40@20 #11 – Missed Connections

After a mid-summer siesta, the 40@20 is back in action (although ride #10 has somehow been lost in the heat and humidity).  The 40@20 is the regular Wednesday night group ride from our corporate headquarters, featuring (at least) 2 county line sprints, some decent hills and the goal of riding 40 miles at a pace of 20 miles per hour.  This week our scribe, Randy, has penned a “missed connections” style recap of all the excitement:

To the group of bicyclists I followed home last night-w4m (Chapel Hill)

There I was enjoying the North Carolina humidity, driving home with my windows down and the Blaupunkt to eleven, when suddenly I descended upon a peloton of Lycra. Maybe you guys didn’t notice that this isn’t France or that the hills of Chatham are not exactly the Alps, but that didn’t stop you from staking your claim to the entire lane and posturing as if there were hordes of cheering fans waving USA flags while donning Borat swimwear. If only I’d had some extra water bottles, I could have been your domestique. Luckily I was in a good mood, or the 21.2 mph pace would have been torturous. Plus, the heat makes me too lazy for road rage and WKNC was kickin out the slow jams (Barry White could melt even William Foster’s rage) and OK, OK, I’ll admit it, those avocado calves were easy on the eyes!

Since I was stuck behind you—and really not that thrilled about getting home to a veggie corn dog and cold Schlitz—I decided to follow. I couldn’t help noticing the Tyler’s Taproom kits, and I being a drinking woman, figured you were my kind of people. There appeared to be some kind of inner group competition going on, as two riders suddenly shot forward, breaking away from the rest of the pack. I pulled up next to the chase and yelled, “What are they doing?” Quite winded, he sputtered, “County line sprint. Best man wins.” As far as I could tell, the man with the side burns killed it, while the heavier set fella with the golden tan and operatic voice took second. The wee man with oversized glasses and furry legs took third.

As thrilling as it was to watch you guys try to emasculate each other, I did need to get home to brush my cat and dust off my PEZ dispenser collection, so I broke away from you at 54 and Orange Grove, thoughts of oversized quads and undersized chests dancing through my head.

Thanks for the little spark of competition on an otherwise lazy drive home. Maybe I’ll get a bike and join you one day.

RE: To the group of bicyclists I followed home last night-w4m (Chapel hill)

So you were the girl who yelled at us. We all wondered if the heat had given us a collective hallucination or if you really were there creepily playing make out music and ducking under the steering wheel any time we looked back. Glad we could entertain for a short while, but it’s too bad you pulled off; things got saucy for the second half of the ride. We tried some double pace line counter clockwise team time trial rotation business that had this rider (I’m wee man, big glasses, fuzzy leg guy) completely discombobulated and the victim of some harsh scolding by the elders of the group. You don’t know embarrassment until two Irishmen, one Manther, and a Jersey patriarch break you down in a peloton. Side burn guy grew weary of the failed speed wagon and decided a full on sprint down Dodson’s would be more fun. Jersey, Manther, and the elder Irishman gave chase with Jersey eventually blowing by Side Burns and becoming the next rabbit for the hounds to track down. He was never caught, and the group reformed at the Kraken just in time for some light ribbing from a man pulling a trailer of rusty dishwashers and refrigerators, surely to become yard art in front of his double wide.

We ran the cool-down section from the Kraken out to Damascus without incident, and started what would have made you scream with excitement had you still been stalking us. No this isn’t France, nor is it the Alps, but when the Meacham hill appears, we all think we are Lance for at least 800 meters and give “the look”. Manther was lead out with Wee on his wheel. Old Irish and Jersey pulled around on the left, then Side Burns made his move. Wee stood to chase but the cramps shut him down quick. Jersey and Irish gave it their best, but Burns was on the juice and there was no catching him. Jersey took second, Irish third.

Thinking the remainder of the ride home would be a soft pedal, we were all a bit surprised when Irish sprinted ahead for the imaginary Mann’s Chapel line. We’d normally give chase, but I guess your Barry White put a spell on us too.


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