Beyond the Pale

The Ladies Day Epidemic at the WBL once again proved to be a raucous Rabelaisian carnival on wheels as Tina Mayola Pic stormed to her fifth WBL lifetime win on the 5 January 2008 Talmo Classic, a 4-hour, 80 mile affair chock full of chest squeezing, lung wheezing, neck aching, back breaking, jaw dropping inclines that eventually tallied up to nearly 5,000 vexatious feet of vertical pedal banging. Mayola-Pic would not run roughshod over the ladies on this day though, despite the fact she was wearing her knee-high, black leather dominatrix boots with the six inch stilettos on the heel. Members of the Aaron’s Ladies Team, with their sprinting maestra Rebecca Larson at the helm, nearly pulled off a coup; but the foremost sprintress in the land proved her mettle yet again as she summoned all her inner angst, stomped on her petrified pedals, and nipped Larsen at the line by the width of two fingers of fuel in the bottom of a shot glass. With her win, Mayola-Pic moved into a tie for third in the WBL all-time win list, one place ahead of her significant other I might add, and has guaranteed herself a permanent spot in the WBL Hall of Fame (which is temporarily housed in the men’s room at the Petrol Truck Stop off I 85 in Lavonia—second stall on the right as you walk in).

Unfortunately the Ladies Day Epidemic once again provided irrefragable evidence that women are still smarter than men. But there was a bright spot for the men—a shining star emerged once the dust settled, a diamond in the rough, a pearl among swine. We—the men—now have hope. History has shown that the grandeur of royalty will eventually wax and wane, and the strongest of empires will be reduced to rubble. Woman, even with her abundance of gray matter and her plethora of rapid-fire synapses, not to mention her lethal cunning, can’t rule the roost forever. Remember the dinosaur? One day, the pendulum will swing back our way and Man will once again be on top.

After this past Saturday, the men may be on their way to recovering their lost ground. The reason?—the most coveted prize of the day, the one everyone wanted to walk away with—the Kama Sutra sex game—was taken home by one of our own, a man no less, Ravi the Rake. Ravi Rajcoomar, better known by his Kama Sutra love handle Ravi the Rake, outwitted a yapping gaggle of lettered and learned females, the intelligentsia among the lady pedal bangers, and brought home the blessed bacon. Afterwards, Ravi was lifted onto the men’s shoulders, Kama Sutra thrust high above his head, and carted away like a conquering hero. The women (pictured above) were left bemused and befuddled by Ravi’s parting shot. Looking back later, we realized our blunder.

It’s been a bitter pill to swallow, these last 50 to100 thousand years, that brief stretch of time that Woman has run the table. Man’s fall to the bottom of the heap started way back when. Man’s plunge was like a nuclear blast—initially, it was just two invisible little neutrons pinging off one another. You see, around the time Mitochondrial Eve was only a glimmer in her mama’s eye, some curious hominoid swung down out of the tree and gorged himself on a few bloody chunks of leftover baby gazelle—the lions made it look so damn toothsome. The protein in the meat sparked a chain reaction: the Broca’s region of his brain expanded; he impregnated Mitochondrial Eve; Eve gave birth to a baby girl; Woman has been outwitting us ever since. This is somewhat of an oversimplification, but suffice it to say, the manipulation has gotten much worse—Woman now know all our hot spots.

On 5 January 2008 over ninety Zealots showed up, many of them men, hoping the winds of change were blowing in our direction. In other words, the men needed a miracle. Though the male signatories on this fair weather day weren’t the brightest bulbs in the box, according to the women on hand, they (the men) were quite handy at a multitude of tasks including spear chunking, bread making, paying off credit card debt, hauling heavy objects around the house, a midnight run to the grocery store for feminine hygiene products, cleaning the gutter, cleaning dog poop off the bottom of sneakers, watching t.v., swilling beer, creating a nice draft, and remaining eternally on the ready for the 30 seconds per month our woman friend actually does need us to tickle her fancy. When the announcer read out these favorable character traits before the ride, we (the men) were patting ourselves on the back and feeling fairly positive about ourselves. Boy Brian Bibens looked over at Reilly Mahon and said, “I am somebody dammit.” “No your not,” Reilly countered.

