Poke the bear

October 11, 2019 § 6 Comments

There are lots of rules in cycling. One of those rules is, “In the sprunt, get out of the way.”

This is the rule for 99% of riders. If you are not leading someone out or getting ready to unleash your killer sprunt, you are in the way. You are a “clogstacle.”

As a career clogstacle, I understand how this works. On the last lap of the NPR #fakerace, I tenaciously grab the wheel of EA Sports, Inc. People try to horn in but I elbow them out of the way.

With 1k to go the pace goes from torrid to unbearable. People are now fighting like mad for any shelter from the wind and are ready to kill in order to latch onto the wheel of EA Sports, Inc.

This is when I stand up, take my briefcase off the overhead rack, and quietly shuffle to the back of the bus while the real racers do their thing, i.e. risk death and catastrophic injury for the massive jolt of hormones that are released when you kill the mastodon with your sharpened stick.

Fortunately, there is constant churn at the #fakerace, and someone is always having to learn the Rule of Clogstacles. Last Tuesday the scholar-in-training was Aaron Somebody in a USC team kit.

There were a mere 400 meters to go and hardly anyone was left in the tattered front group. EA Sports, Inc., was locked onto the wheel of Dante Young as Davy Dawg wrapped it up so that the tires were whining like a cur getting beaten with an iron rod.

At this very inopportune moment, the USC rider decided that where he really wanted to be was where EA Sports, Inc. was, and physics not readily allowing two bodies to occupy Dante’s wheel at the same time, USC Boy did what any self-respecting sprunter would do. He leaned into EA Sports, Inc. to nudge him off the wheel.

Unfortunately, dense masses of muscle and ice cream do not nudge easily, and EA Sports, Inc. nudged back, sending USC Boy off on a somewhat different line of travel.

Undeterred, USC Boy came back to the buffet line to see if he could get another helping. This time the nudge was more of a hard bang, but dense muscle and ice cream and a 20-lb. weight advantage and a 150-lb. meanness advantage weren’t impressed.

EA Sports, Inc. moved his bars forward and then drifted back a few inches so that now the two gentlemen’s handlebars were locked together. “What do you think you’re doing?” EA Sports, Inc. politely inquired.

“That’s my wheel,” USC Boy said.

“I don’t see your name on it,” EA Sports, Inc. replied.

As the speed hit the mid-30’s and the actual sprunt was about to occur, and as EA Sports, Inc. was in the clear position to slightly twiggle his bars and send USC boy somersaulting atop the pavement, USC Boy relaxed on the pedals, the bars unhooked, and EA Sports, Inc. went flying around Dante for the immortal, unforgettable, legendarily mythic NPR #fakerace #fakewin.

I quit observing, folded up my Hubble telescope, and caught up to the scraggle at the light. EA Sports, Inc. and USC Boy were having what is often called an animated discussion but in cycling means “almost coming to blows” about who did what when how and why.

USC Boy tried to explain that he wanted to improve, that he was seeking instruction from the master, that he only wanted to rectify misunderstandings, but at the same time was insisting that EA Sports, Inc. had opened up a bit of a gap that he was merely trying to exploit.

“Dude,” EA Sports, Inc. said, “there was a massive gap all right.” He pointed his thumb at me. “But it wasn’t at the sharp end of the spear.”

USC Boy considered that for a moment, nodded, and went off to the university for what was presumably his second round of schooling for the day.

END


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Rolling thunder

August 29, 2019 § 2 Comments

Let me die free.

Let me die like this: hammering off the front on the world’s dumbest and most exhilarating group ride ever, the New Pier Ride.

Let me die like this: helmetless, the wind blowing through the locks that I yet have, by colpons oon and oon, my hairless enemies gnashing their teeth, eating their livers in my wake.

Let me die like this: young and enthusiastic riders, not beaten down by conformity and fear of death, bridging up and refueling the break with the force of twenty bulls.

Let me die like this: pinned on Ramon’s wheel as Pornstache passes, hye on hors he sat, frame too big, catching wind as a spinnaker, throwing watts onto the pedals like copious ocean foam upon the rocks.

Let me die like this: John Candy Trump ignominiously cutting the course and reappearing out of the neighborhood just in time to blow by him, my caboose latched onto the Pornstache Express.

Let me die like this: a thousand slow deaths as Ramon and Pornstache take turns motoring even farther from the dejected and dispirited group.

