Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wolf pack

Forest rangers probably love their jobs.  Getting up every morning to work in nature seems uncluttered and inspiring.  There is a primal connection in this that most of us don't have. I suspect the end of a Rangers day feels a lot more content than most. 

In the wild wolves would make the best bike racers. The similarities of a ripping peloton and wolf pack on the hunt are uncanny. One could argue cats would be better racers for their ability to stalk and their killer sense to pounce at the right moment.  These are definitely super important qualities but to say cats are more suited for racing bikes than wolves would be short sighted because wolves have these same cat qualities also but bring much more.

Wolves have strength endurance and cunning like no other animal. They can track for as long as it takes and in heated stride possess the intelligence to react to critical situations and deploy deadly tactics without hesitation. Their 'pursuit' is more like the multiple sortie attacks of a bike race than a cat's one kill shot.  Wolf packs, like bike teams, are also clannish but when necessary will easily form alliances with mortal competitors and will share that day's kill.

Not for nothing either but what bike racer hasn't kicked their head back at the end of a full effort and howled at the moon?  I'm biased but this is noble stuff, no?

The Keough family is a wolf pack and Mike is the 'Alpha' Keough in it.  Including Mike there are five accomplished bikes racers in the Keough pack.  Mike and I are friends and we talk every now and again.  He called me a couple night ago to fill me in on Jake's 3rd place in stage 2 in the Argentina's Tour De San Luis  This was an awesome result.

Mike's pride in his family's racing exploits is always palpable.  But the other evening it was on a new level!   I loved hearing every colorful detail as Mike described Jake's last 150 meters.  Apparently Jake's lead-out man Robert Forrester was pinched into the fence by the QuickStep train at about 275 meters forcing Jake to stop peddling entirely.  Guess he got back on the throttle quickly though and ripped by like fifteen guys over the last 150 meters top grab a strong 3rd soundly ahead of frenchy Jimmy Casper.  If you've raced with Jake you know he's got the kick to do this.  I can see the whole thing.  Nice.

Often times there is a fine line between tears and joy and Mike was practically weeping in telling me how cool it was "that a kid from Sandwich, MA can represent like that".  I'd agree.

Chapeau meute de Keough!


  1. One of the more ultra-nationalist political parties in Turkey have the wolf as their symbol- the Gey Wolves of the MHP. (
    Clasp your middle and ring fingertips against the tip of your thumb, straighten your index finger and pinky. That's the sign of the Grey Wolves.
    I like the comparisons you've made here, and feel compelled to point out that it's sometimes the lone wolf who takes the win.

  2. Wolves can do it all. Solo included!