Gawd Save the Queen: Madison

Gawd Save the Queen (But to hale with Murphy: Madison 07)

John the kid Murphy, reigning doyen of the WBL Attack Zone, slammed the door shut with a vengeance—wham!—as the closing credits were rolling after a brutal 105 mile suffer fest on wheels as he scored his 7th lifetime WBL victory on the obstreperous and obstinate, the contumacious and contemptuous, and the just plain downright despicable {mosimage} Madison Classic on 20 January 2007. Murphy used his elephantine thighs, which because of their immense girth were once mistaken for 2 giant redwood trees, to flatten all challengers. But the Kid had to churn like a galley slave on a Viking ship to pull off his last second heist. With less than 1 mile to go in this acrimonious blister session, Kirk O’Bee and Mark Anderson surged ahead of a lead group of 20 whose eyes were bulging out of their sockets, and opened up a fragile, but dangerous, 2 second gap. Behind the pair of pernicious pedal bashers, even though the 18 remaining weary souls were ripping through the air like a javelin in mid-flight, it looked like these 2 glory hogs might steal the thunder—the chasers could not close the gap. If the 2 escapees were to be reconnected with, one brave warrior was going to have grit his nasty yellow teeth, clamp down on a bitter bullet, and burrow deep into the dank and decrepit regions of his soul. But who? These were racing cyclists for gawd’s sake, an egoistical cabal of self preening fools.

The two lead stallions were riding like two jilted lovers with nothing left to lose. O’Bee and Anderson were tamping down on the pedals like lunatics hell bent on getting to the finis first, or snapping those behind in twain in the process, or possibly even both. Virtual Yellow jersey holder Cleve Blackheart Blackwell, swollen with hubris after hoisting the Yellow jersey from the back of Farm Boy Fahey only a few miles back, dove to the front, closed his eyes, whispered, “May the force be with me,” and fell on the sword—the Golden Fleece makes one do that sort of thing. He put the bit in his mouth and blasted down a hill 700 meters from the old Blue 911 line, burning every last droplet of go-juice in his tank. He brought the suffering group of penitents back up to O’Bee and Anderson with only 400 meters to go. Blackheart was blind at this point. He earned himself a few reward points with the Powers that Be for his gutsy move. Lawd have mercy on that man’s soul.

Bruno Langlois instantly launched a devastating counter attack on the final uphill drag to the line that blew the frosting off the cakes of most of those still in contact. Murphy, who’d been allowed a brief respite during teammate O’Bee-1-Kanobee’s bold move, managed to get his tree trunk thighs rotating in a most malicious manner and caught, and blew by, a shell-shocked Langlois on the cantankerous incline only 20 meters from the line. The Kid threw his arms up at the line and was nearly pipped by a speedy neophyte to the WBL, Locos’ newest rock star, Chris Scott. C. Master Scott nearly pulled off the upset win of the season as he was only ½ a pedal stroke in arrears. “Who the hale was that,” the Kid screeched as the Scott went scudding by under Murphy’s malodorous left armpit. Bruno, along with 78 others, were scraped off the pavement, given a big bear hug, 2 points, and a Certificate of Appreciation for their Sisyphean efforts. After all, it’s winner-take-all! O Sweet Percival, what a day in the WBL. But let’s go back to the beginning of this lusty tale.

A panoply of pedaling polymaths arrived in downtown Athens to take part in the Team Type 1 Madison festivities. Several members of assorted teams (Aerospace Engineers, Locos Deli and Kenda Tires) were staging their winter training camps in Athens and joined forces with other members from teams such as Health Net, Myogenesis, Jelly Belly, Jittery Joes, Aaron’s, Endeavor, Colavita and the much maligned Team WBL. It was a hearty and impressive group of hammerheads. Anyone who had any doubts about the strength ebbing through the thighs of this grupetto need only check their average speed at the end of the day, assuming they were still on deck and had not been tossed overboard.

