Happy little fingers

October 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

This morning was a beautiful thing. For starters, the half-clothed person nearest me wasn’t Jekyll in his raggedy t-shirt and dirty underwear. And the first thought that raced through my head (with apologies to Dom, who thinks I have a cursing problem) was, “I’m so  motherfucking glad I don’t have to ride my fucking bike another hundred fucking miles.”

Following that glorious thought was the smell of fresh coffee wafting into the bedroom. But best of all? Knowing that I wouldn’t have to tap out another 2,000-word blog on the touch pad of an iPhone. Steve Jobs, you are dead, so I won’t speak ill of you. Your sorry fucking iPhone touchpad, on the other hand, sucks ass.

You gotta keep eating if you want to keep going

In my joy at being done with MT4, though, I neglected to write up Day Five, which was a momentous day in the annals of the tour. It started with M8 gazing in horror at his breakfast burrito. “I can’t eat this. I’m not even hungry,” he moaned.

“Listen, you sniveling pussy,” I gently advised. “ManTour means food. Your body is being torn down, destroyed, beaten to shit day in day out. It’s crying for protein, fat, carbs, salt, caffeine, vitamins, minerals, beer. You gotta eat til you fucking want to puke.”

“But I already want to puke.”

“That’s because you haven’t eaten enough, dipshit. Once you finish that burrito you’ll stop wanting to puke. Then I’ll feed you a stack of flapjacks with three ice cream scoops of butter and you’ll want to barf every time you open your mouth. That’s when you’ll know you’re ready to ride.”

Breathanarian, our little 17 year-old, was sitting at the table in shock. He’d been subsisting the entire tour on paltry servings of vegetables, water, and long rides in the paddywagon alternating with violent headaches, stomach cramps, and vomiting. I looked at him. “You want to grow up and be a pussy like your old man, who can’t even nut up enough to come with you? Keep eating that shit, then. Men eat things that used to bleed. You want to ride like a man? Learn to eat like one.”

The waitress then brought him his meatless burrito (that’s kind of like a celibate hooker) and a big plate of hash browns all running wet with grease. “Were those cooked in bacon grease, honey?” I asked. She nodded. “Well, then, get to it, sonny.”

Brethanarian looked on in horror. “Shit, son, that’s good old-fashioned bacon lard. From pigs. Hate the fucking taste? That’s why God invented ketchup.” I shoved him the bottle.

He cautiously dribbled on a few glorps. “Dammit, boy, is there a war ration for ketchup going on? Gimme that fucking thing.” I splooged out half the bottle until his patty of hashbrowns looked like the morning of Saturday the 14th. “Now eat the fuck up.”

He and M8 began plodding through their meals. Their half-assed, dainty bites were painful to watch. The gal brought my bacon/sausage/chorizo double-wide burrito with a side of six blueberry pancakes and a tub of butter. I slathered the whole thing up with a container of maple syrup and washed it down with six cups of hot coffee, sopping up six large paper napkins in the process with drippings, spillings, poolings, and dribblings off my chin. Breathanarian was holding back tears. M8 quietly sobbed into his napkin.

“Gimme that, you pussies,” I said, taking what was left of M8’s burrito and the boy’s unfinished patty of potato-ketchup mush, mixing them in with my pancakes, dumping on some leftover salsa, and polishing it off with a tall glass of water. “Now, then. Let’s go ride our fucking bikes.”

Who wins the ManTour?

No one, you idiot. It’s a tour. However, ManTour does contain several discrete points, victory at which allow you infinite bragging rights–except that on ManTour it’s terrible form to brag. It doesn’t matter how you cross the line, either–you can cheatfully sneak away for the big prize at the L.A. County line on PCH like Knoll did two years ago at the Rock while everyone was stopped to change a tire and pee, or you can do it in a manly breakaway with a fierce sprint to the death as occurred in 2010.

The manner is irrelevant: only the result counts. Winning by strength, strategy, cunning, and strong legs are accorded the same respect as leaving early, sneaking off, cheating, lying, skulking, and batfucking your buddies when they expect it least.

On MT4 the first point was scored at the top of Page Mill Road on the way to Santa Cruz by Pretty Boy. The second point was scored at the Santa Cruz city limit sign by Coolhand. The third point was scored by Wankmeister in Big Sur. The fourth point was taken by Jens, who cheated his way into Ragged Point by leaving early and missing the construction stops: and what’s instructive here is that despite his low-lifing thievery, he still got the point, the sorry turd, as he beat me by a handful of seconds. The fifth point was taken by Wankmeister at the city limit sign for Morro Bay despite a long-range attack from the back launched by Bluebeard. The sixth point was likewise harvested by Wanky at the city limit sign in Lompoc. The seventh point was taken by Fireman at the Hollister exit on the 101.

