Crazy little thing called “love”

August 15, 2012 § 5 Comments

High levels of molybdenum can interfere with the body’s uptake of copper, producing copper deficiency. Symptoms include diarrhea, stunted growth, anemia, and achromotrichia. On the other hand, not having enough causes high levels of sulfite and urate, and neurological damage. So it makes sense that in order to get just the right amount, you’d go to Leadville, CO for the weekend, a scenic little village known for its molybdenum production.

What makes less sense is that you’d go there for a 104-mile bike race. It’s located at 19,324 feet, which is higher than Mt. Everest, although slightly shorter than Via la Cuesta (per Nancy). Leadville is an old mining town, which is tourist-speak for “run down, polluted shit-hole that is unbearably cold in winter, too far from everything fun in summer, and populated by people who, after four generations, all look the same.”

It took a visionary like Ken Chlouber, a former mining supervisor, to revive the town on a tried-and-true concept: There’s a sucker born every minute!

The night before the race

Nothing is as nerve-wracking as the night before a big race, and our hero from the South Bay had made the trek determined to succeed. He had prepared. He knew the course backwards and forwards. He had memorized every single rest stop, poop stop, waystation, halfway house, IV drip station, and custom coffin manufacturer. There would be no surprises.

He’d prepared all year to be the best HUB at the Leadville 100, the hand-up bitch to beat all hand-up bitches. It would be a huge responsibility keeping Mighty Mouse and Tree fueled for this epic race, but he’d grown a three-foot beard. He’d bought a crumpled cowboy hat. He was wearing an orange skirt. G$ was ready.

That’s “MISTER” Hand-up Bitch to you, pal

Leadville is an out and back course and has featured some of the finest cyclists in the world, men with stuff in their veins that doesn’t qualify as blood, but can’t properly be called ice water, either. Lance, Levi, and Floyd have all taken on this legendary course, and have set course records that have yet to be struck down by an appeals court, an arbitration panel, or a post-judgment ruling.

The race begins at 10,200 feet. This is twice as high as Denver, but only about one-hundredth as high as Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver in 1985, when I saw the Dead there. Arriving a week before the race to hone her altitude fitness, Mighty Mouse remarked, “Dog, I’m out of breath just climbing the stairs!”

G$, who was there to polish his HUB skills, turned to her that first evening and said, “Honey, I’m winded just brushing my teeth.”

The dawn of the day of the damned

Mighty Mouse knew she was in select company, as she lined up with only 3,000 cyclists, a fraction of the number who’d come out on the NPR the week before to see if Prez was really going to wear a lime green jersey and purple shorts (he did).

She was parked in the third starting corral, with 800 people in front, which, though daunting, wasn’t nearly as bad as Puddsy Osterknocker, who was in the 187th corral and had 2,999 wankers he’d have to pass. Or not.

At the start of the race a wanker on a purple bike with skinny tires, a month of razor stubble, triple that amount of B.O., and a big booger stuck to his mustache turned to Mighty Mouse and said “This is going to be an epic day!” She closed her eyes and prayed that she wouldn’t fall off a cliff, and if she did, that B.O. Boy wouldn’t fall anywhere near her.

Neutral start with a twist of lemon and a slice of battery acid

Mighty Mouse stared at her front wheel, body tensed, mind focused on the task at hand as an overwhelming feeling of excitement flooded through her, tingling her extremities and making her think of…never mind…that’s in the Fifty Shades of Leadville, a sequel coming next month for which you’ll have to pay.

The starting shotgun fired, a few birds fell from the sky, and they rolled out on a neutral start through Leadville. For each neutral pedal stroke of the neutral start, neutral wankers neutrally fought for every neutral millimeter of position, neutrally clawing, bumping, rubbing, headbutting, and threading impossible non-openings to gain any neutral advantage for the first climb.

Scrambling and gasping and pounding as hard as they could, the wankoton hit St. Keivens, and the gradual pace fit perfectly with Mighty Mouse’s grand plan, which was first not to die, and second, not to fall off the cliff with B.O. Boy. After climbing a few miles, she came onto pavement only to discover that Murphy’s Law of Bike Racing applies even in Leadville: The crazy/dangerous/stinky dude you’re most desperate to avoid in the 3,000-strong peloton is the wanker you’ll be with the entire race.

B.O. Boy’s preparation had been less than ideal, and he was hanging onto Mighty Mouse’s wheel making awful moaning sounds that frightened the small children lining the route. She decided to lose the stinker with a fast descent around Turquoise Lake, then pounded up Hagerman’s Pass to Sugerloaf Mountain to the top of Powerline. The climbs were standard 6% grade with a few puddles here and there, until you realize that six percent is enough to turn you into a melted marshmallow after four or five minutes of hard effort. B.O. Boy had found his second wind and sprunted off ahead, but never so far that the awful smell didn’t drift back to the followers.

More power to the engine, Mr. Scott!

Picture a 30% grade that’s about eleventy twelve miles long. Okay, there’s something wrong with you if you can picture that. Then picture the bottom part with hard packed sand, two foot ruts, sharp turns, and no consistent line unless you’re driving a bulldozer. Oh, and the top half is covered with jagged rocks, human skulls, tiger pits, and angry motorists with rifles. You’ve just pictured the Powerline climb.

It gets its picturesque name, oddly enough, from a power line. Those Leadvillains may be dumb, but they sure are stupid.

