Well mine just did:
That's right, the Layin' King himself, Mario Cipollini, will ooze into town this coming weekend for the Red Hook Crit:@bikesnobnyc Mario Cipollini himself will be in your home town this wknd @redhookcrit. Just sayin'. pic.twitter.com/t1AY3otulP— Jo (@jo_h_bell) April 25, 2017
The Lion King, Mario Cipollini will be in town this weekend for the Red Hook Crit, supporting the top Italian contenders and hanging out at R&A Cycles. He’ll be leading a casual ride at Prospect Park on Friday morning (9:30am GAP) followed by a Q&A at R&A Cycles.We’ll also let him try a few laps on Saturday if he brings a track bike.#redhookcrit #rhcbk10 #critweek #cipo #racycles
Mario Cipollini? In Brooklyn? Riding casually in Prospect Park?
This is like...I don't even know what it's like, and rarely am I at a loss for simile.
All I know is that even post-artisanal 21st century Brooklyn still has its fair share of unctuous characters, all of whom will move up a notch or two on the Class-O-Meter by default this coming weekend:
(When graded on a Cipo curve this is like Muffy, Buffy, Chip and Chaz at the country club...and yes, apparently Hot Chicks With Douchebags still exists, even in our modern post-PC society.)
You can also expect a lot of impromptu "training camps:"
As well as a measurable increase in the borough's population in approximately nine month's time:
("I got a lotta stops to make.")
And, ultimately, a bumper crop of charismatic sprinters on the local race circuit:
(Lucarelli & Castaldi are gonna have to pony up a lot more prime money.)
Of course, in my almost 10 years of semi-professional bike blogging I've had the opportunity to meet some of professional cycling's most intriguing characters. For example, remember Michael Ball?
Well, during Rock Racing's apotheosis he brought he whole devil horn-throwing shitshow to Harlem:
Where I obtained his autograph upon this hat:
Which I in turn presented to my number one fan at the time:
Nevertheless, even I, who have moved in the most rarefied (or sordid, depending on how you look at it) circles of cycling, am deeply intimidated--cowed even--by the prospect of being in the presence of someone who has played such a crucial role in my blog over the years:
("Without me to fall back on you are nothing.")
Indeed, even more daunting is the prospect of schlepping all the way to Brooklyn for a 9:30am rollout.
And then there's the prospect of discovering he's probably just a regular guy who's cannily cultivated an entertaining persona.
All if this is to say it remains to be seen whether or not I'll actually make it, and in the end it will all hinge on whether or not I manage to get the necessary vaccinations in time.