Saturday, January 3, 2009
By Cobra Kai
Back from Austin and that TeamStrong promotion. I was suspicious, but I guess it really was legit. 300 bucks (tax deductible, as it pays for Armstrong's jet fuel as he fights the good fight) bought the chance to try out as a driver for one of the 8 motorbikes that Astana uses in training. I thought I did great in the slalom course, and the quick brake on wet pavement. The psych evaluation was a breeze (for every one of the ink blots I answered, "That's Lance on <<<*insert name of famous col*>>>>!!!"). Things only got sticky on the last day when each of us contestants took out 5 of the neon baby blue's for 1.5 hours of motopacing. Who's the bright bulb at Ducati who put the accelerator on the other hand? I just about took off the director's wife's legs just leaving the garage before the Battlin' Belgian tackled me and wrestled my hand from what I had been sure was the brake. I guess I wasn't surprised they cut me then and there. Johan was even swell and broke it to me straight, and with a beautiful metaphor: "You know how there's always a big bin of water bottles but we always wind up picking the same one each day? No ill reflection on the other bottles, right? They just don't get chosen, right?" I smiled and played along: "Yeh, I guess I'm like the Heart Association bottle that folks get at the fun run - nothing wrong with it, it just don't get used!" Johan stared, coughed, and said, "Well, maybe more like the lab cup right in the middle of the bin - the one we're never really sure where it's been." Was that rude? Well maybe. But the guy is a 8 time tour champ, so forget what the haters say about how handy he is with a syringe. I felt lucky just casting a shadow in his shine.