You know about the Archetypes of the BTG. Today, I ran across perhaps the strangest BTG ever.
So, I'm on the trail today trying to get in a ride home, just an easy zone 1 / zone 2 ride. I've finally gotten fresh enough that my legs feel good. My "freshness" curve on cycling peaks is a mere -10 or so. That means I'm nearly rested after four days of doing very little!
I came up over the big bridge coming into Bethesda, just spinning up it and coasting down. I clicked it up a gear or two to keep an easy spin and passed a couple people, including a troll-like, unshaven chap in a maillot jaune who was wobbling along on a Brompton, little folding bike. And wobbling he was - holding the handlebars and swinging them left to right as if he were trying to scythe down a wheat field. Naturally, his wheels were swinging right to left and he was weaving in an enormous sine wave, back and forth. I treated him like an errant roller blader, and just moved left and spun on by.
Lo and behold, this triggered a standing sprint! Dammit! I must have missed the townline sign! Surely, I had trifled with the Captain of the Peloton and would be made to pay! The terrible, the little, the round unshaven (not bearded, unshaven, with a 3-4 day growth) man dusted me! He timed his magnificent sprint perfectly, coming around near one of the park benches, getting well past me, then drifting a hundred or so yards up to the stopsign to take the Sprint Points.
My Archnemesis: The Ride of the Man Who Crushed My Very Soul, Ripped my Legs Off, Dropped me, Outsprinted Me, Took My Mother Out for a Fish Dinner and Never Called, and Basically Tore My Head Off and Crapped Down My Throat on the CCT:
So he slowed down a bit for the stopsign, and treacherous, fat blown-legged loser guy in a race jersey that I am, (a disgusting poser - as Brampton's friends at the D&D Gathering tonight who have heard the story 30 times by now could tell you) I spun by him, again at a constant 220 watts, 16 or 17 MPH, scraping with everything I had, digging deep to, um, keep it more or less in recovery/zone 2.
I kept tooling up the next segment of the Crescent, up to the parkway, absolutely buried halfway through zone 2, clearly in a spot of bother, Paul. I was broken, punished, blown out, deprived of all my reserves. About halfway up, some triathlete down in his aero bars came shooting by, well, relatively shooting by, maybe doing about 20.
And who passes me just after that, but the Velo God himself on the scything Brampton!
There was nothing I could do. Having been attacked, and attacked again by the round hirsute man on the tiny bike, I cracked. I backed it off from 220 watts and 16 or 17 MPH (pegged needle, total red zone area for me) down to about 220 watts, and 16 or 17 MPH. But was that enough?
NO! Emphatically NO! Brampton knew he had me, and went for the stage, and the whole General Classification. He could break my spirit here, ensure I wouldn't pose a threat for the rest of the pursuit, and hammered the 50 yards up to the parkway and straight across, in a standing sprint of brutal pace and acceleration (not to mention a dizzying right-to-left oscillation). There was nothing I could do to keep up, not in the forward direction, not in the right-to-left direction.
So I just kept spinning, tried to stay within myself, and limit the damage.
Suddenly, Brampton pulled up and slowed just across the parkway. He pulled off to the side, gagging and shaking, and waved me past, with a derisory gesture of the left hand that told the whole story - he could crush me any time, anywhere, on any bike of my choosing, and there was nothing I could do about it.
As I passed about 1.5 seconds later, Brampton opted to take The Place of Honor next to the trail. I think he may have been throwing up. I am positive his vomitus was not the result of working hard, but was instead a warning, a sign of Brampton's dominance and dominion over the Capital Crescent Trail, a marker telling all of us lesser riders, especially fat posers in race jerseys they probably didn't earn, that Brampton PWNS!! the Trail, and the rest of us just can't keep up. He didn't toss his cookies... no. He was simply marking the trail the way the King of the Lions craps all over the veldt to let everybody know that he won't be trifled with, except he was doing it with half-chewed pastrami-on-dark-rye and mostly melted Cheezy Poofs.
As he had apparently proved his point and put me in my place, Brampton let me go to continue limping home at ~220 watts and 18 MPH, a crushed, pathetic shell of a poser wannabe racer.
He is BRAMPTON! ALL NOW BEFORE HIM BOW!
(Lest ye be doused in vomit).