"When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.'
"And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order.
"Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of the man becomes worst than the first.”
Then some woman starts shouting about Mary's blessed boobs.
Luke 11: 24-27 NAS, Red Letter edition.
In 2007 I had my last bike race. I had spent several months getting my weight down and training. It was a Cat 4 race so the training was pretty much riding up and down the driveway, but anyway.
I had been in a couple of dozen races, but this was the best shape I had ever been in. For one, I wasn’t smoking. It was a road race out near Mt Michael. I think it was 7 laps. On the second lap, I was sitting comfortably in the front, pulling. I had been drafting for a while, but the pace was so slow, I was beginning to fall asleep. Riding along, 2 riders “attacked.” I saw them flying forward and almost laughed. It was such a violent and stupid acceleration, it was obvious it would go nowhere. And then for some reason I will never understand, one of the attackers (He must have thought he was faster than he was) swerved his back wheel into my front wheel. I went down. So did the guy next to me and about 10 other people who were yelling at me for not holding my line. My back wheel was trashed. I had a spare in the wheel truck. After about 10 minutes I was going again. I was bleeding in a few places. I was alone for the last 5 laps. I think about 30 miles. Then I saw a lone rider ahead who slowed down so we could work together. Which we did until he dropped me on the last lap to go for 20-somethingth place.
I would not have bothered to finish at all except that this was part of a 3 race weekend and I was told I had to finish this or forfeit the other 2.
Later that day was a Time trial. I didn’t have a time trial bike. I had a steel road bike with clip-ons. I went home and showered and tried to clean my wounds and went back for the time trial. I finished 8th.
|I'm breaking so very many rules here. But in my defense, they didn't exist yet. Look how fat I was. Jeez. That explains a lot. That was 3 pounds more than I weigh now. But it was beer weight.|
Next day was a downtown crit. I woke up that morning very sore from the accident the day before and a little nervous about crashing again. Jason Kingsbury was announcing for some reason so that was kind of fun. He was like a poor man’s Ryan Feagan, but if I’m being honest, Ryan Feagan is totally a poor man’s Jason Kingsbury. I’ll let everyone else fight that one out. At the crit, I was dropped immediately.
Very shortly after that, I was pulled from the race in disgrace. Just to add insult, as I was slowing to the side of the road, I broke a spoke on the back wheel. This was the spare wheel from the day before. What bothered me was that I had lost 2 wheels that weekend and if that spoke had had the decency to break about 5 minutes earlier (before I got dropped), I would have had an awesome excuse to lose the crit so dramatically. As it was, I had torn up clothes, damaged equipment and humiliating losses. That weekend ended up costing me about $300. That’s when I realized how incredibly not worth it bike racing is. At least for someone in my situation.
So I quit. I also quit biking. I started golfing. The unclean spirit of cycling left my body. It was glorious.
For about 4 or 5 years, I was able to keep diligent watch, protecting myself from the evil spirits. But then, sometime in late 2011, I visited with a cycling demon as the fall approached. What harm could it do? I flirted with the demon until spring of 2012 when the cleansing purity of golf and all its beauty washed me anew. Welcome back, golf. Thanks for rescuing me from that torture and evil that is cycling.
So in the fall of 2012, I figured, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad last year. I think I can handle this winter cycling demon and get rid of it next spring in time for golf.”
Unfortunately, during the summer, the cycling demon told 7 of his friends he needed some help with me.
I have been lying to people. Saying things like “Oh yeah, Ima do this ‘til golf.”
Nope. I’m stuck. Like never before. I am 48 years old. I would literally ride any version of me from the past right off my wheel. I have 8 cycling demons driving me. Thank you Jesus for your wisdom.
Oh yeah. And fuck golf.
What will be interesting to me is to see how the golf demons respond. Bring it, golf demons.