June 27, 2014 § 21 Comments
CitSB sat down with Trek Factory Racing team manager Luca Guercilena to talk about the team’s 2014 TdF roster, announced two days ago.
CitSB: So it looks like Trek will be pinning its hopes on the single biggest bedwetter in pro cycling, his doped up older brother, and an over-the-hill-doper-who-never-got-busted?
Guercilena: That is outrageous and insulting. I wouldn’t call him a bedwetter. More like a nervous tinkler.
CitSB: Most observers agree that this is the team’s weakest Tour lineup ever. What gives?
Guercilena: Well, when we saw Team Sky drop Wiggins even though he had won the Tour of California, done well in Roubaix and Flanders, and had committed to help Froome, it was pretty clear.
CitSB: What was?
Guercilena: That to manage a winning pro cycling team you must be a complete idiot.
CitSB: But even with a colossal, hopelessly stupid person such as yourself, how can you expect to win with the Schlecks?
Guercilena: It will not be so difficult. Andy has been building since his Paris-Nice DNF in 2012. He had a very strong ride in the second stage that year, finishing 113th. It was impressive.
CitSB: It was?
Guercilena: Yes, especially when you consider how he followed it with his DNF in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Let’s remember that he came in 104th in the first stage before giving up and quitting.
CitSB: I don’t think we’ve forgotten.
Guercilena: Then he continued his build with his 2012 DNF at the Brabantse Pijl. In this DNF he fought with great courage before throwing in the towel at Mile 45, and he followed it up with his amazing Stage Six flop-n-drop in the Criterium du Dauphine. When he quit that race it was a victory; his fans were thrilled. As William Stone reminds us, it is not winning that makes a winner, but rather a juice box and the courage to not admit defeat even when, in the face of defeat, you are soundly defeated.
CitSB: Is that when they started calling him The Bedwetter?
Guercilena: No, that was before. A few days after the Dauphine he confirmed his promise with a strong DNF at the Binche-Tournai-Binche/ 3rd Mémorial Frank Vandenbroucke. It was impressive the way he sobbed and hit his handlebars in frustration. The fans went wild at this display of raw competitive emotion.
CitSB: Yes. Yes, they did.
Guercilena: And how can we forget the cherry on top, the icing on the cake in 2012, the cornerstone of his preparation, when he bailed during Stage Six at the Tour of Beijing after strong placings in the previous stages of 137th, 132nd, 137th, and next-to-last? He quit that race with gusto, let me tell you! The Chinese government released 4 gigatons of coal smoke in celebration. It was beautiful!
CitSB: Fans went wild again, I’m guessing?
Guercilena: Oh, absolutely, the ones who didn’t die from the smoke. And the one pretty girl in Luxembourg sent him her 76th wedding proposal, a fitting end to a great year. And 2013 continued his march, building his momentum even stronger. He began with a powerful DNF in the Santos Tour Down Under, followed it with a devastating DNF in the Tour Méditerranéen Cycliste Professionnel, crushed the peloton with a masterful quitting performance in the Strade Bianchi, and culminated his March training block with an unbelievable DNF at Tirreno-Adriatico.
CitSB: Why was it unbelievable?
Guercilena: You jest, no? He grimaced, he suffered, he endured, he wrecked himself until he could do more. It was beautiful suffering. And then halfway through the first stage there was no more, he was spent, he had given all he had. How you Americans say? He left it all on a toad.
CitSB: The fans went nuts again, right?
Guercilena: Yes. The girl from his home country (her name is Hilda) sent him flowers and a certificate that she was also a 17-year-old virgin, Luxembourg’s first.
CitSB: Then what?
Guercilena: The rest has been history “writ large” as they say. Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, DNF. Amstel Gold Race, DNF. GP Oueste Plouay, DNF. Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, DNF. Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal, DNF. Milano-Torino, DNF. Il Lombardia, DNF.
CitSB: Pretty amazing palmares.
Guercilena: And let’s not forget that as the team’s most highly paid stage racer he finished an impressive 20th in the Tour that year, 40th in the Tour de Suisse, 25th in the Tour of California and 35th in the US Pro Challenge.
CitSB: Sounds like he’s peaking for 2014.
