Friday, December 18, 2009


The comforting thing about the holidays is their predictability: you know you’ll have at least one opportunity to get a bit tipsy on a weekday afternoon while half-heartedly gift shopping; you can be assured that a big box of Deb’s cookies will come in the mail; and you can sleep well knowing that on the last Thursday or so before Christmas, there will be a roaring clusterfuck of a bicycle race around Greenlake hosted by a drunken loudmouth who will crack you up with awkward and hilariously inappropriate observations about participants and attendees, which will culminate in a perfectly unreasonable amount of alcohol abuse and, of course, another win for now three-time Race of Champion winner, Padraig Patrick, who once again prevailed—although admittedly, without having to compete against the absent and magical Daniel Featherhead.

Conditions this year, unlike in last year’s Snowpocalypse, were perfectly ideal for riding; imagine a mid-December evening in Seattle where one doesn’t even get rained on! And while I didn’t, as I’d hoped, make it to the Westlake meet-up, there was something fitting about catching up to the ride mid-stride, as I’ve done this year all quarter long.

As it was, I arrived just in time to take off with the start of the December race-in heat, in which I rode just long enough to finish the traditional racetime victory cigar which, as usual, did little to propel me to victory, but which did alleviate any pangs of conscience I might otherwise have felt about bailing on the competition so early—without even trying to reprise my Rosie Ruiz schtick from last year.

As for the human drama of athletic competition, I’d have to say the high point of the evening was the footdown competition, in which the Angry Hippy once again demonstrated the old adage that “age and treachery will always triumph over youth and enthusiasm,” a message no less apt for being obvious, nor any less welcome for being traditional.


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