As Mighty Mouse overtook B.O. Boy, eyes tearing up from the effort, several of her co-workers began the first series of crashes, as they would get stuck in between ruts, while at the same time more skilled riders were rocketing down, more or less out of control (usually more), on both sides of the trail.

The carnage was awful to behold. Wankers flopping on their sides. Wankers flying over the handlebars into the ruts at speed. Wankers tipping over and cracking their noggins on the rocks. It was like the biggest fred ride in the history of the universe interspersed with some of the best, fastest, most skilled MTB riders in the galaxy. It was the NPR after a gravel truck spill, on steroids. (Uh, maybe not a great analogy).

Mighty Mouse let the wankers fold, picked a great line, and pounded her way down. On the downhill she careened around fallen riders, leaped tall trees, and generally got down in one piece. The last time she saw B.O. Boy he was begging a kid spectator for a drink from the kid’s coke can while the child frantically dialed 911.

If it’s called “Pipeline” then you can surf it

Mighty Mouse hit the pavement and sat for a few minutes while the smallish wankoton looked about, each rider hoping the other would stick his nose in the wind. No one wanted to pull.

Surprise.

Putting her exceptional NPR training to good use, she Went to the Front and began stomping the snot out of the limpish appendages hanging out of various male bib shorts. This got the paceline going, and they reached Twin Lakes in roughly 3 hours. To put this in perspective, a normal person would do the same route in three days, give or take a month.

At Twin Lakes, Mighty Mouse’s hand-up bitch churned to the fore, stepping on the heads and internal organs of other, less experienced HUB’s. Blowing into the feed zone at 20 mph it was first hard to spot G$ among the hundreds of screaming people all trying to find their rider. It seemed like half of them were there for B.O. Boy, but even the Army of Stink was no match for G$ in his full-on hand-up bitch mode.

With some HUB’s clinging to his beard, others latching onto his Stetson, he shook them loose with kicks, bites, and scratches as he refueled the mighty tank of the Mighty Mouse.

The Columbine beatdown

This 10-mile, 3,000-foot ascent up the face of one of the toughest climbs in the race, summiting at 12,500 feet, was destined to bring even the hardiest wankers to their bloodied, quivering knees.

Picture a gravel-covered Fernwood for five miles, and then the climb gets really nasty. It goes from gravel to loose rock, to even looser rock, and gets steeper as you climb higher before it ends in a rusty guillotine, under which your head is placed. The blade, dulled from the rust, simply hammers your head two or thirteen times until the agony in your temples makes a migraine look like headache relief. That’s what happens when you run your body through hell with no oxygen. That’s why people die on Everest. And that’s why you and I are reading about this in the comfort of our beanbag chair, smoking a doobie and ordering more pizza.

Mighty Mouse reached down to swig from her bottle, but hardly had the oxygen to swallow. Chewing her GU rubber thingies required so much oxygen for her jaw muscles that she had to do Lamaze just to get down a bite.

Obi-wan Kenobi tells the Jedi that The Force is with them

Just as the Lamaze breathing seemed as if it would induce delivery, Mighty Mouse looked up to see the Leadville founder, the Zen master of MTB, the karmic spirit of the greatest MTB race ever, the tantric sex god who invented the “Triple-hold Reverse Battering Ram,” Ken Chlouber himself, the man who knew so much about mountain biking that he wasn’t about to do this stupid race again, at treeline yelling “Dig deep! You’re tougher than you think you are! You can do more than you think you can!”

Mighty Mouse was so inspired she would have cried had she not been trying to keep from vomiting.

With the words of Chlouber ringing in her ears, Mighty Mouse was able to ride to the goat trail about 1/2-mile from the top of Columbine where she had to get off and walk. And so the death march began. If you think riding a bike to exhaustion is awful, wait ’til you have to follow it with a ten-minute bike push up a 300% grade paved with glass and dead people.

This marked the turnaround! The survivors had their numbers recorded, thanked the volunteers, sobbed on their shoulders, asked where the taxi stand was, and upon learning that there wasn’t one, they began the epic descent down Columbine.

Easy for you to say

Incredible as it sounds to think that 3,000 wankers would ride their bikes up a mine shaft on top of Mt. Everest, it was more incredible when Mighty Mouse saw that, as she bombed down the mountain, there were thousands of people walking up.

Where were they from?

What were they doing?

Why were they doing it?

Did anyone have a stretcher?

As she blew by, the enthusiastic spectatewalkers shouted, “You’re almost at the top!” and “Keep your tires rolling!” and most terrifying of all “Rider up! I’m on your ass like buttfloss!”

After the Columbine descent, Mighty Mouse’s HUB reappeared, handing her food, drink, and a healthy helping of encouragement. She quickly grabbed more stuff, and headed back to Pipeline.

The next ten miles were into a brutal headwind. She was alone. She was tired. She was hoping that Sasquatch might show up and give her a push. She remembered that one mile on an MTB is like a thousand miles on a normal road bike with no air and square wheels.

In the out door, or up the down climb

Part of the horror of Leadville is that everything you encounter on the way out, you encounter on the way back. The nasty climbs are hairy descents, and the hairy descents are nasty climbs. Mighty Mouse climbed the first steep section of Powerline, her legs feeling like Leadville, her lungs starting to burn holes in the bottom, and strange bits of phlegm, blood, and esophogeal tissue coming out her ears

It was now Mile 80, her legs crumpled, and she dismounted.  After a respite, she hopped back on and rode the rest of the way up. A few false flats made the job easier, but like everything else in this race, as soon as something got easier it got lots harder. In this case the flats had loose rock, which made it hard to gain traction.

