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My Short Stories

1.  Robo-Trainer
2.  Accidental Identity
3.  Hating Valentine's Day
4.  Winter Olympics
5.  Way Down In My Shoes
6.  Gullible People
7.  The English Channel
8.  The Coffin
9.  Mars Canals
10. The Shoe Tree 
11. Ten Mile Time Trial

The Ten Mile Time Trial

by Roger Nelson (Jan 2012)

    In this event the riders start at one minute intervals. It's a solo event, not a team time trial where four guys draft one another taking turns at the front to see how fast they can go. No, each rider is by himself unless another rider is passing him or he is passing someone, and then there is to be no drafting. It's a total individual effort. I'll be at the front for the whole ten miles.
    I'm number 7 and it's my turn.  There's another dozen riders behind me waiting their turn.  I get to the starting line and clip my feet in the pedals. Another biker supports me so I don't fall over. Three. Two. One. The biker lets go of me and I start pedaling for all I'm worth. Quickly I get up to 20 mph. But there's a little headwind. I can go 22 on the way back. Easy. I'm going to make my goal for sure. The course is flat. The road is smooth. I feel great!
    Mile 1. I seem to have slowed a little. But I'm still going 18, fast enough to beat last year's time. And I'll have a tailwind on the way back.  I keep going.
    Mile 2. It's hardly a hill, but the road has a little rise to it. Just enough to slow me down some. But I'm still going 17. I'll make it.
    Mile 3. Dang! This isn't as easy as I thought. I pedal harder, trying to stay at 18.
    Mile 4. One of the riders who started after me passes me.  I hate that.  I should have checked the air in my tires. Are my brakes rubbing?
    Mile 5. At last, the turn around. Now for the tail wind.
    Mile 6. Only going 17. Did the wind change directions? It seems to have picked up.  Another rider passes me.
    Mile 7. Am I still going uphill? Where's the downhill? Did someone move it? Maybe they changed the length of the mile since last time. It must be at least 10% longer now.  Two more riders breeze by me like I'm not even moving.
    Mile 8. Come on legs. Don't give out on me now. Hey, there's a party store. I wonder if anyone would notice if I stopped for Coke. I could sure use one.
    Mile 9. I knew I should've stopped for a Coke. This is the worst time trial ever. Headwind both ways. Uphill both ways. Did they say it was ten miles? I think I've gone 20. At least.  I get passed again - this time by a girl.  Now I'm really depressed.
    Finish Line. I can't die yet. Come on legs. Move. Sprint. I have to cross the finish, then they can bury me in my bike shortsl
    "Good Job. Nice riding." I hear my fellow bikers yell at me. I averaged a little over 16 mph. I feel like crap. I stunk the place up. I stop the bike and can barely get my leg over the seat to get off. I almost fall over. Clomping back to my car in my cleated bike shoes, my friend Joe comes up and says, "Great Ride."
    "Thanks.  How'd you do?" I ask.
    "Good job," I say, smiling and giving him a high five. "Way to go!" I wonder what I'd've said if he'd beaten me. "That was fun. Let's do the next one coming up," I hear myself say. Did I really say that or was that some alien living inside me? Maybe I'm suffering from testosterone poisoning or a suicide gene or something. But you know what? I'll be there next time.  Suddenly I can't wait!