Let me die like this: face bismotered and slathered in, uh, pain.

Contorted in awful misery, yo.

Let me die like this: the end in sight, having saved every ounce left in these old bones, punching once and dislodging the raging bull.

Let me die like this: watching the bull counter and ride away.

Let me die like this: with Pornstache slapping his ass in the universal bikespeak of “hang on, hang on, hang on.”

Let me die like this: the Pornstache catch, the raging bull fade, and the leadout at every punishing mile per hour that Pornstache’s legs can churn.

Let me die like this: coming around with every ounce of strength in my sagging body, gifted the #fakewin at the #fakerace by a #truefriend, arms raised in the #fakesalute, all caught on video by Fran Sur in the LAX police follow car.

Let me die free.

END

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Did you do the NPR?

July 9, 2019 § 8 Comments

There has been a lot of discussion lately about what the NPR actually is. I am not good with flow charts and stuff, but what follows might help you out if you are wondering whether you really did the NPR.

Did you start at the Manhattan Beach Pier?

NO — You did not do the NPR.

YES — You might have done the NPR.

Did you leave at 6:40 AM?

NO — You did not do the NPR.

YES — You might have done the NPR.

Did you turn right at Imperial?

YES — You did not do the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

Did you wait for the group at the top of Pershing?

YES — You for sure did not do the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

Did you get dropped, cut across the Parkway, then hop back in with the group, a/k/a Hop-in Wanker?

YES — Don’t even think about saying you did the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

Did you run a red light?

YES — You might have done the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

When you ran the red light(s), were you in a breakaway or solo OTF?

NO — You didn’t do the NPR.

YES — You might have done the NPR.

Did Elijah yell at you?

NO — You need to do more action to get noticed.

YES — You might have done the NPR.

Did you peel off on Lap 3 so you could watch the finish?

YES — You did not do the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

Did you complete all four laps plus Pershing plus VdM plus the Alley?

NO — You didn’t do the NPR. Sorry.

YES — Go ahead, post it up on the ‘Bag, the Gram, and the Stravver. You did the NPR.


END

Asian Methodists

October 19, 2018 § 21 Comments

My wife did her first NPR on Tuesday and it didn’t go so hot. She tipped over on the hill waiting for the light at the Chevron and skinned her elbow.

Everyone dashed off when the light turned green except one guy who waited for her. She pedaled over the hill and onto Vista del Mar. He came up alongside and gave her a push to get her up to speed.

The group was disappearing fast and she was still in shock from tipping over and now scared because she was going down the big hill at the  Chevron. The helpful guy pushed a little more until he realized that she was too nervous. “Please go ahead, I’m okay,” she said. “And thank you!”

Released from bondage, the rider sped off. Yasuko called her friend Michelle who picked her up and took her to coffee. Thankfully, unlike her daredevil husband, Yasuko kept her helmet on inside the car, which is where most non-self-inflicted, non-fall related head injuries are likely to occur. I hope that all helmet advocates are equally consistent.

Back at the ranch

“So who was this nice guy who helped you?” I asked.

“I couldn’t recognize him because of his glasses and helmet but he was a nice young man, a kind of tall guy, an Asian Methodist, I am pretty sure.”

“A what?”

“An Asian guy, I think. He looked Asian.”

We talked about the rest of the ride but I still couldn’t figure out what the hell she meant by Methodist. Sometimes, when you have been married for more than thirty years, you just shut up, and then after you get finished shutting up, you shut some more.

Sausage text

The next day I got a text from Sausage. “Hey, man, Mrs. WM did great on the NPR despite her tipping-over-incident. I gave her a little push to try and get her up to the group but she didn’t look very comfortable so I did what any self-disrespecting bike racer would do, I left her and caught the group before they were gone for good.”

“Thanks, Sausage,” I texted back.

Yasuko was sitting at the table. “Hey honey,” I said. “The guy who pushed you was Sausage.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, the tall, fair-skinned, blue-eyed Greek Caucasian Asian guy.”

“Oh,” she said. “Well, I couldn’t tell. He looked like a nice young Asian man at the time.”

Finally I couldn’t stand it any more. “Why did you say he’s a Methodist?”

“Because of his kit. It looked like one of those kits.”

“What kits?”

“You know, Rahsaan and Charon’s team.”