Down the rocky, technical, terrifying, death-defying section onto Turquoise Lake Road, then another fast descent, and then a climb up the back side of the lake. This was the point where the living were separated from the dead.

With each pedal stroke a mash of agony, Mighty Mouse couldn’t believe her luck when a young, muscular, tanned, fit young Adonis with perfectly moussed hair ran up along side her. “Hey,” he said in a baritone. “Mind if I sample the goods?”

“Smart shoppers always do,” she said as his strong, sinewy, powerful palms pressed against her aching ass. He pushed, then caught up to her, then pushed again. He was strong, and each shove sent her flying up the road, allowing precious recovery before her legs kicked back to life.

“Was it good for you?” he shouted as she pedaled off. “It was awesome for me!”

Hand-up Bitch to the rescue!

Having gnarled her way through one hundred miles of freds, ruts, crashes, hypooxygenation, mental fatigue, and physical collapse, Mighty Mouse had only a few miles to go, but her tank was so dangerously low that she didn’t see how she’d conquer the final four-mile Boulevard Climb. This vicious stinger on the end of the ride was inhuman: lined with the bones of last year’s decedents and covered with nails and soft sand, Mighty Mouse knew her race was at an end. Nothing could get her up this final hill.

In the run-up to the climb she’d hopped onto a paceline, and it was rolling fast, even though everyone knew they’d crack and quit two hundred yards into the climb. And then, there on the side was G$, armed with the Special Hand-up Bitch Bottle…but the speed! He’d never get her a hand-up at 25mph!

Trained as a track star, and the recipient of countless high-speed hand-ups, Mighty Mouse’s HUB knew exactly what to do. He spun and began sprinting as if shot out of a gun. His brief burst hit maximum speed as MM raced by, arm outstretched. She grabbed the bottle perfectly!

And no ordinary bottle was it! This was G$’s last reserve of Ruggedmaxx Endurance IV, which had the effect of slinging Mighty Mouse up the last four-mile climb like a rocket and giving all the men in a four-mile radius erections that lasted for two days.

All’s well that ends well on the Leadville 100, especially if it’s someone else doing it

As she approached the finish line children were scattering, cowbells were ringing, and babies were crying. A feeling of amazing accomplishment came over her as she rolled onto the red carpet. A Leadman himself placed a medal around her neck. She was so happy to get off her bike and be done, especially because there was a cool 85-mile trail ride she wanted to do the following day.

She started to tear up as she realized what she had accomplished, and how lucky she’d been to have the best hand-up bitch in America there when she needed him most.

For him, too, it had been an amazing day, hanging out on the trails, drinking whatever was left in castaway bottles, snacking on the numerous mashed up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and best of all, running up and down the trails with the four and five-year old kids. He was definitely the only kid with a three-foot beard.

After the race, the two champions, each successful in their own way, enjoyed a candlelight dinner over hamburgers while drunken Leadvillains played banjo love songs to their next of kin.

Until next year, all hail the Mighty Mouse!

Setting boundaries

August 14, 2012 § 11 Comments

Dear Lance,

I understand this may be a one-tweet stand, but now that you’ve tweeted a request to me, and I’ve tweeted a tweet to let you into my secure Tweeter inner sanctum, I think we need to come to an understanding.

Will you call me tomorrow?

First, I understand that you have 3.7 million followers, and I have 188. I also understand that the people who follow you are some of the most powerful and influential people in the world, whereas most of my followers are tweetbots, spammer personal injury law firms, and insane people with names like FrauFickenDammt and Scabby the Rat. Well, actually, Frau Ficken hasn’t followed me yet. I’m hoping she will soon, though, because she says the coolest shit, like today when she went into a restaurant and called the waiter a knuckle fucker.

Before granting your request, I checked out the people who you follow, and was frankly concerned. Bill Maher. Mahatma Gandhi. Lots of chicks with killer racks. People whose opinions matter on the world stage and who have the ear of those in power, not to mention totally boss pimps like Cancellara.

Which really made me think, like, why are you adding me to that select list of barely 400 people out of 3.7 million? Is it because of what I write here?

There’s no “here” here

So I thought about it and figured out why you wanted to enter the inner Wankmeister sanctum. First, you wanted to see who my associates are. Well, now you know. Funny, huh? And only a handful of them are currently incarcerated.

Second, you wanted to begin the process of seeing if there was some way to influence “the message.” The good news? You already have! The bad news? So can anyone else with a keyboard and a little flattery. Like all whores, I go to the highest bidder. Right now the going price is really cool prescription eyewear and free kits designed by Joe Yule. So make a note of that, and by the way, you should hire him as your kit designer. The Shack/Livestrong stuff needs…help.

Now that I’ve given you everything you want, it’s time for us to talk about me. My needs. My wants. My hopes. My childhood dreams and hopes for the future, except for those which have been shattered by Jonathan Vaughters.

Accept me for who I am

All the socks and undies I own. True story.

A loving tweetership between equals is only possible with mutual respect. You mustn’t try to change me, but rather you must accept me as I am, RuggedMaxxx2 and all. If you don’t know about and use RuggedMaxxx2, I’m not sure we can ever have a meaningful relationship, although I’m willing to try. Of course even as I write this, I fear that we may not work out. I have one small drawer that contains all my socks and underwear. You have entire dressers devoted to undergarments. I rent. You own. I’m Specialized. You’re Trek. Most perilous to our relationship, and the one thing we may never get over, is this terrible reality: You’re Oakley. I’m SPY. I feel so helpless.