Guercilena: Exactly, and his schedule confirms it. With a DNF in the Criterium Internationale this year, a DNF at Amstel Gold, a DNF at Flèche-Wallone, a DNF at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, a DNF at the GP du canton d’Argovie, and a stunning 29th place at the Tour de Suisse, no one can say that he is not poised to do what he does best.
Guercilena: We can only hope.
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June 26, 2014 § 39 Comments
We were riding along, not very fast, in the middle of the lane on PCH just past Pepperdine. A big new Ford SUV pulled up alongside us, slowly, with the window rolled down. The guy in the passenger seat stuck his head out the window. He had a joint in one hand and his eyes were redder than a Bloody Mary.
“Dude,” he said. “You need to get out of the road.”
“I need a lot of things,” Jay said to him. “But I’m pretty sure that’s not one of them.”
“Cool, man,” said the stoner, taking another hit on the joint. “Whatever.”
We rode on for a while. Then, a couple of miles before we got to the long downhill at Zuma Beach, we heard a different kind of honk, the braaaat of a cop car followed by a siren burst.
“Oh, boy,” said Kenny. “Here we go.”
We pulled out of the lane and onto the shoulder. The deputy sheriff got out, cherries and berries flashing away.
“Hi, officer,” I said.
“Hi, there,” he answered. He wasn’t angry or rude or aggro, just professional and polite. “Would you guys all come over here so I can talk to you together?” We gathered around — Kenny, Jay, Peyton, David, and I. “So can you tell me why you guys are riding out in the middle of the lane?”
“Yes, sir,” I said. “It’s kind of a long story, but we met with Captain Patrick Devoren back in January, him and the sergeant, and we discussed the issue of bicycling on PCH and enforcement of CVC 21202 and its requirement that we ride as far to the right as practicable.”
“Okay,” said the deputy.
“And we discussed the fact that 21202 has a couple of exceptions that, when certain conditions exist, no longer require us to right as far to the right as practicable.”
“Which exceptions are those? I don’t think I’m familiar with them.”
“One is when a bike and car can’t safely share the lane. Another is when the lane is of substandard width. When those conditions exist, we can occupy the full lane.”
“Why can’t you safely share the lane with a car?” he asked.
“Well, we need about 5 to 6 feet total, taking into account the width of the bike and the natural lateral movement of the bike for those of us who can’t ride in a perfectly straight line. These lanes on PCH are all about 11 to 12 feet, so that puts the total amount of space needed very close to the center of the lane. A car, pickup, van, or truck can’t fit into the remaining 6 or 7 feet of lane space safely next to a bike without running it over.”
From that point on we talked about the safety of riding in the lane versus hugging the fog line; the unsafe nature of the shoulder with its debris and pavement irregularities; hostile drivers; the unlikelihood that there would ever be a bike lane on PCH; the right of bikes to use the roadways; the risk of road rage induced by bikes in the lane; the necessity of patrol officers to interpret the law as required to provide for the public safety; the rules of the road as they relate to backed up traffic and when those rules apply.
I also explained that although there was certainly some risk of getting hit by an enraged driver, in all of the bike-car accident cases I’ve handled, only one was caused by something close to road rage. The rest were the result of the driver not seeing the cyclist and hitting him when he was either on the shoulder or over on the edge of the road.
It was a great conversation that ended with the officer enjoining us to ride with care and agreeing that we could ride in the lane. The deputy was a credit to the L.A. Sheriff’s Department and treated us with respect.
We continued on to Decker Lane, climbed it, descended Encinal, and rode in the lane all the way from Encinal back to Temescal Canyon. We got honked at less than half a dozen times on the way back and got shouted at once or twice. By the time we got back on the bike bath we’d begun waving at every person who honked or shouted, and had stopped taking umbrage at the honking. We saw it instead as a cager saying “I see you. Fuck you, but I see you.”
A copy of the letter that I sent to Captain Devoren is printed below:
Hi, Captain Devoren
Just a note to let you know that I and four other cyclists were pulled over yesterday by Deputy Mulay near Zuma Beach while riding north on PCH. He very professionally and respectfully initiated a discussion with us regarding why we were riding in the lane. It was not hostile or confrontational in any way. We talked about the hazards of riding on the shoulder and talked about the exceptions to CVC 21202 – substandard lane width, or when bike and car can’t safely travel together in the same lane – as reasons that we were not required to ride as far to the right as practicable and were legally entitled to make full use of the right-hand lane.