“Rahsaan and Charon?”

“Yes. Don’t they ride for Methodist Winning?”

THEY DO NOW.

END

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safety_first

The art of mercy

October 8, 2018 § 11 Comments

We had gathered at the Center of the Known Universe for a 160-mile ride to Ventura and back. It was 5:30 AM and none of us wanted to be there. As we stood around waiting to leave we unanimously decided that riding to Ventura was a stupid idea.

Instead we would ride fifteen miles to Santa Monica, get coffee, and be back home and in bed before 8:00 AM. This, we decided, was a great idea.

In Santa Monica everything was closed except Urth Cafe, the most overpriced place with the worst service and the mediocre-est coffee you will ever drink, anywhere. But it was open.

We ordered and then huddled around the giant heater to stay warm. Before long it was time to go. I went over to the bikes, then came back as no one was leaving the heater.

“Let’s go,” I said.

“Hush,” I was told. “Baby Seal is telling a story.”

“What story?” I asked.

“He’s explaining how he learned about kindness and mercy in cycling.”

Once upon a time

“There I was,” Baby Seal said, “as the tiny NPR pack turned left onto Vista del Mar, I saw my idol pull over and take off his rain jacket. ‘Are you okay?'” I asked.

“‘Yeah,'” he said.

“By the time he had stowed his jacket the group was gone, and they weren’t coming back. I’d been riding for about two years and had gone from a 230-lb. smoker to a fairly fit rider. But I still hadn’t really earned my chops, and I didn’t hesitate to stop to help my idol. Together, I figured, we could chase back on.

“I hit it hard and for two minutes pulled my brains out. I looked back, and Idol was tucked on my wheel and not coming around. ‘He’s recovering,’ I told myself. ‘We got this.’ I pulled even harder, longer.

“A couple of times I looked back but Idol was in the box. ‘No worries,’ I told myself. We’ll get within striking distance, somehow, and he’ll close the gap. We got this!

“I rode my heart out, and for the first time I felt like one of the gang. The rain had kicked back up, it was cold, and I was driving it on the front, giving my idol a chance to recover. This was teamwork, what cycling was all about. Once you feel that warm glow, you never forget it.”

“Then what happened?” asked the Wily Greek.

“We came up over the Pershing bump and there was the field, maybe 100 meters away. I was done, but had saved just enough to be able to catch on when my idol finally came through.”

“Then what happened?” asked Adam.

“The motherfucker attacked and dropped me, bridged to the field, and left me for dead.”

Heads were shaken all around.

“But you know what was the worst part of it? The fucker never even looked at me, not a nod, not a ‘good job,’ nothing. And he didn’t ride by me, he attacked me. I have never been dropped that hard since, ever. I was crushed. Left alone, abandoned like a little kid on a doorstep, I was too shattered emotionally to even try to catch on. I turned around and went home.”

“Wow,” said Wily. “What an asshole.”

“Yeah,” I chimed in. “What a dick.”

Baby Seal looked over at me. “Yeah,” he said, “you ought to know. Because it was YOU.”

END

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IMG_9148

Ebb and flow

September 12, 2018 § 7 Comments

Rides come and go, they ebb and flow. The last two times I’ve done NPR I could only think, “Man, times have changed.”

NPR used to have 60+ riders even on Thursday. Tuesdays had more, everyone was fresh from Monday’s rest, and it was filled with hitters. You could expect the Tuesday NPR to be either single file for four laps, or hugely surgey with a crazy sprint.

No more, apparently.

Yesterday’s group was tiny, maybe a thirty-rider peloton that shrank over the course of the ride. Most telling was the fact that the last two rides I’ve been able to get away and stay away for four laps. Anytime you can’t catch a 54-year-old grandpa on a short ride like that, you have what is known as a very slow ride.

At the end yesterday, Frexit hunted me down and passed me at the last light, but the pack was still well more than a minute back.

NPR’s regular crashes got old, I guess, and some of the last pile-ups were huge. But more importantly, people have gotten old and quit. Or maybe I should say “older.” You still have guys in their 80’s like Jim and Tim out doing laps, but a whole generation of fast people who are now in their late 30’s and 40’s have simply quit NPR like the bad habit it is.

Gone are days when the Sausage Cam captured all the excitement, spliced and put to music.