My gym set. Note 15-lb kettlebell. Alternate with books to strengthen your dorsas bulemias.

Are we doomed from the outset? And then I consider other material things, like your gym and your bike shop and countless bikes and all the other possessions that make me feel small and rather poor. But there can be more to a relationship than just money and power, right? You can learn to appreciate what it’s like to be batshit poor, and I can learn to appreciate being showered with free bike swag and invites to swanky parties and free trips on your personal jet and free bike swag and invites to the Tour (well, maybe not that), right? Right?

Love me, love my friends

I know a lot of people who get involved in the heat of the moment like this and then have trouble with the other’s friends once Tweeter passions cool. Let’s take care of that now. My friends are non-negotiable (except for the ones who are, like that dude who wore the undersized all-white kit on the Holiday Ride last year and blinded several people with his hairy buttcrack).

I think the best way for you to get to know me is to spend time with me and my friends on the bike. We have a little ride here called the NPR. You would have a hard time hanging on, and I’m not saying that to be rude, but rather as a warning.

We have Prez, who just got force upgraded from Cat 3 and has the hardest abs in the wankoton, plus the weirdest kit color combos. He is a sprunter and is not afraid of you. You’ll have to get on his good side but be wary at the same time, because all those steel plates in his head are from crashing.

We have dudes like Bull, a wanker of legendary proportions, and Hair (a/k/a Shrimpy Dick), who is a badass. If you’re too scared to mix it up on the NPR, you’re welcome to join us on the Wheatgrass Ride, where Backpack George in the floppy jogging pants, saggy socks, and askew helmet can outclimb anyone for the first mile up from the reservoir.

Bring your A Game, Lance, and I’m just saying that because I want you to fit in. And even if you can hang with Backpack George, we’ve still got Tink who WILL school you, and Jules, the 13 y/o child who will put you in the pain cage and throw away the key if you dare to challenge him on the Donut Ride. Check my YouTube videos under fsethd to see what you’re signing up for. I think after a couple of tries you will be able to hang, but don’t feel bad if you get dropped in the beginning.

It’s a one-way street

Although you have to love my friends, I don’t have to love yours, although I will try to. Maybe. For a small fee. But not that Ferrari dude. I understand that you have some current legal issues arising out of the use of drugs. Now, I smoked a bunch of dope back in the day and am a reformed drunk, so I “get” the drug thing. No matter how much Nancy Reagan used to preach “just say no,” it always seemed easier to just say “Yes, the sensimilla, please.”

It was sure more fun than saying “No,” except for that time in junior high when I had failed 8th Grade life science and was taking summer school at Sharpstown High. We were taking the HouTran bus to school, stoned out of our gourds at the back of the bus, when I started hallucinating that the fucking bus had caught fire. I imagined that everyone ran off and a fire truck came.

Finally a huge firefighter rushed in and dragged me off the bus, which had actually caught fire. Being stoned for me was always like that. I just hallucinated shit that was already there, so I figured why pay all this money for weed and get kicked out of school to see what I’m already seeing?

I bring this up because drugs are that way. You kind of fall into it, and then it’s like, “Fuck, I don’t need this shit.” But hey, you probably hear about this enough in your day job, so I’ll let it slide for now.

Miscellaneous

Oh, here’s some other info. I’m a Capricorn. I love Japanese food. My favorite color is blue. I love puppies. Once upon a time I co-authored a book on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. So…TTYL!

Wanky

Book review: “My Penis” by Tyler Hamilton

August 13, 2012 § 35 Comments

Slated for release on September 18, Wankmeister received an advance copy of Tyler Hamilton’s tell-all illiterography, “The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs” As Told To Daniel Coyle In Very Simple Words And, Where Necessary, With Little Stick Figure Pictographs.

Coyle is known to seven or eight other people as the author of “Lance Armstrong’s War,” The Tale Of A Writer Who Couldn’t Come Up With A Decent Title So He Stole One From Someone Else.

I was flattered to receive the advance copy, and immediately put down the important task of tweeting salacious recipes to @mmmaiko and devoted fifteen solid minutes to reading the book, which is subtitled “My Penis” to reach the cycling demographic that also reads books like “50 Shades of Grey.” CU Tomorrow? Legit Girl? Bump’n’Grind? Yeah, YOU.

Does America really need another disgraced doper’s kiss-and-jail cyclography?

After reading “My Penis,” I phoned author Daniel Coyle to get some background material on the impetus for the book. “When Tyler and I started talking, I realized this was an historic opportunity for me to pay rent,” said Coyle. “Note the way I use ‘an’ with ‘historic.’ Isn’t that cool?”

“Uh, yeah. Go on.”

“No one’s ever had a ticket behind the wall of silence, behind locked doors, onto the team bus. I mean sure, there are books with that name,  books by Kimmage, Voet, Landis, Joe Parkin, every legit book on the history of cycling ever written, TV documentaries, reams of public testimony, arbitration proceedings, detailed scientific evidence, and every kind of proof and testimonial known to man. But this is different!”

“Like, how, dude?”

“Over the past two years, in more than 200 hours of interviews and trips to key locations in Spain and France, Tyler has given me complete access to his story. Emails. Home videos of his dog. Sexts to his wife. Phone messages from his dentist. We even had a seance with his vanishing twin.”

