Thursday, September 15, 2011


How much drama is too much drama?

Too much drama? There is no such thing.

If you like peaceful evenings, spinning along with casual chatter about the horrors of strip malls and the lack of recycled toilet paper, Wednesday night’s Antelope Fall Classic may not be for you. Frankly, it was all going quite peacefully before the zombies decided that cyclists have really tasty brains.

Where do we sign in?

Now the Antelope Herd prides itself on embracing diversity. We would not dream of colonizing the cycling needs of marginal supernatural beings. The Antelope Fall Classic was designed, after all, to set all spirits free, monstrous or otherwise. Unfortunately, our generosity, openness and naiveté was taken advantage of when, on the final sprint, this fellow who signed in as Zebediah Oscar-Michale Bee decided to wreak havoc on anyone in the peloton named Dan who was under 6 feet tall.

I will have your line or your brains.

There are some boundaries that just can’t be crossed and so from here on out Mr. Z.O.-M. Bee is no longer welcome to ride with the herd. Crashes always hurt and shock and shake---it looked like the Dans, while shaken and stirred, would recover. Hopefully they will take heart that justice has been served through the exile of Mr. Bee.

Purple Antelope points

Dan K--1

Dan M--1

The evening began with great hope and excitement. New faces arrived as word continues to spread about the antelope spectacle. More cheetah-like riders are appearing such as new herd member Chad,

"A racer? Me? I'm really slow, I'm just here for the training. My aunt in Austin stole these Oakley sunglasses from Lance Armstrong’s man purse and I don’t know how my legs lost their hair"
It is always gratifying to see the stalwarts come sign in with that look of determination that says,” I spit at pain and laugh when its spits back.”

Hey is that rain or did you just spit at me?

Pain? Sign me up!

Hmmm, what's the fine print here...

Where do I sign? You know Antelope chicks dig bicep tattoos

As the bell tower in Oconee Square rang 6 the herd assembled, ready to rock. But first there was big news. I had spent many hours communing with the great god of cycling Mercxendish last week, imploring them to reward our gifts of pain with the bounty of schwag. Apparently Mercxendish was pleased with the herd because late Monday night I heard a commotion-- first on my roof then downstairs. I immediately asked my wife to wake up and investigate it as there could be danger and I’m not good with danger. She wasn’t buying this and refused to get out of bed. So I grabbed my stoutest frame pump and crept downstairs. Just as I got to the last step a smallish man in black and white kit leapt from the window, mounted what looked like a Project One Trek Madone with deep dish carbon wheels, and sped away. The offering of cliff bars and power gels I had left on the coffee table was gone and in its place was a bag…full of Hub Bikes schwag! I ran to the window and could just make out by the street light a kit that looked like this. 

Ho ho ho , Uncle Schwag strikes again!

And just like that the Antelope Fall Classic had been endowed with great prizes to give each week to the worthy, the valiant, and the seriously mediocre.

For week three we would recognize the exploits of an old goat, hammering elder mill despite the arthritis, presbyopia, erectile dysfunction, and memories of his latest physical. It’s no picnic being 46, but if you were born in 65 or earlier, 3 points and Hub Schwag could be yours for a mighty mounting of Elder Mill.

Energized by the sickly sweet perfume of brains and schwag a 31 person herd thundered down Old Bishop to a chorus of hearty cheers from local fellows in pick-up trucks. They were so excited that they gunned their engines so we could ride through a glorious fog of black diesel smoke, much like when the UGA football team takes the field.  It was a crisp pace and kept everyone’s attention. I am afraid, however, that I do have to have report a sad breach of ride etiquette. Sometimes when Zombies, cheetahs, and antelopes get together the heady scent of speed whips some of the shaven legged riders into a frenzy. They try to hold it back, to be patient, to enjoy the ride, the process, the intimacy of the pace line, but it becomes too much and you get, I’m sorry to say...


This is not something many riders like to talk about, but we need to be frank and confront these issues as they arise, lest they create an ingrained pattern that affects the pleasures of the herd. Yes, a group of about 6 broke away from the herd well before the whistle sounded on Elder Mill. To their credit they chilled out before the sprint and an exhausted peloton caught back on just after turning onto the intermediate sprint zonel. I will not name names, but I have sent each rider a set of meditational exercises along with a month’s supply of the drug Cylcagra to help them regulate and achieve lasting and well timed attackulations.

It was an elder mill sprint for the ages. I hit the hill hard and noticed (not so) Big Steve B keeping pace up the first sharp part of the climb.  SteveB, who is unlikely to be accused of anorexia had  a heart attack last spring. Over the summer, he has  transformed himself into a lean mean cycling machine. Awesome climb !

True Grit point for StevieB

Up front there was a mix of cheetahs and Antelopes duking it out and at the line BobR took the win followed by Bill “Boonen” and John_K-G.

John K-G-1

Although Bill qualified for Old Goat status, confusion over his sign-in status and potential cheetah-like exploits in the WBL and SFS and the fact that JKG hadn’t won anything in a long time prompted the judges to give JKG the Old Goat Prize. Here is JKG with his schwag.
I'd like to thank the academy, Uncle Schwag, and Mercxendish for my mighty speed

Val and Molly squared off in the battle for queenhood and attacks raged back and forth over the long rolling uphill sprint. Finally, Val frictioned into high gear and cracked Molly for good.

You got me this time Ironwoman, but just wait till next week!

The Bishop sprint was a bit of a mess what with zombies wrecking the back of the peloton. A small group ahead of the peloton and well past the crash zone sped on trusting to the presence of 6 licensed physicians to take care of any injuries in the back. Remember the old king? Not the reigning King, DanH,  but the OLD KING
There's only one king and I'm not really dead. Its one for the money.....

No not that king. THIS KING

Yes JeffY, aka Jeffey, was back on the podium, representing the Boulder Springs Cru. In second place came the old goat himself JKG earning 2 more points.

.It was a shaken herd that finally rolled into the parking lot and stowed their steeds. Many Antelope veterans offered their ideas on safety measures, the place of cycling in existential philosophy, and the meaning of a crash. I have submitted these ideas to Mercxendish and with their guidance will implement new safety measures next Wednesday.  The God of Cycling wants pain in the form of searing thigh sensations from lactic acid build up and the occasional, well timed vomit after a winning sprint. Mercxendish actually grows cross when bodies meet tarmac. So we must increase our attentiveness, vision, and collaboration in tight moments, expecting riders to come off the front, riders in the back to want to get to the front, and moments of exhaustion. . Lactic acid offerings in the early parts of sprint zones, which may be modified, are key as a thin herd is a safe sprint.

Keep thundering and I'll see you next Wednesday.

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