Wild Rumpus Sports

Tour de Clam

Since returning from the frying pan of Las Vegas to the furnace of the East Coast, I’ve been at home in Maine. After such a wild time out west, it took me a full week to get back on my feet. But now I am ready to rock once more.

The reason I came home was to race in the Yarmouth Clam Festival Bike Race tomorrow. But before I could do that, I had to warm up, having not raced my bike since crashing out at the finish of the Lake Auburn Road Race in early June. Which meant that I had to do the Brunswick Time Trial (RACE SEVEN IN THE MAINE TT SERIES!!!!!).

I really don’t like time trials. Maybe it’s due to my lack of true aerobic fitness. Or non Miguel Indurain-like build. But whatever it is, I suck at them, at least compared to climbs and uphill sprint finishes. This one was basically in my backyard, though, so there wasn’t much of a choice.

The day before the race, my friend Morgan and I went over to the Brunswick High School, where the Maine Bike Rally was taking place, in search of someone who might be able to help us register the day before and save us some time. After being passed between like four different people, we finally were introduced to a man eating a large bowl of cake and ice cream. Between bites, he managed to give us absolutely no useful information and simultaneously thoroughly insult us, by asking us questions like, “have you ever done a time trial before?” and informing us that “helmets are required,” and “no drafting.” I suppose that I had hairy legs and in general behave like an amateur, but still.

The time trial itself was uneventful, and the only other amusing thing that happened was as we were leaving. As we pedaled away on our bikes, we thanked one of the volunteers, who yelled after us to “come back next year!” and to “stay the whole weekend!” “We live here!” we shouted back to her, to which she responded by yelling, “no I don’t!”

Since Morgan is an out-of-shape extremely qualified cyclist and I am a moderately fit not-particularly-qualified cyclist, we decided that the time trial would be the first event in the Tour de Clam, the winner of which would would be the person with the lowest combined placing between the TT and the Clam Fest. Morgan beat me by three places in the TT, but as it turned out, we did another ride on Wednesday, in which I took five of nine town line sprints. So, in tomorrow’s race I only have to make up two places. Loser has to buy lime rickeys at the Clam Fest after the race.

Other unwitting participants in the Tour de Clam include Middlebury Coach Andrew Gardner and MWSC VP Eileen Carey, both of whom are signed up for tomorrow’s race. Each has a large deficit to make up after having forfeited the Brunswick TT. And after having talked a big game all spring, Bowdoin ski team member Walt Shepard appears to have forfeit the entire competition, given that he has only entered a single bike race all year, and no stages of the Tour de Clam. This will be an especially tough defeat for him to stomach, since the course for the Clam Fest race travels past his house.

I promise to have a much less stupid and hopefully more entertaining blog post after tomorrow.

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