did have one more chance to assert her dominance over the Antelope Commissioner.   While I was desperately and despondently watching the gap between me and the breakaway grow larger with every wheeze, Bethany came spinning by.

Is that you wheezing Steve? Do you need an inhaler?
Feeling every testicle in my body (unlike other males I have 7) shrivel with the sight, I summoned my last remaining fast twitch muscle fiber to get out of the saddle and grab her wheel.   With 50 yards of flat I was able catch my breath and when there was short downhill I had my chance to use my one awesomely superior trait (I am at least 70 pounds heavier than Bethany) to pass her and establish my own gap. Of course I played it cool.

 Oh hi Bethany, I didn’t know that was you ahead of me, nice ride huh?

Once again I locked up 7th place on the elder Mill sprint. Bethany took the queen of the mountain double sprint points (2).After regrouping on Saxon, the herd picked up speed and sped down Astondale into a pink sunset. The chill in the air, speeding along to beat the sunset, every antelope had that special feeling only cyclists can understand.

(to the tune of Lucy in the Sky) Picture yourself, on a bike on some tarmac…
The GC contenders stayed tight at the front turning on to Bishop and the pace accelerated for the final sprint of the season. I’m sure it was very exciting up at the front but after about .5k at 28mph I had several testicles shrink again and was unable to view the finish. After locking up 7th place once again I was informed that Jeffy  took his 2nd sprint of the day, 6 more points and the coveted hide jersey of the Antelope competition.

After an early attack by Kathleen which  took too much out of her, Karen claimed the woman’s sprint points but Kathleen, coming into today’s stage well ahead in the Queen competition  was ready for her coronation.

After a quick stop in the parking lot we “herded” over to Chops and Hops, a restaurant so cool we’re still trying to figure out how it could actually be in Watkinsville. Over beer and burgers we saw the passing of the crowns as Old royalty passed the torch on to new royalty. Here is the old antelope king, Spinmaster, anointing Jeffy who had changed out of his special shorts lest he get molested by one of the waitresses:

I dub thee King of the Herd!

Long live the King!
This tear inducing ceremony was soon followed by the Queenly coronation of Kathleen by Bethany.

Notable riders included Benjie in second place, Marky in third, and TonyG in fourth. Reverend Lenny contested every stage as kid Valoree and Kathleen. A host of plucky antelopes were honored with “Distinguished Herd Member” medals (cannot be sold on ebay) for their participation.

I know we are all filled with both a sense of afterglow and just a bit sadness now that this journey has ended. But this is really just a beginning.  Over 50 riders, average age in the mid 40's participated in the Classic, many of whom had never averaged 20mph on a ride. Week after week almost everyone came in together in rides that always averaged at least 19.5 and hit as high 20.3. This just proves that wherever an antelope heart beats, there will be the clank of poorly adjusted derailleurs, the hum of hubs spinning down country roads, and the determined wheeze of a rider who is going to get up that grade faster than last week.  This month Antelopes will continue to gather on Wednesdays, they will ride the Sowhatchet Century with the Band of Bostwick Bad Boys (Oct 23), guzzle Terrapin Rye after hammering the Jittery Joe’s Fall Classic, and most importantly continue training for this winter's Survivor: Antelope. Throughout the winter I will report survival rates as Distinguished Herd Members  suck wheel with Athens cycling elite on the Sat WBL rides.

In the meantime check the Antelope Athens Blog for at least once per week posts on the exploits of the Antelopes on roads near you.


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