Bowland Badass 2013 Did you really do it?
It was 04:55 and the fusty air of the Badass lair was rent by the shrill shrieking of one of those new-fangled smartphone devices. Professor Badass woke with a heart teetering start, his scrawny torso wrapped in an anxious, dream-crumpled sheet. He leapt from his pit to the window on rickety legs. Peeking out through the curtains he noted the weather conditions: No wind – tick. No rain – tick. Clear sky – tick. He grabbed the angry, buzzing device in a gnarled claw, and started jabbing at it fruitlessly.
“How do I turn this damn thing off!” he shouted, capering about the room like a burning bug under a magnifying glass.
“Give it to me you twat and piss off!” replied Mrs. Badass grumpily.
She snatched it from his hand and turned off the alarm, before giving him a hard stare, rolling over and continuing to snooze gracefully. The Prof scuttled downstairs for his first, but by no means last, coffee of the day. Thus started Saturday 7th July, the day of the Bowland Badass 2013.
The Bowland Badass team were still setting out their stall at their headquarters when the first riders started to appear at 05:50. Just over an hour later, after a flurry of frantic activity, the last rider thundered out of the industrial unit and quiet descended. Shortly after, the Feed Stop vans trundled off loaded with an eclectic range of goodies and water, and Mrs.Badass was despatched as sweeper to collect the first 50 miles of signs. The Professor installed himself in the office by the phone to field calls, with the coffee pot putt putt putting darkly behind him. About 3 hours later the fastest riders were hitting the first feed stop in a frenzy of calorie downloading, and the Prof was swinging from the rafters like a jittery, black-bearded tomb bat, his stomach taut with caffeinated liquid and his bladder parping in distress.
With his evil minions out on the route the Prof shortly began to receive florid reports of serious high-end suffering as the 103 participants ground their suppurating souls slowly into dust in the baking heat of the Badass mortar and pestle. It was hot out there! Oh yes! It was hard out there, very, very bloody hard! Oh yes! The Prof swooped down from his perch with a high screech, banging into windows in a dizzy state of vicarious joy. Of those who started 3 got lost, 25 suffered a variety of mechanical and biomechanical failures, and the rest somehow made it back.
The first 2 riders home rolled in together at 16:50, looking like they’d spent the previous 10 hours bashing each other with baseball bats.
The Prof settled down to merrily contemplate the wide variety of grimaces, squeals of distress, and ludicrously funny walks that turned up over the ensuing hours. And so they came, the finishers, in bone weary dribs and muscle-wrecked drabs, to drape themselves painfully over Badass benches, sup on life-giving juice and mournfully munch biscuit after biscuit, unsure of whether their lives held meaning any longer or not.
And then? Well then they just began to leave, and go home to spend the rest of their mortal time on this earth with a bunch of ordinary people who have, and will never have, any conception of the mind bending enormity of what they had just done. This is the way of the Badass. With twilight edging fitfully round the corners of Badass headquarters and the returning riders growing fewer and farther apart, the team hunkered down into their chairs with a few bottles of beer to await the crowning moment of the day, the arrival of the final rider home.
Time started to bend and unravel in black threads as beer after beer was cracked open, and the evening dithered and got lost in the night.
Suddenly the Prof sprang bolt upright from his chair, spilling a splash of golden Peroni on his pants. He’d sensed something, a distant whirring in the darkness as the universe squatted on its haunches and softly sighed. Out in the doomed, crepuscular reaches of almost midnight Garstang a tiny light began to jink and bob in the emptiness. What was it? Could it be? Suddenly he was there, unsteadily astride his steed, with a face-splitting smile etched across his fatigued features. After an anus-chafing 16 hours and 44 minutes in the saddle, he had arrived. The Badass team let out an almighty roar and gathered around him, hoping to touch a sweaty, dirt-stained sleeve. It was the Badass Rouge!
As the clock struck midnight the Professor crawled back under his sheet, closed his gimlet eyes, and let out a sly goodnight fart. The Bowland Badass 2013 was done. Will there ever be another ultra-sportive to match it?