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R** Goes to Districts

My friend R** was a good junior racer in New England a few years ago, and one day he was driving his parents' car to the Mass-Rhode Island District time trial championships.

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He probably wasn't going to win, but if he was on a good day he'd probably place. So he was psyched to race and was driving pretty fast so he could get there early.

Anyway, he's going fast and at one point he loses control of the car, and it goes off the road, hitting a tree hard -- the front end of the car was pretty much destroyed. R**'s pretty shaken up, but he still rushes out of the car and pop's the trunk to see if his bike's OK. It is, but after breathing a big sigh of relief about the bike, he realizes that his parents are going to be super angry and probably won't let him drive to races anymore. At that point he gets super depressed and just sits down at the side of the road, puts his head in his hands and starts crying. Really crying hard. Bawling.

After some time R** sort of pulls himself together and decides that at least he's going to race today. He'll get on his bike and ride to the race, that's what he'll do. So he puts his bag on his back and starts pedaling. Maybe somebody going to race will even stop and pick him up.

Riding feels good, and he calms down a bit. Just then a car -- a big, long, beat, two-door American -- pulls up alongside him and the driver starts talking to him. "Where are you headed?" the guy asks. It turns out the guy will be driving through the town the race is in, so the guy offers R** a ride and R** accepts.

The guy pops the trunk open, R** puts the bike in, and then drives off with the guy.

Pretty soon R** realizes he's made a big mistake. The guy is really upset about his life, and spends half the time with his head in his hands, crying about his job, his family or something, plus he's way drunk. The car's swerving all over the place and R**, who doesn't scare easily, is getting scared. At an opportune pause in the guy's sob story, R** delicately says he's feeling better and would like to get out and ride his bike. The guy mumbles something like "Yeah, yeah, whatever," slams on the brakes and gestures with an elbow for R** to get out, while still sobbing into his hands.

R** had just gotten out of the car and was heading to the trunk to get his bike, when the guy pulls the door shut and drives away.

Now R** is truly depressed. Not only did he total his parents' car, but now he's lost his bike too. He sits down on the side of the road, puts his head in his hands and starts crying really, really hard. Just then he hears a loud "Bang!" and looks up.

The drunk guy has slammed his car into a tree just a few hundred yards down the road. R** runs to the right side of the car, reaches around the guy, who's slumped over the steering wheel crying or mumbling or something, and grabs the keys. He pops the trunk, grabs his bike, tosses the keys back into the car and rides off toward the race.

A couple of friends picked him up so he got to the race pretty early. I don't remember if he placed.