Donnybrook: A CSBG Story

The Mrs. followed up her ride the other day by attending a meeting in the late afternoon. It was the monthly congregation of the Claremont Senior Bicycle Group (CSBG) - since the senior part is not a requirement at any of the groups' functions, they de-barred the doors and let her in. Let her in as far as the antechamber, that is. Once there, the secret handshake almost slipped her up, but she aced the password and, with proper ID in hand, gained access to the meeting hall. They take their motto "not your average seniors" seriously.

Because of the groups' back-up motto - "eat to ride, ride to eat" I expected the Mrs. would comment on the buffet tables piled with sweet and savory dishes, their scents filling the room, a fragrant bouquet, but no, not even a bowl of crackers was espied. Neither were any pleasant scents wafting through the kitchen doorway though, admittedly, any emerging from the overworked bank of ovens would have quickly been overwhelmed by the powerful odor of Ben-gay.

As the Mrs. circulated the room, she took note of the pre-meeting jibber-jabber - talk of sore joints and aching muscles, of the most recent daredevil to crack the fifteen mile per hour barrier, and reminiscing of the time Jacob fell asleep while riding. Eventually though, order was called and everyone settled into their cushioned seats. Larry presented a review of upcoming events - if you want to know what is coming up in the southland, just ask Larry; if I could afford his asking price I would hire him to run the CLR Effect calendar and events page - with an iron fist, he keeps on top of that stuff.

Halfway through the ride list someone forgot why he was there and made a general inquiry, standing to ask the question. When someone yelled out "sit down, you old fool," the Mrs. gasped, not realizing that this was just the beginning.

Three quarters through the ride list yet another man stood and interrupted, this time outlining his plans to circumnavigate the globe on two wheels. Again, "not your average seniors." No one seemed to mind the interruption this time, yet as the Mrs. looked around she was not sure if the many staring eyes were due to being enraptured with the idea that one of their own was contemplating a ride around the world, or if the lateness of the day was beginning to take its toll. Everything was going well for this latest speaker until he let slip out that the bike he would be riding was in fact an electric-assist bike. It took a moment for the listeners to register (or emerge from their drowse) what had just been said, but eventually from the back of the room came a very loud "CHEATER." Accusations flew every which direction through the pungent air, some siding with the accused "cheater", other adamantly against. The meeting might very well have devolved then and there if not for several forceful cracks of the gavel. Two sergeants at arms rushed in from the anteroom and, with stern warnings and glares, slowly began to restore order. 

Traumatized and cowering from this, unexpected, turn of events, the Mrs. was not sure what happened in the next few minutes, what the next couple speakers had to say. It didn't really matter anyway, for within a matter of minutes all heck was to break loose.

It is doubtful that an auditorium full of Trump Chumps howling at the latest Cruz insult could generate as much agitation and excitement. The cause - one of those venerable oldie but goodies had decided that now was the time to divest of his collection of ancient jerseys. When the tub lid was pried off, the contents burst forth and showered down upon those sitting nearby, upon tables, empty chairs and, of course, the floor. And that, my friends, is when sheer madness took over; those closest to the stained and spotted treasure dove in head first, while those further back piled on. Shrieks rent the air, along with curses and howls. Legs kicked and hands clawed for whatever piece of cloth could be reached. Some of the codgers, sporting bandages for injuries incurred from their latest crash, slunk around the perimeter of the melee, opportunists waiting to strike. Others squirmed their way along the floor right to the middle of the scrum. After about twenty minutes of this, that red, white and blue jersey pictured above reached the outstretched arms of the Mrs after being ejected by a pair of mortal combatants.

Thinking immediately that the Mr. would appreciate the gift, and that it looked like it came from that Breaking Away movie, or something, the Mrs. made her escape. Busting through the doors in full flight, pursued by a single observant witness to her get away, she ran full on into the cause of all the tumult. Yes, the jersey giver-awayer was outside sitting on the steps, his entire body shaking in dismay, muttering in disbelief, at the chaos he had unleashed. I have owned a few Descente jerseys over the years, but not a one could match the acquisition story of this one. Not your average seniors. Indeed.

Like most stories I hear relating to the CSBG, there is a modicum of truth here. All you have to do is find it.