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Confessions of a Rock 'n' Roller Racer
5.11.05 by Buffalo Bill

The other guy has already picked the blue bike. That’s a problem cos the red bike is kid size, sorry, Kieran size, and I will be reaching right down and closing my chest up. Fxxk.

Jump on. Reach down and pull the strap on the toe-clip so tight it hurts. I want the strap so tight that it cuts off the blood to my toes. I’m only going to be on the bike for 3 minutes maximum, so it doesn’t matter, and I definitely don’t want to pull my foot out of the toe clip. Nasty pulls the other strap just as tight, if not even tighter, like the half-cut out-of-control sadist that he is.

Get Nasty to get the seat height exactly right. This is important because a, I want to perform well and b, I want to be able to walk tomorrow.

Tofu ranting and raving

Very nervous and having Tofu ranting and raving on the mike about what a useless old donkey I am, isn’t helping me relax. Can’t really complain about the abuse, as I have been insulting messengers for years. Trying to focus on getting some sort of warm-up so that I can tune the fxcker out, but as he is stripped to the waist, sweating, bald, Canadian and screaming into my face from about 2cm distance it’s not easy.

They are lining up the clocks now. I forget that we are on fixed wheel and back-pedal, which drops the back wheel of the red bike off the rollers. Chang and Nasty both give the me ‘you muppet’ look. Cheers guys. They lift the bike back on to the rollers for me.

Shake hands with my opponent. People are reaching out to me from the crowd to shake my hand. This is the coolest part.

I look down and try and concentrate on breathing in and out deeply. Get as much oxygen as I can into my bloodstream so that my legs don’t go anaerobic too soon. Pretty difficult as every bastard in the place has been sucking down fags like they were chocolate. Can feel the last beer burning in my stomach. Can I beat this guy? He’s beaten a seed already.
Spread my hands on the tops of the bars, and try to keep my chin up. Come on, start the fxcking race now – what the fuck? Tofu decides to start without the whistle. I’m not having it. Start with the fxcking whistle you w4nk3r. Yes, we are going to restart.
rock'n'rolla

Line up again. Really nervous now. Go! Give it the big start. Everyone is screaming, and Tofu is going absolutely mental. Look round, it’s very tight but he is just ahead at 250. Give some more, even though my legs are already turning faster than an over-clocked food-blender in a humus factory, trying to keep my head up and shoulders still. That beer is exploding like petrol in my stomach, but my legs are ok.

Look round again 300m even tighter but still behind, 400 tighter behind 450 level give everything legs at the end look over and see that I have just pulled ahead and I beat him by next to nothing. Crowd Tofu legs stomach head everything in total and complete uproar. Look back to Tofu and see that he has lifted his hand palm down, to just under his chin and is moving it from side-to-side. The signal of a dead heat. Was it fxck a dead fxcking heat. Collapse onto Nasty, still strapped in. Knackered and spent. Stomach is an oven. Too exhausted to complain, and in any case the crowd is baying its approval of a ride-off. Fxck. Know there is no way I can win the ride-off. At least I won’t have to ride this damn roller race again tonight after this.

*Author’s note:* I was later told by Therese, who was sober and standing right in front of the clock, that Tofu called it right, and that my impression was wrong. Just to set the record straight. And while I’m at it, I don’t do class As. Class As are for w4nk3rs. So if any muppet thinks that they have seen me taking class As, then they are well fxcking wrong, alright?

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