The group once again set sail towards the southern hemisphere for the second week in a row. Last week’s 100 mile adventure down into the temperate climes of the south was so agreeable with our group of fair weather Zealots that they decided to have another go in the same direction. And though Old Sol wasn’t burning with the same amount of bravura that he had shown in weeks’ past, he still put on a magnificent show, burning like a yellow orb in the middle of an ocean of blue. The temperature on the day would eventually soar to 55 degrees and would not be a factor at any decisive moments. The same cannot be said of the average speed, which would soar to a season high 21.7 miles per hour by the time the Kid raised both arms to the heavens above.

After setting sail, the long line of bobbing Zealots pedaled through Watkinsville, then onto Bishop, crossing Highway 441 thrice in the process. When the Zealots went over 441 for the third time only 12 miles into the ride, most were in a state of benighted bliss and did not realize the Rubicon had been crossed—there was no turning back. At this point, WBL field commanders ordered Team Aerospace to the front and directed them to pull the pack like a team of slobbering sled dogs. And sister, I’m here to tell you that they did. All 18 Aerospace engineers shot to the front and began a rotating pace line that wouldn’t stop, break or slow down for over an hour. They rotated through Bostwick, slanted east on the Madsion-Monroe Highway, and continued to pour it on like they were hellhounds escaping from the fiery flames. They rotated up, over and down the hills and hummocks that came at the group like a horde of horseflies to a dunghill. This bellicose band of big ring bluebloods was thundering down the roadway, rattling the very foundations of houses next to the road, and leaving chaos in its wake. For those safely nestled just behind the circling vortex at the lance head of this 100 person group, they were pulled along with the greatest of ease. For those at the rear, it was an hour filled with intense pain and a little extra special loving. But no one died, and as that most famous and oft quoted pessimist said, whatever doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. If this maxim holds true, there will be around 100 Zealots looking to break a few balls in the upcoming weeks. As for me, Carney and I are going on holiday. Crowe can fend for himself. Ride on Team WBL!

In the antebellum town of Madison, the Zealots were granted a temporary stay of execution. Thanks to Carney’s trusted advisor Tom Palmer, the group was treated to a feast at the Mayor of Main Street’s colonial home. Most could not believe their good fortune. A few thought that they had actually died and gone to heaven. Later, after all postprandial bliss had evaporated into thin air, this same group was sure that they had died and gone to Hale. But they hadn’t—they were simply pedaling around on the mean roads of the WBL. Welcome to Here: Use your time wisely. It’s all you have.

After the Madison stopover, Team Aerospace again took hold of the reins and swiftly set off down the road. 7 miles after departing from the smorgasbord on Main Street, the WBL helmsmen proved just how mendacious they are—they pointed the Aerospace engineers north, then turned and quietly sped off in the opposite direction with their index fingers held in a perpendicular position over their mouths. Before the insentient engineers discovered they’d been duped, the remaining 75 Zealots were a goodly ways down the road, pedaling like drunken yokels into the wild blue yonder, celebrating their good fortune at having outwitted a erudite gaggle of filigreed engineers. Oh what fools! Even an idiot knows the WBL hierarchy is a perfidious den of cruel taskmasters. Rule of thumb: In the WBL, never start celebrating when there are still 60 miles to go. Especially if one has been averaging 37.6 miles per hour on the front 40.

After dumping Team Aerospace en masse, the trek continued in a fast and furious manner across Lake Oconee and into Greensboro, through Penfield, and onwards to Woodville. During this riveting stretch of blacktop, many Zealots’ celebratory mood slowly soured. Although there was a slight easing back on the throttle, the rambunctious group of hammerheads continued along at an impervious clip. Every so often a Zealot would lean his neck to the left, stick his head out from behind the big buttocks in front of him, and take a gander at just what part of the world he was in. He was usually struck in the face by a gale force buster and sent cartwheeling backwards, never to be seen again. I hope they had a magnificent view before they dropped like a rock back to Planet Earth. ‘Tis a cruel, cruel world out there. Nobody owes us nuthin. How many times must one be told?

