I spent years cultivating the relationship. The energy I put into it can't possibly be expressed here. I gave and gave and gave, and after all of my selfless attention, what happens?

Pete tells me he's moving to Arizona. He taking a job with the Grand Canyon National Park, which I understand is just a big ditch with burros. I don't see the attraction.

What about my feelings?

It's not like a sub-marginal roadie such as myself can find another rider bad enough to serve as my domestique on just any street corner. Even when you do find them, it takes a special breed with a weak mind to sacrifice their own ambitions for my personal glory.

Then again, Pete was never a very good domestique. He'd attack at weird moments, burning himself out before we were out of sight from the starting line. He even had the nerve to finish ahead of me in the one race this year where he took my advice, sat in, and didn't attack. As my leadout man, he would fizzle early in the sprint, requiring a draft to make it to the finish.


I just finished tearing down and rebuilding his old race bike so he can sell it on Craigslist. In its place will be the Cannondale System Six, built with all of the old parts I'd passed down to him over the years- part of my master plan to slowly guide him into perpetual indentured servitude. All of that time, energy, and old bike parts... wasted.

I can't say I blame him for leaving, with grandkids in the Lower 48 and new stuff to see. I'm not sure there's many fast roadies down there in the park, so he may get the reputation as a fast guy on a bike. It's kind of strange to think there may be a smaller pond out there than the one up here, but you never know...

Now I'll have to find someone else to ride with. They'll probably be faster than I am, which isn't saying a lot. They'll climb better than I do, and will be required to wait for me a I huff and puff up the smallest grade. The damage to my ego will be significant, and I'm not sure I will be able to recover.

Yep, Pete will be hard to replace.


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