Dear Discerning Reader:
Many of you have expressed a keen interest in learning about the enigmatic DBD. Questions stem from; “Who are they?” and “Can I join them?” To, “Are they getting the therapy they so obviously need?” To, “Are our wives and daughters safe?” The broad range and variability of your queries surrounding the cycling mystics known collectively as the DBD bares witness to their compelling, and stirring world view. Your questions also reflect the unsettling emotions deep within that inevitably occur when this group is subjected to serious cognitive analysis. Yet the truth of the matter is that we know very little of the DBD. Here is the extent of what little we do know: They are somehow loosely affiliated with the obscure Quixotic Rogues. The Quixotic Rogues are a rag-tag group of cyclists that owe some allegiance to the infamous Avenging Mallards Adventure Club (AMAC). The AMAC has an affinity for hard-core stouts and was founded sometime in the 20th Century. The intrepid George Mallory seems to be their charismatic leader. Since his death on Everest in the 1920s, by most accounts, Mallory has slowed a bit, but those close to him claim that he is as intense, vigorous, and steadfast in his convictions as ever! Mallory is rarely seen in public and never grants interviews to the media. In all of these groups, Mallory seems to hold a pivotal leadership role. So while in-depth intelligence regarding these groups is sketchy (especially with regard to the DBD), we now, given a recent prize that has fallen into the writer’s possession, are at least able to begin the incredible process of inquiry into this most secret society. Perhaps now we can begin to discern the myth and legendary lore from the sterile facts. It is the author’s hope, that the following correspondence between two current members of the DBD may assist us in understanding this most compelling secret society. What you are about to read is a facsimile of two secret letters that have very recently come into the possession of the author. He can divulge nothing more as to the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of these letters as to do so would mean grave harm to both the writer and perhaps the entire free-market world.”
Note: Apparently, the first letter is some kind of admission of failure or dereliction of duty that occurred during some common mission, whereby the letter-writer is submitting a rationale or justification for resignation from the DBD. The second and perhaps more telling letter is the response to the sender’s retelling of the circumstances leading to the decision to resign from the DBD. The initial letter sender is obviously covertly, even subconsciously seeking solace. The respondent is obviously a loyal confidant to the dishonored one, but at what price? Does the respondent convey a weakening of Mallory’s long reign? Read on and draw your own conclusions about this remarkable, albeit secretive organization. More analysis to follow…
After the seven hours on The Road, I must admit to thinking, as we departed to go our separate ways, that your hill climb up 40th would finish me...It is an impressive thing that you were able to ride the whole thing, although I suspect, in direct violation of the DBD code of honor, that you employed your granny/sissy-gear! But alas, I have some sad, disheartening news; for I must come forth with the Truth— In an effort to obtain the agreed upon target training goal of eight hours, I rode past my home and out to Lester River and then rode up the Seven Bridges Road heading towards Amity Trail and then back home via Jean Duluth Road. In an act reeking of compromised fortitude, at the point on the Seven Bridges Road where the slope gets relatively steep, I got off the bike and walked. I tried to rationalize this less than honorable act by telling myself that I was walking solely to warm my feet. From behind, as I was pathetically marching slowly up the hill, some geeky triathlete-type festooned in a brightly colored running suit, skipped by and yelled out mockingly, "Hey aren't ya suppose to ride that thing?" I swore quietly and wearily at him and then wept the wretched tears of bitter shame, humiliation, and dishonor...Mortally wounded, I staggered onward and over to the Seventh Bridge with the intention of throwing my dishonored, soiled body over into the waiting River of Abysmal Discarded Worthlessness, but lacked the courage to do so. So within the span of less than five minutes I dishonored myself two times for sure and maybe even three times if you count the initial act of walking the bike... I will be sending in my resignation to the DBD Self-Incriminating Acts of Dishonor Commission shortly. Good Luck, Godspeed, and tell Mallory of me, that "I knew him, he was once a Man." As I leave the DBD to follow a mundane existence for what few years I have left, rest in the knowledge that these acts of "dishonor will not trouble me, once I am dead."
Dear Despondent One:
While your behavior is inexcusable, please don't send in your resignation yet. I know if you would've had the strength you would have retaliated against the tri-athlete, perhaps it's better for the club that you didn't. The shock of such a comment from a tri-athlete must have left you breathless, sort of like I was when that guy in XXXXX asked me, "Why do you start so early?" I was so taken aback by the simplicity of the question that I caught myself before responding..."I don't know". Instead I mustered the awkwardly stupid answer of, "so we have the rest of the day", while as the words were escaping my lips I said to myself, "who are you kidding, you know you're just going to sleep on the couch the rest of the day anyway. Why do we start so early?”
I appreciated your honest commentary on not having the courage to throw yourself off the bridge. In my profession we know that the absurdly depressed are never at risk of suicide as they lack the motivation to follow through with the deed. It is the novice mental health professional that invests energy into "saving the life" of the debilitatingly depressed individual. They, the depressed, will never do it; it's the one that suddenly begins to emerge into a healthier state that must be more closely monitored. The mere fact that you were hovering near or at your "bottom" may have just saved your life.
The rolodex of comments that must have fluttered through your mind when the “skipping” runner said that to you staggers me. I know in your mind you were grabbing him by his fancy running jacket and kicking his XXXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX all over the place. He was probably about 3 blocks into his 2 mile run when he sashayed past your broken, disheveled manhood. If he only knew what we'd been through... Besides Mallory need not know of this obscene act. What Mallory doesn’t know won’t hurt him!
Hang tough, you'll always be DBD to me.
Great News: In the near future, I am going to feature a few episodes of “one of my worst dayz out” (personal narratives of loathing on THE ROAD TO NOWHERE) provided by some of my heroes…including Dave Pramann, Dave Simmons, Mike Conway, Tim Ek, Greg Hexum, and even Brent Smith (to get a couple of "the runners" perspective!)