He shared concerns about safety, about shared use of the roadway, and about his work as it involves ensuring safe use for cyclists and motorists. It was a great discussion and reflected well on your department and the respectful way they interact with us cyclists. After we finished talking, we continued on our way, utilizing the full lane without incident all the way to Decker Lane and then back again to Temescal Canyon. I really appreciate the time you and your staff spent with me, Eric Bruins, and Gary Cziko back in January to discuss proper enforcement of CVC 21202 on PCH as well as motorist/cyclist issues on this beautiful but sometimes congested road.
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June 24, 2014 § 28 Comments
One of the things that comes with the Parent Package is an item known as “Regret ™ .” It is included with every shipment at no extra cost, it lasts for a lifetime, it never wears out, and it works especially well late at night, when all is quiet except for the sounds in your head.
The family I grew up in was almost the last one that participated in the cycle of violence. This is a simple cycle. Parent hits child, child grows up, hits his child, that child grows up, etc.
Our earliest family violence stories were about ol’ Great Granda Edward. He walked from Leesville to Alpine, Texas when he was sixteen, a very solid 500-mile stroll. In Alpine he bought a team of mules and became a freight hauler. Then he inherited some money from a childless great-aunt he’d never heard of in Philadelphia, so he bought a ranch.
When he wanted to make a point with his two sons, Frank and Eddie, he made it with a two-by-four and with his fists. My grandfather Frank got his points across with severe beatings. My dad vented his job/family/life frustrations with belt whippings, although many of them were richly deserved, like the time we mined the alley out back with a hundred broken bottles and watched gleefully as all the cars got double or even quadruple flats.
My own ventures in corporal punishment were brief — a few spankings when my daughter was two or three, and then one day I realized it was wrong, realized how much I’d hated being hit, and never hit her again. My two boys have never been hit, and they’ve never complained to me about it.
Still, just because our family has evolved out the beatings doesn’t mean that I’m not a victim of the frustrations and annoyances and anger that buffeted my dad, or my granddad, or my great grandfather. Take, for instance, beer.
A couple of months ago I hit on the bright idea to recruit my youngest son as the family brewmeister. What could be better than having a son who brewed your beer for you? We bought a brewing kit, he read up on the process, and after a long while we started on the first batch. I’m not much of a cook or a chemist, so I “supervised” by standing around and taking orders.
After a couple of weeks the beer had stopped fermenting and it was time for bottling. “You gonna bottle that beer tomorrow?” I asked.
“I thought I was the one in charge.”
That stung. “You are, but is it just going to sit there forever?”
“No. I’m gonna bottle it.”
“Because mom is making me go watch her Michael Jackson flashmob in Santa Monica and I’ll be too tired to bottle five gallons of beer.”
The way he spoke to me was a way that, if I’d ever spoken in such a way to my father, would have resulted in a memorable beating. I felt my blood heat up, then simmer, then boil. “When are you gonna do it then?”
“Monday, after summer school.”
“Why don’t you do it today?”
“You said we were going to ride bikes today.”
It was already six o’clock, I was wrecked from the Donut Ride, and I knew he didn’t want to ride bikes. It was a strategic ploy to force me off the beer gambit. My legs ached and I got so angry. Now I’d have to either admit that I didn’t really want to ride bikes either (he’d win) or I’d have to go ride (legs would fall off), and in either case the beer would get put on hold. He had me.
“Fine,” I said, even though it wasn’t fine. “Suit up.”
I stomped into my room and pulled on my kit. The anger was profound, and what made it worse is that he wasn’t upset at all. “Sure!” he said.
All of our previous rides had involved driving down the hill and commencing our rides in Torrance or on the gradual rollers. The reason was simple: leaving from our place meant a 10-minute descent and an awful, 2-mile climb with a couple of very severe pitches. I knew that there was no way he could make it up the hill, so we had always driven.
But this evening I still had one move left in this chess game, and I played it.
