This column is intended to keep the reader abreast of ongoing training efforts that Eki and his partner experience as they move toward the holy grail of all bike races, the Trans Iowa V. 6. Any and all similarities of said training partner to humans aquainted with or related to the reader are purely coincidental. The writer deeply apologizes for disturbing qualities that may exist between others and the "partner".
Hondo rolled into my abode way off the agreed upon time. He beat on my door as if it were 2:00 in the afternoon, when in reality it was 5:40 a.m. Of course, I was enjoying a coffee in my silken sleeping attire as I opened the door. I muttered, "You've changed" as I layed eyes upon his sunken crazed eyes. In a terse, unpleasant tone he replied, "I see you haven't...waitin' on Eki!" The tone reminded me a lawyer badgering a witness. I quelled his anger by giving him what he craved, coffee. He settled and proceeded to leak dirty snow water all over my carpet as I donned my winter cycling gear. I humored him with idle chit chat while I tried to hide in the laundry room. I noticed how he attempted to steal a glance my way just as I was in that precarious postion of having removed my lower garments. "Typical", I thought.
Unfortunately, he insisted that we drive his car to the starting point of the ride. I protested, but to no avail. I was forced to load my machine on to his roof and get inside his mode of transportation that I do not have the time, nor do I have the wherewithall to describe here. After what seemed like two hours of driving with the heater on full blast or off (only two options available) we arrived in the parking lot. Throughout the climate changing drive something seemed to happen to both of our insides and a disturbance was felt, we needed the out house and we needed it now. My partner quickly took "dibs" on going first leaving me no choice but to take care of business after he had completely destroyed the place. At 7:00 a.m. it was approximately 5 degrees and relieving one's self in this manner required a complete disrobing due to the bibs we both wore. As I froze, naked on the "toilet" I vowed I would not breath through my nose. Well, if you've ever seen a horrifying event or watched "faces of death", you ended up wishing you hadn't. However, there was some compelling force that made you do it. I was at this cross roads. I did it! I took a quick sniff and almost passed away at that very moment. The olfactory region of my brain's pathways were forever altered at that moment. The unhuman stench that once resided in my partner's body left me weak in the knees and the smell was lodged deep in my nostrils. Confident that the crisp winter air would make things right I managed to stumble from the out house offering my complaints that went unnoticed. I was plauged by a ruined nose for over three hours. I continued to smell him in a way that I never thought was possible.
We hit the frozen snow mobile trail, he on his fancy pants winter bike, me on my manly single speed. Unfortunately, the trail was not quite frozen enough and my tires cut through like a hot knife, we were forced to the gravel. I had no problem with this decision, but was concerned about the trail orientated gear I had recently mounted on my bike. I warned my partner that I would not be able to maintain speed capable of matching his 18 gear'd bike. He assured me that he would wait and only wanted to move slowly anyway. Needless to say, I spun at about 250 rpm's while he kept checking over his shoulder with a disgusted look on his face to see if I was still coming. I profusely apologized while he muttered things about being "sick of this and that".
A smile crept across my face as we discussed his upcoming goals, race orientated of course. He spoke in a manner reminiscent of a boy getting his first hit in baseball. Through all of it, he is my training partner, I'm lucky to have him.
More to come...