|My Weekend Part 2 (Warning: contains profanity....etc....)||Ahimsa|
Dec 10, 2002 8:51 PM
|Continued from Part 1 posted below for those who missed it.
It was Mario who wanted to ride to the club.
At first I thought he meant the limo, you know, ride in the limo. Ride. It's not like we were driving. I saw Cippo talking to the driver through the rolled down window. The trunk popped open and Cippo went to the back of the limousine.
He pulled out a bike.
I could recognize it easily even under the orange glow of the sodium vapor street lights. That frame was so distinctive. The orange and yellow on white, the carbon fork, and the lack of any derailluers or brakes were as much of a signal as Ernesto's signature. A brand new Colnago Dream Pista. I approached the limo to get a closer look while a smiling Mario put the front wheel on. Full Record Pista with the exception of the hubs, those were Phil's. I wanted to get a closer look at some of the other components, but Mario had already taken off his coat, changed shoes, and clipped in and was now riding into the gloom beyond the limo. He returned after a few minutes and managed an abrupt skid stop right in front of me. Dentista shook his head and got into the limo, slamming the door behind him. Mario ran his fingers through his hair and let out a long breath that left a lingering cloud of steam in the chilly night air.
"You going to get ready then or what?" his voice was now serious but he was still grinning.
He reached over and slammed the trunk lid down.
This was going to be a very fast ride.
I turned and headed back to the house, tossing my coat across the hall table as I approached the garage. I grabbed my messenger bag and winter riding gloves, tugged at my belt and stepped out of my boots. I paused near the back door just long enough to drop my slacks and step out of them. I opened the Dee Dog and pulled out what was supposed to be tomorrows riding gear. I pulled on the black tights and swapped my black socks for a pair of white woolen ones. I was already wearing a suitable long sleeve grey wool shirt that could pass as a jersey sans pockets, and often did. I quickly folded the slacks around the socks and with my belt, dropped them into the bag for when we reached the club. I slipped into the plain black athletic shoes by the door. Shouldering the Timbuk, I continued toward the garage taking mental note of the fact that this cocaine addled quick change had taken only seconds. I needed to relax.
I flipped on the lights. I suppose I could lie and say that I had a bike as cashy as Marios new toy, but I have always been at least somewhat practical when it came to my bikes, given that most of my riding occurs in heavy city traffic. I knew that only one of my bikes would do for this sort of lunacy and headed straight for it. A sleek black Cannondale 'crosser with an Ultegra drive train. With its covered decals and somewhat less than flashy spec, it was all I wished to risk locking up downtown, but also all I ever needed to do battle with cabbies and ice storms. The frame was stiff and accelerated hard. The touring tires soaked up curbs and potholes whenever they couldn't be avoided. The 36 spoke Salsa rims were as tough as steel and true as a snipers aim. A Campy Record carbon seat post was a personal indulgence along with the Koobi seat. Thomson here, King there, a real hodge podge of parts chosen for durability and performance under extreme conditions. I imagined that this outing was going to qualify as extreme.
I pulled her down off of the wall rack. The other bikes hung in the air like circling vultures awaiting the smell of meat. The single speeds begged to have this dance, but I turned my eyes away from them. I knew that I needed the Cannondale. It seemed....appropriate.
I donned my silver helmet and rolled through as the overhead door rumbled up. I clicked the remote through the fabric of the bag (
Dec 10, 2002 8:56 PM
|I donned my silver helmet and rolled through as the overhead door rumbled up. I clicked the remote through the fabric of the bag (I feel for it and find it easily after much practice) and down came the door behind me.
Out on the street Mario was straddling his bike. The street light framed his lanky silhouette, a sort of halo glowed about his hair and his breath like smoke rose in swirls above him. I approached and gently squeezed the front brake, dropping into a parralell position beside him, our tires lined up neatly.
"Nice bike." Cippo was sarcastic.
"F*ck you." I told him and he laughed out loud.
