Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I shoulda played football

At last week's Nature Valley Grand Prix, I laid a guy out. I came around a this corner, and--what's this?--there was this guy standing in the middle of the road! He was just standing there, like he was lost, like he was trying to get hit, like he was asking for it. He was a tall, skinny rider on the Priority Health team, and he'd just crashed moments before. He'd gotten up, and was standing in the road like a dazed and slightly wobbly bowling-pin, and I was his bowling ball. I wasn't even able to brake much, I just turned a little, which aligned my shoulder directly with his sternum. I was going at least 25 miles per hour into the corner, and might have been able to slow to about 20 before we collided. I've never been a part of such a perfect transfer of momentum, as though we were a set of those metallic balls, the kind that perch on the desks of pretentious CEOs, click-clacking back and forth forever, only the Priority Health rider didn't clack back. I was the safety pile-driving the unsuspecting wide-receiver. I was the Mack truck T-boning the Geo Metro. To be honest, it was pretty fun. I was 185 lbs. moving very fast, then suddenly, not moving at all. I never even hit the ground; I just unclipped my feet and, learning from my recent physics experiment, ran very quickly to the side of the road so I might avoid the same brutality I'd just dispensed. The poor Priority Health guy was lifted into the air, and landed heavily for the second time in 30 seconds. A few moments later, when we were both sitting on our bikes held upright by race officials, waiting to be reinserted into the race, I offered an apology. "I am so sorry, I really didn't mean to do that" I bleated, but the other racer just glared at me like a dazed boxer. The next day, I apologized again, and he was receptive: "I've got all my teeth, and my bones are intact. I can't ask for much more". What a gracious pro. I briefly debated offering, as a consolation, the fact that my shoulder hurt like hell, but quickly decided against adding this insult to his numerous injuries.

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