We rolled out. It was pretty obvious we weren’t taking the car. I never looked back as we dropped, descended, flew down towards Malaga Cove. He had never descended that far or that fast and now I was trapped in the full riptide of regret. “What if he fucking crashes? What if he gets killed?”
But we dropped like stones and all I could think was that we lived atop a high hill and if he was going to ride a bike with me, someday he’d have to ride it fast, and that some day was now, and anyway, it was way too late to turn around.
We reached the plaza. “Where are we going now?” he asked.
I made a loop through the parking lot and we started back up the hill. “Oh,” he said, looking at the wall of Via del Monte.
Now the regret took another phase; what I was doing was, it seemed to me, one step removed from a beating. I never looked back, but I didn’t have to. I heard him breathing, then grunting, and every minute I waited for him to say “Stop” or “I need to rest” or “I can’t.”
At one point after the hook turn he veered into a bush. “Goddamit,” I heard him curse. All I did was slow down, listening to him disentangle from the branches and get started again. The road flattened and then kicked up hard. He was gasping now. I hated myself and my father and my grandfather and my great-grandfather, but I couldn’t turn around and say a word of encouragement or do anything except push the pedals. It’s called the cycle for a reason.
He never stopped, though, or asked for mercy. Waiting for the light at Hawthorne I looked at him and said, “Good job.”
He didn’t look at me directly, only tried to catch his breath.
We got back home and he went in the door first. Yasuko was in the kitchen. “How was your ride?” she asked.
“It was so awesome!” he said. “I made it all the way up the hill without stopping!” Then he turned to me, beaming. “Thanks, dad!”
The beer didn’t seem very important anymore.
June 23, 2014 § 15 Comments
I was on my way to the Michael Jackson flash mob in Santa Monica (please shut up) and came up to the stoplight. There was a lot of traffic, and because it was Santa Monica, and because it was sunny, and because it was past the noon wake-up hour, the crazy people were out in force.
There was the toothless white man singing Swahili war songs. There was the shopping cart lady with four bags of empty plastic bottles slung over her shoulder. There was the toothless couple in their 70’s, he in a thong, she in a bikini (what is it about Santa Monica and bad teeth?). There was the fat shirtless dude shirt salmoning up the sidewalk with big steel hoops pierced through his nipples. There were the holistic women toting cloth shopping bags overflowing with kale, flanking a shaman who had a giant bone tied in his beard.
There were rich people trying to look poor. There were poor people trying to look rich. There was a dude carrying a surfboard wearing a wetsuit nowhere near the ocean. There was a dog adoption place. There was a farmers market filled with faux farmers.
The light turned green and a lady whizzed past me on her mountain bike. She was wearing black yoga pants that came down mid-calf, paired with a sleeveless white top, pink sneakers, flat pedals, and a white baseball cap. As she blitzed through the intersection she stuck her left hand directly out in front of her and shouted “Straight!”
Then a parked car on the right turned on its engine and the brake lights flashed. “Watch it!” she screamed. The car hadn’t even moved. A trash truck was doing its thing and blocking the bike lane, so she swerved like a pro slalom skier out into traffic, and screamed some more. “Everybody take cover!” she hollered. That, I had to admit, was a new on-the-bike warning.
I could see this was going to be good, so I picked up speed and started tailing her. She was in pretty good shape and ripped along in the bike lane, unevenly and unable to hold a line. The cars were barely going the speed of our bikes, and a convertible with four young women slowly passed us. “What are you looking at?” she roared. “Pay attention to the road!” Then she swerved in front of them, causing the driver to lock it up. “Goddamn you!” the crazy lady shouted. “God damn you to hell and back!”
At that split second another parked car started to open its door. She was no where near the door zone, but she let the poor guy have it, uttering a mighty shriek. “Watch your door! Watch your door! Watch your FUCKING DOOR!”
The guy jerked his door shut but hadn’t pulled his leg back in. It smacked his shin with a huge crunch. I heard him moan and curse as I cruised by.
Now crazy bicycle cat lady had a big old head of steam going. She was shoveling coal through the Ashland and Main intersection, and since there weren’t any cars to shout at, she abused a lady pushing a stroller. “Stay on the damned curb! How hard is it, fer Chrissake!” The lady hadn’t even started to move.