“You don’t believe that shit, do you?”

“You bet I do. To verify and corroborate his account, I’ve also talked to numerous independent sources, including former teammates, several of whom are going on the record for the first time, immediately prior to sentencing. This is a classic tale of human ambition and the consequences of trying to win at any cost.”

“Uh, what were the consequences?”

“Well, for Tyler it resulted in an Olympic gold medal, wins in the Tour, and buttloads of cash. But in the end he was banned for life from bike racing.”

“But wasn’t his career over by then?”

“That’s not the point! It’s a classic tale of human ambition! And the consequences of trying to win at any cost!”

“Sounds like a winner’s game plan to me, dude.”

Straight from the horse’s mouth

Next I called up Tyler. “Yo, dude, this is Wankmeister. Remember me?”

“Hello? Who’s this?”

“It’s me. Wanky. From PV. You came out here three years ago and did the Donut Ride. I fucking crushed it. Remember?”

“I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong number.”

“No! Don’t hang up! I want to talk about ‘My Penis’!”

Click.

Having lost my source, I went to Cyclingnews.com, where I steal most of my shit from anyway. They never disappoint! Here’s the blurb they had. And I’m not making this up:

“Hamilton explained that his time in front of a grand jury during the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation into Lance Armstrong’s alleged doping practices he realised that there was a story that needed to be told.

“‘I kept it all inside for way too long and I realized it was a story that needed to be told. I think when people learn how it really was – how it worked, how we did it, what it felt like – they’ll see that this story is bigger than any one individual in the sport. It’s really about making choices when you’re pushed to the edge and deciding what you’re willing to do to compete. I want to take people inside our world so they can understand the lives we lived.'”

In other words, the dude’s flat fucking broke, and rather than get a job gluing on tires or flipping burgers he’s decided to hire someone to write a book for him while they job around Europe getting drunk, riding bikes, and licking the pussy.

So these are the consequences of blind ambition? Fuck, where can I get some?

Back to My Penis

“My Penis” begins with Hamilton’s discovery that no one will take him to the prom except Jonathan Vaughters. They dress each other up (Jonathan dresses up as a boy, but it’s totally unconvincing), and afterwards they make passionate love and symbolically bury Jonathan’s bike in a field and water it with their urine. A lovely rose bush grows on the spot, and they can often be found frolicking naked around its blossoms in spring. But that’s a different story.

After getting recruited by the evil and dastardly Team Dope, Tyler loses his childhood dreams to a dirty, nasty, hairy, fat, toothless, balding, sweaty, unwashed French masseuse with long and unkempt toenails. Francois intends to inject Tyler’s stomach fat with EPO, but misses and hits his penis instead. Tyler’s twelve-day erection earns him a number of nicknames on Team Dope, none of which are printable, even in a nasty, uncouth, sophomoric blog like this one that revels in saying words like “pussy” and “cock” and “cunt.”

First the breakout, then the rash

After his breakout season with Team Dope, Tyler catches the eye of the evil and cruel dictator of the peloton, Lance Strongstrong. Strongstrong, who has just won the Turdy France after a miraculous comeback from a lobotomy, entices Tyler onto the team bus with an offer of candy and a trip to EuroDisney.

The next thing he knows, he’s sitting in Strongstrong’s lap, Johan Squatneel has forced him to sign a multi-million dollar contract, forced him to take drugs, and forced him to ride with the most famous American team in the history of completely unknown and forgettable and forgotten niche/kook/dork sporting teams.

Tyler and Strongstrong part ways upon the death of Tyler’s favorite pet newt, Newton, when Strongstrong makes disparaging remarks about salamanders, particularly the juvenile forms. “That newt was more than a son to me!” Hamilton cried.

“Only person ever liked a Newt was Callista, and she’s a two bit whore anyway,” Strongstrong shot back.

“Fine! You bad man! I’ll go ride for team Phoneycrack!”

Team Phoney Baloney

Unceremoniously kicked off the bus along with his little plastic newt cargo case, Tyler was picked up by Tubby Rihs and Doctor Evil Ochowicz, or “Doc Ock” as he was called by his clients. With his medication properly adjusted, Tyler was forced to win more big races, world championships, and gold medals. He was desperately unhappy at living the lie, and eventually couldn’t take it any more.

“The guilt became so great that after I was busted I confessed,” he says in the most moving passage of the book. “Of course it took a few years to confess, as I had to first deny everything. But that’s how badly I was hurting inside. It felt so great to finally admit the truth.”

Hamilton points out that just because you admit the truth due to running out of legal defense funds and the threat of federal prison doesn’t mean you didn’t really want to tell the truth all along.

“It was freeing,” he adds. “So much so that when I finally came back to cycling I could dope again, get busted, and get banned for life. It’s a beautiful story. The passion. The pathos. They mysteries of the human soul…it’s all right here.”

The book retails for $29.95, but will be available at Half-Priced Rubbish and Discount Records and 8-Track Tapes and Books in October for $1.99, or free on Amazon’s Kindle.

Heeeeere’s Johnny!

August 11, 2012 § 59 Comments

Jonathan Vaughters has publicly admitted what we already knew, just in time for USADA’s supplemental briefing for Judge Sparks, which will almost certainly identify the eyewitnesses who will corroborate Lance Armstrong’s use of all kinds of nasty shit to win the TdF against dudes who were using the same nasty shit. Want to bet that JV will be on the list?

