Butts up

Did you play butts up in elementary school? There are few times in a person's life more terrifying than trying to survive playground games in elementary school. The Japanese film Battle Royale had it right. The corporate world is nowhere near as ruthless as lunch hour dodge ball, smeer the queer, or butts up.

Unfortunately named ride

I never won a lottery spot in Death Ride, but Tim did. Told me it was grueling, tougher than RAMROD. 12,000 feet of climbing is no joke, and it also means 12,000 feet of descending.
Most people don't live near long extended hills with long, straight stretches that allow you to pick up crazy speed on a bike. On the Tour de France, riders hit speeds just over 70 miles per hour in the descents. That must be close to terminal velocity because they're not touching the brakes much. In the Alps, I hit speeds of around 52mph and feared for my life. If you spill, or hit a pothole, or get the wobbles, you either hurtle across the coarse pavement at 50 miles per hour, which is like whipping skin across a cheese grater, or you fly over the edge of the cliff and drop a couple thousand feet.
On the descent from Mont Ventoux, as I hit 48 miles per hour, I came around a turn and saw a cluster of people and cars by the side of the road. One cyclist had lost control and crashed. His bike was a mangled skeleton of aluminum, and he was unconscious. Blood was dripping down his forehead and caked on his face, and one of his legs was coated in blood and gravel. A man cradled his head.
I saw this, but when I rode on, I rode just as fast as before, if not faster. Cyclists who spend hours suffering a climb up a mountain don't want to be deprived of the visceral thrill of the downs. The pounding of a nervous heart adds to the physical excitement. At a certain speed, I won't even shift my hands to the brakes because the slightest movement might tip my bike off balance. Just hang on for dear life and hope the bike frame holds together.
On Death Ride this year, Tim saw a cyclist who had crashed on a descent, but in this case the rider died. It was the first death in the history of Death Ride, and perhaps that's the reason their website is currently deactivated.