Doesn’t necessarily stay on the road. At least, not if you get tipsy and call up your son (who you KNOW is writing a blog about every word of news he hears from you) and proceed to spill the beans in your own brand of…let’s call it “joviality.”
I’m exaggerating. My Dad wasn’t drunk when he called, but there was certainly a lot more coming down the crackling cell signal beyond the usual series of grunts, “yeps” and “okays” that one usually hears when talking to him on the phone.
So here’s dad, speaking from Eureka, California, last night. Here goes…(He really does talk like this)
“Hey! Big day today, boy. Reeeaal big day. We did at least two hills that were OVER 1200 ft. Like, we did these two hills that were at least 1200 ft, and then we did whoooolele mess of other hills. A total of 135 kays!
“We’ve seen people from Victoria, Vancouver…”
At this point I butt in, and ask what everyone wants to hear anyway. Get it out of the way, you know? His response:
“Actually, I’ve been wearing underwear. I tried it without, and I tried it with, and with is better. (Changing the subject now) Everybody does hand laundry, every night. Yesterday it was shorts and socks, today it was jackets…”
(Loud laughter from behind him, and Fred yells something)
“Oh yeah, Fred says to say the statistics on booze drank over a month will be unbelievable. Hahahahah…(And now deadpan) Yuh. It’ll be a ‘how not to book,’ with crazy statistics.”
Oh and Jeanene, she’s been just great. She’s been treating us like gold.”
They all chime in here, and my note-taking is all for naught. Something about fresh veggies, hot dogs, and folding chairs they pull out of the support vehicle to sit down in the middle of Nowhere, Oregon (my words) with a beautiful view of the Pacific for a bite of lunch. Waaaaait a second here, folks. They’re partying every night AND getting fed by one of their wives all this time. I mean, sure, that doesn’t make pedalling over 100km uphill any easier, but it certainly reminds us of the humanity of our heroes, doesn’t it? But I should cut my dad some slack, because while he’s pedalling down there, he’s also writing a book. When I asked him about his notes…
“I’ve been taking a few notes, Don’s been taking really good notes.”*
Then he busts out laughing:
“There’s already a lot of inside jokes. The only thing Fred Werner knows about drafting…is a glass of beer.” Cycling and racing fans will know that drafting is when you are all riding in a straight line, tucked in behind one another, and you take turns at the front of pack, facing the wind. It what the French call la peleton…I think. One can only speculate that either Fred isn’t doing his share at the front of the line, or he’s not waiting until he gets to the pub for that first sip. Whatever the case, the whole lot of them screamed and hollered when he said it, so there you go. Dad was warmed up now, and he started telling stories:
“The third night, we stayed at…a hostel? Most of us had never been in a hostel…”
Fred yells, “And never will again, either!” And they all laugh hysterically.
PJ: “It was called Steve’s hostel I think.” From over his shoulder, he gets corrected. “Oh, was it Jim’s? Oh I guess it was Jim’s. It was uh…scary. And so was Jim. It had this old yellow carpet…Oh that’s right! We’ve got pictures! Hahahahahahahahahahaaha…”
Our apologies to Jim, but there you have it folks. The boys are having a grand old time. This despite the fact that (we’ll protect identities here) at least two of the riders have indeed consumed nearly two boxes of cornstarch and a quantity vaselineine to be named later to treat their rashy nether regions and whatnot. Say it with me…EEEEEEEEEEEEEWW!
Apparently, corn starch kills the bacteria.
* Oh and I had this idea, that I think all six of these guys should be responsible for at least one chapter of the book each. At minimum, one story, told as only they can. Whether they dicate the notes to their wives or kids, or just bare down and tap it out on the computer themselves. One chapter. Don may end upbeing responsible for several, by the sounds of things. (Good notes, knows how to use a computer)
What do you think, commenters?