In a small town the cycling culture can be downright cannibalistic. Take, for example, the case of Mark; Jeff is trying to kill him. I met him first. We were at Joe’s 70th birthday party and Joe introduced Mandy and I to Mark and his girlfriend. He’s working as director of the local public library and he rides. Then I saw Joe introducing the Mozhican and his family to Mark.
Everything would have been fine except Mark rides fixed and has a normal job much like me; very much unlike Jeff. Jeff’s main occupation in life is to try and kill me. I’m not sure where the money comes from, but he’s so darn good at it that I know someone must be paying him. I just haven’t been able to follow the dinero to its source yet. His cover is cabinet-making, but as I alluded to in previous posts he doesn’t seem to be too interested in making cabinets. He seems more interested in trying to grind me into oblivion on the bike, or, short of that, beat me senseless with trail tools. So far he’s been unsuccessful. I think.
The evidence is in the texts. I’ve forwarded my entire text chain (and Mark’s broken bike chain*) on to the proper authorities at Interpol (someone as sinister as Jeff must be an international threat) but here is a brief sample of the random terror I live with each day..,
I have internet at the house! Pavement’s Edge here I come!
Are you threatening to hack me?
Maybe manually while trail building.
Anyway, I am not trying to murder Mark. I’m just trying to challenge him with some area climbing testpieces until he can find a suitable geared bike. I figure anyone that only owns a fixed gear road bike, especially in an area characterized by rural roads with steep climbs, must be a masochist. He wants to ride steep hills. And if he doesn’t like the routes I pick he can always fake a chain break. Ohhhhh…
Recently Jeff invited Mark up to “see his trails” and ended up giving him the grand tour of the property, even showing him his “arches.” Likely story. Jeff inadvertently admitted how he tried to kill Mark (and poor Tom in the process) by putting him on an unfamiliar bike with a freewheel and pushing him down his trail over some insane hills. Mark nearly didn’t not survive.
Then a couple of days later I got this text:
Yeah, Mark’s my new best friend not yours. You can read all about our adventures Sunday on his blog thedeweydecimalsedge.com
It’s really sad when someone has to concoct such wild stories to get attention. Jeff has sunken…sank…sinked…SUNK really low with this escapade.
That’s okay, while Jeff is layed up in bed getting his beauty sleep Mark and I have been going out and riding our bikes on the roads! Jeff’s full wussedness is coming to light with his attempts to shanghai another cyclist. I’m still fuzzy on his motives.
Is he trying to kill Mark so I won’t have anyone else to ride with but Jeff, or is he trying to kill me so Mark doesn’t have anyone else to ride with? I think Mark and I need to get together and discuss this.
Very much un-like Jeff...
*I really thought I had blogged about Mark and I attempting High Rock via Cow Creek but I have only hinted at it. A couple of weeks ago we met at 5:15am one morning before work and rode up the Red River Valley to Cow Creek where we headed up. Mark was on his fixed gear bike and I was on my sporty sport bike.
We easily cleaned the first pitch, but on the second steep section Mark was pedaling along, standing on his pedals, creaking like a gate hinge in a windstorm, and suddenly with a metallic snap I looked up and saw him going head over teakettle into the ditch. Neither of us had a chain tool and we had no cell service. We ended up walking back down toward the wider valley until we had sufficient service to call my SAG Angel.