Monday, June 6, 2011

Who Will be King?

The Antelope World Cup is blowing up. Once again more than 280 riders, give or take 255 converged on the courthouse last Wednesday leaving the Silos ride nearly empty.  Clearly Watkinsville  is the place to be. Riders from esoteric destinations  like Bostwick, Ga came to sharpen their antlers on Elder Mill Hill. Not even temps in the upper 90’s and 80mph wind gusts could deter the intrepid riders.

It really  was 97 at the start of the ride.  I know because My Hot Wife looked at me with that special look that says that I am either a man of great courage or a complete idiot and said, “you’re going to ride in that heat?” Yes, I was planning on riding in that heat, and, I was not the only brave and highly courageous rider to show.

Through the baking heat we cruised out to the southern reaches of Oconee.  We scoffed at the Weiner dogs on Watson Springs Mill who were too timid to brave the heat and just watched us from the window of their house with the AC blasting. Wimpy Weiner dogs!

After a crisp warm up of 17 miles I blew the whistle  to signal the sprint zone. This is my favorite exhalation of the week. In fact I enjoy blowing the whistle so much I have named these weekly exhalations. This week’s exhale was named Fletcher. The group stayed mellow as we approached the first climb when MarkY initiated the hostilities.  This triggered an immediate reaction from DanH and BenS and they were joined by newcomer Chris and old friend BenG who is looking fit and hale. Lil Cappy sat back with the main pack, though I could distinctly see a call out over his head through my virtual reality glasses that said, “how cute, the Antelopes are attacking up the hill. I think I will give them a few hundred yards then chase them down for a warm up before I do my 50 intervals tonight.” Sure enough, he gave them a leash and then went on the hunt.  But he didn’t count on the power of BenG who powered the group down the road.

Elder Mill podium: BenS, DanH, Chris

Incidentally the Antelope Athens analytical team has determined that Ben’s recent domination of the hill sprint is not due to sexual frustration; we tested Ben after the ride and sure enough, well, he’s pregnant. Yes Ben has an extra pair of little tiny legs helping him up the hill. Every watt counts.

Speaking of watts, Ben G who very nearly took the Antelope Series last year, has fully graduated to cheetahood. Although slumming with us this Wed he is a regular at the Silohs ride,  rides one of them hi zoot speshalized road bikes, and even has a power tap. Now I’ve noticed that a lot of really fast guys have those big fat hubs that are supposedly measuring watts to download to their coaches. I suspect, however, this may be a cheetah scam cause with miniaturization and nanotechnology and such  these days I bet they could have a little engine in those hubs and we’d never be the wiser. Think about it.

The bishop sprint unfolded with a  big group cresting the midway roller. Now everyone has heard of the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish. Well, few locals know that his father had an affair with a local waitress  during a summer vacation to the states. Yes the missile’s half-brother is a member of our herd, the Pendegrass Projectile, Jonesy.  With uncanny  timing, the projectile slunk in the shadows until the final 30 meters then flew by the pack at the line.

Bishop podium: Jonesy, Roberto ,  and TimJ

Going into Wednesday's final stage Dan Hall has a comfortable but not unassailable lead. Who will be crowned King of the Herd? Join us at Chops and Hops, 7:45 on Wednesday to see him crowned.

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