From the Memoirs of Juan Benedicto Bolty Poolside Cool Romance Wheelarosa, living in TarryTown Manor & Mike the Moose
First, from the Directeur:
It truly has been a long journey through thyme, my olde friends. On the sacred trail of Provocatorio, set ablaze by rainbow beams and magic flowers, painting the cosmic landscapes where our celestial beings bodybuild and write poetry dedicated to the pump. This is is the very spirit of the Ultra Provocatorio. Ancient prophesies foretold of such a grandiose 5 MAN/woMAN team fondo, and I am happy to report that the Ancients shone down upon all who ventured forth last Saturday, January the 7th, 2012.
Three years ago Patrizio and I came upon Commons Ford Park in the Cuernevaca kingdom of Austin. Being an amateur history buff, I was instantly taken by the idea of a “common’s ford”, where the commoners would ford the river in olden thymez to go grill wieners and ride dirt bikes at City Park after a long day of pecan farming. Patrizio and I then forged the idea that would come tantalizingly close to fruition just a few short days ago: to hold a bicycle event that would ford a river.
Fast forward to the future, Patrizio lives elseware to concentrate on his sexy fireman’s calendar company, leaving the ever galliant Sir Christoph as my Chief of Staff and Lord Gaubert as my Secretary of the Interior in these thymez of general provocation and civil masculine unrest. Lord Gaubert was to no one’s surprise instantly aroused by such posibilities of valliant water crossings, conjuring heroic images of General Washington crossing the icy Delaware accompanied by his grissled gaggle of volunteers…. Alas, it took a few more nude Pure Austin sauna sessions to convince the intelligibly hesitant Sir Christoph that such a gamble was in fact a sustainable idea (turns out it wasn’t, but more on that later). In the end, it was decided that we would rent a party barge captained by Sir Cristoph’s courageous father, Capt Timatio, to ferry our lycra clad “commoners” across the passage to City Park. We then based the 157th edizione of the Ultra Provocatorio Invitaionale around this vision.
Lord Gaubert was set to work routing a suitable passage through the wind swept plains of our Eastern province, through valley and glade, straddling great ribbons of strade bianche. Audacious and daring, these roads twisted and turned their way back to the West, where the warriors of the Provocatorio would meet the Colorado river and the shadowy hills beyond.
Sir Christoph poured his firey little heart into taking care of the details and selling his first born son into slavery to pay for the event. Thanks Sam Trickey, see you in a few years. Count Von Slatzevald and Raphiel of the Roman Bath Houses designed criptic imagery that would puzzle even the most sensualy advanced Free Mason. New signing Zach Morris, formerly of Team Saved by the Bell: The College Years, organized things with the fury of a man possessed and with devastating wrath produced magnificent Excel spread sheets. Jim Day kept my tired brain young with the promise of perhaps sharing a Vespa ride with me at the finale of the event. All in all, truth be told, all of TWM stepped up to help out in order to produce the most sensationale event of the year to date. With such an all star cast of wonderful people, this Invitationale’ will be a legend that will remain thymless throughout thymless thyme.
And what a thyme it was, my old friends. The village of Royal Blue Grocery hosted the grand depart down Congress ave, and off went the savage warrior teams of 5. Through tundra, searing heat, valleys deep, and mountains high…. they emerged civilized MEN/woMEN at Austin Tricyclists 84 miles into the future. It was at the afterparty that everyone feasted their refined palates upon delicious gourmet Taco Deli tacos and North by Northwest micro brew mead and grog.
All had gone exceptionally well with but a few minor chinks in our armor. Most notably the water crossing getting shut down by the evil wizards of the Addy Roy Neighborhood Association after just one fortunate team out of 25 teams made it across. Sir Christoph tried in vain, but the Addy Roy wizard’s black magic was too powerful for his pop star good looks. The course was quickly re routed, and the event went on to reach statuses unrivaled by any other in the Galaxy of Texas. Romantic, traditional, and ultra, exactly as the ancient prophesies foretold so long ago. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work to make this event happen, Ciao Ciao Juan Benedicto Poolside Cool Romance (with a little editing from Patrizio Hawt Tradition)
Now, from TWM’s own Moose Morgovnik … a view from the inside:
I arrived at Royal Blue Grocery Congress to a sea of lycra-clad riders and an ocean of bikes. After finding a place to park up my ride (that didn’t piss off the silly little man at the bank next to RBG), I worked my way inside to find a cappuccino and the Manager’s Meeting. Benedict and Sir Chris did a wonderful job of giving out the directions and the rules for the ride, emphasizing that this was NOT a race, and the rules of the road must be obeyed.
I worked my way back downstairs to find the rest of the boys looking handsome and ready to show these amateurs a thing or two about riding a bicycle.
At 0900 the first team set off and we were quickly upon them at 0902. We caught up and passed our “2 minute team” less than 1 mile into the ride, as we turned off of S. Congress and onto Academy.
We motored fairly well together, warming up the legs and keeping things serious and moving well. Once upon the “old ‘nighter” course, Jaime managed to catch all of the 3 foot wide pothole with his rear wheel and pinch-flatted. With a little bit of team work, we had the wheel out, the tire off and the new tube in and inflated in around 90 seconds. I sort of expected to see another team ride by us at this point, but no one was in sight. We were back moving and rotating through the line in no time. Joot flew over the top a few times and really ramped up the pace to keep us all honest as we worked our way to and through Creedmoor and onto Old Lockhart Highway.
