Tuesday, February 5, 2008

feet v. wheels

the statement lingered like a fart stuck to denim. i paced and changed out a set of cables on a madone while listening to this guy continue to speak. i remember when i was his age. his person. i had his mouth and his confidence. i also made the same mistakes he was about to make. "i'm your huckleberry" i finally told him.

the trail was muddy and wet and what he didn't know was that i ran out here at night probably 60 days out of the year. i knew where the trees were down. i knew where he would lose speed and i would gain it. see. i also ride out here 60 nights a year as well. i know both perspectives and i am just sharp enough to take this to the next level.

pimpbot thinks he can beat any runner on his mountain bike over the entire 12 mile ridgeline trail at night. i don't think he can. this is why we were out there tonight. while not as watched as the super bowl, this one certainly was met with an enthusiastic and passionate crowd. more side betting than a brooklyn dice game. i told the falcon i'd be first to fox hollow, but he would be in front of me at willamette. but i would beat him to dillard and the finish. cell phones and checkpoints were established and quietly we were off.

the mud was thick and within 2 minute i was jumping over his bike as he went down in a rooty turn. he was already nervous and looking back and made his first mistake of many. i knew that the climb would give me space and i took it sooner than i thought. i could hear him closing on the drop into the crossing and fox hollow. the falcons blueish grin as he showed me how he could stick his mag lite into his mouth and turn his cheeks red. i heard pimpbot whoosh into the parking lot as i was starting the climb up towards the butte turn off. the switchback gave me space to count the seconds back he was. i knew i was going to be caught on the downhill, but i wanted to minimize the damage for the last climb. i heard him go down trying to set up another pass and i knew this night was mine. i hit the willamette crossing at the same time as him. he was worked into a lather. muddy. wet and distressed. herky jerky, i see his headlight dancing as he stands up to push the pace and gain time. he knows another big climb and downhill are coming. i catch up on kneejerk with him pushing his bike and the little fucker actually tries to block me when i run by. he makes a statement about leaving tire marks on my back and then his light fades. word up. i top out and lay it all out and then i make a mistake myself and overshoot a turn. okay, it's muddy for me too. fine. the ipod finds its way to 30 seconds to mars and the adrenaline starts to pump. i am flying now, each step putting further and further distance from his loud cusses and further mistakes. soon, i hear the guys yelling and see the headlights and headlamps as i drop into dillard to groans and yells. money and beer changing hands. grins all around we all turn to the shrew who is documenting the time. 2 minutes later pimpbot rolls in and rides ride over to his truck and throws it in the back and drives away. yelling at his girlfriend in the passenger seat as he leaves.

today, the two feet reign. tomorrow is another day.
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