I’ve been scrubbing and scrubbing, but this whippin’ just won’t wash away. After spending 7 days in a downtown Atlanta “Manquarium” breathing the recycled fumes of a thousand people and fueling my body with stale mini-cinnamon buns and bad coffee, I anticipated yesterday’s ride like an unwrapped present.
Just me and my buddies, Mystery and Hambone, dear old true blue brothers in arms. What a ride we would have! What a team we would be! Stumbling forward into oblivion, that was me.
My comments regarding my devastating performance a couple of weeks ago, in which I stated that I sent all riders home with bloody noses and notes pinned to their shirts, was old news to me, faded glory- a robust joke among friends. How naiive. How utterly simple-minded of me.
Realizing they could never achieve vengeance alone, they employed Al Swearingen to weaken me the night before. Dazzled by pretty ladies and free bourbon, I lingered at a costume party late into the evening on Friday. Swearingen, who some may know as “Chuck” was always nearby with a proposed toast. Yes, absolutely, let’s drink to trees, “To trees!” And so it went.
Saturday morning the trap was sprung.
4 hours of abuse and punishment as my “reunion” ride became “the ride of ultimate atonement”.
New routing, relentless miles on road and trail, I realized I was alone in my honor and respect for my brothers, and they intended to kill me, or my spirit in the least.
I hung my head.
After 3 hours of rabid attacks we called a truce at a Circle K in- I think- a completely different city than where we started the ride. I made a whispered offer to the clerk, a $100 if he would give me a ride home and punch Mystery in the face. One look at Mystery’s steaming red eyes and the clerk gave me my change with callous indifference, happy to sacrifice my carcass to save his own. Children today are spineless I tell you, spineless.
After 40 accumulated miles the Live Oak Connector was to be the scene of the final blow. I limped from the woods and raised my flag. Not today boys, not today.