I never intended to enter the Cape Argus Pick ’n Pay Cycle Tour, but by Friday I was so sick and tired of these people taking over our restaurants and filling our brothels that I decided to teach them a lesson.
I approached Ted with the plan and he was up for it from the start. Right away he wanted to know what drugs we would be taking.
“Not so fast,” I said.
First we have to get to the finish line. Ted seemed disappointed and mumbled something about stable doors and horses, but he misunderstood me.
Studying the route was key to winning the race. Eventually, after much poring over maps and pouring of beers, we found what we were looking for – a convenient cul-de-sac leading off Queens Road in Sea Point. All we had to do was find a couple of bicycles.
With so many in town it wasn’t that difficult. In fact, it took us less than an hour of driving around Bantry Bay with a bobbejaan spanner to acquire a couple of fine-looking bright red racing bikes.
Sunday morning found me and Ted lying low in the cul-de-sac arguing about what drugs to take. Narco-loading is vital for racers such as ourselves.
Essentially, we are sprinters. But jumping into the race two hours after the official start is not as easy as it sounds. The pack leaders swooping into Sea Point are usually in an ugly mood and timing is everything.
Even though our race would only be 3.5km long, we had to be fully prepared.
Ted had brought along two plastic bottles – one filled with white wine, the other with red. He said this was in case we changed our minds at the last minute and decided to jump into the race on the other side of the mountain, where people drink red wine. He was saving the cheap white for Green Point.
I had one of those cunning little backpacks designed to hold a litre of pre-mixed Jose Cuervo and orange juice. A plastic tube ran from the bottle to my mouth.
Ted wanted to take two Dexedrines to get his heart rate up and a Seconal to bring it down. He said that with a fluctuating pulse and arrhythmic heartbeat he would be unstoppable. His symptoms sounded like a cardiac arrest and his strategy made no sense at all, but I had more important things to worry about.
I had a dope muffin the size of a soccer ball in my backpack but I knew if I wolfed that thing down, there was a very good chance that the frontrunners would suspect something as I raced past them laughing at nothing and talking to nobody.
The alternative was a bankie full of stale magic mushrooms that I bought years ago from a dishevelled shaman hanging around the entrance to Stonehenge trying to get a lift back to Putney.
In the end I opted for a mouthful of each and told Ted to get ready. He swallowed his Dexies and within a minute he was anxiously pacing up and down the parking lot, babbling incessantly and gnawing the insides of his mouth to a bloody pulp. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
There is no doubt that drugs make any race a lot more exciting. For one, they help dissolve all those awkward social barriers that prevent you from openly taunting your opponents.
Steroids, needless to say, are the worst kind of drugs you can take. They do absolutely nothing for your mind and I, for one, applaud sports administrators for banning this scourge.
Unfortunately we had left it too late to buy Day-Glo orange lycra shirts so, the night before, Ted and I had produced a couple of hand-painted outfits that looked virtually identical to the real thing. All we needed to complete the ensemble were a couple of sponsors.
I chose Armscor and the Arthur Murray School of Dancing while Ted opted for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance and the SA Police.
I dredged up a pair of stretchy floral shorts from the back of Brenda’s underwear drawer (dear god, I hope they were shorts) while Ted had to make do with a baggy pair of semen-stained khaki Bermudas.
I threatened to pull out unless he changed his broeks.
“What about you,” he said, snorting loudly. I asked him about the snorting but he quickly denied having been at the Colombian marching powder.
Before I left the house I caught a glimpse of myself in Brenda’s full-length mirror. Something was missing. At first I couldn’t work out what it was. I had everything the modern cyclist could possibly need – bright shirt, stupid shoes, funny helmet, drugs, alcohol, tight pants.
Tight pants! That’s what was missing. I rolled up a pair of socks and rammed them down the front. There. Much better. Now I looked like a real sportsman.
So it was with heads full of amphetamines, depressants, psilocybin, tedrahydrocannibanol and tequila that we found ourselves lurching out of the cul-de-sac as the first of the bunch came swarming past just after 8.15am.
We were half way to Green Point when Ted gave the signal to make our move. Much later he told me that this was, in fact, not the signal.
Narco-loading is great for short sprints, but one of the side effects is that you see and hear things that might not necessarily exist. Like the blonde who lifted her top, causing Ted to crash into the straw bales.
The upshot is that I held back until we were opposite the Green Point tennis courts and then made my spurt. In retrospect, I spurted way too soon.
When I got home and told Brenda, she made a rattling sound in the back of her throat as if she were laughing and said, “That’s my husband, alright.”
After holding the lead between the second and third set of traffic lights on Beach Road, the pack charged past me. I was even overtaken by a woman.
Later, while drinking beer to counter the effects of the post-race high, I told Ted how a muscle-bound lesbian had beaten me to the finish. He looked at me with a dazed expression and said, “It’s not about the dyke.”
Well, that’s all history now. The caravan has moved on, leaving behind more chafed crotches and sore bottoms than you might find in Sydney on the last night of Mardis Gras.