Little T and the Thuderdome Sprint

Little T and the Thunderdome Sprint

55 Nine Performance

Little Todd Henriksen broke out the whodoo-voodoo-backalley-thunderdome-sprint as he stormed away from a stunned pack of super heavyweights 400 meters from the Pink Church finish and won the Hard, Hard Labor Classic on 13 December 2007. Approaching the finis, Little T pushed out to a 3 second gap on the heaving and hacking chasers behind, allowing him just enough empty space in between to sit up, glance back over his left shoulder, turn back towards the camera, smooth the wrinkles from his jersey with his hands, check his teeth in a pocket mirror, throw his fists in the air, and flash an ear-to-ear grin like he was a Cheshire cat with a canary’s head lodged snugly in his belly. Henriksen earned his win at the tail end of a day that was nothing less than a 5 hour slugfest on wheels, a knock down, drag out between fistics, pugilists, contrarians and misfits who were packing heavy artillery. Little T was the last one standing as he kicked his turbo charger into hyper-drive when everyone else was running on fumes. Little T, another protégé of Carney’s, scored his second, but greatest, WBL victory in his brief but stellar tenure on the sunny side of the soil.

Cleve Blackheart Blackwell also managed to draw nigh of Farm Boy Fahey with a gutsy performance on the102 mile torture session that included nearly 5,000 feet of vertical climbing. Both warriors are now sprinting neck and neck in a dead heat for the Golden Fleece, each with 30 points. Fahey accused Blackheart of cheating later that evening and Blackheart replied by kicking Fahey in the groin with cowboy boots. The manner in which Fahey buckled over lead me to deduce, using Carney’s method of Logical Reasoning (critical exegesis beyond the scope of this narrative, which is intended solely the vulgar masses), that Fahey wouldn’t be so tactless next time. Or at least he’d use the telephone. With his brilliant win and the huge points it afforded him, Little T also made a huge jump in the Overall Standings, currently sitting in the 6th slot behind Eric Keim, Tina Mayola-Pica and Erin Winter, all of whom scored significant pints on the day and continued their ascension through the rank and file in WBL 2007. The Overall is up for grabs and WBL 2007 is now a juggernaut at the top of the leader board. This year has been unlike any in recent years. Plenty more fireworks and sordid love tales are expected to follow.

Hard, Hard Labor of Love!

Hard, Hard Labor of Love!

120 or more denizens of downtown Athens and lovers of hard core cycling showed up and signed in to contest the Hard, Hard Labor of Love event. Old friends Kirk O’Bee, Coach Chris Andrus, Big Jon Atkins, Scotty Weiss, Doug Pomeranz, Erik Noschka, Brady Rogers, Tom Palmer, Mr. Mick Stukes and Andrew Wetherington were just a few of the fortunate ones whose time on Earth coincides with the WBL. All were seeking glory now that the gates were open for the Pros to sprint at the invitation only event (only those with a bike are invited to attend). The whether gods once again showed beneficence to this undeserving rabble of big ring bashers leading some to surmise (again, using Carney’s Logical Reasoning) that either a pluvial deluge of biblical proportions, a swarm of locusts the size of crows, or an Arctic Freeze would visit itself upon A Town in the next few weeks. Though arm warmers were needed early in the day, once again bare flesh would be burned by Old Sol before day’s end as the temps hovered near 70 degrees.

This Saturday’s parcours, Hard Labor, is an old time gospel favorite among the stalwarts and is often praised in the annals of WBL lore. The course takes the group south through once upon a time peach groves and cotton fields, over gently undulating pastureland encompassing multi-acres of dairy farms, and beside old antebellum homes with Doric columns and peeling paint seemingly set down in the middle of nowhere. After first zipping through Watkinsville and Bishop, the quarter of a mile long line of pedaling maniacs slanted across Bostwick, leaving its ancient cotton gin, its one flashing light, and its one horse hotel behind, and turned down the Fairplay Road and headed straight for Hard Labor State Park and the first sprint of the day, for Ladies only, at the Rutledge City Limits sign.

There was plenty of horsepower in the hard charging pack of backsliders and there was no shortage of riders looking to fill the bill in the front two slots: Travis Hagner, Len Slote, Jeremy Wadkins, David Nixon, G Man Somerville, Mark Anderson, Phil Southerland and Slim Tim Henry were only a few of those doing yeoman’s work at the head of the herd. This group was ripping across the landscape leaving a scorch mark in its wake—they were also having a roaring good time. The pace at the end of one hour was the same it would be at the end of 5—20 miles per hour.

