Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ode to Berthoud

The bag with 3 extra spokes, 2 spare tubes, a multi-tool, a tube of sunscreen, a tube of Crest, a folding toothbrush, 1 toothpick.

One spoke wrench, 3 tire-irons, 1 derailleur cable.

A 4-pack of AA batteries, 13 zipties, a cellphone, a change of socks, long-fingered gloves.

A cue sheet, a ferry ticket.

Three newspaper bags—bags within a bag.

One pair of black arm warmers and a faded Red Sox cap. A vest.

The bag that whispered words of comfort in the darkest hours of PBP.

The bag that sags in the corners from the weight and worry of a dozen brevets.

The bag that flat-out lied, said the next control was just around the corner.

The bag that challenged the crew to a county line sprint. And lost.

The bag that cursed the cold rain.

The bag that knew I would finish when I thought I could not.

The bag packed and ready for the 300k.

Left behind on the kitchen table.

And never needed.

—Mike Dayton

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