Too bad he doesn’t read my blog. I posted three form doper apology letters yesterday, and he could have sent in the “apologetic doper” form and saved himself a lot of work. He could have also saved himself some embarrassment. You know, the embarrassment from saying totally ridiculous shit that makes him look like a liar and a hypocrite, and that makes us look like tools for taking the time to read it.

Sigh.

Disclaimer: I’m not opposed to doping

Doping and drugs are fine if you want to do them. It’s a form of cheating, just like changing your line in a sprunt, cutting the course, lying on your upgrade request, entering a race while serving a suspension, racing in a category other than one stated on your license, or telling your wife that you’re not fucking your secretary.

And although I’d rather finish last (and often do) than cheat, it doesn’t bother me terribly that others break the rules any more than it bothers me that some happily married people are happiest in another woman’s bed. In fact, the hacker who beat me out for 56th thanks to his high-octane EPO protocol is probably a much nicer chap than some undoped asshole who intentionally chops my wheel and tries to take me down on a fucking training ride.

Which brings me to my next point: as Michael Creed so eloquently put it, even though doping wasn’t for him, he didn’t judge someone as a bad person for doping. There were plenty of dopers who he’d have been glad to have as neighbors, and other clean athletes who were complete douchebags.

So you’re condoning DOPING? Aaaaaaaaaahhhhgh!

No. But I’m not condemning it either. If you dope in some cheeseball masters crit and win $50, that doesn’t bother me. I wasn’t going to win it no matter what you did or didn’t take. If you dope in some big stage race and make millions as a cancer survivor while viciously destroying the lives and careers of people who call you a doper…that’s different. That’s evil.

But back to JV, and his sob-story about the evils of doping and how we must never again allow children’s souls to be killed through doping. Yes, he really said that.

I’ve bulleted his stupid anti-doping arguments, which he should have summed up by saying, “It’s cheating. Cheating is bad. So don’t cheat.” But nooooooooooooo…

  1. “Doping takes away childhood dreams.” Dude, childhood dreams die with childhood. Life is a nasty, brutish affair that ends horribly for everyone. No exceptions. It’s like the first time a young woman sees a big ol’ penis and gets told, “This is going in there.” Whoa! Major childhood dream massacre! Why should bicycle chasers be exempt from harsh reality? Answer: They shouldn’t be, and they aren’t.
  2. “Doping forces you to lie.” Whaaaat? Doping doesn’t force you to lie, being human does. Humans are liars. Batfuck, dishonest, conniving, duplicitous shits who will say anything to advance themselves. They may also tell the truth when it’s convenient, but hate to tell you, JV, people were lying long before EPO.
  3. “Doping forces young athletes to abandon their sport if they choose not to dope.” Wait a minute…that’s a negative? Trading in your stinky bibs for an Armani and a cubicle at Goldman-Sachs? Sign me up! Cycling is a cul-de-sac, and the only people in it are broken, or deluded, or drug-addled, or all of the above. The more young athletes who give up this ignoble pursuit as a profession and go get real jobs, the better. You can bicycle chase on the weekend.
  4. “Doping can make the difference in the TdF between 1st and 100th.” Not exactly. When most of the peloton’s doped, as it still is, the difference between first and one hundredth place is in your teammates, your tactics, your bike racing skills, the sophistication of your microdosing, and your ability to train far from the testers.
  5. “Riders who refused to dope, and walked away, were punished for following their moral compass.” Okay, everybody take off your stupid hats if that made sense. The whole point behind morality is to do what’s right, regardless of the consequences. In fact, it is only by taking the punishment of an unjust system that morality makes sense. You’re never punished for taking a moral stand, you’re rewarded for it because, asshole, morality is its own reward. Which is the main reason it’s so unpopular.
  6. “We’ve made huge strides. Just look at these Olympics!” No. I will not watch four Jamaican dudes run faster than the rest of the world combined and call that a celebration of clean sport. The only sport nastier than track and field is professional soccer, football, baseball, hockey, weightlifting, wrestling, boxing, basketball, horse racing…etc.
  7. “Athletes only dope because they just want a fair chance, a level playing field.” That’s like those dorks who say they want to win the lottery so they can make the world a better place. Next time you see them, they’re broke, drunk in a gutter, and covered in venereal sores. Athletes hate fairness. They want an edge, a leg up, a lighter bike, faster wheels, cyanide in their opponent’s coffee, anything to get ahead of the competition. Cycling was a cheat-filled sport long before EPO, and it will be one long after.

Conclusion

What I really wanted to write about was Mighty Mouse, Tree, Katie, and the other badasses who did Leadville today, not to mention their trusty sidekicks who made sure they were well fed and watered for this grueling event. Oh, well. Maybe tomorrow.

Get the lead(ville) out!

August 10, 2012 § 2 Comments

In less than twelve hours, five South Bay motorheads will be contesting the Leadville 100. Lauren Mulwitz, Kathryn Donovan, Brian Perkins, Marq Prince, and Pete Smith have lived a monkish (nunnish?) existence leading up to the big event, which rolls out tomorrow.

There’s not a lot for me to say about it, except that it’s so tough they don’t have a starting line, they have a starting “corral.” The racers are so amped up on adrenaline and Accelerade that the race volunteers have to rope them inside the corral when it’s their time, drag them whinnying and snorting up to their bikes, strap them on, and set them loose.

