Friday, May 18, 2007

reminiscences from ragbrai past

i've participated in this little cross-state bicycle ride in iowa
for a number of years.
as a matter of fact, last year, in my typically understated manner,
i rode in my 50th ragbrai.
no big deal, no special bikes, no media spectacle.
i just wanted to be
"another rider from iowa doing ragbrai."
i think i succeeded.
some folks, on the other hand, just can't resist the lure of the camera,
the out-reached hands of autograph-seekers, the call of the sirens,
the aroma of the brats and beers.

greg lemond, pictured above, riding HIS
lemond "tete de la queue" [head of the line] ragbrai bicycle,
is one of those pathetic media hounds who will pop up at county fairs,
literally eating his way into the living rooms of america on the local evening news.
a few years ago, on the second night of ragbrai,
i offered to help a friend of mine, who was running a little
sumo wrestling concession on the ride.
unlike some of the more popular "sumo wrestler" franchises,
where, for a hefty fee, you get a giant fat sumo costume and plastic "wig,"
my friend's game was a very low-budget affair:
five bucks got you a cotton dish towel,
and a match with the "reigning champion."
each hour, the "current reigning champion" received
five minutes of brats and beers.
here's a little-known photo of me, taking on the evening's champion,
three-time tour de france winner greg lemond.
greg was no slouch, he was out to win.
the dude talked some pretty mean smack,
much of which i didn't understand--

--until now.

as with citizen kane and "rosebud," and the shining's "redrum,"

these words have haunted me for nearly a decade:

"let uncle ron show you how to hide the weenie."

it was just creepy.


S.Fuller said...

50 ragbrai's eh??? Nice trick :)

mark h said...

pretty damn fine

the mostly reverend said...

mark h--are you sandy?
funny shit, man, funny shit.
thanks for visiting!