The Boustrophedon Byways

The Boustrophedon Byways

(WBL 2011 # 5: The Reality Bikes Hoschton Classic)

The Ride

The WBL proved yet again that it is a cruel overlord that treats its card-carrying members like paid prostitutes as Carney and his cronies forced the Zealots to hammer out 75 miles on 15 January 2011 on the Reality Bikes Hoschton Classic even though the North Pole's polar cap had suddenly slid southward and buried the surrounding countryside in impenetrable glacial sheets of crusty white ice. In fact, when Sean Carroll opened his eyes that Saturday morning and imagined cycling in this frozen wonderland, all he could say was "Hallelujah, here's to mama, lawd have mercy, amen!" The land took the brunt of the blow as a Little Ice Age briefly interrupted our halcyon Holocene days with a heavy-handed attitude and fists of stone. The Zealots spent a goodly portion of this particular Saturday sledding over, around, through and across a shimmering sea of frozen milk. Nine inches of snow fell and plastered the whole of north Georgia one week earlier, and in addition to the smooth and glistering white blankets that still covered all yards, farms, fields, pastures, and woods, ice the size of large stones still lay strewn across the road in some sections, snow stacked in Stonehenge-size megaliths was pushed to the sides and piled high in places at the edge of the blacktop, frozen rectangular plates as big as billboards pigmented certain segments of roads like patches on a quilt, and thawing slush still striated a number of backwater byways in long vertical strips. Like ancient mariners riding atop high ocean swells and straining to see ahead, it was one of those truly adventurous days when the group never knew exactly what foul leviathan might be lurking beyond the next bend.

It was tricky picking the right path at times, and although the Zealots crawled though all icy passages with due care and proper regard for their lovely keisters (lest they smack against the frozen floor), in those long black stretches of roadway when the asphalt did clear (and brothers and sisters, there were plenty), the frontend factotums pounded on their pedals like incompliant madmen who refused to take their medication, like pissed-off pit bulls suddenly unlocked from their chains, like powerful pedal-people who enjoyed causing pain. And oddly enough, at the terminus of yet another brutal day spent pushing on one’s pedals in an inhospitable environs, and even though the Zealots were covered from shoe-cover to helmet top in a grimy layer of wet grit, sand and dirt, and even though their feet and hands were numb, and even though their azzes were all striped with a wet rooster tail in the shape of a crescent-shaped thong (except the one absolutely brilliant Zealot who rode with a rear fender), their spirits soared skyward like hot air balloons. After the ride, these poor benighted victims bobbed with excitement, as if they actually enjoyed the savage punishment they’d been forced to endure. Something is definitely wrong with these people.

When the day dawned, 80 or 90 Zealots showed the fortitude of a frontline fighter who knew he wasn’t coming home as they signed in for the Reality Bikes Hoschton Hardman’s Classic on 15 January 2011.

When the Zealots first signed-in,
they knew some would be lost at sea,
but I distinctly heard Billy Bray pray,
O Lord, please don’t let it be me.

Figuring it couldn’t make matters any worse, neo-Zealot Matt Brooks memorized the mantra and oft repeated the appeal throughout the day.

Included also among this rabble of racehorses who signed in for the WBL soiree were the Reality Bikes riders, who showed the unflinching resolve of the Grim Reaper himself and arrived on the scene in downtown Athens ready to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting field. And during the ride, the Reality Bikes riders rode like experienced helmsmen and dominated the front places in the pack for the entirety of the day. The Realty Riders showed no regard for the suffering of others, and they pulled the pack around like a misesteemed herd of red-headed billy-goats. Their torturous tugs at the front caused much consternation in the thighs behind, not to mention sharp, shooting pains in the backs, the necks, the shoulders, and the arses of all the Zealots. Of course, throughout the day, they were aided a wee bit by the myriad monster pulls taken by J Rosskopf, T Magner and Big Joe Eldridge, all doggedly determined to do a little destruction themselves. And then, a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum—five pros from Team Type 1 showed up, which only added more umphpah to the carnival of fun. Hallelujah, here’s to mama, lawd have mercy, amen!