Tres Amigos

Tres Amigos

Crossing the brown mud hole that Southerners call a swimming pool in Hard Labor Creek State Park, the whistler warbled his staccato tune—the Ladies Sprint was open: Game on. Chamblee Abernathy immediately launched out of the group like a surface to air missile. She opened up a 100 meter gap while Mayola-Pic, Boots Winter, and birthday girl Kristen Keim pondered the meaning of pain behind. Then, Keim jumped and joined and the two began to work in tandem. These 2 fearless ladies were riding away. Winter insulted Mayola-Pic with a jab at her husband, and Mayola-Pic’s rejoinder was of a similar vain. The two suddenly realized in the nick of time that all men are full of stuffing. A truce was called, the ladies briefly shook hands, and off they shot in pursuit of the double dose of trouble speeding up the road. The 2 in the rear caught the 2 in the forward position with 10 meters to go and they both went zipping by with 2.3 centimeters to spare at the line. Mayola-Pic’s win allowed her to pocket yet another 100 bucks, placing her lifetime WBL winnings at 2.9 million dollars.

Rutledge Sprint:

  1. Mayola-Pic: 5 points
  2. Boots Winter: 4
  3. K. Keim: 3
  4. C. Abernathy: 2
  5. Junior Southerland: 1

After the sprint there was a general regroupment, but the pack was allowed no time to relax—the Non Pro, 1 or 2 sprint was fast approaching: The Social Circle City Limit sign was only 5 miles away. Mark Anderson and Little T went to the front and did a little penance, but in the WBL this means others also pay for one’s weekly transgressions. And since this was Anderson’s first event of the year, and since he’d done a great deal of sinning, he had to pedal rather quickly in order to make amends.



Approaching this obscure sign, the whistler was caught with his pants down. 500 meters from the line, the Whistler spied the green sign hidden in a grove of trees off to the right. He blew his whistle frantically. Chris Frederick jumped instantly and sped away into the wild blue yonder. Big Jon followed with his teammate, the evil Blackheart, in tow. Blackheart, proving he is a magic man, held on for 2nd behind Frederick and scored a massive 4 points. Fahey tucked in for 5th, and though only 1 point, it would save the Yellow for him at the end of the day.

Social Circle Sprint:

  1. Chris Frederick: 5 Points
  2. Blackheart: 4
  3. Big Jon: 3
  4. Brady Rogers: 2
  5. Fahey: 1

After the second sprint, the pack continued through downtown Social Circleand headed to Jersey and the store stop. After sprinkling the grass behind the convenience store with uric acid from several different countries (United States, Canada, Cuba, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy, Australia, Detroit, Florida, and the ATL), the group of sunny delighters clipped in, pulled anchor up, and continued onward and forward in this day’s adventure. Next intersecting spot on the globe: Monroe.

The grupetto rode compato through downtown Monroe, veered towards Good Hope, and turned down Snow’s Mill Road. Approaching the end of Snow’s Mill most didn’t know that they were on the south side of town and still had to wend their way over to the northern frontier. The helmsmen maliciously arced the benighted group of lost boys and girls back around to Bogart, shot north over the Bear Creek Reservoir, headed over to the topside of Tallassee Road, but didn’t come home. Instead, the drovers ordered the minions out even further north, cutting across finally at Crooked Creek Road, and speeding to the final Attack Zone of the day, the dastardly Pink Church Circuit Loop.

The Pink Church Circuit Loop opens at the right hand turn at Alligator Pond 1 mile from the Pink Church Line. There is a sprint the first time over the line, but there is no rest for these weary souls—the loop continues, making 3 right hand turns, and travels another 6 miles until the eventual winner, and all the other losers, are once again at Alligator Pond taking the right hand turn and facing the much maligned incline to the Pink Church Sprint Line yet again, this time for the win. It’s a loop guaranteed to bring tears to a rider’s eyes, and lactic acid to the thighs.

Little T and 55nine!

Little T and 55nine!

Approaching the opening of the final Attack Zone the group was fighting for position like they were approaching the Arrenburg Forest. As the group took the right hand turn and the whistler warbled for the last time, the powerful group lunged up the hill. Dozens came off immediately—there day was done. At the top, they pulled over to watch the finish. The conductor went round and punched their tickets.

At the head of the class, which was still a hearty group of 50, Eric Keim Jumped and took out the sprint the first go round, followed closely by Thomas Brown and Russ Roundhouse Griebel. But the wily bastard Cleve Blackwell inveigled his rumpus into the 4th slot and picked up 2 points, points that put him in a dead draw with Fahey. If either scored any points at the finis, the Golden Fleece was theirs. (Neither did.)

Pink Church: 1st Sprint:

  1. Eric Keim: 5 points
  2. Thomas Brown: 4
  3. Roundhouse Russ: 3
  4. Blackheart: 2
  5. Whit Clifford: 1

After taking the right turn after the Pink Church, Chris Frederick showed he is a man of action—he bolted down the hill. Frederick opened a gap, but because he is a danger man, those behind were quick to react. First Henriksen, then O’Bee, stormed up Hateful Hill causing much consternation in those behind. Over the Hated Hill, the two poured it on up the false flat, but this section of road can make a grown man cry, and the two were pulled back into the fold by a rabid pack of money mongers.