But the eighth sprint point for the L.A. County line? The crowning sprint finish that the winner gets to tattoo on his forehead? The way this battle was won was one for the ages.

It ‘piers to me…

After a couple of hours’ riding, the Ironfly blue train reached Ventura Pier, we peeled off our armwarmers, Gu-ed up, drained our collective lizards, snapped some glory photos, and soaked in the beautiful morning sun. Twenty minutes later we rolled at a snail’s pace all the way to and through Oxnard. Once we hit Port Hueneme Road, the group rolled a bit more briskly, as the ag fields out past the last stoplight are the place where the attacks usually begin. From there to the county line sprint is about 15 miles.

Fireman busted away. I followed. Jekyll followed. After a couple more surges the group included Woodenhead, Hourrecord, Fireman, Jekyll, Fishnchips, Rocky, Coupe DeVille, and me. A few miles before the Rock we overtook a trio of Bicycle Bob wankers, who were thrilled to have a train. They hopped in, but after a few pulls the grease began to sizzle, and then they stopped taking pulls, and then Jekyll hit the eject button. Woodenhead was riding like a man possessed.

Jekyll took a couple of flyers, was brought back, and in the process we lost Fishnchips and Rocky. On the final roller before the flat 1k finish to the county line, Jekyll jumped, I covered and countered, and then Fireman blew past everyone. I barely latched onto his wheel and he towed me to the line, gifting me the eternal glory, money, and fame that come with such a prestigious finish.

A short time later we reached the Starbucks in Trancas, where the group, which had swollen to about 20 riders, stopped for coffee and lunch. There, sitting at a table, was M8, taking sips from an iced coffee and then upchucking bits of breakfast burrito into a plastic bag. There, lounging outside, was Tom Collins, chin sunken on his bony chest, eyes glazed over and unseeing. Somewhere even farther down PCH was Breathanarian, still fueled by the jet-fueled bacon grease.

The three hero-idiots had slunk off at the Ventura Pier and made a mad, pell-mell dash for the county line. The only problem was that they didn’t know where it was, as the sign had been stolen earlier this year and the only way to know it was by the change in pavement color. M8 and Tom Collins thought it was at Trancas, some five miles on down the road, and poor Breathanarian thought it was farther away still.

Since they hadn’t known where the line was, they couldn’t say who crossed it first–so none of the three could properly claim the win. When I asked M8 how he felt, he said “As long as I stop tasting this fucking burrito by tomorrow, I’ll be fine.”

Spoken, and eaten, like a man.

Tea and strumpets

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

6:15 strikes early. First thought: that 25-mile hammer into Santa Cruz yesterday was a terrible idea. Second thought: that huge serving of banana cream coconut pie after dinner was even worse. Third thought: Jekyll, my roomie, doesn’t snore, stink, fart, wake up in the middle of the night and crump a hairy beet, talk in his sleep, use my toothbrush, splatter piss on the bathroom floor, sleepwalk, or sleep in a dress. He fucking rocks, such that he’s 12% forgiven for the beatdown he administered on yesterday’s climb.

It’s funny how, when forty guys wearing ManTour t-shirts walk into an airport or restaurant, some curious person will ask the magic question: “What is this man tour thing?” Last night the curious questioners were a pair of very pretty women in their 50’s.

Fuckdude helped them out. “We’re riding down to LA. Annual thing.” They were so impressed they took our names, and got the hotel we are staying at. We got their badge numbers and promised to be more quiet.

Morning of Day 2 we walk down to Zachary’s breakfast joint and get there at 6:30 to make sure we have plenty of time to eat and digest. It’s locked up tighter than a drum. We see a guy and bang the window. He ignores us. It’s cold outside so bang harder. He ignores us harder. Hockey Stick whips out his phone and we dial them up.

Dude answers the phone. “Zachary’s.” Surprised.

“Hey, man, I got forty guys shivering on the sidewalk hungry enough to eat shoe leather. Big tips all around if you’ll let us in early.”

Dude looks directly at us through the window glass. “Gotcha!” I say. Dude lets us in and we settle in for a light snack of pancakes, bacon, butter, eggs, sausage, hash browns, butter, heavy cream, migas, and a healthy sliver of fruit on top.

While waiting for the food to arrive, the conversation inevitably turns to tales of Stern-O. Someone regales a Holiday Ride story where one participant turns to the other and says, “Jesus Christ, we’re ten fucking miles into the ride and Stern-O’s already been screamed at by a cop, almost arrested, chased down by a track rider, almost beaten up, and body checked into a gutter.”

