Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ben Hur II

Last night's Omaha Trek Store club ride had many of the characteristics for the remaking of a classic, including a predictable script, familiar protagonists/antagonists, some iconic imagery and mildly entertaining dramatic scenes filled with gratuitous violence. And like any great epic's sequel, the entire story took more than two hours to unfold.

The Script
A classic always has an excellent script from which it's sequel lifts nearly everything. Having participated in two different local clubs' rides, I've learned that there is a certain storyline that is followed. Every time. It's usually a four-part plot: 1) a group warm up, 2) an up-tempo period followed by 3) a sprint to an imaginary finish line, 4) regroup and repeat.

Most of the drama comes during the sprints. In a club ride, the sprint's finish line could be anything, but it's typically a permanent roadside marker, such as a town's welcome sign, a highway mile marker post, or the _______ that's at the top of a hill. What that _______ is one may never know because, as your heart is exploding inside your ribcage, the pack stands up and drops you for the final charge to that _______. One fine day, I hope to discover what that _______ is on 78th St near Ft. Calhoun. But as for now, that _______ remains a mystery. Actually, not knowing what that _______ is is one of the reasons that I return each week.

Protagonists & Antagonists
There were about 15 riders last night. Among those numbers there's bound to be supporters and adversaries. The latter are the ones who attack often, ride out of line and fire snot rockets on you without mercy. I'd like to think that I'm a protagonist, but who knows? Maybe I irritate people because it's difficult to draft behind me, or because I'm too chatty/not chatty enough, or simply that I ride a yellow bike that Lucas called an old clunker last night. Trust me, there are always good and bad riders. If for nothing else, it makes it interesting.

Iconic Scenery
It's exciting enough to be in a group that's riding in an aggressive pace line, but last night's ride also featured two horses galloping in a field alongside us on Hwy 75. What a spectacle! I wish I had a picture to share, but that wasn't possible in the midst of a total hammerfest. The scene was truly iconic and reminiscent of the Ben Hur chariot race. I kept a wary eye for an adversary's cross wheeling during that time.

Gratuitous Violence
Speaking of that, there was a crash earlier in the ride. Right after the first sprint, we regrouped along E Bennington Rd and had just settled into a moderate pace into 20 mph crosswinds with 30 mph gusts. In my peripherals behind me, I saw it all go down. It wasn't pretty. Apparently, a blast of wind pushed a rider into the line of another. There was a metallic clanging sound followed by a loud !Yelp! Then suddenly, as if his bike was violently yanked out beneath him - Whammo! -- the rider hit the deck really hard. Cycling crashes are never fun. As Munson pointed out recently, it's like stripping to your underwear -- skivvies as Mom calls them -- and jumping out of your car. Fortunately, no one was injured last night. Shim didn't need a queue for his line, "no broken bones, we continue to ride."

Like any good epic, there's always a sequel. Unfortunately, the sequel typically sucks as everyone already knows the story and has a predictable outcome. It is no different here at WSCG.

Sorry folks, no refunds.


  1. true, all true. Of course, the sequel's sequel often introduces new characters. You know, to keep things fresh.

    That'd be me.

    Next week.


  2. The sprint spot on 78th near Ft. Calhoun is.......

    Should I tell?

    I've only been that victor 2, maybe 3 times.

    Ok. It's this.

    Now, win that sprint next time!

  3. Again I State: Brady's bike is an old yellow clunker, while the majority of us were riding high end materials... and the point I was making was he was still kicking some serious butt. Steel cut is a strong mutha.