schmalz July racing

Not much has happened in my past three races. If I were a writer with an editor, they would certain recommend that I not begin an entry in that manner, as it encourages any potential readers to click away from my page as if it were a pop up ad for dysentery. But I don’t have an editor, so I will begin my entry in any manner I feel is appropriate, and supply my faithful readers with the typed dysentery that they have come to know and love.

The biggest news in my pretend athletic life is that I am now almost entirely free of the shingles that nearly brought me to both my metaphorical and literal knees in the past three weeks. I have made the journey from searing, torturous pain to simple itchiness, and I am grateful to have made it to that destination. Normally, itchiness would be an irritation, but after my agonizing journey through the suburbs of nerve pain, itchiness feels like a gentle back rub.

Now that I’ve become relatively torment-free, I’ve decided it’s time to resume my career as a pretend bike racer. Last Sunday I took part in two races for people my age in Branchbrook Park. I planned to do the 45+ race and then immediately take part in the 35+ race. This was an ambitious plan on my part, as I’ve only recently been able to sleep through the night, but my coach (me) is a demanding idiot, so I decided to double up.

The first race was lightly attended, but we were a frisky bunch of codgers. I got into an early attack with Allesandro from H+H and John from Bicycle Depot. We worked together for about two laps before I felt as if I were about to void my bowels with effort. I decided that I did not wish to defile Branchbrook Park in that manner, so I dropped out of the break. I rejoined the pack, and set about aiding teammate Pascal, as he seemed to not be on the verge of crapping himself.

Eventually Pascal got into a break, and I played the role of crusher of dreams in what was left of the group. I was successful and many dreams were annihilated, with Pascal’s break staying away. Allesandro won the race from a two-man break (he just stayed away and never came back). I didn’t contest the sprint for the last prize paying spot (I’m not a complete jerk), and decided to lead out one of the poor bastards that was still trying to catch the break. I was successful, and the last (beer) paying place went to aforementioned poor bastard. I was offered a cut of the spoils, and took two beers from the six pack. (they’re already gone).

In my second 35+ race, I just sat in and kept my poop together in the literal sense. I surged in for third place in the “no one cares” sprint for 10th place, winning nothing.

I decided to ride this wave of middling competency and take part in Tuesday’s race at FBF. This was my third participation at FBF after blasting open portions of my skin with shingles. The FBF series is winding down, so that means the race for the overall victory is getting spirited. Three points separated Ismael from Stalin on Tuesday night, guaranteeing that the two of them would race as if they were taped together. Any splits that didn’t include the duo were quickly nullified when one of them or the other would try to escape, prompting a chase from the other that brought the entire race along with them.

This happened all night.

I allowed myself to be pulled along by the hijinks. The pack churned and stretched and bounced off one another until we came to the nearly preordained field sprint. I whooshed in with the field, well behind winner Scott from Lupus—feeling friskier and in complete control of my bowels.

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