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 bike races, the Trans Iowa V.6. Any and all similarities of said training partner to humans acquainted with or related to the reader are purely coincidental. The writer deeply apologizes for disturbing qualities that may exist between others and the 'partner'.
The four horsemen of the north pull into the Fox Farm Rd. after approximately 9 hours of continuous riding. The group is quiet, sullen, all business...save one - Hondo!
Hondo: "Whew, we're really flyin'. This is so fun! Good job you guys! God, we're really killin' it!
Eki: (to Hondo, clearly attempting to separate him from the other horsemen who are nervously watching this upcoming exchange) "Got a second? I want to talk to you about your pulls."
Hondo: (confused, looking perplexed) "Uhh, sure."
Eki: "Can we step over here? (The two move 25 feet away out of ear shot of the others who feign a conversation among themselves) "Hey, I'm not sure what it is you do when you're up front, but it's clearly not working for us! I'm gonna need you to start buckling down and getting some work done up there. Whatever this silly little game is that you're playing at the front, it needs to stop now!"
(view switches to the two other horsemen as they watch what appears to be Hondo and Eki in a silent movie, they see an animated Eki clearly chastising Hondo who obediently keeps his eyes cast downward. The volatile exchange ends with Eki violently slapping Hondo across the face with his riding gloves. Hondo takes this slap without protest. The two begin walking toward the other two horsemen with Hondo 5 paces behind Eki, clearly sobbing)
Eki: (to Hendricks and Big Buff) "I trust will be good to go now boys. Let's mount up."
The scene described above was just a snap shot of what the three horsemen dealt with throughout an 11 hour effort on Saturday the 20th day of March. The day was riddled with strife as good natured banter often included threads of truth. It would be impossible to encapsulate the entire ride in this post, but let it be said that Hondo looked strong and was in good spirits. His unorthodox riding style nearly crashed all of us on numerous occasions. The group shook it off and quietly reminded each other to be careful when following his wheel or when near him in general. The consensus was that while the rest of us rode 140 miles, Hondo no doubt rode 145 due to swerving around every 5 seconds. He's the only man I know who can wear out a set of tires on the sides.
The route chosen by this writer went down as purely legendary and by accident. This route was chosen by map with no knowledge of road types or conditions. The path came complete with gravel, trail, ancient structures in the form of early school houses and town halls in what appeared to be nearly abandoned towns. The winds tried to prepare us for Iowa as they plastered us in the teeth for nearly 3 straight hours all the while the four horsemen were climbing the slow slog of the archaic Saw Tooth Mt. range (the oldest mt. range in the country or was it world?- info courtesy of Big Buff).
The team was met with one mechanical issue that was thankfully solved in the middle of no where and could have turned into a colossal tragedy, but it didn't!
The Chili Con Crosso wanted to break out of the pack with wings on her wheels, but was held back by a sometimes physically struggling driver who sheltered himself in the slip stream of team mates.
Finally, as for Hondo, he came around and recovered from his emotional beating and began to pull again in a way that approached satisfaction for the others. As we separated, I rode away alone wondering if Hondo went out for another lap. He may have...
more to come...