The faster she went, the more she shouted, and pointed, and cursed, and swerved. She finally caught the light at Ocean Park and let loose with a torrent of invective. “How fucking hard is it, morons?” she shouted. “HOW FUCKING HARD?” Watching the cross traffic lights change, she jumped the gun and rushed out into the intersection just as the light turned green. A guy coming the other way was trying to beat the yellow, and he braked hard, missing her by a couple of feet.
She never slowed down, but she roared and cursed and swerved and pointed and shook her fist. I was humping it to keep up with her, when I noticed something odd.
The long line of traffic was terrified. The entire stream of Sunday cars rolling down Main Street had one concern and one only: don’t hit the cat lady. The ones she made eye contact with got a fist shake and a curse. The ones who she passed, drivers who were minding their own business, got yelled at so loudly that you could see them start.
By the time we got to the Santa Monica Courthouse, she had whipped the whole lot of them. Straight-arming the traffic through Pico and rushing full bore towards the t-intersection, I marveled at her. This wasn’t lane control. It was lane domination. She was the spike-heeled, leather clad, whip-wielding dominatrix of the Santa Monica Sunday rush hour, and the more she cursed and yelled and abused the hapless drivers, the more they got the hell out of her way. She wasn’t even wearing a helmet.
We parted company on 2nd Street. I eased out into the lane as a bunch of cars started backing up behind me. I could feel what they were thinking, and I knew that all it would take to get them off my back was a good dose of crazy bicycle cat lady abuse. I turned around and looked at the angry driver, hunched over his steering wheel, pissed at having to troll for parking, pissed at being in his cage on such a pretty day, and most of all pissed at having to crawl along at 15 mph behind some dude riding around in his underwear. He shot me the scowl of a gun nut listening to a lecture about gun control.
I smiled and waved.
He relaxed and smiled back.
Then I mouthed the word “Thanks,” turned back around, and kept pedaling.
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June 21, 2014 § 19 Comments
I’ve begun seeing bicycle racer posts requesting money to “help me get to nationals” or to “fund my attempt to race the Tour de Beerfart.” That’s okay, I suppose; begging has always come naturally to me (have you subscribed to this blog yet? It costs $2.99 per month, which is less than you spend on rim cement and marginally more entertaining).
I suppose it’s also okay for people to chase their dreams, even when their dreams are beyond their means and require angel investors to pick up the tab for gas. We run a permanent welfare state for corporations and the rich, so why not a little extra charity for deadbeat bike racers?
But then I think back to January, when the lovemaking was so intense, when the professions of adoration and loyalty were on everyone’s lips. I think about the fresh, taut pull of the new kits, the luxurious taste of the new recovery drink formulas, the screaming sleekness of the new aero bike frames, the sensuous fit of the carbon-soled racing shoes, the gladiator masks of the new shades. I think about the protestations of love and about how each sponsored masters racer preened in front of the mirror, danced on the pedals during team training camps, and proudly strutted in front of the weekend group rides.
And, like the Led Zeppelin song said, “It makes me wonder.” It makes me wonder what you sorry ass take-the-swag-and-run deadbeats have been doing to pimp the brands since then?
Where are the social media posts? The tweets? The blogs? Where is the shameless self-promotion, the periodic reminder to all and sundry that the only reason you’re wearing this trick shit is because YOU PROMISED TO PIMP IT.
Do you know what happens to a whore who doesn’t strut her stuff in order to make money for her pimp? He dumps her quicker than a colon dealing with a bad street burrito. However, in amateur cycling, this hardly happens because hardly anyone really expects that the athletes will do anything more than give the most perfunctory praise for the stuff they get for free, even though it’s stuff without which they probably couldn’t race their stupid bikes.
Of course in between uploading data to Strava, counting calories, analyzing the results of all twelve categorized races in last weeks crits, cruising FB for photos of yourself that you can steal from the photographers and make your new profile pic, it’s sometimes difficult to remember the names of your sponsors, much less reasons to say good things about them. And anyway, it’s time for dinner.
Because bike racers are thoughtless, selfish, inconsiderate turds and because they aren’t always the most adept at creative writing, I have put together some stock sponsor promotional language that you can use on FB, Twitter, the Honey-Do list on the fridge, etc. to show how much you’re doing to really earn those thousands of dollars in swag that really ARE a smart investment by your sponsors (hee, hee).