“Yeah,” the other guy says, “but the day is still young.”

We roll out for the 8:00 start promptly at 8:37. It’s ratsass cold, 42 degrees, and it doesn’t take long before Hockey Stick augments his star in the Hall of Shame from yesterday by doing a misdirection on the bike path out of Santa Cruz, missing the path and winding up on the railroad tracks. We cross the tracks farther down just in time to see him banging the holy fuck out of his frame against these giant wooden cross ties, each one big enough to crack the axle on a truck. He finally falls off, but at the last moment invokes the protection that god reserves for small children and idiots, and escapes unscathed.

It’s not long before our first casualty of the day occurs when we take a sharp left-hander at the bottom of a steep little stinger at the edge of town. Canyon Bob, who religiously replaces his Huffy-grade components every 200,000 miles whether he needs to or not, shears off his derailleur hanger and thrusts it into the spokes.

His bike explodes, he bounces off the pavement, and since it looks like he won’t be able to continue, several voice the opinion that we should do the humane thing and shoot him right there. Cooler heads fail to prevail, and he’s bundled into the paddywagon with his crippled steed.

Douggie begins calling all the bike shops in a 100-mile radius for a replacement Suntour ’82 rear dérailleur but surprisingly none are in stock. We regroup and pound out a stunning 40-mile route into Monterey. Suddenly, we look around and realize that Stahlberg’s absent this year.

The significance of his absence electrifies the group: we now all have a chance at the week-old shelf in Monterey’s Paris Bakery. Cadillac roars to the front, followed by Woodenhead, Fishnchips, and Hockey Stick. The speed hits 40 with violent, aggressive bumping as each hero knows that the honey-draped week-old bearclaw is up for grabs.

With one block to go, Cadillac makes a wrong turn and takes half the Weight Watchers crew with him. Suddenly I’m in the clear and I lunge for the finish. Alas, it’s not to be, as Hockey Stick slips through, leaps off his bike, and scoops up the old bearclaws at one dollar each.

We finish our snack and go out to the paddywagon, where Douggie has miraculously located an antique N.I.B. derailleur and hanger. Unfortunately it’s three feet long and no one knows how to put it on, and as everyone is staring at it like a pack of chimps trying to disassemble a semiconductor, Hairball comes up and saves the day.

Suddenly Fuckdude’s decision to hold up the group for Hairball’s late plane arrival seems like genius, as Hairball owns a bike shop and is an expert mechanic. In one fell swoop Hairball earns a star in the Hall of Fame, the first on on this year’s tour, for completing the most complex repair job and simultaneously saving the participation of a Man. The Karma goddess works her magic again.

Twenty more miles of unspeakably scenic beauty roll by and a man tourist remarks as we pass through Pebble Beach, “The only thing that would make this bike ride better is if we could get a blow job while we were doing it.”

Everyone nods in agreement.

At the Carmel supermarket we stop and takeon much needed calories. “Ya gotta keep eatin if ya wanna keep goin.” I have a full-sized roast beef sub and a Dr. Pepper. As everyone is sitting on the curb Bluebeard rips off a 9.7 on the MT fart scale at the very moment a woman is walking by with her cart. The bananas turn brown, the lettuce wilts, and the woman gives us the stinkeye of all stinkeyes. The children fall over laughing, and just before the police arrive we decide to roll out.

“Where’s Iron Mike?” someone says. At that moment he is waiting for the can inside the store, but he has a long wait because Fishnchips is doing stress testing on the ceramic bowl. As he’s waiting a lady comes out of the ladies’ room with a fully loaded cart.

Now it’s not often that you see someone push a fully-loaded cart into the toilet, and Iron Mine offers to help as the cart wedges in the door. Her jacket is bulging and it looks like there has been some rearrangement of the price labels. He gets her out of the toilet without being arrested as an accomplice in a shoplifting scheme, and we hit the road.

As we leave we see the sign to Big Sur: 26 miles. A photo op is staged 5 miles down the road, after which it is game on all the way to Big Sur.

We snap the group photo, jump on our bikes and blast off. Davy Dog splits the field as we pound up the first of a series of endless, windy hills exposed to the gale coming off the sea. After the first climb the group has been whittled down to Jekyll, Fuckdude, Davy Dawg, Fireman, Triple, me, and Woodenhead. Jekyll punches it up the next roller and Woodenhead explodes in a shower of toasted butter.

Mile after mile we churn on, gradually wearing ourselves down into beaten mush, and Fireman unleashes an attack from hell. Triple and Jekyll decide to go back and check their email as Fuckfude, Fireman, Dawg, and I soldier on. Fireman goes again and none follow. Dawg picks up the whip and flogs himself up to Fireman’s wheel.

