A couple of weeks ago, I was out on a lunchtime ride in the heat. It was about 90, I guess, and I rode up the south side of Brokenback and came down the naughty steepness from the tippy top into Blue Ridge School, hit the rollers, and then cruised out onto Bacon Hollow Road for the ride home. It's a 1.5 hour loop that I can usually do in about 2 hours in my current state of aerobic disrepair. So anyway, I pulled past the store in Dyke, I looked over, and who do I see but Ben King there coming out of the store, two fresh bottles in hand, obviously on a big training ride on his road bike.
Instantly, I was confused. In hindsight, I'd like to say that it was the heat. But why the hell is Ben King not in Europe, I thought to myself? And he pulled up alongside me and said hey, and we chatted it up for a moment, him on his road bike barely soft pedaling and me with a cooked brain on my Pivot just trying to make sense of the situation. Like, wasn't he supposed to be racing the Tour De France and training at altitude? And why was he wearing this Hincapie Development Kit and riding a Felt? And what were his race plans for the rest of the year? And how was his form? And on and on for about 5 minutes or so, until I realized that, in fact, I was talking to Jake King, not Ben. Not sure if you're noticed, but little Jake is a man now. And he looks a lot like Ben, but taller and meaner.
Certainly fast though.
Sorry about that, Jake. Having lived my entire life in a sort of DNA-based co-existence with my own older brother, I know what it's like to be mistaken for someone else and play along so it's less awkward for everyone involved. So thanks for that, Ben. I mean Jake.
And you know what? Good for you. I think you've got a pretty good pedigree when you can be mistaken for your professional road racer older brother, have a 5 minute conversation with a stranger about what you're doing all the way out here, and what your plans are, and how your season's going, and most of the conversation that was supposed to be about him still applies to you. Also, that makes it less weird for me.
My main point here: Jake King rips. Watch yourself you aging, whiny pro racers that think you're entitled to a spot in the Peloton based upon what you did 10 years ago. This kid's gonna knock your has-been 180 max heart rate right through your pampered underpants, and the general public is looking forward to watching him do it.
My other point, SPOILER ALERT: On Tuesday, Ben King is going to win stage 16 of the Tour De France out of a breakaway. My apologies for ruining the suspense. Social media is difficult like that.
Up, up, up.