The Trial

The Persecutor smelled blood, so he leaned into the microphone and said: “Mr. Carney, are you trying to tell this intelligent jury of fine upstanding citizens that these here Zeelots of yours actually enjoy these painful peddlin-excursions that you and yo cabal of glabrous-legged whackos lead them on? What kinda damn fools do you take us for? Why, we’ve all heard about yo little trek over to Bowman and back last Sattaday.” The Persecutor pirouetted around towards the jury and held his arms aloft in feigned amazement, as if he were a dolt, a dimwit or a dumbass (which he may have been, but which conclusion is beyond the purview of this paper).

Carney simply said, “Yes.”

The Persecutor was hoping for a reaction. There was none, so he fired another missile: “And you say these here Zeelots voluntarily come of their own free will and accord to-yo-little Sattaday morning get-togethers? And you and yo flunkies lead this flock of fools out and flossillate them on the boustrophedon byways of the North Georgia Mountains? And they even give you money. Come on now, Carney, who are you fooling? You know good and damn well that you control their minds with a super-secret butter lotion that you sell on yo internet site. The little lambs rub that sweet-smelling butter sauce all over their sweet little bodies, and then you’re in charge—you control their minds with a magic elixir you added to the lotion! Isn’t it true that you’re actually nothing but the sadistic leader of a cult of zeelots who carry out your every wish and command without batting an eye, and your ultimate goal, Mr. Carney, is to rule the world! Isn’t all that true, MISTER BRIGGS CARNEY?!” The Persecutor was raging. He pounded his fist into the podium.

Carney’s response was, “I think you mean flagellate.”


“You said flosselate—it’s flagellate. You should have said lead this flock of fools out and flagellate them on the boustrophedon byways. Hale, we’re not trying to brush our teeth out there.” Carney looked at the jury and winked and smiled. His teeth were brilliant. The jurors all chuckled and nodded back at Carney.

The Persecutor continued: “Just answer the damn question, wiseass.”

“Could you repeat the question?”

The Persecutor threw his arms in the air and cried, “OBJECTION!”

The judge called a recess.

Carney smiled again and his teeth cast a blinding white light over the courtroom, and quite possibly, all the world.

The jury smiled and nodded.

The Ride

Only 3 Zealots landed on their bums in the first 5 miles, so the first leg of the icy trek was a huge success. But after the first three minor mishaps were out of the way, and the bodies were scraped off the ice, the pack bore down and it was full steam ahead. Carney cancelled all sprints for the day, so it was no holds barred from the strong lads and lasses. Since all Zealots (who signed in) were awarded 3 points on the day, the only thing left to do was hammer, and brother where art thou they did. Though most roads after the first hour were clear of ice, there was still the occasional rough patch that caused the pack to slow, but always, every time, without fail, the frontend factotums made up for lost time in between.

Even though the steersman were leaving blister marks in the frozen road after several hours of pedal-banging, a curious thing was happening in the pack—the Zealots were actually enjoying themselves. The first sign the grupetto was having a good time occurred when a spontaneous cavalcade of cheers erupted from the middle of the pack, a sure sign that some are finding pleasure in pain. The joyful eruption of squeals was usually precipitated by a series of gleeful howls from the Pack Shouter Phil Gilman, who’s melodious caterwauling usually signals all is well with the world. Hallelujah, here’s to mama, lawd have mercy, amen!

The Trial

During the break, the Persecutor wandered to the men’s room to splash cold water on his face. When he walked in the door and stepped inside, he was face to face with Carney. There were several others inside the bathroom, both inside the stalls and standing at the white pots on the walls, so he knew he had to play it cool. He said, “Excuse me, Mr. Carney, you are blocking my way.”

Carney looked at him and smiled and reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a little white tub of butter-cream. He held it his hand up to the Persecutor and said, “Here, why don’t you just rub some of this butter-lotion on your chest, then you’ll understand everything.”

The Persecutor was so shocked by Carney’s audacity that he was speechless.

Carney said, “Just try it, gone on, take it.”

The Persecutor fumed: “Mr. Carney, there are witnesses here to this brazen attempt at bribery. You’ll be prosecuted for this to the fullest extent of the law, I can promise you that. Your empire is collapsing, son.” The Persecutor was shaking he was so mad.

Carney stood smiling, unfazed. He had just finished combing his hair and tightening his tie when the Persecutor walked in, so he looked fabulous. Carney said, “Let’s do this the easy way, come on now.”

At that point, the others turned around from the wall-pots and came out of the stalls and circled the Persecutor. Carney whispered, “Please, take the butter.”

