You can’t really know what it’s like to be stranded in a jury room while the team is on campaign, but you can read about it because I hand-typed it.
So I was there with 11 or 12 others – not really counting, but rather, thinking, imagining. We were supposed to be talking about her, and if she did it, or if he did, or if his lover did. Rain streamed down the windows, obscuring the view of the adjacent building. A fluorescent light ballast whined. My pocket vibrated. I was not supposed to have it but I did.
It was Maarten. He was babbling about “stress testing the Seasuckers and downloading the .pdf while Angry Jonny drives and I am in the backseat and the wind is 104 miles per hour.” I was not sad to be missing this. In fact this statement was very boring. It was like claiming a science project to be exciting, and I know that answer already. I accidentally hit the thing on the screen that makes your message read out loud. I use Dolly Parton’s voice for Maarten. I call her Dolly Maarten. Anyways, I had do to some coughing to cover that sound, but then I began to miss them.
Things were beginning to happen, which I could tell because of the ringtones. Nine to Five. Islands in the Stream. Jolene. The hits came pouring in like desperate waters.
Being as it was a dream to even show at Redlands, all were beside themselves with ambition. We’ll keep it between us that all it took was a check with $10,000 spelled correctly, which incidentally would prove to be the hardest thing next to the bike racing.
The bikes came off and were held in mid-air for electronic drivetrain maintainances.
Maarten got drunk and started throwing bagels at everyone. In public. Early. In front of a baby.
Quickly the goal switched from winning races to just celebrating what had already been won: looking like the most macho equipe of haute hommes this side of Ibiza.
Sometimes they rode very upright and got sweaty.
At other times, because of reasons we know, they would lean over a little bit and dry off a little bit, kind of at the same time.
They also weren’t afraid to eat some piéce du melon and play a game of “who has the most macho-man-hair of us?”. This activity REALLY allowed for drying off.
It was even continued into night times, this game, where it evolved into another popular set of games such as “What you’re saying is SO interesting,” “Are you going to eat that?” and “Why are you going to eat that, you’re getting fat.”
But then things got serious.
First, Maarten pulled over to yell to Rapha Tillie. They yelled at each other about some important things such as: the heavy burden of being responsible for making so many people look incredible in cycling clothes, may I please have a ristretto, why am i the only one yelling here, and sorry for yelling.
Realizing that he had some yelling to do further up the road, Maarten jammed Gnome in the back and sped back up the corsa parcourse etape to 1) yell, and 2) show some more people his car stickers, and 3) see if anyone was thirsty or had low/flat tires.
After a few days of doing this over and over, it was over. Some teams had winners who won, and got to be on the top step of the winning boxes. Team Superissimo had tired, tired men. They had selections of knobs and washing machine settings to choose from. They had hair to wash and condition and mousse. They had fun.
If you have followed us this season you will know that we have The Chad. He is about as tough as an axe handle and had some high hopes for a strong showing at the Redland. He was occupied by invaders, however, and had – as he always does – a gracious and truly sportsmannish take on his experience.
… on the Thursday before the race I started to come down with something and it got worse through the weekend. I woke up on Sunday and thought there’s no way I’m going to be able to race. But after a motivational speech from my wife I decided to give it a go. What I’ve learned after many years in this sport is that it’s a rare and miraculous occasion when everything goes perfect and falls right into place, and when it does it’s glorious. This wasn’t one of those perfect moments for me. But, I wasn’t going to sit this one out after all the training I had put in. I was going to go see what I could do no matter what.
… I gave it what I had and it was not enough for a good result. It was a tough one for me to swallow, knowing what I’m capable of when firing on all cylinders. In the crit I actually felt good. The power was there. I could position myself anywhere in the field I wanted. Things were looking up. I was looking forward to Sunset. It’s a great course and usually selective. I was thinking this could be my day. That all changed the first time up the climb. I was on a horrible day, I just kept trying to push and the body wasn’t co-operating. I got dropped on the first climb! I couldn’t believe it, one of my worst days on the bike. I put my head down in hopes I would come around and ended up chasing for 1.5hrs to no avail.
… It’s hard not to have a good time when you are surrounded by a great, fun, and enthusiastic team. The Redlands community is awesome. They really support the race and make it special. I want to give a big thanks to everyone that make team Superissimo possible. And I’m pretty sure more good results are just around the corner!
With that, how could anyone be mad about anything? Well, anyone besides Maarten, because no matter what, he is just going to yell, but it’s okay because it smells like Pernod.
Thank you, Redland. It was handsome, so handsome.
Now, I guess I have to figure out who is guilty or not. Or if I can just sneak out the window. There is more hand-typing to do.