Lokalmotor Greg Leibert will be in attendance with food, drinks, hand-ups, and bicycle riding tips for Team South Bay. As eager as I am for our local crew to go out and crush it in the thin mountain air, I’m even more eager for them to return home and start mixing it up again on our weekly wankfests. You’re missed, and you’ve hardly been gone!

Huge props to each rider for all the hard work and for taking on this epic MTB challenge. I spent a few minutes watching YouTube videos to try and get a sense of what it was like, but when you’re watching a 7-time TdF doperwinner being chased up a trail by spectators, including fat old dudes, small kids, and a woman with ski poles while he’s “racing” up a slope so steep that he’s barely staying upright on a 12 x 59 gear combo, well, the vicarious pain was just too much, so I switched off the YouTube and had a bag of Doritos.

If Lance had to get off and push, and 45-time winner Dave Wiens had to cross the finish line on his hands and knees, and EPO Leipheimer called it the most grueling thing he’s ever done, I can’t imagine what’s going to happen to mere mortals except that it will be almost Hobbesian: nasty, brutish, and long. One hundred miles at eleventy-nine thousand feet along unpaved fire roads…sound like fun? You’re nucking futs.

Good luck to you all, win, place, show, finish, or give up three-quarters dead before the end. You’re going for the gusto and Wankmeister is with you in spirit. On the couch. Blogging. Munching Doritos.

Go get ‘em, and don’t forget to send pictures! And a postcard! And a t-shirt that says, “My wankers went to Colorado and all they brought me was this fucking sack of empty GU gels!”

Charge!

Rope-a-dope(r)

August 10, 2012 § 5 Comments

Looks like King of Wankers, David Anthony, started a trend. Two days ago, the next masters professional cyclist to become ensnared in a pee-pee test is Greg Cavanagh, Canadian Dude You’ve Never Ever Fucking Heard Of. Greg tested positive for “testosterone,” according to this news release, which is probably not exactly right because everyone has testosterone. It’s kind of like saying he tested positive for “blood.”

Since the busted masters professional cyclist will be a part of our landscape for years to come, I’ve taken matters into my own hands with the following public service. Instead of forcing these poor clods to write their own apologies (Cavanagh hilariously said, without apologizing, that he would now “retire” from masters racing), I’ve drafted some form letters that any doper can use to tell the world how he feels about being caught.

Which kind of doper are you?

First, you’ll need to decide what kind of doper you are before selecting the proper form. Pick your form, circle the words that best express how you feel, and send off to your national anti-doping agency, post on your WordPress.com blog, or send to your mom.

1. Repentant doper letter of apology and deepest most profound expression of sorrow, humiliation, and regret

Dear [Teammates/Family/World/God]:

I am profoundly sorry for [doping/cheating/lying/stealing/spending my wife’s boobjob money on EPO]. I realize that I have [deceived/betrayed/offended/embarrassed] everyone [in my life/at my office/on my Cat 4 dev team]. The decision to dope was [mine alone/spurred on by foolish delusions/similar to my decision to be an accountant], in that it was [wrong/unjustifiable/worse than that time I got drunk at the old folks home]. I hope to use this as a way to teach young people about the evils of [doping/cycling/leg shaving].

[Penitently/Horribly Embarrassedly/Suicidally],

Your Name Here

2. Innocent doper letter of pseudo apology that doesn’t admit to anything, really.

Dear [UCI/USADA/Bitch who was responsible for maintaining the doping analyzer]:

It is [unfortunate/shocking/a miscarriage of justice] that my [blood/urine/semen] tested positive for [a prohibited substance/tainted natural food substances/something unknowingly ingested through a herbal remedy/vanishing twin blood profiles]. This [witch hunt/terrible waste of public tax dollars/conspiracy at the highest levels of government] has caused me to [lose my livelihood/lose my constitutional rats/never give up in my quest to find who murdered OJ’s wife]. The quantity of [clenbuterol/testosterone/horse urine] found in my blood is equivalent to dropping a thimbleful of spit into [the Pacific Ocean/a trillion billion gallons of urine/the Crab Nebulae]. I have retained [a top lawyer/a scabby ambulance chaser/ Douchebag Bill] to vindicate my good name, and I look forward to having my [innocence proven/guilt doubted/prison stay be at that place they put Martha Stewart].

[Defensively/Will be Vindicated at Some Point in the Futuredly/Nobly]

Your Name Here

3. Defiant doper letter of contempt

Dear Wankers:

Sure I got busted for [84% hematocrit/driving a bus nicknamed “Pharm-on-Wheels”/selling PED’s to Little Leaguers]. So the fuck what? You hypocrites couldn’t get out of bed in the morning without [Xanax/vodka/an amphetamine enema]. You create a race that is harder than [crossing Australia on a pogo stick/hang gliding to the moon/chess] and ask me to do it without [drugs/lots of drugs/more fucking drugs than all the crack houses in Detroit]? You want me to play by the rules when your own UCI and USA Cycling are crookeder than [a dog’s hind leg/the mortgage-backed securities industry/a Cat 5 bunch sprint]? Yeah, right. I’ll do my two year suspension, and then I’ll [never race again/ride for RadioShack or Team Sky/become a personal trainer]. So FOAD.

[Sarcastically/Contemptuously/Stonedly],

Your Name Here

Mommy, can I talk to Daddy?

August 8, 2012 § 8 Comments

Dear Mom and Dad:

Divorce is hard. I love you, Mom. I love you, Dad. Mom, I know you hate Dad. Dad, I know you hate Mom. I wish everyone would get along.

