Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I got Ur Tour of Flanders right Here: Antelope World Cup Stage 1

With the pollen competing for oxygen with brush fires and the flowers competing for most ripe, luscious, and tasty insect attractor, the internal biological clock of your average 40-something year old cyclist, and a few young uns and grandpas, sends through the legs, lebonz, and ligaments....a buzz. At first we wonder," is it the good weed?" or  "Have I been sitting on the washing machine again?"  or "Is there a loose hub cartridge in my rear wheel?"

But of course it is the internal alarm crying out for competition, desperate to leave the long hours of indoor training and frigid rides in the unforgiving head winds of Winter. Its time to leave work, to leave family, to leave reality, and to gather in the parking lot of destiny....

Is this the parking lot of destiny?

This is the parking lot of destiny right?

Your are in the parking lot of destiny. Will you survive?

There were thousands of frolicking antelope crowding the parking lot of destiny last Wednesday.

Dang crowded in here.

Ominously there was a pack of cheetahlopes playing hookey from the silos

Silos? What silos? Do they have grain? I'm a vegetarian.

Yeh, vegetarian, me too.

In a positive development, four lady antelopes contested Stage 1, reviving the competition for queen.
Believe it bitches, Bethany be back!
Prior to hitting the road, the restless throng gathered for the presentation of the 10 commandments of the Antelope Herd Rides....

And a tube shall rest in every saddle bag!

then  charged off into the evening.

A frolicsome pack of more than 25 riders clicked in and formed into a double paceline for 28 miles of glory.  Frank deTank, one of the Cheetahlopes playing hookey helped me to establish a kind, sedate pace out Colham Ferry so the herd could catch up on all the happenings over the long winter.

17 miles of peaceful spinning later it was time to get serious. A focused pack turned down Elder Mill awaiting the whistle. At the sound of the red breasted poppin cardinal jay tweet, the stampede was on. Once again the final steep rise just before the end of the main hill separated the climbers from the rest, the fat from skinny, the sheep from the goats.
You  will climb with great velocity while you will pant and vomit. No, VO2Max intervals will not help.

I'm sure it was great fun up there with Dan's erect hair tuft, the Caribou's grinning mug, BobR studying for the bar and Frank, Matt, and Bill waiting for the move to pounce on. I wouldn't know. Tony and I were holding down the chase pack making sure someone kept the leaders in view. To hear the story, Bob engaged the electronic assist so Dan lassoed him with his special wonder woman golden rope of truth.  Charlie grabbed hold of the middle of the lasso  and Bob towed them to the line.
Elder Mill
BobR- 3 points
Caribou- 2 points
Dan's erect hair tuft- 1 point

The excitement wasn't over.  Kathleen's expert sabotage on Bethany's bike at her last tune up, worked perfectly and Bethany dropped her chain. Nina and Val fought an epic battle for the line.

I will be queen!!

In a photo finish Nina just took the line:
Nina --3 points
Val---2 points
Kathleen --1 point

We commenced the soft pedal waiting on Grandpa Hoser. I swear I heard a Canadian accent yell "OK I'm just aboot on"  before we went back to tempo. Oh well.

It wasn't long before the Bishop sprint loomed.  I was busily chatting away when some kind soul reminded me:

Hey dickhead, you going to blow the whistle?

So I blew the whistle. Like a rocket a 3 man break exploded from the pack. Boonen and Karzen were hanging on to Tank's wheel for dear life. The unexpected attack shook the peloton and turned Bishop Rd into a long hairy mess of panting cyclists desperate to chase them down.

In a heroic turn. MarkY pulled a Jens Voigt at the front of the pack, sacrificing all for the good of the herd and making it a competition.

Sweating for Martyrdom Award: MarkY- 2 points
At the line, it was
Bill Boonen Ricke--3 pionts
DanH-2 points
Tony--1 point

The woman's podium was a familiar refrain:
Nina 3 points
Val 2 points
Kathleen 1 point

And thus concluded a fun filled, safe day of what the Humble Crier calls "pedal rotation."  The comish had brought an extra store of points for any enterprising Antelope who remembered that bringing beer to the parking lot brings great blessings on one's karma and one's point total, but alas I just took all those extra points home with me in my points bag.
Just bring a six pack and we can go home with you!
Remember the series is 8 weeks and we drop your worst 2 days of point totals.  See you next week.

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