Mario put on a pair of clear lens glasses after wiping them on his jersey. He had changed clothes. I hoped that he used the limo and didn't just drop his pants in the street. Of course I knew better. The man knew no shame.
"You want to put your purse in the car?" he motioned to my messenger bag and grinning.
"Nah, I prefer to ride with it. I've got my gun in there. You try anything funny and I'll blow your f*cking head off."
We both laughed now, but the air between us was growing heavy. Mario is very serious when he is on a bike, even with friends.
"We'll head to the usual spot." I said. "Try to keep up, eh?"
"Yeah, sure." Mario cracked his neck audibly and cocked his head leveling his gaze with mine.
"The limo will follow us. It's a straight shot to the end of this street, then right and straight through downtown. No more turns from there on, just the first right. The club has a sign out front...."
Mario cut me off, "Yes, I remember."
"Well......alright then." I rolled forward into the night.
Mario shot past me like a train.
"Shit!" I muttered. I had to try to catch him this early?
I got on top of the big gear and cranked like mad. My legs were less than ready and strained with the effort. The air was dead cold and so was I. Riding with a pro like Mario certainly reminds you of the vast difference between the true elite and the rest of us riders. He could clean my clock off the line and vanish in the growing distance if I didn't give beyond what I thought I had in me.
I managed to catch his rear tire with much effort that left me breathless and barely able to hold on just as we approached the stop sign at the end of the street. I'd have at least a brief breather there and this time be ready for Cippo's big push off the line as we turned right into traffic.
I was ready to brake. I intended to brake. The stop sign was now only about two blocks away, but Mario just kept cranking. I dropped my cadence and backed off his wheel a bit in case he stopped suddenly. My fingers twitched in front of the levers, eager to pull back and slow the rig down.
Mario kept cranking.
I didn't know what to think. I yelled ahead, "Stop sign! Turn right!" but Mario didn't seem to hear me.
I panicked and backed off his wheel some more. We were right on top of the sign now with traffic in front of us streaming in both directions, a stormy sea of red and white lights.
Then it hit me. He wasn't going to stop. He was going to run right into the traffic and get killed. I pulled the brakes and slowed down. No sooner did I do this than Mario leaned his bike and flipped the bar first slightly left then right. The bike pulled a hard fast right like a rocket strapped to a roller coaster. He shot into a gap in traffic without ever slowing down.
I followed his lead and skipped the stop, but did so much more slowly and cautiously. I missed a gap and wound up between parked cars on my right and a red pick-up to my left. The driver layed on the horn. I ignored it and charged ahead. My braking had given Mario a huge lead, but he was now caught at a red light four blocks up. No way he was gonna thread this one, too much traffic tonight. He'd have to wait for green. I was moving much faster than the snarled friday n
Dec 10, 2002 8:57 PM
|My braking had given Mario a huge lead, but he was now caught at a red light four blocks up. No way he was gonna thread this one, too much traffic tonight. He'd have to wait for green. I was moving much faster than the snarled friday night auto mayhem, and was able to weave my way easily through and begin to bridge the distance between me and a track standing Mario ahead. I watched the light as I pushed. If I timed it right I could hit the green at speed and fly past him, leaving him to play the catch-up game. I knew I couldn't hold him off for long, but if I played it one light at a time I just might manage to hang on. The club was five miles due north.
The red was holding steady. Mario rocked back and forth, looking for a break in the flow of cars. My head was pounding and I could actually feel my heart beat in my tongue. I pushed the big gear in cirlcles, dodging through the spaces between the lanes, trying to avoid hitting any side mirrors with my shoulders. I was able to build up a good head of steam and just ahead was a nice wide gap between two city buses stopped for the red light. I was right on top of him.
The light turned green and I shot out from between the buses like they were a giant cannon. I saw Mario to my right as I blasted through the intersection and flipped him the bird over my shoulder. To my front was a clear shot for three blocks until the next light where cars had already piled up. I tucked down as aero as possible and pumped away at the pedals. I downshifted to an easier gear and upped my cadence accordingly.
