Bill Rides Again - Part 1



There's a local legend of a tadpole trike
That goes much, much faster than an upright bike.
Bill, the guy who rides it is a mystery
To his roadie victims but he's not to me.

         *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

I had heard the whispers of the biking crowd,
But you rarely ever heard them spoken loud.
Cyclists brag and bluster of the guys they've passed,
But they just don't mention those that rode too fast.
And it's hard admitting you were blown off cold
By a touring tadpole and a guy who's OLD!
But that's what had happened; everybody knew.
Lots of them met Bill and they'd been blown off, too.

All they knew for certain was his name is Bill,
And he goes like lightning racing down a hill.
No one spoke of Bill, not with his head held high,
And the rumors told me just exactly why.
Bill does not look like what you would think they feared;
He's a pudgy rider with a grey-white beard,
Wearing blue jeans, sandals and a nylon shell,
Like a yellow poncho that looks hot as Hell.

Bill's old trike looks heavy, like a touring tank.
There's a Lexan windshield wrapped around the crank,
And he rides full-loaded with a hard shell pack,
That completely covers his behind-seat rack.
Plus it's clear that Bill just doesn't sweat wind drag,
'Cause he's always riding with an orange flag
With some dark blue letters that I think might say:
'You've been passed by Bill, but Have a Real Nice Day!'

Now his helmet mirror's like a periscope,
So he looks a little like a nerdy dope.
All in all, the package doesn't look real fast,
And I'm sure he's addled wits as he roared past
All those spandex racers on their carbon flyers,
Riding hard and bouncing on their skinny tires.
But I have to tell you that I felt a thrill,
On that fateful morning when I first met Bill.

I was grinding slowly up a little crest
When a pack of bikers passed me three abreast.
Most were nice and friendly, but a few were not,
And the sharpest tongue was on a guy named Scott.
Scott's a hyped-up tri-guy with an attitude;
He's a lycra cyclist and a macho dude.
He just sneered down at me like a soaring bird,
With a muttered insult that I barely heard.

As the last bicycle passed me on the climb
They had all checked watches; what's the deal with time?
Then atop the summit they pulled off to stretch.
Scott was smugly smirking down at me (the wretch)
Making fun and laughing at my rolling couch,
As he sucked on something in a foil-wrapped pouch.
"It's a toy tricycle," I could hear him drawl,
"But at least he won't have very far to fall!"

I was coasting downhill at a modest pace,
But the group behind me had resumed their race.
They came roaring past me in a strung out line,
With their big wheels spinning; I could hear them whine.
But the last to pass me wasn't one more bike;
It was Bill the Legend on his tadpole trike!
Bill was smiling, waving with a twinkly eye,
Then he shifted higher as he pedaled by.

Bill was really hauling when he passed the group
I could see them bobble as they felt him swoop,
Rolling fast and zapping bikers, one by one,
And they'd hardly noticed till the deed was done.
Some were whirring pedals as they tried to chase,
But it really wasn't what you'd call a race.
Bill just kept on cranking, stretching out his lead,
And no roadie chasing him could match his speed.

With the road returning back to level land,
Scott, the macho racer, took his troop in hand,
And he got them going in a dual pace line,
Which they soon had rolling fast and working fine.
I was tucked behind them and I rode their draft,
As they gained on Bill, and someone rudely laughed,
"Guys, I think we're reeling in this damned old cuss,
And we'll show that sucker NO ONE passes us!"

They were taking turns, and each one bore the brunt
Of the hardest cranking as he pulled up front,
But the plan was working; they had closed the gap,
And I knew they'd hammer till they sprung their trap.
There was Bill; they'd cut his lead to twenty feet,
When he looked behind him, and he smiled real sweet,
With a hint of mischief twinkling in his eyes
"I was taking pictures. Gosh, I'm sorry, guys.

"I should keep on trucking, so you hold your pace,
With no fat old geezers getting in your face."
Then his trike leaped forward as though shot from springs,
And he started flying off like he had wings.
Bill was rolling faster than the peloton,
And he left no draft that they could pounce upon.
They could only marvel as he pulled away,
All their shoulders slumping now in deep dismay.

         *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

There's a local legend of a tadpole trike
That goes much, much faster than an upright bike.
Bill, the guy who rides it is a mystery
To his roadie victims but he's not to me.

Bill Rides Again - Part 2

Last updated Oct 5 2005