The 2011 Tour de Dewey all-star reunion and 40th birthday celebration has run its course. The real story of the night–beyond the untold destruction to competitors’ property, a hospital visit for Whit Johnson, and some impressive racing–was the unfathomable psychic scarring brought on by the injudicious use of street drugs by certain veteran riders–and the sight of my gold manthong upon those unprepared for such a visual horror.
The Dewey began more than a decade ago as an end-of-season bacchanalia for the competitive cycling community in town. After a long year of culinary deprivation and social withdrawal, cyclists like Pete Webber and Brandon Dwight (both professional mountain bikers) needed to blow off a little steam…and the Dewey was just the means.
After a couple editions, it became a legend amongst cyclists. Eddy Merckx’s agent attempted to secure and invite for the champ, but Dwight and Webber flicked him. Anne-Caroline Chausson, the single most dominant mountain biker to have ever competed in the dirt, flew in from Les Gets, France, but didn’t make the time cut after the prologue. In short–the event caters to a different sort of cyclist, a more well rounded and complete human than typically succeeds in the Grand Tours or world championships.
In 2000, I honored my family and sponsors by winning the climber’s jersey. I attended in a Hunter S. Thompson costume, having shaved my head into male-patterned baldness and ingested 21 buttons of reservation peyote to nail the part. It was my halcyon moment as a cyclist and pulling on the jersey left me with a sensation that lasted until several months later when the Supreme Court stole a presidential election from a haughty baffoon and delivered it to a dimwitted trust-funder from Texass.
This edition–11 years, three wars, a monster terrorist attack, and one Great Recession later–I had high hopes of defending my title in the high mountains and rarefied air of the Dewey.
A stellar field lined up for the race. Frank “Fast ‘n’ Sweet” Mapel drove in from Durango. Kurt Perham flew in from Maine. Tiffany “Little Mama” Pezzulo arrived from Salt Lake, but wankered at the last minute and sat at the periphery of the event, quietly sniffling into a tissue and mumbling about “Gracu”–whoever or whatever that was/is.
Competitors shotgunned a beer at top speed and judges declared the winner, evaluating the amount of beer spilled, general attitude, and overall commitment. Mike Koenig emerged as the race leader after the men’s event, while Melissa Thomas took the women’s jersey. I felt sorely flicked, as I thought I’d had an epic shotgun, but it was not to be.
From the prologue to the second stage, held at a secret location a full 10-minute ride away, the field split but most riders observed the neutral transfer pace and conserved energy. The time trial was next.
Koenig practically strolled through is prologue, taking his time to chug a PBR on the first half, before arriving at the finish with eager judges waiting to tear the hallowed yellow frock from his elegant frame. Defeat. He would barely figure in the remainder of the race, commenting, “The TT broke my spirit. I’m not confident I’ll ever compete again. By the way, have you any more of those buttons?”
I laughed him off and prepared for the ride of my life by devouring my remaining peyote before his eyes. He teared up. Ahead of me, though, were fearsome rivals like Jim Potter and Brandon Dwight–I needed the spirits with me.
My TT went well, though some scoffed at my technique. Rather than pedal the miniaturized bicycle, I simply ran with it. The manthong had begun to chafe and I couldn’t risk any (more) unsightly sores on my nether regions. UCI rules also permit such shenanigans. My rivals posted fast times, but I climbed a couple spots in the GC.
Melissa Thomas posted a blistering TT. Actually, I’m making most of this up, as I spent the remainder of the TT howling at the ass-beatings Heather McSzabo and B-Hlud gave to the field as they shotgunned a beer at the halfway mark of the stage. Most times and “facts” henceforth are similarly contrived, invented, or fabricated. Back to my coverage.
By the time the gang rolled to North Boulder Park–fittingly the same location as the final stage of the Red Zinger/Coors Classic stage races of yesteryears–Koenig had abandoned, Melissa Thomas had disrobed (pics available for cash donations), and criterium specialists Whit Johnson and Greg Keller were out for blood. They would get it.
The crit is a blur, really. I recall noticing Whit Johnson riding the wrong way in the second heat. Greg Keller, a slave to his own quad-fueled power and lust for victory, led the field, but game to grief in a head-on collision with Johnson. Johnson’s chin split open like a ripe pear thrown against Michele Bachmann’s hollow skull. Keller taco’d his front wheel and howled as if you’d just sold his kidney on eBay. Both men survived.
I buried myself to stay in the front 10 and on the back-side category II climb I managed to garner enough points to move up in the climber’s classification. There was hope for me, and indeed when the judges tallied the points I emerged with the storied polka-dots of the climber’s jersey. My wings had sent me aloft again, to soar amongst the chiming bells and chorus of singing champions of Deweys passed.
The climber’s jersey. Twice in one career. Decades from now, sipping brandy from a snifter of the finest lead crystal, I shall recount to my boys, Luca and Dominic, the heroics of my youth, when I piloted sundry velocipedes up near-vertical slopes, all the while wearing a golden manthong and with my head shaved like an outlaw journalist.
But to return to the competition. Thomas was now twirling in the fringes of the scene, two glow-sticks and a pacifier in her mouth. Someone had thrown a blanket over her naked frame, which hid most of her curvaceous birthday suit, but craven paparazzi surrounded her in the hopes of photographing a private part. Those images were eventually sold to Le Voyeur Tragique, a French publication dedicated to humiliating decent, tax-paying citizens and those with dwarfism. Naturally, I’ve never written for such a rag. Thomas is recuperating in a psych hospital near Antibes.
From the celebratory podium presentation the peloton traveled to a local sushi establishment, which was later burned to the ground by a resentful Brian Hludzinski. Dressed as a sheriff, he had abused his powers throughout the night, pepper-spraying a small child in the crowd before Tazer-ing his wife when she suggested he ride 28-spoke wheels instead of his 36-spoke rigs.
I hope the above video posts, but our tight-wad webmaster has revoked my privileges for a prior transgression.
I returned home to a hero’s welcome. Despite bitter temperatures and unspeakable shrinkage, Rebel took me back to our hearth and lovingly nursed me back to “health,” if one can call my balding, unmanscaped reality healthy. I doubt it.
There is already talk of a Dewey reunion for Dwight’s 50th. His wife is something of a party-planner extraordinaire. She’s already contracted a Russian furrier to grow a herd of chinchillas, from which she plans to craft Dewey memorabilia. God willing, I will return for another climber’s jersey. I’ve been dieting for a week now and saving for a lipo machine. The future looks bright.