Gone are the days when the sprunt involved Davy Dawg, Hair, Destroyer, Rahsaan, Pischon, Sausage, Cam, EA Sports, Inc., and half-a-dozen riders good enough to be there but not quite good enough to win.

Gone are the insane pulls by Dave Miller and Head Down James, the hopeless attacks by Richard Whose Last Name I Don’t Know, the shouting by Leibert … “We’re only going 28! Get off the effing front if you can only do 28!”

Gone are the guest appearances by Daniel Holloway, Justin and Cory Williams, and the regular appearance of women like Lisa, Chris, Tink, Suze, Katie D., Lolo, Michelle, Marilyne, and a whole bunch more.

And of course there are the aged ones who have simply moved into convalescent homes with Italian gentlemen. Kramer, Yule, Spalding, and dozens of others whose names I no longer even remember and whose features are kind of a blurry blot, like watching a face through a rainy window pane.

END

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“I think.”

August 29, 2018 § 8 Comments

It’s been a while since I’ve done NPR. This morning I got there and was met by Denis. “Dude!” he said. “I attacked early last week and put a 2-minute gap on the field!”

“That’s awesome,” I replied. “Did you win?”

“Evens and Rudy came by me and I didn’t know to get on.”

“Yeah, I have a similar problem with those guys, too. They come by and I know to get on, but don’t know how.”

Denis nodded. “Yeah.”

“Kind of like they came by and you melted like an old wad of chewing gum on a summer pavement?”

“Yeah.”

If at first you don’t succeed

We pulled out onto Vista del Mar and Denis took off. He was on fire to win the NPR which I sympathized with despite the fact that you technically can’t win a #fakerace. Fact is, the NPR has a generally agreed upon imaginary line on lap four where everyone, whether they hopped in, cut the course, or dropped in from outer space, is trying to get to first.

Less imaginary is the hardest fact of a #fakewin at NPR: The same people win it, more or less, every time. That’s because if it’s a slower day and ends in a bunch sprunt, the bunch sprunters, of which there are a small handful, always win.

If it’s a fast day and ends in a break, the breakaway riders, of which there are a small handful, always win.

If it’s an insane day and someone #fakewins solo, well, that basically narrows it down to two people, neither of which is you.

So the great unwashed raft of NPR baby seals has zero chance of ever scoring a #fakewin, no matter how eagerly they pound off the front, and it’s this rarity that makes the glory so alluring. Think about it: There are countless baby seals who have done the ride hundreds of time, some over decades, and never scored a #fakewin. And they never will.

“If only …!” and “What if … !” and “Maybe today …!” all crumple and fold in the end, but at least at the Manhattan Beach Pier every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:40 AM pointy-sharp there is hope, and on NPR, it springs eternal.

Like today.

Calculations

I don’t know how many times I’ve #fakewon the NPR, but it isn’t many, less than ten since 2006. Once in a sprunt, three times solo, and the other times out of a collapsing break. As I get older, the returns diminish, and the probability starts to look more and more like that of getting hit on the thumb by a green asteroid.

I watched Denis disappear, saw the peloton closing, and sped up. He got hung up at the light at Imperial, I caught him, and suddenly we had a two-man #fakeaway.

I didn’t get too excited by the time we hit Dr. Cziko’s videocam on Pershing, where, instead of joining in the tomfoolery, Gary sits above us and documents the ride from the window of his duplex. Denis, though, was excited. This was where he notched his “amazing” 2-minute gap last week. I thought about telling him to quit surging, but why? It would go in one ear and out the other.

After exiting World Way ramp we saw the peloton. Our gap was not sustainable, but it wasn’t dead yet. They were chasing hard but the group only had about thirty riders. I figured we’d keep pouring on coal and see where we were at the first turnaround. On Westchester Parkway we were met by a howling headwind, which was good because it would blunt the chase, but bad because it would blunt us, too.

At the first turnaround we were only barely ahead, and Denis’s enthusiasm had given way to somewhat squarish pedaling. “We aren’t caught yet,” I thought, and picked up the pace with what seemed like ever longer pulls and ever shorter rests.

Giving the gift

I’ve let someone beat me for an NPR #fakewin exactly once, the time I gave the vee to SB Baby Seal and chronicled it here, back in 2014.

As we hit lap three and our gap had increased ever so slightly, I began thinking about how to finish this one off. Denis had the passion. He wanted it so bad he could taste it, whereas I only wanted it so bad I could smell it.

