Tuesday, April 15, 2014

R.O.U.S. – Raccoon of Unexpected Speed

Last Tuesday at 4:30am we gathered, by what can only be attributed to the Svengali-like power of Mark O., to ride as many hard miles (65-70) as possible before work.  For those who had extra time, this would include ascending Emigration Canyon, east of the University of Utah.

Four of us departed along the Legacy Parkway bike trail: Mark O., Derrick W., Dave B. (myself), and Colt F. from America First CU Racing.  No more than twenty minutes in, while Mark was pushing the pace in front, he noticed something on the side of the path.  As the pre-dawn brain cells attempted to identify the object, and just as Mark considered the idea of slowing down, a large (and surprisingly swift) raccoon darted across the trail and in front of Mark’s tire.

Like the R.O.U.S. (Rodents of Unusual Size) attack in “The Princess Bride”, Mark was unceremoniously knocked to the ground, while peril ensued.  Amid the chaos, I either heard or said an expletive.  Somehow the rest of us were able to brake, weave or skid past the pile of man and machine.

The first order of business was to inspect Mark.  With the use of our headlights, it was clear he had some serious road rash and bruising on his hip and forearm, yet the team kit remained remarkably intact (Go TEXmarketUSA!).* Fortunately, his full-finger gloves took the brunt of what would have been some major lacerations to the back of his hand.

The next order of business was to tend to the Zanconato.  Maybe we should have done this first.  Anyway, aside from a scraped up saddle and bar tape, and a tiny tweak of the derailleur, the steed was in great shape (Go Zank!).

Once Mark collected himself, we were riding again.  After just one rotation of the paceline, Mark was back up front, pushing a big gear as usual.  When we reached Emigration Canyon, Mark faced it like Inigo Montoya vs. the six-fingered man (Go Mark!).

And thus the pronouncement: “Raccoons make lousy speed-bumps!” Indeed they do.

*It should be noted I believe this retelling is in compliance with Rule #81, since after the ride Mark went to InstaCare to have his wounds scrubbed and treated.  Also, no selfies of the injuries will be posted; otherwise, Mark may be accused of being a Congressman.  I’ve seen the pictures - definitely not safe for work.

Ride on,


Anonymous said...

Great write up Dave. How did you have time to snap a picture of that Raccoon after he took me down? He certainly does seem smug with himself!


Wayne Butler said...

Just wait til you run into a S.O.U.S. Squirrel of unusual size. The love to play games with the spokes of my mountain bike.