We rolled onto the first sector of pave and were moving pretty well. I had a bottle eject on this first sector and Jaime turned back to pick it up….no sense leaving a full water bottle behind this early into the event. Roman, Joot and Pico had to stop and wait for us, but we were quickly back together. Pico determined that, with Jaime’s light, climber’s build, it would be best for him to sit on my wheel while Roman, Joot and Pico rotated at the front through the pave sectors. This worked quite well, although I think I might have mis-judged my efforts and kindness, as by the end of sector 2 of pave, I was feeling the effort quite a bit.
Upon reaching the end of Sector 2 we met up with some of the support crew. Murdock had his sandwiches all neatly arranged and Kookie was there to offer support and a replacement tube for the one Jaime lost. We took a quick and handsome nature break, rehydrated and were back on the road. Again, I expected to have another team reach us, but none did.
After our quick little stop, we got rolling again, but unfortunately, this is where the wheels started to come off the wagon for the Moose. Out of despiration from the Cedar Fever I had suffered from for several days leading up to the event, I mistakenly altered the dose of my trusty Pot Belge, adding the highly experimental Zrytec-D. This had the effect of stopping my nose from melting off of my face, which was a nice change from the previous few days. On the negative side of the equation, my legs decided to cramp like a Cat6 racer on his first 20 mile ride, and so, 30 miles into our effort I was feeling “not so good.”
The team rallied and kept me from getting too down on myself. We stayed the course, but, thanks to my fecked legs, the pave at Sector 3 was taken at a pedestrian pace. A few long head/cross-wind sections after Sector 3, combined with a few rises, saw every teammate taking a turn at giving me a bit of a push.
Upon arrival at Cabela’s, I knew I’d have to stop for some more fluids and for some electrolytes/SALT. We pulled into the parking lot of the CVS at the beginning of Old San Antonio road and I dismounted and quickly realized my quads wanted to lock up rather than walk. I made my way inside and, with the help of Jaime, located 2 bottles of V8 and a bottle of Gatorade. I chugged one bottle of V8 and put the other in my pocket for later. I refilled my bottles and we were off. I learned as we resumed that 787 had passed us while I was in the store. I was disappointed in myself for being the weak-link on this ride, but knew there was still a long way to go and the possibility of catching up (and maybe even recovering) at the water crossing.
Just a short distance from the CVS, Joot felt his rear wheel going limp and we confirmed we’d need to stop and get a wheel change. Again, teamwork was the order of the day and, about 2 minutes after stopping, we were rolling again.
Roman set a fierce tempo for the remainder of Old San Antonio Road that I simply had no way of responding to. Again the boys looked after me and we all regrouped at 1626. We made a few route mis-calculations at this point, but eventually were back onto Manchaca Road. We saw Zach and made our turn, only to miss the next turn and ride around a bit lost. Eventually we found our way to William Cannon and were among at least 2 other teams. We kept the tempo steady and the other two teams decided not to ride with us. We rolled quite well together through Travis Cook Road/Barton Creed Blvd, and my legs even managed to get me up to Bee Caves without locking up. We worked our way towards the water crossing, looking forward to a snack and a bit of a break, before the last 20+ miles of fun. We arrived to find Sir Chris looking a bit down as he advised the water crossing was out. There was no time and no need for questions, we got turned around and headed back to 360 and the final few challenges. At this point there were teams all over the place and it was difficult to know where we really stood on the road, and due to the back-tracking, several teams that were behind us were now ahead of us.
TWM stayed motivated as we cruised down 360, again I needed support and a few helping hands to get me over some of the climbs. I think by this point everyone was pretty well cooked, but we knew where we were, we knew our goal and we knew we just needed to get the job done.
As we spun our way into town, we were passed by four of the Rothe Racing Lazzzerz riders. They shouted back and forth with Pico about some coffee and Pico filled us in that there were several shots of espresso on the line. I pointed out that they seemed to be a rider down……as their fifth man was missing. Of course, at this point we were missing Jaime, who made a wrong (or was it RIGHT?) turn and was not currently with us. As we exited Zilker Park and got onto Barton Springs Road, there was Jaime, just coming off of Stratford Drive. We were all five back together again just in time for the finish.
We rolled into ATC, not as the first team to arrive, but in a pretty good position. Looking back and writing this report, I’m reminded of just how much happened in the 4:30 hours or so we were on our bikes together. Two flat tires that were changed in less time then it usually takes to just change one. Three random sectors of pave that were a little challenging but also lots of fun. Lots of roads that I’ve never been on which linked up to roads I ride all the time. Heading back towards town on Old San Antonio Road, feeling cooked, but also knowing that we were only around half distance on the ride….and on and on.
Everyone I spoke to before, during and after the event had nothing but great things to say about the course, the support or the event. Everyone was happy to have made the effort and was happy to have had such a FUN day out on the bike. I’m sorry the water crossing couldn’t happen for everyone (THANK JESUS KORIOTH AND 787 WERE ABLE TO CROSS!), but even with that section thrown out and the last minute re-route, everyone seemed to have a great time.
Hopefully this was my worst ride of 2012…because as painful as it was (physically with the cramps/mentally with slowing the team down and being disappointed in myself), it was still a pretty fun day to ride a bike. I’m thinking for next year we’ll need to outsource all the work so that the whole team can ride!
Check out the rest of the pics here.
///Don Patrizio Hawt Tradition Newelta, in Exilio