He had won Wanker of the Year at the South Bay Cycling Awards in 2016, and since then had proven a deserving recipient. There was the one time he’d taken a good pull in our break on the Donut this year before self-immolating in Lunada Bay, and most importantly there was the huge cash sponsorship that his employer ponied up every year to support the mission of Team Lizard Collectors.

At that moment I made up my mind to give him the win if we didn’t get hauled back, fully aware that it would likely change his life forever, and not in a good way, since his poor wife would have to hear about every pedal stroke from now until his next #fakewin, which would be eternity.

We reached the final turnaround and Denis’s baby pulls, which had become infant pulls, became fetus pulls, concluding with “Does life begin before conception?” pulls. Our gap was healthy as I slid back and got on his wheel.

“You’re gonna have to dig,” I said.

And dig he did. So deep, in fact, that when we got to the top of the golf course he actually whimpered. “I can’t,” he mumbled.

I giggled, towed him up the final bump, told him he was gonna win, and watched the terror on his face when I told him “They’re coming!” even though they weren’t. The rest is history, including his query regarding the location of the finish line and his near-fatal “hands-up” victory wobble.

But even better than being history, it’s on video, too. And yes, those things on his jersey are … hams.

END

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Low fidelity Podcast #1: NPR!

September 22, 2017 § 67 Comments

Click the bar above and listen to the podcast.

You can click the link in this sentence and see video of the September 19, 2017 NPR crash.

Podcast recorded from the comfort of my bed, spoken into my iPhone.

END

The thrill is not gone

July 5, 2017 § 28 Comments

One of the things about getting old is that the thrill goes away. What thrill? Every thrill.

You see it in your relatives, for example, who go batshit crazy about religion, or they become rabid racists, or they become recalcitrant conservatives who subscribe to the philosophy of “Everything for me, nothing for you.”

Whatever.

This is why I love riding my bike with other crazy people. It is flat fucking thrilling. If you don’t do it you won’t ever understand it.

Take today, Independence Day. It started with an NPR smashfest of epic proportions. Rumor had it that numerous baby seals had gotten too big for their pelts and needed a good skinning. Sure enough, on Lap 1 vast numbers of bleating pinnipeds got shucked out the back, only to play Hop-In-Wanker, reattach on the flip-flop, and get shelled again.

Rather than seventy baby seals sprunting vigorously for the win after sitting in and munching fresh sardines for four laps, at the end there was a tiny group of about fifteen, of whom only five or six had any legs at all. The clubbing and skinning were epic as Charon ended the hopes and dreams of all the sad-faced baby seals.

Then we did the Holiday Ride, 150-strong from the Center of the Known Universe, hooking up with another 100+ group in Marina del Rey, and barreling through Santa Monica to San Vicente. But today those of us who had smashed on the NPR moved the finish line from the top of Mandeville to the top of San Vicente, and the seal pups were denied the leisurely pedal to which they have become accustomed.

Instead, Cory Williams, Smasher, G3, and one or two other clubbers began crushing skulls at the bottom of San Vicente, skinning well over a hundred baby seals before we reached the top of San Vicente.

After the left-hander, a shameless group of La Grunge Hop-In-Wankers jumped into the mix and turned a 30-mile race to the bottom of Mandeville into a 1-mile downhill pedal followed by a 15-minute smash up the hill on fresh legs. They were crowned glorious winners, sweeping the imaginary podium and getting six out of the top ten fake slots, but their hop-in antics earned no approbation from the clubbers who’d been at it from the beginning of the ride.

Was that all the excitement and thrill? No!

Next was a bitter, hand-to-hand fight to the death at the annual Helen’s Cycles July 4th Sale, where cyclists poured through the doors and battled tooth and toenail to get unbelievable discounts on shoes, socks, BonkBreakers, bikes, helmets, and other useless stuff. The KOM was won by some dude from Malibu, who spent $15,000 in fifteen minutes.

Bar bumping, seal pelt skinning, vicious motoring, Mandeville uphill time trailing, it was a morning filled with adrenaline, testosterone (natural and added), and more fireworks than the Chinese New Year. But was that all? No that was not all!

