With friends like these

Whilst away on my Northern tour last week, a number of text messages were received recounting the truly excellent riding I had been missing. In the midst of such self-congratulatory smugness at their happy trails was some nonsense around birthday rides. In a moment of funk, my response was to state the date for yet another Orbit of Al and expect the event to be greeted by stashed beer, some kind of naked lady display and my own troupe of bike-carry-up-the-hilla’s.

My phone – until this point at the epicentre of an informational tornado – fell strangely quiet. H’mm I thought, the boys are working on that naked ladies thing. They weren’t. Oh No. They were plotting. The bastards. You see everyone who has ever shared one ride with me is absolutely clear on where I stand when it comes to racing. Generally in the change-over area, beer in hand, pointing and laughing at the stupid.

It’s not like I haven’t tried. Okay not tried very hard, but even so the gap between my ego and any kind of performance cannot be stretched even with the most angsty competitive gland. So like any proper racer, I gave up because a sixth circuit of a crap course while completely knackered, wet and bored isn’t close to being worth the reward of 324th place.

I’ve watched my pals race. Even turned up rattling beer cans* before being suffused with righteous joy when – last year – nobody seemed that bothered. The J-Lab (short for Jez the Labrador, we had to shorten it as he’s so quick nowadays, you’d not have time for a full name) went time trialling mad, Martin suffered an injury that wrecked his summer, others fell by the wayside while I continued in the vanguard of being absolutely disinterested in paying to ride close to where I live, and yet on far worse trails.

So far, so groovy. But not now. The rapscallions have entered a team for Mountain Mayhem this year and my name (including that sneaky date of birth) is on the list. Much mirth is being displayed by 75{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} of the team, while the remaining 25{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} is more of your standing, arms folded, being grumpy.

Too late to back out now. I couldn’t deal with the humiliation. Might was well have that in a 24 hour dose at the event. Instead, I’ve turned my mind to race strategy. That being the two fit blokes go out on multi-lap epics while Martin and I eat sausages and drink beer. Already a key nutritional stipulation has been set; no less than three proper cheeses and a decent port.

Even so, it’s going to be grim. And if it is, I’m going to the pub. I’ll probably be drinking on my own tho with friends like these πŸ˜‰

* before quaffing a couple and legging it. It was bloomin cold that year.


3 thoughts on “With friends like these

  1. And we’re all getting to the age where you’ve forgotten what to do with the naked ladies anyway.


    Enjoy your ride. And the post lap port.

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