Thursday, February 21, 2008

Elk Man vs. Four Wheels of Power

The Tour of California is rolling through places like Santa Rosa and Sacremento these days, chock full of the pro peloton's stars (Boonen, Bettini, even Mario Cipollini in a comeback from retirement). And Elk Man from Montana, who appears to have run all the way to California in his cycling shoes, in order to pace insurance salesman-disguised as bike racer Levi Leipheimer up super-steep Mt Hamilton yesterday.
I assume he's not working for the Rabobank rider, who seems to be ahead of him and is a foreigner anyway. No, Elk Man has his priorities straight. I only wonder if he was feeling frisky enough to pace the 'autobus' when it arrived about eighteen minutes later. Was he slapping Cipo's behind? Poking Bettini's world champion stripes with his antlers? We can only wonder.
It all reminds me of that literary giant of 1960's northern California, Richard Brautigan, author of In Watermelon Sugar, The Pill Vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster and other works I have also not read. His style was absurdist and whimsical. Every paperback he published had a b & w photo of his latest dorky girlfriend on the cover. I think Brautigan would have liked the gesture of Elk Man, who might even have heard of Richard Brautigan but somehow I really doubt it.

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