always be closing [gaps]

Last Sunday, I got sucked into another RSC ride. Led again by Geoff, with Neal and Joe [from Seven] supporting. The initial plan was to head out as a group to Concord Center, before breaking off into groups. A few us got separated from the large group, and with Neal in the lead, we ended up hammering it to Concord. Neal also led the “medium-pace” 30 mile-ish ride, and I’d like to think he gave us this motivational speech, inspired by Blake (a.k.a. Alec Baldwin), before we headed out.

Neal: Let me have your attention for a moment. 'Cause you're talkin' about're talkin' 'bout...bitchin' about that time you got dropped, some son of a bitch don't want to hold your hand during a ride, somebody don't want to ride with you, some broad you're trying to screw, so forth, let's talk about something important. Are they all here?
Joe: I think we dropped a few.
Neal: Well, I'm going anyway. Let's talk about something important. (sees Cyclist 1 drinking coffee). Put that coffee down. Coffee's for gap closers only. You think I'm fuckin' with you? I am not fuckin' with you. I'm here from Lexington. I'm here from RSC. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. Your name's Levine?
Cyclist 1: Yeah.
Neal: You call yourself a cyclist, you son of a bitch.
Me: I don't gotta listen to this shit.


Neal: You certainly don't pal 'cause the good news is you're banned from RSC. The bad news is you've got, all you've got, just one week to regain your invitation, starting with today, starting with today’s ride. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. 'Cause we're adding a little something to today’s contest. As you all know, first prize is a custom Seven. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a multi-tool. Third prize is you’re banned from RSC. You get the picture? You laughing now? You got the ride leaders. RSC got good volunteers. Get their names and keep up with them. You can't close the gaps you're given, you can't close shit, you are shit, hit the bricks pal and beat it 'cause you are going out.
Cyclist 2: The rides are too hard.
Neal: The rides are too hard. The fuckin' rides are too hard? You're too weak. I've been doing group rides for 15 years ...
Me: What's your name?
Neal: Fuck you, that's my name. You know why? Cause you had to ride to get here today, I drove an 80,000 dollar BMW. That's my name. (To Cyclist 2) And your name is you're wanting. You can't play in the man's game, you can't close the gaps? Then go home and tell your wife your troubles. Because only one thing counts in this life. Close gaps and attack. You hear me, you fuckin' faggots?
ABC. A, Always, B, Be, C, Closing. Always be closing. Always be closing gaps. AIDA. Attention. Interest. Decision. Action. Attention. Do I have your attention? Interest. Are you interested? I know you are 'cause it's fuck or get dropped. You close those gaps or you hit the bricks. Decision. Have you made your decision for Christ? And action. AIDA. Get out there. You got the rides, you think they’re going to be easy? A guy don't join a group ride lest he wants to get turned inside out. They're out there waiting to murder your legs. Are you going to take it? Are you man enough to take it? (To me) What's the problem, pal?


Me: You, boss, you're such a hero, you're so fast, how come you're coming down here and wasting your time with such a bunch of noobs?
Neal: You see this PowerTap? You see this PowerTap?
Me: Yeah.
Neal: That PowerTap costs more than your IF. I rode 970,000 miles last month, how much you ride? You see pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing. Nice guy? I don't give a shit. Good father? Fuck you, go home and play with your kids. You want to stay here at RSC, close gaps and attack. You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cock-sucker. You can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get in a crit. If you don't like it, leave. I can go out there tonight, the bike you got, make myself 15,000 dollars in prize money. Tonight. In two hours. Can you? Can you?
Go and do likewise. AIDA. Get mad you son-of-a-bitch. Get mad. You know what it takes to hang on to a fast ride? It takes brass balls to hang on to a fast ride. Go and do likewise, gents. The rides are out there, you close those gaps and attack, it's yours, you don't, I got no sympathy for you. You want to go out on those rides today and close, close, it's yours, if not, you're going to be shining my Sidis. And you know what you'll be saying. Bunch of losers sitting around in a coffee shop: ''Oh yeah, I used to be a cyclist. It's a tough sport.''
These are the new ride routes. These are the RSC ride routes. And to you, they're gold. And you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. They're for gap closers. I'd wish you good luck, but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it. (To me) And to answer your question, pal: Why am I here? I came here because RSC asked me to, they asked me for a favor. I said the real favor, follow my advice and ban your fuckin' ass because a loser is a loser.