The Persecutor looked around at the others. Rosskopf was snarling, Yo Simpson was pounding his fist, Ty Magner was sucking his teeth, Yellow Hairnet wearer Michael York was scratching his scrotum, Don Giannini was blowing on his hands, Jamie Dinkins was shrugging her shoulders. The Persecutor said, “Ok, but just a small dab.”

The Persecutor took the jar and scooped two fingers into the soft butter. He wiped his fingers across the side of his neck, crossing the jugular vein, and then slid them back across, effectively doubling the dose of the poison. The Persecutor sniffed his fingers and nodded and said, “Damn, that does smell sweet.”

The Persecutor snapped out of his reverie and looked at Carney and said, “There, so much for yo butter lotion. I’ll see you back in the courtroom.” He pushed Carney aside and walked out the door with the sweet-smelling jar of butter balm safely tucked in his pocket.

The Ride

The Zealots kept the engines running hot all the way home. They pressed the pace all the way down the Jefferson River Road and continued flat out hauling ass until they arrived in downtown Athens. Though the average speed of the day was slower than the norm, the overall impact of the Reality Bikes event was the same as that of a 15 round boxing match—body blow after body blow after body blow. Three cheers for the frontend factotums for a job well done. Hallelujah, praise be to mama, lawd have mercy, amen!

After the ride I ran into Carney and his cabal in the bathroom. They convinced me to rub some butter salve on my neck. I wiped just a smidgen on my scrotum too. Within a matter of minutes, I’d given Carney all my cash.

The Trial

The judge said, “Are you ready to resume, Mr. Persecutor?”

“Yes sir, I am,” Mr Persecutor answered. He stood and walked to the lectern. “There’s been a bad mistake, ya-anah. There’s some new evidence that has come to light.” The Persecutor reached into his pocket and pulled out the jar of butter balm and held it up and said, “This, ya-anah. This has come to light. This jar of butter balm was manufactured in China. Turns out we don’t have jurisdiction. Ain’t a damn thing we can do. I’m moving to dismiss all charges against Mr. Carney.

The judge banged his gavel and said, “Case dismissed. Court adjourned.” The gallery erupted in cheers. The Persecutor walked over to Carney and handed over all his cash. As did the judge and jury shortly thereafter. Hallelujah, here’s to amen, lawd have mercy, amen.

WBL 2011 Overall (15 Jan 2011):

  • Michael York: 21 pts.
  • Crowe: 21 pts
  • Joey Rosskopf: 20 pts
  • Jamie Dinkins: 19 pts.
  • Ty Magner: 17 pts
  • Jonathon Atwell: 17 pts
  • Frank Trevesio: 16 pts.
  • Catherine Peacock: 15 pts.
  • Nick Housley: 13 pts.
  • Slim Henry: 13 pts
  • John Best: 12 pts
  • DD Dunn: 12 pts.
  • Clark Hurst: 12 pts.
  • Kirk Madsmith: 12 pts
  • Brooks Lide: 12 pts.
  • Scott Morris: 12 pts
  • Tommy Mulkey: 12 pts.
  • Brad Parkerson: 12 pts.
  • Parker Smith: 12 pts
  • Gina Voci: 12 pts.
  • Ruben Jacobo-Rubio: 12 pts
  • Thomas Brown: 11 pts
  • Igor Rudola: 11 pts
  • Sam Rafal: 10 pts.
  • Don Giannini: 10 pts.
  • Matt Karzen: 10 pts.
  • Rich Nelson: 10 pts.
  • Yo Simpson: 10 pts
  • Little Cappy: 10
  • Sean Carroll: 10 pts
  • Gabriel Denes 10
  • Dalford England: 10 pts.
  • Cal Hootin: 10 pts.
  • Artur Sagat: 10 pts.
  • Ried Peacock: 9 pt
  • Anthony Hergert: 9 pts
  • Brett Magner: 9 pts.
  • John Newton: 9 pts
  • Smola: 9 pts
  • Christian Foster: 9 pts
  • Russ Foster: 9 pts
  • Steve Kogan: 9 pts
  • Nick Fragtino: 9 pts.
  • Christian Parrott: 8 pts
  • JJ Wadkins: 8 pts.
  • Eldridge Joe: 8 pts.
  • Emily Fancher: 8 pts.