One of my dear, dear friends is a talented bike mechanic that we’ll call Chad. I’ve been with Chad on many adventures. We’ve mountain biked Steamboat. We’ve mountain biked Brown County. We’ve raced fatbikes at Barry-Roubaix. We’ve ridden through ridiculous mud. Multiple times. We’ve spotted Gnarwals. We’ve ridden gravel–so much gravel. We’ve ridden in some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen on two wheels.
We’ve seen a lot, and done a lot together. I once even saw him get eaten by a giant caterpillar, while standing atop a park bench in Indiana.
Chad is a talented rider–he has bike handling skills that many are envious of. Those skills used to be frequently displayed through his impromptu, back-parking-lot BMX demonstrations…on just about every type of bike out there. And then…then Chad decided to race Cyclocross one year.
I had an idea for a little prank. I thought I might slip a sticker on the underside of the top tube of Chad’s CX bike before an upcoming race. I ordered one online, it arrived at my house, and I waited for the right moment. One Wednesday night, before a gravel ride, his bike was sitting in the repair stand, unattended. I quickly slapped the sticker on, guessing that he would see it. He didn’t. I didn’t mention it, and no one else mentioned it either.
He went to the race, which featured a few jumps right in the middle of the course. It was a perfect opportunity for him to show off his bike-handling abilities…and there happened to be a photographer present at just the right angle, to catch a glorious shot of Chad…flying…midair…through the CX race.
I never could have guessed that the course would have a jump. That Chad would hit it hard. That a photographer would be there at just the right angle. That the stars would align in such perfection…but they did.
Oh how they did.
Twas was one of my greatest accomplishments.