I watched as the light in front of me turned to green. This and the five greens beyond it would give me a clear shot straight up to the first and only hill. It wasn't a huge climb by any means, but it would be tough after solid sprinting for a few blocks and I knew that once we crest that hill it would be a mad dash down to the long flat that precedes the club. I pressed forward.
I tried to concentrate on my breathing as I slipped in between cars and trucks, cabs and buses. I kept my head low and tried to forget my nagging quads and their burning protests. Green light after green light I burned each intersection and marked it off my mental list of obstacles. My head still beat out a steady rythm that became percussion to my mantra of faster...faster...faster...faster...faster. The last light was just midway up the hill and I was at the foot. The climb began gradually at first and then peaked suddenly. I downshifted and stood up, grinding and panting for breath. I glanced over my shoulder to see if Mario had gotten caught by one of the lights I'd beaten.
He was right on my wheel, smiling wide.
Damn it! He'd probably been right on me the whole time. My heart felt like it was going to explode through my sternum and go skipping across the pavement. I was way past my limit.
Mario pulled up from his saddle and manuevered to my left. We were two abreast with no one behind us for a block or more. The light on the hill was red.
Mario was singing,"Baaaaby it's cold outside...oh baby it's cold outside..."
I kept my eyes on the light as Mario pulled ahead of me still singing. I was hoping that the light would go green at the last second and watched the adjacent light facing the right that was green. Mario was still out of the saddle and building a steady lead on the climb. Then the west facing light turned yellow. I tried to push harder but had nothing left to give. I managed to just keep my pace while Cippo made short work of the distance to the intersection.
The light went green and Mario zipped in without slowing. I heard a loud squeal and a horm blast. A car, a red Toyota, screeched to halt just a few feet from Mario's right side. The driver had tried to beat the red light and nearly took Mario down in the process. Cippo shook an angry fist at the driver and pressed on to the crest of the hill. The car limped through the interse
Dec 10, 2002 8:59 PM
|Cippo shook an angry fist at the driver and pressed on to the crest of the hill. The car limped through the intersection to a chorus of honks from the oncoming vehicles and I slipped by among them. As Mario reached the top I saw him look back at me. He turned his back and then raised up from the drops, took his hands off the bar and saluted me behind him with both middle fingers held high in the air. He pedaled like this for a few seconds, dropped down again, and dissapeared.
It was the last I'd see of him for the rest of the ride.
Well, I'll post Part 3 "The club" later if you like.
|You can't stop now.....||Len J|
Dec 11, 2002 5:15 AM
|I'm on thew edge.
|I've never read a better description of race riding in traffic!||MB1|
Dec 11, 2002 6:52 AM
Of course you need to get Mario trapped on your inside and scrub him off behind a parked paddy wagon.
I can't wait for the rest.
|What's that smell?||desmo|
Dec 10, 2002 8:57 PM
|Not sure, but I think it's coming from that writing.|
Dec 10, 2002 9:07 PM
|Gosh Otis, that sure explains why my novel keeps getting rejected. Thanks for the insight.
Dec 10, 2002 9:26 PM
|Yeah, mine did too. But I found something I was good at.|
|write on, Ahimsa||Geds|
Dec 10, 2002 10:02 PM
|..'Simoni's dentist'..(part 1)..LOL!! LMAO!! nm||Spunout|
Dec 11, 2002 6:28 AM
|hey Ahims .... what were you thinking ?????||Spirito|
Dec 11, 2002 10:59 AM
i would have rode in with Dentista, strewn the road with tacks and nails (a colnago dream with full record pista ain't gonna move shit with 2 flats - even with Cippo on board), then taken time saluting Columbia on the drive before snaring Columbus' most likely at the club.
Fame is one thing, but lots of good candy is better at bagging disco chicks - its an ancient & well established lead out man - YMMV
but with respect to your cerebral talents im sure you have planned ahead for part # 3. you had better - no poncey, limp scungili'd alpha male is gonna outdo one of our own.
remember who 'yer representin' bro