Some of those spear chunking, bread making, poop scooping, multitasking aficionados signing in who always remain on the ready were Jon the Kid Murphy, Nate the Aussie O’neill, Nick the Jelly Man Reistad, Frank Cuban Missile Crisis Travesio, young gun Keith Norris, old time favorite Chris Pic, last year’s Yellow jersey sensation Cleve Blackwell, Bike Gamer Jacob Fetty, former climber Marky-Mark Anderson, future star Rob Giannini, Aerospace’s Navy Sealer Joe Fernandez, Andy Sweet Cheeks Guptil, and first timer John Devine. It was also an impressive cluster of ladies who brought their dangerous curves and amatory angles to the pandemical Ladies Day event including Leigh Man-Crusher Valletti, Gina Boot-Stomper Voci, Kim Male-Trampler Potter, Kari Heartbreaker Bradley, Chamblee Kick-Him-While-He’s-Down Abernathy, Kim Spitfire Dunker, Rebecca No-Holds-Barred Larson, Canada’s Julie Bad-News Beveridge, and Wisconsin’s own Madeleine Old-Milwaukee Puissant.

After a week of arctic air bellowing and blowing through town, the expected high in the mid-fifties warmed the Zealots deep down into their puny, pebble-sized hearts. The whistle blew, the bell clanged, the alarm screamed, and the pack clipped in and headed out once again into the wild blue yonder searching for an adventure. As we headed around the corner of Sunshine Cycles, I looked back and saw Jimmy Leg-stretcher Metcalf dabbing tears from his eyes—after all, it was his rarely used but still prized Kama Sutra game on the auctioning block. Little did he know that later in the day the game would be well within his grasp. There would only be one problem.

The rowdy pack of heavyweight lunatics headed northwest out Tallassee Road and sped out of town via the lumpy way, the route with all the irascible hills, and continued with their diurnal ramblings and discursive wanderings into the white spaces on the maps—those places at the far edges where danger and wild recklessness lurk. In the days of yore, beyond the pale referred to terra incognito beyond the reach and thus the protection of the Roman Emporium, the dark and ominous lands where the unwashed Barbarians resided—the Vandals, the Huns, the Gaels for gawd’s sake. Irrefutable proof that the Zealots had ventured beyond the girded walls of their own abbey, beyond the pale of the WBL, was shown by the same roadside sign that seemed to pop up every mile and surely portended disaster. John Boy Best pulled up to Mikey Edmonds at the back of the pack and pointed, “Look, there’s another one.” Sure enough, Mikey E. looked up and there it was again: “DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD.” They both looked at all the ladies up the road in front of them and shook their collective heads—there were definitely DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD, and their brains were no doubt swimming with unfortunate schemes and intricate conspiracies. They both turned chalky white—beyond pale—but continued pedaling deeper into the great unknown, into the lair of wayward and wanton women. Tommy Boy Mattox was so afeared and affrapatized at just the thought of a bawdy and bodacious, fire-breathing female that he soiled his britches and had to turn and head for home. Good ploy Tommy Boy, but now we’ve got your number.

The pack rocketed up steep pitches and rolled down the other side. The Zealots flew by cows in pastures, rickety old barns, see through lean-to’s, dried up corn fields, strutting horses, white antebellum homes, water wheels, barb wire fences, hawks on wires, a variety of road kill, rusted out cars, huge stands of hardwoods, dirt roads, sheep in fields, Pentecostal churches, gawkers who turned and watched, and bubbling brown creeks. The pack ripped around Pendergrass, zipped through Talmo, cut over Highway 129, and headed for the first sprint of the year for the Pro’s, the Talmo Tatterdemalion, a 600 meter pitch towards the sky followed by a 1 mile flat sprint to the line. All in all, the Talmo Tatterdemalion is 1.5 miles of sheer agony.

When the Whistler warbled signifying the entrance to the Attack Zone for the Pro sprint, R. Giannini flipped the switch to full throttle and flew up the incline like his mama was chasing after him with a rolling pin. (In the South, mama means wife.) The pack stretched taut like a rubber band, then snap, it cleaved in twain with the skinny boys in the vanguard of the line and the fat boys holding down the rear. About 15 climbers moved away from the fold on the first part of the hill, but split again before the crest. It was Tree Trunk Clifford, JJ Wadkins, Devine, Travesio, Norris, The Mighty K! and the other favorites headed for a showdown and the $25 first place prize, along with 5 points. Showing his savvy and his experience as a Zealot, the Kid Murphy shot off before the sprint line came into sight and smoked the field and took the cash going away. Rumors swirled afterwards that the Kid was seen whispering with one of the route rogues just prior to the sprint.

  1. Kid Murphy: 5 pts.
  2. Jelly Man Reistad: 3 pts.
  3. Giannini: 1 pt.

The grupetto reconfigured themselves afterwards at the store stop and were soon turned around and headed for home. The pack was having a grand ole time catching up with old friends and hurling ribald remarks at new ones. While rolling down the road, the ladies all congregated around Mayola-Pic while she tried to explain to the Northern gals how to speak like a Southern debutante. “No, not like that,” Mayola-Pic protested shaking her head. “Fer gawd’s sake yall, don’t spit yo words out staccato-style like yall is spittin’ seeds outta yo mouth. You roll the word around in your mouth first, like water draining around a toilet bowl, before you let it fall out the side of yo mouth kinda canted-like. And there are no one syllable words. All words have no fewer than two syllables.For instance, if you win, yell this: Wooo-Hooo, Hay-yell ye-us, Baby Doll Deluxer-Fried.”

