Why oh why oh why?

This post is written in the style of an eighties revisionist parady of Barry Took presenting Points Of View. Proper Public Service Broadcasting hosted by a man for whom a Christmas Cardigan held no fashion fears.

Alison B Yoghurt writes I see that you’ve decided to waste both your time and money entering an enduro race in which only embarrassment and possible permanent injury awaits. Why oh Why?

To answer honestly, I’ve absolutely no idea. Other than to wheel out the old staple that it seemed like a good idea at the time. Since this broad category includes painting barn doors, relocating sofas and abandoning alcohol self medication, it’s should be obvious that it lacks efficacy when compared to anything within striking distance of sensible.

My mountain biking racing career is barely worthy of the name. Rubbish at short circuit racing, disinterested in anything longer, it’s been a litany of excuses and heartfelt assertions that I’d never do it again. And yet here we are with twelve hours of pain and suffering awaiting my tragically unprepared form a mere day away..

There is some good news. Rather than undertake such a pointless endeavour alone, I’ve roped in an expert who has both a racing provenance and a level of fitness that is my Icarus to his sun. So working to the team strengths, I’ll be frantically ushering him to complete a few more laps while I mentally prepare myself.

The course apparently suits aggressive riding on a hardtail bike. Sadly my arse suits something rather more comfortable and I’m tempted to drag my talent compensating full suspension steed round in ever decreasing circles augmented by a copy of the Times Literary Supplement for the boring bits.

There is a huge gulf in my expectorations defined by the dichotomy between my burning competitive spirit and complete absence of talent. A gap that can only be closed by my riding partner being burdened with the lion’s share of the race and my rather fitful efforts interspersing his fast laps. He’s remarkably sanguine about this and in my defence I’ve never done more than mumble the talk when we’re discussing race strategy.

My strategy is already well defined. It matches my generic knowledge of B-Space (This is Bar Space where one becomes omnipotent in the galaxy of bar opening hours) and an upfront hamstring injury. Come 5pm and the opening of the alcohol therapy tent, I shall be found stoically limping in the direction of the bar while extolling my friend to bring it home for the team

It’s important to ensure that my fellow racers understand my ironic approach to the whole event. To this end, I’ll grunge my way to the start line in baggy shorts and loose fitting shirt. There is no way this temple of abuse which I like to think of my honed frame can ever be clad in skin right lycra. If only to save any children from significant therapy in latter life. It’s a look completed by peril sensitive sunglasses and flat pedals.

What I’m trying to project is that seriousness was no part of my racing strategy and I’m merely here for the beer. Still, you can only fool some of the people some of the time so I confidently expect whippersnappers clad in figure hugging sponsor’s billboard to decry my finely crafted image with hey fat bloke, you’re not going to die in front of me are you?�?

Sticks and stones and all that. The rights of passage which dignify my daily commuting battle shall keep a few behind and a sad raging against the dying of the light may spring the odd surprise. But only if the boredom of a tented existence tomorrow night is not assuaged by necking a thousand beers.

My kids see it for what it is and query my assertion that someone has to be last with yeah but dad, it’s always you

Ms Yoghurt plaintively whines Don’t you think you could be doing something more worthwhile?”

Yes I could. Before I handed over the bank’s money for twelve hours of Guantanamo Bay, I’d failed to check the World Cup schedule. So while I’m sweating lager in the weary pursuit of almost everyone else, our mighty team will be crossing swords with some tin pot South American dictatorship. Shame it’s 2006, a hundred years ago, we’d send in a gunboat and that’d be the end of it.

But really, how bad can it be? I’ll tell you on Monday if I’ve survived.

3 thoughts on “Why oh why oh why?

  1. nickc

    Remember; this time, when giving way to faster riders, try not to ride headlong into some bushes, doing serious damage to yourself and the bike.

    Top advice that, can’t go wrong.

  2. Alex

    Faster riders? No I don’t remember any of those. There were a *few* I let through for the sake of their self esteem. Are they the ones you mean 😉

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