About Me


Z and the Xs for Y
I've been thinking a bit about my friend Z. Z's dead now, but when alive he could be pretty particular about who he rode with -- or near.
Start, RR at the 1998 Couple des Ameriques
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A few words about the late Z. At the time he was a very good regional racer, trying to break through to a higher level. And he was living a pretty spartan lifestyle -- especially as regards food -- for a couple of reasons. One was to save money. The second reason was that one of the national coaching staff (Walter G, not Eddie B) had told him he could stand to lose a bit of weight. So a typical day for Z went like this. Morning -- go to class (he was a student at BU). Afternoon -- ride long and hard for three or four or five hours. Evening -- pop open a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup and have it for dinner. Yummy. Yeah, Z was living on a single can of chicken noodle soup for dinner, with similarly bleak fare for breakfast and lunch, while doing the big miles in New England in late winter.

So he was grumpy a lot of the time.

Well one day Z was heading home after yet another four hour ride looking forward to yet another can of soup. Yummy. He was riding pretty slow, the last few miles along Mass Ave being a cool down of sorts. Head down from weariness, legs turning mechanically. Grim. Anyway, up ahead he sees another cyclist -- a commuter sitting up perkily, bopping along and looking way too happy for Z. Plus he's wearing a backpack saying Xs for Y.

A few more words about Z. His parents are X theologians and Z took his religion pretty seriously -- or at least he claimed to. And he really did not like Xs for Y, viewing them as people trying to destroy his religion.

Anyway, this guy looks way too happy for Z. As Z rides alongside the guy, Z sort of grumbles "Are you an X for Y?" The guy cheerfully responds "Why yes! I am! and..."

The guy didn't get another word out because Z just stiff-armed him, knocking him off his bike.

This is a true story.