We got home to find out that Mark Cavendish, sprinter extraordinaire, had been tutored by our very own James Doyle, the local wanker who squeezed through a non-existent slot and took out veteran Johnny Walsh. Unlike the UCI, however, who quickly reached a decision on the matter, USAC continues to drag its feet, twiddle its thumbs, review the tapes, and stick their thumb up a dark smelly place, paralyzed and unable to make a simple disciplinary decision about an outrageous move.

All of that and it wasn’t even noon …

The thrill? It’s alive and well and going strong. You can save your religious tirades for someone who GAF … because it ain’t me.

END

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Stolen glory

May 4, 2016 § 25 Comments

 

What I want you to know is that yesterday, which was NPR Tuesday, I launched a glorious attack in the neutral zone along Vista del Mar as soon as we turned out of the alley. I’ve done this a zillion times before and it never works because I’m too slow and everyone else is too fast.

In order for any NPR break to stick a number of miracles have to happen, all simultaneously. First, Evens Stievenart has to flat. Second, you have to sneak away fast enough and early enough that you can scoot down the hill and get mixed in with traffic so the wankoton can’t really see you, like a thief in the night rummaging through *someone’s* panty drawer.

Finally, you have to *catch* all the lights on green or *catch* them on yellow or *catch* them on dead red a-la Stathis or Cowan and pray you don’t get crushed by a truck.

And then finally finally you have to latch onto a locomotive who is a) strong enough to stay away for four laps + Vista del Mar but b) not so strong that he drops you and c) is a complete idiot when it comes to bike racing and d) who can’t sprunt, i.e. Smasher has to be on the ride.

Finally finally finally, Venus needs to be retrograde in Cassiopeia and I’ll see your five and raise you ten. Then and only then do you have a chance.

Of course today was my day, because no sooner had I sprung clear from the snoozers than I saw Smasher up ahead. Smasher never met a hopeless breakaway he didn’t like. He looked back, saw the gap, and started smashing. “We got this,” he said. “Piece of cake.” Only one Vista del Mar sneak attack breakaway has ever stuck in the storied history of the NPR. That kind of once-in-a-lifetime cake.

Smasher smashed for a long way, I took a bitsy pull, and he smashed some more. Smashed up Pershing. Smashed up World Way ramp. Smashed onto the Parkway. I stuck my nose out in the wind for a few seconds for another bitsy pull. Then Smasher smashed some more.

When we made the u-turn it took so long to see the wankoton that I thought perhaps they’d made a wrong turn. Sausage was in no-wank-land attempting a hopeless bridge, and my teammates were chasing hard and then, all golden, we saw Evens S. flatted on the side of the road.

I sighed happily as I puked up bits of oatmeal, glued as I was to the mighty glutes of Smasher Who Smashed. At the final turnaround we were so far ahead that we lazily pedaled to the finish, where Cowan was standing with a camera because he’d crashed out for the tenth time this year and was having his bike glued back together. He was pissed. “You’re chatting!” he said. “What kind of finish is that?”

“We just owned your teammates, bitch,” I said. He reluctantly snapped a video of the laziest NPR victory pose ever and awaited the bunch finish for third, which had the hoped-for result: His teammate Todd Toofs beat everyone else. Grateful for scraps, Cowan posted the third-place video and titled it “Teammate wins NPR,” one of the few instances where history was written by the loser.

I tacked on a few extra hours, pedaling up Mandeville after almost getting doored by a car parked in front of Santa Monica Peet’s and driven by a guy who looked suspiciously like Ynot Alleznam, stopped at Phil’s and observed a homeless dude dance a jig in a Batman suit, then watched a crazy lady on the way home come shrieking up the bike lane in her Yaris beside a tour bus only to find when she popped out that there was a cop in the other lane who pulled her over and wrote her a ticket and then saw some buddies splayed on the pavement in Marina after they’d been run over by another crazy lady, this one on a bicycle going the wrong way in the bike lane and they’d had to chase her down and wrestle her off her bike and call the cops while the one dude nursed what looked like a fractured wrist, then I had a Tink sighting on the bridge, ran into Major Bob, Frenchie, and ML in PV but couldn’t stop to talk because I was bonking and then I got home, scarfed leftover tomato soup, leftover fried rice, an apple, a banana, half a box of chocolates and a quart of milk, and did my best imitation of “Crampie Grampie” where you hop around on one foot howling until the other leg cramps and then you roll in a ball and moan and everyone looks away embarrassed.

Mallorca, here I come.

END

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