Monday, December 7, 2009

My Bike Bromance

Like the a bratwurst rolling out of the bun at the ball game, he fell to the ground in his skinsuit hooting and hollering, jiggling and wiggling. I love bratwurst and in a Scrubs guy-love kind of way, I love Tony. Despite the scruffy beard and thick glasses, I couldn’t resist. I pounced on him screaming. Woots all around. After years of disappointments, near misses and countless training rides in crappy weather and dank basements, my teammate and bud Tony Franklin won his first cyclocross race and the Kentucky State Cat 3 Master 35+ Championships. I wouldn’t doubt he crapped his chamois when he saw me roll in 2nd. It was also the first race ever that we went 1-2, an amateur cycling wet dream. You better get a hanky or some triple-ply toilet paper, because this two-wheeled bromance gets even juicer and could evoke a man tear.

I got a typical Tony call last Thursday, full of stress, self doubt and tragedy. He was asking how hard it was to get reimbursed for a race after already signing up on Truesport. “What? You’re not gonna race?” I enquired. He said something like, naw man. I just got too much going on. My shifter is totally busted making this awful nose and I don’t think I can get it fixed in time. Plus I gotta work late Saturday night. I’ll be up till two in the morning. It’s just gonna be too much. Being a helpful bro as possible, I gave him a line on the promoter’s email address and offered to pick up his reimbursement when I got to the Storm the Greens course in Louisville. In true guy fashion, the whole conversation took about 1 minute and 23 seconds.

Then it stewed in my head. I woke up Saturday morning thinking WTF. It’s the Kentucky State Championships and for the last 2-3 races only one or two guys from Kentucky have been as fast as my Kentucky bro. He practically had a lock on the podium. If he could hold his fitness and the cross gods would shine down upon him at the race, he had a pretty damn good chance at winning the State Championships. Shit Tony. What are you doing? Plus, I had figured out earlier in the week that if I won the race and my closest competition in the series finished 4th, I could win the series. I needed him in the race on the outside chance he could finish behind me but in front of the series leader to give me the finishing spread I needed. There was a chance I could win the race and the series and, since I am from Ohio, he could win the KY State Champs. I called him at 10am. Sure I had an ulterior motive, but I also have a big heart for Tony. He’s the type of guy that can get knocked down a hundred times and still come back for more. I didn’t want to see him to have nine months of regrets and give up on a big opportunity. I also had an ulterior motive not to hear him bitch on every single ride for the next nine months that he could’ve won that race.

I all but offered my own bike. “Dude, if you need a shifter, I’ll pull the one off my road bike for ya. Plus I got some Sram Force 10sp in a box that I was planning to upgrade my road bike with, but you can use it this weekend if you want. C’mon man. If you’re too busy, just drop your bike off and I’ll put it on there for ya.” As it turned out, Tony scavenged up a Tiagra shifter on Friday, but still wasn’t sure about having to work late and get up before dawn to drive to Louisville. I started to get mushy on him. “I was just thinking that it’s the KY State Championships. You’re riding really well bud. I think you got a shot at the podium…and…uh…I…I don’t want you to miss it.”

He said something like, “Aw man, I know ya love me. Thanks for thinking of me. Let me think about it.” I added, “by the way I’m about to head out for a little pre-race ride if ya want to join me.” He obliged and on the last of three leg opening sprints, he beat me. I’m pretty sure right then and there he made the decision to race. And, now you know…the rest…of the story. Good…………….day.

For more guy-love goodness check this out:


Amanda said...

Well done, boys. It was cold as shit out that morning. I was down there. spectating. congrats to you both!

Anonymous said...

Truly you are an eloquent writer of cycling and I enjoy your stuff- I've cruised a few miles with Tony in the past- He's a great guy- Definitely a competitor- You guys rocked in Louisville!!

Joe Biker said...

aw shucks. Anonymous-love.

Kim Swecker said...

I'm not really so anonymous- maybe computer challenged- Tell your pal Tony that Kim is looking for him and I believe I read that you indulge in a good bagel now and then- I run the Brueggers in Clifton- Coffee's on me as long as you talk bikes!

Joe Biker said...

will do. Mmm bagels. Used to go there all the time when BioWheels was in Clifton.