Monday, December 24, 2007

More Bobke II

Per Kris' request. Excerpt taken from Blind Faith was My Motto at the '86 Tour in Bobke II.

The next three stages were merciless, inhumanly hard days in the Pyrénées and into the oven of central France. The sun had turned the chip-and-seal roads to playdough, and - kick me hard in the balls - I got sick again. The walls of my hotel room bled as hallucinations replaced sleep - interrupted only by screaming voices ringing in my head as I ran to the toilet to vomit. This time, I was in tears before the day's stage even started. I packed my bags, made plane reservations, and told Shelley V. to drive me to the airport from the first feed zone.

When that day's stage started, we went easy for about 10 meters, until some moron launched, and we all were in single file going 60 kph. I couldn't believe it. You can't even drop out of the Tour easily. I dug down deep and somehow managed to stay in the pack, until we reached the first feed zone. When Shelley saw me coming, she naturally held out the feed bag. I looked at her funny, but grabbed my bag and kept going. The moment I reached for that feed, I changed. From then on, I wanted to finish the Tour de France.

Since I hadn't slept or eaten in two days, I was famished after the stage and ate a huge dinner with a gigantic peach melba for dessert. The next day, I woke up - after actually sleeping - and ate four ham-and-cheese omelets. While this eating took the edge off my appetite, I became as constipated as the Colorado River at Hoover Dam.

When we started the next stage, I had about 7 pounds of manure in my bowels. After carrying half my body weight in my lower intestines for three hours into the stage, the load decided to cut loose. Sheeeeeiittt! I desperately grabbed my jersey, trying to pull it off right in the middle of the peleton. I got it over my head ... and it stuck right there. Mike Neel had pinned my number on that day - through my jersey, through my T-shirt, and into my bib shorts, I was as blind as a bat weaving through the pack, spastically yanking on my jersey and knocking Colombians and Spaniards over like bowling pins. Finally, the road curved and I went straight ... straight into a ditch. I was careening down the ditch spraying mud on all the spectators, until finally I smashed into a driveway and went flying over the bars in a blind somersault, tearing loose the jersey. I left the bike right there, ducked behind a tall hedge, and squatted down for a massive doo.

Meanwhile, Mike is driving along in the caravan and sees my bike lying in a driveway in bumpuke France. He stops and asks where in freaking French hell is the guy who was riding it. The spectators started yelling at Mike, because I had covered them all in mud, so Mike starts screaming, "Bob, where the hell are you?" I figured I better finish and get going. So I look around for some leaves, and instead, find a family of absolutely horrified French people staring at me from the picnic they were having on their front lawn. They looked at me in utter disbelief and exasperation as I smiled, grabbed a linen napkin, wiped myself, grabbed a piece of cake, and ran in a full, Carl Lewis sprint. Mike was on the road, shaking his head in pure wonder, and I said, "When you got to go man, you got to go." I hung tough the rest of the stage, and the rest of the Tour...


KanyonKris said...

Every sport needs zany characters, and you couldn't ask for a better one for cycling than Bob Roll. That story still kills me.

primetime formerly known as slyfox said...

i have a fan you can borrow, it puts out 4.5 bars of power