Friday, February 5, 2010
This is a short story from a couple years back. WARNING: Do not read while eating.
Saturday morning started a little early at about 5:30 AM with a rather immediate need to evacuate my system. OK race day poop, out of the way, that might be a good thing. Always good to know that you’ll be a little lighter for the race;) The Tour De Strongland mountain bike race started at 10AM and being my home course, I wanted to have a good showing. Unfortunately, about ½ way through brushing my teeth that morning an audible rumble starts in my mid section and the urgent need returns quickly enough to force me to the throne, toothbrush still in hand. After three more angry contributions and some Pepto; I’m heading out the door around 9 AM to still attempt the race. I’m feeling slightly better and at least the cramps are gone. I don’t really feel sick or anything so I line up with the rest of the boys to start the race. Apparently there are no other bike races in Western PA today and about every fast rider, both road and mountain have lined up at the start of the expert class race.
I’m lined up near the front knowing that a bad lead out to the single track destroys any chance of a decent finish. I feel a little grumble. Ah, just race day nerves, it’ll be OK. The gun goes off and away we go. I’m sitting about 5th wheel on the express train to the single track. We are cruising along fast enough that no one can come around the outside to pass. Perfect. A little surge occurs and I hop out of the saddle to respond. That’s when I make my new friend. Sparky the prairie dog has made an appearance. I sit back down, clench up and Sparky hides away…for a little while. The entire first lap becomes a new game that really doesn’t involve cycling much. Sparky wants to come out and play, I try to contain him. Great fun!
Apparently when prairie dogs are kept inside they get bored. So to pass the time I guess they do what comes natural. BREED! It now appears that Sparky and his family are a rather prolific cross of Irish Catholic and Mormons. No birth control in that group. By about half way thru the second and mercifully the final lap, Sparky, his wife, his 12 kids, aunts, uncles, a couple cousins and some adopted refugee prairie dogs from China all want to come out a play REAL BAD! I’m now putting twice the effort into my sphincters than I am my leg muscles. Luckily I ride a perfectly clean lap (both literal and figurative) for the fear that a crash would undoubtedly release the entire clan. With about a mile to go I am fantasizing about the port-a-potty at the finish. I’ve got my gloves off, by camel back unclipped, and my helmet off as I cross the finish line and am now putting out the hardest effort of the day to outsprint the 70 year old women ambling towards the john. I power slide across her path to block her progress andbeat her sorry ass to the prize. Just enough time to return the Sparky and his kin to the wild….Shew! Close one!
PS: Although I had a rewarding finish in the mountain bike race on Saturday (I didn’t soil myself) my placing was abysmal. The good news is that I conserved enough energy to win teh Tour De Strongland Road race on Sunday.