“What does it mean?” K. Bradley wanted to know. “Who cares,” Mayola-Pic snapped.

At the end of the one hour tutorial, Julie Beveridge, a Canadian gal, rolled up beside Rob Simpson and tested her new found knowledge: “Hay, ain’t cho name Bill Boy Bocephus? Whar the hale can I git me some taters?” Julie batted her eyes, and Simpson ran off the road into a ditch and flipped head over heels. The last thing I heard him yelling was, “My mama’s got taters in the garden—ooomph, aarghh, aahhhh—shit!”

Madeleine Puissant, a cheesehead from Wisconsin, rode up behind Jeff Shapiro and whispered, “Uuuoooweee, you must be one of them corn-fed country boys I done hurd so much about. Who learnt you to ride yo bike like a bull rider? Wanna sip of my sweet tea?” Shapiro turned around with a wide grin and ran up on the wheel in front of him and down he went—splat! All the ladies cackled at him, but Shapiro picked himself up, dusted himself off, and continued on his way. Suddenly, the Ladies Attack Zone was upon us.

The Ladies Attack Zone started at the dead bottom of Alligator Pond and proceeded up the implacable Pink Church runway, a 1 mile wall that is sure to inflict pain and anguish in the thighs of its victims. During this Ladies Day Epidemic the men were ordered to move out of the way. In fact, no sooner had the Whistler warbled than Rebecca Larson yelled, “Hay fellers, GIT THE SAM HALE OUTTA THE WAY!” They did.

The Ladies immediately blitzed up the hill, jockeying for position, and elbowing an opponent in the bread basket when an opportunity arose. The ladies were stretched thin with 500 meters to go, but all still in contention for the win. Suddenly, Rebecca Larson tamped down on the tempest and an empty patch of blacktop opened up—three ladies had a small, trembling, 3-second gap. After 75 miles of fun, everyone’s legs were not feeling too jumpy. With 200 meters to go it was Larson, Mayola-Pic, and Beveridge 1-2-3 headed for the line. Behind these three the line had torn asunder. Heading up the last 100 meters of the incline Larson stood and stomped and appeared to be trying to tear her frame to pieces. Behind, Mayola-Pic stood and tried to come around Larson. But she wasn’t closing fast enough—this was going to be close. The two flew up the last 20 meters neck and neck, elbows swinging wildly, stretching, straining, and Mayola-Pic lunged at the line to take the win by a gossamer thread. She yelled, “Wooo-Hooo, Hay-yell ye-us, Baby Doll Deluxer-Fried.” Beveridge rolled across in third, then Valletti, Voci, and Bradley. Salud!—hats off to the ladies.

At the post ride press conference when Ravi found out he’d won the Kama Sutra sex game the men erupted. The ladies begged Ravi for a group photo and he obliged. (See above photo.) Afterwards, the ladies implored Ravi to come with them while rubbing their hands through his hair. “Please, Mr. Ravi, teach us the game,” the women pleaded. But the men declaimed, “Ravi, it’s a ploy—don’t do it—don’t go,” Ravi looked at the ladies, looked at his box, looked at the men, and screamed, “I’m going with them.” He pointed to the guys. “There is a gawd in heaven,” Shawn Adams cried at the tiptop of his vocal chord capacity and dropped to his knees and wept. We picked Ravi up on our shoulders and chanted, “Hale no, he won’t go. Hale no, he won’t go,” and we marched off, back into the pale, a phalanx of fools, with Ravi on our shoulders, Kama Sutra box held aloft. As previously mentioned, the women wore puzzled looks on their faces.

It was until about 80 of us guys arrived at Carney’s house, tapped the keg, closed the blinds, opened the game box, and played the Teddy Pendergrass c.d. that we all looked around and realized we’d made a terrible mistake. Once again, we’ve been had.


  1. Mayola-Pic: 10 pts.
  2. Rebecca Larsen: 8 pts.
  3. Julie Beveridge: 6 pts.
  4. Leigh Valletti: 4 pts.
  5. Gina Voci: 2 pts.
  6. Kari Bradley: 1 pt.

Ride Details:

Closing notes: mucho gracias to Zealot Steve Broglio currently living in Indiana for the $25 sprint prime. You will have rewards in heaven.

Humble C.