But sometimes relationships won’t work. So Mom, you’re going your way. Dad, you’re going yours. I know, or at least hope, that you’re both better off for it. It’s awkward, and frankly, painful.

Your infamous Eldo Divorce caught us all by surprise, as divorces often do. One day Mom was doing her thing, running Eldo and even turning it into a sanctioned race. The next, Dad was out there, putting up orange cones and handing out numbers. Mommy and Daddy never even told us kids what happened. You went your separate ways.

My history with Eldo

I’ve got lots of bad memories of Eldo. It was the very first race I did in California. Roger Worthington dragged me out there the year following his new hip attachment and bionic leg surgery, in 2008. All I remember is thinking that nothing takes the fun out of anything more than being forced to do it with an overbearing boss.

The race itself was hideously fast. I raced the 1/2/3 category and we averaged close to 30mph for the hour. The pack was tightly bunched and the race was a nonstop slugfest of people hammering off the front, and the pack chasing them back. Ashley Knights was especially speedy that year, but Charon Smith, Rahsaan Bahati, and various other guys showed up every single week to ride and ride hard.

For me, being fit at Eldo meant being able to take a couple of pulls at the front over the course of an hour.

Chris ran a tight ship. The races were safe, the categories were usually full or close to full, and aside from the usual whining and complaining for which bicyclers are so famous, I thought it was a model mid-week race. The only reason I quit doing it is because it meant leaving the office at 4:30, sitting on the 405 for almost an hour, and getting home at eight or later. With TELO just around the corner and in riding distance, it didn’t make sense to race Eldo. So I didn’t.

Come check us out!

When Martin sent me an email inviting me to come see the Under New Management Eldo, I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I like Martin and respect the hell out of him. He and his core group of Long Beach Freddies have done more than any group I know to help revolutionize the city of Long Beach with regard to cycling. It’s now one of the friendliest cycling communities in the U.S., and Martin has been a big part of that change.

He’s a tireless advocate for positive community change, and is the driving force behind the Mark Bixby Foundation, an organization set up to honor its namesake, who died in an air accident a couple of years ago. Martin also has a lot of the characteristics that everyone, everywhere, associates with bike race promoters: Loud. Has an opinion on everything. Loves to share it with everyone, and if no one’s around, is happy to give advice to the rocks and shrubs.

And, lest I forget, he’s an accomplished cyclist and former national team member. If you ever want to know how good he was, ask him if he’s ever been on the podium with Greg Lemond. Actually, you don’t even have to ask. Just walk up to him, introduce yourself, and wait ten minutes.

Can’t we all just get along?

I went to Eldo last night with mixed feelings because I also like Chris Lotts…a lot. I respect the work he’s done as a bike race promoter. I thought he did a great job at Eldo. Most of all, I like him because he is forthright and because of his politics. If you want to know what he thinks, ask him. If you don’t want to know what he thinks, well…don’t friend him on Facebook.

What I dislike is the fact that the Eldo Divorce was the result of bad blood between two people I like and respect. Since anything I say is guaranteed to offend them both, let me get that out of the way, right away: You both are a couple of fucking numbskulls not to be able to get along.

There. I’ve said it. Sue me. Unfriend me. Disinvite me. I don’t care. The cycling community is tiny and I hate this kind of conflict.

Can’t we all just get along?

Of course not. That would make too much sense and deprive the bystanders of too much drama.

Now, about Eldo Under New and Improved Management

I can’t say the management has improved, because as far as I’m concerned there was nothing wrong with the old management. The fields last night were smaller. The race was slower. There was very little team diversity, which meant that any break with three riders was almost guaranteed to cause everyone else to block.

On the other hand, the race had a great feel to it. Martin and his crew of Freddies were smiling and enthusiastic and obviously committed to making this work. The field size was a function of changing horses in midstream. With better promotion and with more people understanding that Eldo is here to stay, 2013 should start to see much bigger fields. To their credit, the race already has enough people showing up to break even.

In two years’ time, as more people put the race on their schedule, I have no doubt that Eldo will be back up to full force, if not sooner. Getting listed on SocalCycling.com, CyclingIllustrated.com, and some of the other local websites will pay benefits in terms of participation.

Though last night’s race was slower than anything I’d ever done at Eldo, it was still legbreakingly hard. Somewhere around twenty riders finished out of a field of 35-40, and that’s because there was nowhere to hide. The Shroeder Iron guys dominated in numbers and ability, and they missed no opportunity to continually send riders up the road.

I was either chasing, or riding in short-lived breaks, or hanging on for dear life as a Velo Allego or Pinnaclife rider (those were the three biggest teams) strung it out. At race’s end I was every bit as hammered as from the days of 2008. The vibe was also great. The Shroeder guys are super friendly, and after they’ve kicked your face in are always glad to shoot the breeze.

Although I can’t compare, it seemed like there were a lot of junior racers. That’s a good thing, and augurs well for development. Of course the Long Beach La Habra contingent was there in good numbers as well, though there were only two or three in our race.

Although I still love Mommy, I love Daddy, too, and I’m going to do Eldo once more this year despite the commute if Daddy will let me. I encourage you to come out and see what it’s all about, if you’re like me, a rider who gave it up because of the commute, or if you’ve never done it. You can’t beat the course, and the speedwork is fantastic if you want to do more than sit on wheels.

What between finishing up the year with CBR and Eldo, I hope Mom and Dad see I’m making the best out of being stuck in the middle.

Love you both,

Wanky

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