Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Now you know the REST of the Story...

The following are recent excerpts from the minutes of a DBD Honor Board Hearing-

In an effort to begin in earnest the preparation for the upcoming spring gravel-road classics, including the 320 mile Trans-Iowa, a like-minded contingency of five cyclists left the shadows of the Billy Irvin at 5:00 a.m. on this last Saturday with the stated aim to complete a 140 mile loop that includes a crossing of the fabled Laurentian Divide…

Sir Eki provides a fairly accurate depiction of the trials and tribulations experienced during the excursion, so the author will not bore you with redundancy (See “…Sasquatch” via
Note to Board Members: Please take the time to read Sir Eki’s entire narrative as therein contains many indications of a man endowed with great talent. And yet there is also an important lesson in which this brave man has thus far failed to comprehend. I relate this deficit to you, Dear Members of the Honor Board, not to chastise nor degrade Sir Eki, nor to call for punitive actions against him, nor his conspirator, young Kershaw, but to simply provide you with a glimpse into the working minds of true leaders of men and how they are able to mold future leaders through the advent of experiential life-lessons. For we all know that Mallory was correct in his assertion that “The number one aim of a good leader of Men is to create more leaders of Men.”

In his rambling narrative, Sir Eki states, “…Farrow, Hendricks, and Peterson inexplicably dipped into a gas station in Two Harbors for coffee, while Kershaw followed my lead to push on. I didn't want the group to separate, but coffee???? Kershaw and I rationalized the decision to leave them with comments about training and the importance of keeping moving as it was sure to be a very long day. "We CAN'T keep stopping, we won't finish until 5:00 in the afternoon," I vented! Kershaw nervously followed suit with similar comments, but I sensed he didn't trust my mood. What was really happening to me was I was losing feeling in my hands and I was taking it out on the coffee clutch.”

As with any paternalistic, masculine tribe, the DBD leadership has various tests within itz repertoire designed to educate or “bring along” talented men with potential leadership skills. Farrow, with Hendrick's nod, decided to initiate the classic deceptive ruse by feigning the need for coffee as the group entered Two Harbors. The goal being to test to see if Eki—who could one day enjoy a DBD leadership position, should he continue to progress—would wantonly abandon his men in search of paltry, ill-gainedglory.” “Watch and see Eki take the bait when we get to Two Harbors and we three make for the gas station,” one elder was heard whispering to the other. Eki did not disappoint, for he fell for the simple subterfuge hook-line-and-sinker! As the rambunctious youth bolted with a hesitant Kershaw in tow, the two wizened cyclists were charitable in their assessments, whilst the youthful and promising Peterson wisely withheld commentary. “All the fast ones can be impetuous, which is not necessarily a bad thing in this game, and such is the state of youthfulness, letz let him go for awhile and see if he reconsiders and then waits for us” was how Mr. Hendricks graded the performance. Whilst Mr. Farrow was less diplomatic calling Eki a “bloody cur! ” The story does end well with Sir Eki waiting for the others, realizing his ambitious zeal had forced him to forsake his charges…Upon reunification, Eki was humble in learning is lesson...clearly a major move upward for this potential leader of MEN...

… As with all paternalistic, masculine tribes, the DBD has various traditions, ceremonies, rituals designed to celebrate fallen members. As the Men came upon a lonely cemetery along a remote gravel section of the loop, they all felt a strange need to pull up and wander forth through this resting place of the deceased. Suddenly, a spontaneous, yet moving and solemn proceeding was performed to celebrate the grand achievements of one recently departed member. Coined, “Ode to the Riderless Cycle” the three that knew him well offered stirring soliloquies honoring his fabled amicable nature and his tremendous feats of endurance. As they hastily departed the grim scene, Farrow was heard to utter, “He is with the runners now! Oh the shame of it all!”

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Itz Spring and the Snubbers are out in force...so sad!

My faithful Man-dog, Loki and I were the victims of a truly unprecedented, premeditated, and unprovoked snubbing yesterday. Of course, sadly I have personally been snubbed many times in the past and while being snubbed ALWAYS hurts, it is fair to say that through extensive Freudian therapy, I have come to hold on to the premise that I must accept that the cycling world is an imperfect place. Yet I never dreamed that I would be snubbed by my own kind...

The fact is that I have come to expect to get snubbed by roadies, tri-athletes, time-trialists, and the like. While most of the time their snubs are intentional, some of the time these elite athletes truly are simply overwhelmed with attempting to keep track of all their vitally important bio-metric feedback gadgetry coupled with the myriad of societal expectations that come with being a potential pro-roadie or tri-athlete. These thoroughbreds are not only pushing the limits of their ultra-techy, electronic carbon rockets, they are also monitoring power wattages, heart rates, cadences, caloric burn and intakes, fluids consumption— all the while dealing with calls from sponsors (and would-be sponsors), texts from the United States Cycling Federation, and a host of other distractions that are totally alien to a lowly guy like me. But this snub was different…Let me frame for you the circumstances

It was a beautiful Sunday morning with the snow-mobile trails up the Lester River still rock solid from the colder temps from the night before. Loki, the Man-dog, was loving life peeing on everything in sight whilst I felt like a teenager-in-love as I commanded me trusty Pugsley through the picturesque old-growth pines and river valleys that embrace this amazing resource.

Up ahead descending the trail at a fair pace, we spy a duo of snow-bikers and a comely Golden Retriever making their way towards us. I whisper to Loki as he crouches down to wait for their arrival, “Wait until they say itz okay to play.” Loki confidently wags his tail as if to say, “Like that she-dog doesn’t want to sniff me!” Loki is a regal masculine canine that has become a real attraction for the female dogs that we meet on this trail that we follow many times each week.

As for me, I adjust myself including aligning my hat and sunglasses, so to look both pleasingly pleasant and smartly competent. I remember being tormented as to the best method by which to open the dialogue. Should I commence with the “Awesome day” salutation or go with the “He’s really very gentle,” in an effort to give Loki a shot at the lady dog, or should I put the impetuous on them by submitting a heartfelt, “Wow, what a beautiful Golden!”

Suddenly they were on us…my heart soared as I made ready to engage in interesting, like-minded conversation. These are my people, kindred spirits; people who love to ride bikes on snow! They were moving pretty fast as they were descending; correspondingly I was moving relatively slow as I was climbing. Loki was in a semi-sitting position ready for me to give him the nod to do his sniffing thing on the Golden. I called out the, “What a beauti…”

They never looked up, instead they pushed harder on the pedals. The lead snubber yelled for the dog to stay the course. The bikes blew by us in a blur of flying snow as did the dog; all in full gallop. Nothing…not even eye-contact and the Golden acted as if Loki was invisible.

I remember thinking that The Rapture is coming...being snubbed by snow bikers and dog alike. I quietly wept....Loki was inconsolable.

Lord take me I’m ready to meet my Maker… My only hope now is that once my daughter grows up and she has a daughter, that that little girl looks up to my grown daughter and asks, “Mommy what was snubbing!”