- Bike. “My Chinarello is the lightest, fastest, stiffest, most responsive bike I have ever not had to pay for. It handles better than a porn star. I would never have podiumed at the Beerfart Crit on any bike but this one.”
- Recovery/precovery/postcovery Drink Mix. “Thanks to Amalgamated Steroid Labs’ specialized prostate enhancer, I am able to train 20% longer, go 34.3% harder, and recover 12.98% better than when I was using Ol’ Buzzardpuke Lipid Replacement Drink and Plumbing Unguent. I take Amalgamated products before, during, and after sex. You should, too.”
- Clothing. “Last season I kept getting dropped because the paper-thin, sandpaper chamois on my old team kits would wedge up my (buttcrack/vaginal crease) and cause horrific irritations, lesions, and antibiotic resistant nodules. Now, with my ultra aero kits by Fluffer Racing, the pad is big enough to spread out and have a picnic on (after you scrape off the skid marks). I’ve never been more comfortable.”
- Sunglasses. “We used to ride Dokely Eyewear because our team manager thought it was kind of cool to look like your face had been sheathed in a motorcycle fairing with mud flaps on the bottom and side. We crashed a lot, though. Now we only wear EAVESDROP Optic products with their patented Beer Goggle Technology so that everyone looks beautiful even when you’re not drunk. Talk about happy!”
- Wheelsets. “Our old Creekncrack Wheels were round, but our new Zippy Wheels are even more round. Studies show that Zippy’s patented More Round Technology translates into more roundness. And round is good.”
- Helmets. “Time was, I was afraid to go down in a bunch sprint at forty and crack my head on the pavement. But now that I’m riding the new Styro-gira I crash all the time on my head and feel fine. It comes with fourteen layers of styrofoam infused with chitinous crab shell bits. Fifty-three major blows to the head so far this year and I’ve never felt better!”
Okay, athletes. Now you know what to say … so get out there and say it!
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June 20, 2014 § 26 Comments
Now is the summer frenzy held once every four years when British people remind us that it’s called “football,” when British people remind us that they invented the world’s most popular sport, and when British people quietly make their traditional early exit from the World Cup tournament grumbling “Wait ’til next time.”
Still, despite their national love affair with a sport they’re not very good at (something the French share with regard to cycling), after catching a few games on TV I’m convinced that World Cup soccer is way better than the Tour de France. Here’s why.
- To compete as a masters racer in cycling you need tens of thousands of dollars in equipment. To play World Cup soccer you need a pair of legs. And a ball.
- The winner of the World Cup is never determined two weeks before the tournament ends.
- The same team doesn’t win the World Cup seven times in a row and then have its victories nullified because of cheating.
- Chris Froome.
- The Tour may be the hardest sporting event in the world, but World Cup soccer displays the most athleticism — running, jumping, kicking, twisting, tackling, throwing up your arms in shock that you’ve been penalized for chopping an opposing player in the throat, and of course flopping.
- When you fly halfway around the world to watch a World Cup soccer match, you get to watch it live for more than 2 or 3 seconds.
- Soccer may not be as exciting as, say, snake tossing, but nothing is as boring as watching skinny people in their underwear pedaling bikes. Nothing.
- “Teamwork” never means “Everyone sacrifice everything for that one dude who is the only official winner.”
- You can start an argument, brawl, or minor riot in any bar in any country on earth by discussing the World Cup.
- When you talk about the World Cup winner, no one ever says “Who?”
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June 19, 2014 § 16 Comments
Cycling has lots of bad news. People get killed. People get terribly injured. People have to pay late entry fees. People become triathletes. Etc.
But there is good news, too. One of the happiest bits of recent news involved Sausage, a legendary, relative newcomer to the world of South Bay cycling who has made the world a better place.
Sausage has produced hundreds of NPR videos, each one showcasing a different angle on 80+ idiots sitting in for four laps and then sprunting for the win. Sausage has himself won the NPR in impressive fashion. Sausage has been instrumental in funding Wonton Heavy Industries, Inc., a multinational conglomerate that produces what is indisputably the finest long distance bike ride concluding with greasy Chinese food snacks and beer farts.
