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The Worm
by: Adam Tate
adam_kit.jpgBack in the days when I use to race at the Marymoor Velodrome I had a rival know as "the worm". Now I can't even remember the guys real name but he belonged to the Rainbow Team. At the time it was the largest team in the state where Olympic and World Champion Rebecca Twigg was just making her mark on the map. Rainbow had a track style at the time of not attacking. Just follow all the moves and wait for the sprint. Not a bad way to race the track, but they never ever attacked. What's worse is when in a break they would never work. Of course this tended to really piss off some of the other teams, me included. Well, the worm was really a pretty good road rider, he was small and slim. He really only rode the track for training, but he was strong enough to sit in on any of the breaks and get a third place once in a great while. There was something about the worm that just rubbed me the wrong way. He was too quite and sneaky. I was a typical showboat sprinter, loud and flashy. I would get so mad at this guy it actually help me get cranked up and race better. So I guess I shouldn't slight him to much.

One day we were racing a circuit loop race of about five miles at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma. The road is one way and narrow. As we came into the finish I was in the third row of four across. Now if you weren't in the first or maybe second row you just weren't gona be a factor in the finish. But of course this doesn't stop most of the guys for thinking they can pull something off. A dangerous situation to say the least. I'm just sitting in watching things develop with about 500 yards to go. I'm on the outside next to the edge of the road when I hear someone coming in the packed dirt and gravel next to me, it's the worm. Now we're moving pretty fast at this point and the worm looks at me and says "let me in", because there are spectators dead ahead. I can't move over because there is nowhere to move. I look at him and just shrug my shoulders. This must have made him mad. Then he try's to ride his way in by leaning on me, it get's him nowhere. Because he is focused on me he doesn't see the people ahead. He then runs over the toes of several spectators including an official with a clipboard. The official jumps back screaming "look out!" and his clipboard flies into the air with all the papers going in different directions. This is getting pretty funny to me at this point and I nudge my buddy next to me and say, "get a load of the worm". Now the worm is really mad and he tries one last time to bang his way past me to get on the road. There is a lip of about an inch on the roads edge and it takes out the worms front wheel and he goes down. People are screaming and jumping out of the way. My buddy and I are laughing so hard we have to lean on each other to stay up. As the worm continues to slide along the ground across the finish line he takes out the lapboard with a large bell on it. He undercuts the lapboard so that it flips around up in the air, the numbers go flying every which way and the bell comes crashing down to the ground ringing and bouncing around. We were laughing so hard at this point our stomachs were hurting.

I never thought of a moral to this story. But maybe it would go something like . . . be careful if your nickname is the worm because you just might eat dirt.

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