“Give up, Grampy!”

This morning was my last ride before TOSRV. Since it needed to be a moderate workout, I didn’t ride with my Rogue Racing cronies. Instead, I went with Rick on a 21 mile route.

Once we got over the big climb, we settled into the gentle rollers of Wilson Pike and I spy the blinking red light of a cyclist.

“Rabbit,” I think to myself. “I like chasing rabbits.”

I pick up the pace.

“So much for a laid back ride!”

fullsizeoutput_2f1I gain ground on “Rabbit” but Rick was drifting off my wheel, so I slow down to let him catch up. We crest the hill and pick up speed on the descent. I get close enough to see that “Rabbit” looks like a character from Dr. Who! He is gray-haired, has on a long-sleeve T-shirt, and a warning triangle on the backside of his helmet blinks incessantly. His hybrid has fat tires, fenders, a saddlebag on a rear rack, and a large mirror…I mean big in biking terms.

“Not exactly a sporting chase, but a rabbit is a rabbit!”

Rabbit spies us in his rear view mirror and takes off.

“What the…”

My brain works overtime trying to find the logical explanation to how an old guy on a heavy bike could ride so fast. One conclusion emerges…

“Is he better?”

I shake off my doubt and eyeball the upcoming rise. “Okay, Rabbit! Let’s see how you climb!”

Rabbit rolls up the grade at a good clip, and on the downside, keeps moving.

“Damn you, Rabbit!”

As fate would have it, Rabbit turns onto the same road we plan to take and slows a bit. Rick, who loves good conversation, sprints up to introduce himself. I’m not one for chit-chat, especially when in “chase rabbit mode,” so I take the lead and listen in. Rabbit’s real name is Jack, he’s retired, and he’s 67 years-old.

“Sixty-seven? And he can hammer like that?!”

They talk it up for a mile or so until Rick peels off for home. Jack stays on course with me and I decide to end “chase rabbit mode” once and for all.

I rev my Colnago up to 26 MPH. After a minute, convinced Jack was a distant memory, I glance over my left shoulder.

Jack was on my wheel!

“Damn you, Rabbit!”

I refocus on the road, note the upcoming rise, and hit it at a hot pace, hoping gravity and time will grind him into submission. Once more I check on him.

“Are you kidding me? Give up, Grampy!” Only I wasn’t sure if I meant that for him or me.

Remembering my big ride coming up, I decide to back off the pace. He comes along side me and I swallow fullsizeoutput_2f1my pride and say, “Jack, for a sixty-seven year old, you’re amazing!”

“Thanks, but I have some help.”

fullsizeoutput_2f1He points to a box attached to his down tube. I take note of it, wondering how I missed seeing it before. Must have been all his blinking lights!

Jack sees I’m dumbfounded so he explains: “It’s an electric motor.”

The reality of it all sinks in. I smile, relieved that my nightmare was a joke, of sorts.

I chuckle, “Well that explains a few things!”

He returns the smile. “The other day, I passed a 20 year-old on a big hill. You should have seen his face!”

Yeah, Jack, I wish I could have!

I wonder if Jack’s on Strava? 🙂

 

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