But most amazing of all, Sausage has given birth to a daughter. Okay, his wife gave birth, but Sausage is the one who, through his job as head of M&A for the world’s largest lawyer firm, has impoverished millions and ensured the dominance of corporations over the lives of ordinary people. And for that we salute him.
It is therefore with great happiness that we congratulate Sausage for his functioning penis and we welcome Mini Sausage into the world! Yet, there are hiccoughs in paradise. The time-worn trajectory of 40-something masters racers who suddenly have children is inevitable: they go from catting up to catting into oblivion. The heroes of the tarmac who once could suck wheel for days only to come around you in the end wind up the victims of kiddie soccer games, swimming lessons, and PTA conferences. With this trajectory in mind, Cycling in the South Bay has decided to assist Sausage in the difficult parenting choices he must soon make.
- Responsible fathers take care of their newborn children. With the new changes in Sausage’s life, the pressures of adding a child into his family, and the need to ensure that Mrs. Sausage is adequately cared for, it is understood that Sausage will need to take an extended leave of absence from the NPR and associated cycling activities. Only by setting aside the trivialities of cycling and focusing on building a life for his new family will Sausage be able to fulfill his duties as a father and husband. This means that he will not return to the NPR until next Tuesday.
- Calculus. Many new fathers erroneously enroll their youngsters in kiddie soccer, t-ball, swimming lessons, and other activities that completely eviscerate the golden hours of Saturday and Sunday from 6 – 5. In order to ensure that you will still be able to waste your life riding your bicycle, you, Sausage, must make sure that Mini Sausage signs up for zero sports and enrolls in at least a dozen pre-calculus and SAT-prep courses. These all take place at night, when you’re swilling recovery beer and snoring on the couch. Plus, she will get into a good college, which is more than any amateur cyclist on Planet Earth can say, or has ever said.
- Leave it to Mrs. Tiger Mom. We all know that racial stereotypes are terrible things. However, Asian wives kick ass on the litt’luns’ GPA. Try this out after a few beers: “Hey, Honey, I had a terrible dream last night that Mini Sausage got a B+ in calculus.” Watch while Mrs. Sausage, although maintaining a cool pretense of calm at the suggestion that her child would ever get an “Asian F” in math, immediately downloads three new books from Amazon on “Advanced Mathematics for Newborns.” See? You don’t have to do squat, Sausage, as long as you remember this Japanese saying: “The perfect husband is healthy, absent from home, and gainfully employed.”
- Money can buy happiness. In the same way that your $10k TT bike (used three times), your $7k ‘cross bike (used once), and your SOTA, wind tunnel-tested skin suit can get you first to the line on the NPR or 3rd on the podium in the Cat 5’s, that same, single-minded focus on spending money can ensure that Mini Sausage goes to Harvard. With her mom’s brains, her mom’s looks, and her dad’s 1040, this kid is poised to go all the way. Don’t screw it up by spending too much time around her.
- Cycling isn’t a pastime, it’s a disease. Take a moment to scroll through your FB feed and you’ll find countless examples of utter wankers (Padraig of RKP comes to mind) who think that their 2-year-old is going to be the next TdF contender. Reality check: cycling is French for “unemployed.” Get Mini Sausage a trike, show her how to ride it around the block, and then hustle her back into those calculus tutoring sessions. As much fun as it is to drop Cobley, Sam Warford, and Jay LaPlante going up Topanga, it’s more fun to mathematically prove that the universe originated from a giant beer fart. Why? Because the Nobel Prize in physics pays a shit-ton more than a Chris Lotts crit prime.
- Charity begins with me. In order to make room for Mini, you’ll need to clear out two of the three bedrooms filled with bicycle stuff. You ride a 58 cm. I ride a 58 cm. Your stuff is all brand new and uber trick. My stuff is all brand old and unter trick. Connect the dots, bro.
- We aren’t your friends, but we miss you anyway. Cyclists are like piranhas. We devour everything and forget about our compadres as soon as they’re dead. But still, Sausage, guys like you make the rides fun and make us feel like we’re successful even though we aren’t. We need you, pal. So throw yourself into fatherhood, be the man that your daughter needs, and once you’re finished come back to us ASAP. That means Tuesday.