Louisville Bicycle Club
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Hill Climb Motivation
July-August 2006 Newsletter

Hill Climbing Motivation and Police Report All In One

by Larry Stickler

Editor’s Note: Larry sent me this article early this year, and I’ve been unable to fit it in the newsletter until now. Enjoy!

Dateline: December 27, 2005 — A few of the newly launched Team Bolla members took advantage of December’s mild weather and rode a late afternoon moderate 25-mile loop.

Jeff Murphy and Jack Grace and I started in New Albany and chose to ride Corydon Pike up a favorite curvy climb, Edwardsville Hill. I rode my fixed gear, Jack a mountain bike and Jeff, one of his road bikes. The topic du jour was Jeff’s recent knee surgery. We quizzed him and quietly wondered what the heck he was doing riding with us. More topics ensued, such as discussions on our first race, the Schabobele Road Race on February 18th. I asked if the ‘toaster’ was bigger than the hill we were climbing ... it is! I groaned, and how many loops, Jack? Jack who raced it last year and did well just smiled ... (Jack always smiles).

Given Jeff’s recent surgery, we agreed to ride easy and to ‘holster’ any attempts to sprint to the Edwardsville sign. Well, we said we agreed anyway. Secretly, I was determining if my fixed gear could beat Jack’s mountain bike — I think he was determining the same.

As we approached the northern track, we were stopped by an approaching train and waited for it to pass. A few cars lined up behind. Unbeknownst to us, we were minutes away from experiencing a mean spirited JackAss episode gone wrong.

The train passed. We clipped in and started to climb. I jumped in front of Jack and Jeff trying to remember my promise to refrain from sprinting to the green sign while attentively listening for Jack’s pending attack.

Cars passed us by and a strange faint repeating sound emerged. It sounded like freshly paved street gravel flying off a tire at a very high rate of speed. The rate of impact did not equate to the speed a car could drive around those curves. “TAT TAT TAT TATTAT.” It was very ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ strange. Unfortunately, it was not to be believed.

Out of the blue, I heard a sailor’s words ... NO, those were Jeff’s as he called out to the passing car who possessed the strange sounds “TAT TAT TAT TAT TAT.”

“I’m gonna kick your !”

Leading in front, I wasn’t sure what happened. Trying to navigate the curvy hill, I stayed on focus to keep from falling into the ditch. Shortly after Father Jeff’s rump-kicking statement, the gravelly sound got louder and approached me and my bike.

“TAT TAT TAT TAT.” A split second later, my leg felt repeated stings and I looked up to see some buckethead passenger leaning outside shooting me!

We believed it to be some sort of automatic CO2-powered BB gun. Nonetheless, we were in shock. Quickly, our shock turned into collective anger. We asked if everyone was ok. Jeff’s back got peppered and his helmet was hit too. Jack was not hit (I think he was still smiling). Fortunately, everyone was ok. It happened so fast, none of us got a full plate number, just 22 something.

The fight-or-flight emotion immediately sprung to action and I stomped on my bike’s fixed gear cranks and climbed as hard and fast as I could. I thought I might have a slim chance to get a plate number or at least see where they would turn once they crested the hill.

No chance, the teenage boys in Mom and Dad’s Gold Chrysler Intrepid sped away leaving me in the dust.

We asked folks at the top by a gas station, rode over to the local McDonald’s, but did not see anyone fitting the description. Probably best we didn’t catch them.

After the ride, we reported the incident to the Sheriff. The next day Jeff and I did hill repeats and funny how he suggested revisiting Edwardsville Hill. Fortunately for the Bucket Heads, we did not see them. Unfortunately for me, my climbs paled in comparison to the previous day’s effort.

After our ride, Jeff received a call from the Sheriff’s office. The bad boys were caught!

Apparently they continued their stupid rampage shooting multiple windows, a defenseless woman in the neck and another man. The man was able to ID the plates and called it in.

Thankfully, someone’s new Christmas present just got confiscated.

Report all serious incidents to the police so the prosecutors will have something to work with.



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web posted: 13 July 2006
last updated: 15 July 2006