It really irritates me to have to put those quotes around "Won" in the title of this blog entry. Frankly, I won the 2010 Highland Rim Cycling Classic this past Saturday in every way that really matters -- which is my way. I dominated the event. I was masterful. My power was beyond mortal comprehension as I zipped past my lowly competitors and motored up the climbs.
The only reason that I place those contemptible quotation marks around the word "Won" (and I did win it) is because I was not actually the first person in my group to go over the finish line.
I consider this a minor -- and tiresome -- technicality.
My failure ... well, no, that's not the right word ... the inappropriateness of the timing by which I crossed the finish line in glorious victory (or what should have been victory) I can only blame on RandoBoy and Mother Nature. I can understand RandoBoy's hatred -- like almost everyone else on this planet, he envies my raw power, not to mention my ethereal handsomeness, quick wit, and raw sexual energy. But why does Mother Nature conspire against me so? What have I ever done to her?
But, I am probably getting ahead of myself (this happens when you are as fast as I am). I will tell you the story in a simple chronological fashion, so that your mortal minds will have a chance of understanding.
Another one of the wonderful things about me is that I can still relate to you little people.
First off, when I signed up for this race I was primarily interested in the time trial, a 2.5-mile climb up Hwy 8, with an average grade of 8%. I prefer to race time trials rather than road races, since the time trial is the "race of truth." It is the purest way to illustrate a cyclist's strength ... and I am all about strength. I signed up for the road race mainly as a lark, and for something to do in the morning before my time trial. I did not sign up for the criterium because it was not being held until Sunday, and the scenery on a criterium is usually boring.
Friday evening, I got everything ready to go and loaded in the RAAMinator. (I am willing to call RandoBoy's vehicle the RAAMinator since the R does stand for Race.) My Bianchi was clean and lubed, and I had packed recovery food and drink. I was bringing two sets of wheels -- my new Reynold's Strikes and some that Gran Fondo had built for RandoBoy.
I am racing on the Gran Fondo team this year, and I must admit that RandoBoy's association with this fine bike shop is one of the few semi-intelligent choices that I have seen him make. The wheels that I was bringing, for example, are 32-/36-spoke wheels, but fairly light with Mavic Open Pro rims and Shimano DuraAce hubs. They weigh about half a pound more than the Reynold's wheels, but I wanted to bring them in case it was windy at the race.
Saturday morning, I arose early and ate breakfast, and then drove down to McMinnville for the race. I arrived about 7 am, with plenty of time before my group was scheduled to go off just after 9 am. This allowed me to pick up my packet, pin on my numbers, drink a couple of bottles of Gatorade, and get my bike ready to go. The weather looked good for the morning, with light winds, so I decided to use the Reynold's wheels. This was when I discovered that RandoBoy was trying to ruin my race.
You see, the Reynold's wheels must be used with Reynold's brake pads, and I soon realized that RandoBoy had left the old training brake pads on my Bianchi. Worse, he did not put the Reynold's pads and some tools in the RAAMinator, so I could not change them that morning.
Fortunately, I am imaginative and inventive, and when life gives me limes I merely slice them up and serve them to myself on the edge of a glass filled with Bombay Sapphire, tonic water, and ice. I decided that I would do the road race on the heavier wheels, and then change to the Reynold's for the time trial. Since the time trial was an uphill 2.5-mile course, I would not need brakes there.
After warming up, I went to the starting line to wait with the other Category 5 racers. There, I finally met my sole Cat 5 Gran Fondo teammate, David Bradbury. As we talked, I discovered that he works for the same company as RandoBoy; he seemed like a nice-enough fellow, nonetheless.
The Cat 5's finally started about 9:15. A small group went off the front early, but we were all together by the time we reached the base of Baker Mountain Road. I had done this climb many times before ... or, at least, RandoBoy had ... and David and I stayed near the front as we went up. About half a mile from the top, I decided to ease off to conserve strength for the afternoon time trial (not that I needed to, of course, but it seemed prudent) and waved David on with the small group.
Once the climb was over, I pulled together some of the other riders as we motored along the plateau. We picked up some of the lead group's racers for the next 25 miles until we had about 10 riders. As we came down Hwy 8 towards the finish line, I could tell that the lead group, including my teammate David, had already crossed the line. The sprint in my group was fairly laid back, which suited me as I was already thinking about the time trial again.
I quickly changed into street clothes and ate some recovery food, then went to check on my start for the time trial. The schedule had me going at 4:25 pm, so I had plenty of time to kill. I hung around with some of my friends from Team Belladium, drinking and noshing and watching the Pro/1/2 racers finish up.
I watched the juniors and Pro/1/2 racers head off for the early slots in the time trial at 2:30 pm. The skies above me clouded up soon after, and then the thunder began. About 3:30, heavy rain began and I climbed into the RAAMinator, where I watched as the lightning and hail rained down until about 4 pm. During this time, I got back into biking clothes and got the Bianchi ready for the time trial. As always, I was thinking, planning, and getting ready to perform my best.
As the rain stopped, I pulled the bike out of the RAAMinator and finished putting on my cycling gear, then asked if starting times had been delayed by the weather. An official finally told us that they had temporarily halted racing when the lightning first began, and that they were waiting for it to stop. At this rate, I would not get to start until after 5 pm.
I started to wonder if Mother Nature was going to rain out this event to keep me from humbling the field, as she had done on the Gatorade Criterium May 2. The lightning storms continued to rumble through the area, and my concerns proved true (as do most of my predictions -- comes with the super-genius territory, I guess). They eventually cancelled the time trial for the remaining categories.
I had refrained from decimating the field on the road race so that I could annihilate them at the time trial, but Mother Nature stepped in and terminated the time trial. I am in the process of filing a protest with the Tennessee Bicycle Racing Association to have me named the winner of the time trial, using the precedences of manifest destiny and divine rule. Barring this, I will have them elevate me to my rightful position as winner of the road race due to force mejeure -- although it will be difficult to keep them from getting confused as to whether the weather was the Act of God, or if I am.
Sometimes I get confused myself.