After turning back in a northerly direction in the glamorous oil spot of Woodville, the group pedaled hastily to the first sprint of the day, the Ladies’ sprint for the Oglethorpe County sign. 1 kilo from the sign the group was cruising along at 44 miles per hour in a single file line, and the Ladies were at the front! “Pick it up you bunch of soft bellied wimps,” Kristen Keim shouted at several men who thwarted her forward progress. “Get out of my way you lily-livered jackasses,” Chamblee Abernathy screamed. The celeritous line of bipedalars was moving much too swiftly for anyone to attack from long distance, so 200 meters from the line, Erin Winter stood and stomped—she attacked like a mangy dog protecting a buried hambone. But L.A. Asbury, sensing trouble, was on top of her game. She shot off after Winter and gathered her in 10 meters from the line. L.A. elbowed Winter in the ribs as she passed and shouted, “I love L.A.” as she crossed the line to win the sprint.

Ladies Sprint:

  1. I Love L.A.
  2. Winter
  3. K. Keim
  4. C. Abernathy
  5. Kenda Hammering Fool

After the Ladies sprint, the fight for the Golden Fleece swung into prime time action. The next sprint for the Non-pros was less than 5 miles away, and with Blackheart and Farm Boy tied for the lead in WBL 2007, all bets were off, this was serious stuff. Blackheart ordered his teammates, the nefarious Blackguard, to the front: “Get to the front you 2-bit swines.” Farm Boy grabbed hold of Blackheart’s wheel, and there he stayed. Blackheart, proving what a cruel and evil villain he is, tried to pull a fast one on Farm Boy. “Hey Farm Boy,” he said and pointed, “That’s a fine looking goat over yonder.” Usually, because of all farm boys’ predilection for goats, this age old trick works like a charm. But Farm Boy wouldn’t bite. He knows all those stale farm tricks. Besides, he’s a steer man himself.

600 meters from the line the whistle blew. The Myogenisis Blackguard stomped on the accelerator. Blackheart sat 4th wheel, Farm Boy 5th. Every 100 meters a rider peeled off the front, his work done. 150 meters from the sprint line the last of Blackwell’s teammates peeled off leaving he and Fahey to fight it out for Gold. Approaching the line it was Farm Boy, then Blackheart, then farm Boy again, and finally Blackheart squeaking out the sprint win by a nose hair with Farm Boy taking 2nd. Though both were pulling away from the rest of the herd, Blackheart was the leader on the road by 1 little precious point.

Stephens Sprint:

  1. Blackheart: 5 pts.
  2. Farm Boy: 4
  3. Darren Comer: 3
  4. Skinny Dan: 2
  5. Eric the Red Hollifield: 1

There was only the final Attack Zone left, the dreaded 9-mile Gene Dixon torture session. The group only had another 7 miles to recuperate before the whistler warbled his tune. Turning onto Hargrove Lake Road, the whistle blew. “Oh sheet,” a few were heard to mumble.

The attacks came like flying dogs. It was a corybantic maelstrom of churning thighs and the group was immediately stretched past the tipping point. Wild and savage Zealots were pounding away off the front in ones and twos only to be run down and counter attacked again by another feral few. Lactic acid started filling up in the thighs like a tugboat taking on water. Hitting the first hill in the Zone the pressure was so intense at the front, a lead group of 25 ripped away. A huge chasm opened up behind. Over the next hump, with the attacks continuing to fly, it was down to 20. Good Lord these are Draconian days in the WBL. Somebody do something!

The torrid tempo continued to the halfway point at the intermediate sprint in front of Gene Dixon’s palatial palace. The distended group was tearing at the seams as it flew up the third huge hummock in the Attack Zone. Chris Scott massacred the climb and scored the win on the midway sprint with flying colors. Behind, it was nothing but a trail of tears with the impressive Blackwell scoring 4th and securing 2 more points.

Dixon Sprint:

  1. Chris Scott: 5 pts.
  2. Bruno: 4
  3. O'Bee 1 Kanobee: 3
  4. Blackheart: 4
  5. Who are you: 1

Afterwards, though many tried in vain, it wasn’t until O’Bee and Anderson attacked with 1 mile to go that a viable threat went clear. You know the rest of the story—Murphy showed his métier, sprinting like a jackalope to claim the victory. He refused to be denied. With his 7th win, the Kid continues his quest to take over as the all time winner in WBL history.

Gawd save the Queen!


  1. The Kid: 10 pts.
  2. Chris Scott: 8
  3. Daniel Karnis: 6
  4. Matt Hansley: 4
  5. O'Bee: 2

Your most Humble Chronicler