Friday, October 30, 2009
Bluff-Land Epic; Part II of the race recap...
Part II: A redemption of sorts….
As we left our intrepid group, Eki was “circling the drain”, Farrow leaving the pit alone, had embarked upon a forlorn hope that the man-child would falter and that Schotz would experience a catastrophic collapse, and yet all the while Kershaw seemed to be taking it all in stride.
This was Kershaw’s first twelve hour mountain bike race, which would be a daunting proposition for most, but for him it was just another weekend endeavor. Kershaw first appeared on the DBD radar when rumors of his epic Arrowhead 135 ski first surfaced early last February. To ski the full Arrowhead135 is a rarely accomplished feat and takes a tremendous amount of fortitude (note: only four or perhaps five have ever been able to ski it). Regarding his impressions of his first WEMS, from his diary, he submits simply and without fanfare: “I thought to myself that this is going to be the most brutal day of riding I have ever had (think rugby on a bike). Ironically, as the laps started adding up, I found that I got stronger and more skillful at negotiating the course. I thought for sure my first lap would the strongest, but really the laps toward the end were cleaner and more satisfying.”
When queried about whether he had seen Eki during those fateful hours comprising the mid-race parameter, Kershaw volunteered, “I did see Eki near the half way point of the race at the pit-stop, and he seemed steady, yet I initially found it strange that he would linger during the heat of the race. Furthermore, I was taken aback when he asked me to roll him a ‘Kotak Adjaib.’ He was at the pit when I arrived and thus he greeted me with a, ‘Bravo Kershaw, well done!!!’ Before I could respond in kind, he quickly added a most disturbing request….’Say Kershaw, I am having a bit of a time of it, and I am afraid that I am played out. Me hands are all but useless. Hence, would you be a good chap and roll me a tight Kretek with the blend that we use for these sorts of occasions?’”
Having studied DBD protocols, Kershaw knew that Eki was asking him to assist in rolling the proverbial “last smoke”; essentially a rite of passage as old as the founding of the Freemasons. Nevertheless, Kershaw did as he was told and then following further instructions (as any good under-study should), placed the hand-rolled cigarette between the clinched teeth of the stalwart, yet pale Eki. Eki then signaled, using secret hand gestures as ancient as Stonehenge, that he required some distance. Kershaw, being a quick-witted lad, knew the score and thus swiftly mounted his Clockwork steed (a creation of local fire and steel) and made haste unto the course for yet another lap on the torturous course.
As Kershaw worked his fully rigid 29er machine across the myriad of logs and stones and hills and gulches, where upon a particular traversing criss-cross he spied Farrow. Their eyes momentarily met and Farrow called out, “Well done young Kershaw, perchance what news, if any, on old Eki?”
“I am afraid Sir Eki has inhaled his last smoke!” was all there was time for Kershaw to utter…lest we forget that there was a race going on! Upon hearing the news, a strange incomprehensible saline solution momentarily filled old Farrow’s crusty eyes, but he wiped it away and bucked up. Again, there was a race to be fought.
It went on like that for the rest of the lap, with each rider alone with his thoughts of imperfection, absurdity, and the finiteness of our time here on this planet. It helped ones demeanor to curse with dramatic discourse the logs, the unrelenting logs, the God forsaken logs. As he neared the pit stop, again Farrow felt unfathomable pangs deep within is manly loin area, for he knew that old Eki would be well on his way to “a better place, where men don’t have to shoot their dogs and eat their livers.” Yet, upon arrival to the pits there was no corpse of Eki? How strange?
Farrow asked the mother of the man-child (whose pit was close by), “For where art thy Eki?” The matronly woman, reluctant to give forth any semblance of information that might benefit the aged rivals of her off-spring feigned muteness. But Farrow was in a surly mood and was thus not willing to use his legendary charm to coax a reply from the loyal mother. Instead, he charged forth from his steed and once again within a close proximity declared with feeling, “Do you know where Eki is?”
The woman relinquished in hushed tones, “He took a few drags off of a foul cigarette, paused, looked upward to the sky, snuffed it out, put a leather case that looked to house a WWI era British Issue revolver back into his rucksack, mounted his steed and rode off. But, it matters not, I tell you, for neither of you shall catch my son!!”
Eki had experienced a renaissance, a revival, a reawakening, and was back in the fray…Farrow’s heart soared, even his chapped loins rejoiced…. Eki was back in the game...
“Hold your tongue, woman!” But alas, Farrow did not hear her foreboding words and only knew a great sense of relief. Released from negative thoughts of body disposal and the like, Farrow’s bike seemed lighter, the hills softer, the logs less loggier…
AS fate would have it, Farrow and Eki were not able to reel in the impressive youth and Schotz was not about to be stopped. But Kershaw proved himself an able endurance rider winning the single speed class. All survived to fight another day. Bully!
[Postscript: The talented young rider that took second place in this event is named: Jake Begley...Unbeknownst to the writer upon the initial publication of this recount due to a delay in access to the official results. Bravo Young Jake, your future looks bright indeed!!!]
Submitted by W. Churchill, Club Historian