Next, it was Bruno Langlois’ time to fly. Big Bad Bruno exploded from the group and sailed up Cemetary Hill. Nick Reistad followed with 2 others and these 4 had a dangerous gap of around 6 seconds as they turned back onto J. River Road. It was 4 miles to the line. Any hesitation in the chasing group could spell disaster, but lead to immorality, I mean immortality, at the front. (Immorality is not limited to the front group.)

The four escape artists were not allowed any slack—they were reeled in by a broke group of hammerheads looking to place a crispy c-note between the barren walls of their musty wallet. There were still 40 or 50 together taking the final right at Alligator Pond 1 mile from heaven’s gate. The strongmen in the herd exploded up the hill, but those who are familiar with this irascible climb know that patience and perseverance are the keys to victory in this neck of the woods. Henriksen followed the wheels of those who went early, staying near the front at all times. 500 meters up the hideous hill, a group of 10 ripped away. They were chased by a baker’s dozen. Behind these, Zealots littered the roadway in groups on ones and twos.

The lead group was charging home; then, an ever-so-slight hesitation for one-half of a nanosecond: Little T shot out of the group, bent over the bars, pulled with both arms, and pedaled with violent revolutions. His legs were stomping circles in the air. He quickly opened up a 3 second gap, and held it. Though those behind were stampeding to the line like buffalo that had been shot in the arse, Little T would not, and could not, be captured. Little T scored a tremendous win. Strongman Nick Reistad blasted across the line 1 second in arrears to capture 2nd place, followed by an impressive Eric Keim. Keim’s strong performance on the day, along with his small bevy of start points he has collected on other days, catapulted him into 3rd place in the Overall Standings. Keim is only 1 win away from securing Yellow and retiring a wealthy man. But the same holds true for Little T as well as a whole host of others. There is much incongruity in the WBL these days, and there will be plenty ‘o action to come. Bring your knives and watch your back. It’s murder out there these days.


  1. Little T: 10 points
  2. Nick Reistad: 8
  3. Eric Keim: 6
  4. Bruno: 4
  5. Unkown hammerheadeus: 2

See you soon (charges were dropped—seems it’s not a crime to download those images as long as one doesn’t do what the video depicts—and there’s no evidence I did. I destroyed all those files a long time ago.), the Humble Chronicler.

  1. Tony Fahey 30 pts.
  2. Cleve Blackwell 30 pts.
  3. Eric Keim 26 pts.
  4. Tina Mayola-Pic 25 pts.
  5. Erin Winter 24 pts.
  6. Todd Henriksen 23 pts.
  7. Eric Hollifield 22 pts.
  8. Slotey 21
  9. Shireymania 20 pts
  10. Jeremy Wadkins: 20 pts.
  11. P-Diddy Rice 20 pts.
  12. Jack Howland: 18 pts.
  13. G-Man Somerville: 18 pts.
  14. Chris Andrus 16 pts.
  15. Nick Arroya 15 pts.
  16. Big Bad Hill Harper 15 pts
  17. El David Prez Nixon 15 pts.
  18. Nick Reistad 13
  19. Chris Frederick 13
  20. L. A. Asbury 13 pts.
  21. Eric Murphy 13 pts.
  22. Frank Traviesio 13 pts.
  23. R. Parks: 13 pts.
  24. Brian Bibens 13
  25. Double Talk 13
  26. Tommy Maddox 12 pts.
  27. Kristin Keim 11 pts.
  28. Jeff Ford Truck 11 pts.
  29. IcePic 10
  30. Malachi Peacock 10
  31. Eric Knoschke 10 pts.
  32. Thomas Brown 10 pts.
  33. Eric Maddox 10 pts.
  34. Bogartarian: 10 pts.
  35. Glenn Edridge 10 pts.
  36. Jackie Soladay 10
  37. Clay Parks 9 pts
  38. Bruno Langlois 9 pts.
  39. L. Valletti: 9 pts.
  40. Genteman: 9 pts.
  41. Gillifan: 9 pts.
  42. Chamblee Abernathy 8 pts.
  43. Skinny Dan 8 pts.
  44. Jake Brindle 10 pts.
  45. Pomegranate 8
  46. Csaey Manger 8 pts.
  47. Richard Saunders 8 pts.
  48. Turbo Gentry: 8 pts.
  49. Mick Stukes 8
  50. The Pilgrim (Mellinger): 8 pts.
  51. Bromley Metz 8
  52. David Bell 8 pts.
  53. Glenn Bradley: 7
  54. Kari Bradley: 7