I kick, everyone follows, and around the bend we shoot into a tunnel of redwoods. At the far end is the Big Sur sign. I sputter, flog, flail, and beat the dead chicken to a fare the well. Dawg hits the gas but it’s too late: the dead chicken sticks its beak across the line and 20,000 miles of training since August are rewarded with the trophy of trophies: the two-hand throw at Big Sur.

Hairball and TomCollins make up the next group, followed by Toronto and Coolhand, who had chased two-up the entire way. As part of my spoils of victory, the lady selling ugly hats and

Mexican blankets tells me to get away from her shop as I was “scaring off the customers.”

In the chase group, M8 is living through his own personal hell as Chief turns on the jets and begins to grind him into tiny little bits of pulp. The shame and pain of the flogging are enhanced by Chief reminding M8 that he’s old enough to be M8’s great-grandfather.

Finally in rolls Methuselah. We prepare to drape a star for the Hall of Fame due to the suffering he’s endured with his broken hand, but it has swollen up so much the ribbon won’t go around it. He has now completed two hundred miles and over 7,000 feet of climbing with his smashed hand.

“Jesus, Methuselah, how’s your hand?” someone asks.

“Well, it’s not any worse.” he says.

“Of course it is, you crazy fuck. It’s bigger than your goddamned head.”

“Ah well, fuck it. Gimme a beer.”

A quick shower later I go down to the Big Sur River and drink a bottle of water while Bill the Lumberjack runs a giant wood chipper to perfect the bucolic mood. Coolhand climbs into the river up to his nether parts for “hydrotherapy,” which benefits the body by freezing his nuts blue.

One by one the mantourists gravitate to the bar, and the night of revelry begins. Plus, we have an easy day after today’s 92.5-mile death match: the first 55 miles are a grueling slog to Ragged Point, followed by another 50 long miles to Morro Bay.

Elbow gloves

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

I made the correct transportation choice, which was to accept Iron Mike’s offer of a limo ride to the airport. At the baggage check-in, he plops a hundred-dollar bill in front of the clerk.

“You dropped this, buddy,” he says with a smile.

The man’s eyes get big. “Why thank you, sir! I believe this bag will get personally walked onto the plane.” He picks it up and vanishes.

“I get more properly delivered bags that way. Damnedest thing.”

As we stand in the next line Iron Mike turns to an Asian couple and speaks his one word of Japanese. They stare blankly, clearly wondering why a stranger in Lycra bike tights is talking to them.

“Sorry, we’re from Malaysia,” the man finally says.

Next he chats up the TSA staffer. “How’s your morning going?”

“Aw, it was going great until the alarm went off.”

This guffaw gets him a free pass despite having a heart rate monitor strapped to his chest, a weird cycling outfit, and vegan food items in his carry-on that look like coca paste.

Farther back in line, Triple appears with Coupe Deville, and the bright minds at TSA zero in on Triple as he gets culled from the herd by the largest TSA goon.

“What in the world is this?” says the goon as he pulls a small tub labeled “Butt Butter” out of Triple’s bag.

“It’s, ah, for cycling, uh, you see…”

“Uh-huh. Step over here, please.”

Knotting his basketball-sized fists, the screener starts pulling on rubber gloves that go up to his elbow as the other two assistants tell Triple to grab his ankles. We all look the other way and pretend we don’t know him.

Trust me. I do this for a living.

Safely arriving at the gate, we sit, and a few moments later up comes Methuselah. He shows off his hand that got caught in the electric gate, and after the obligatory round of sympathetic “poor boy” and “tough bastard” we pile on without mercy.

“Fuck man, you’re a goddamn electrician. What’s up with that?”

“How many electricians does it take to get their hand caught in an electric gate?”

Etcetera.

Now everyone is scared shitless because he’s going to be descending on the bike with one hand and, what’s worse, will need someone to hold his dick when he pisses.

The lobby has filled up and the fully caffeinated mantourists begin asking Methuselah, “If your hand swells up so large after being stuck in the gate for a few minutes, why don’t you stick your pecker in it?”

Airport. Working. Uh, yeah.

At that moment the gate attendant walks over and asks everyone to please pipe down because people are “Trying to work!” The people include a gentleman slumped over with last night’s beer drool mixed with puke draining onto his sleeve and several chicks reading about orgasm enhancement techniques in the latest issue of Cosmopolitan. Being told to “shush” has the predictable effect of making all the kindergartner mantourists run around the lobby shushing each other to a fare-the-well. Pilot turns and says, “You know, I’ve been in the business for thirty years, and I’ve yet to see people at the gate get shushed because of all the people ‘working’ here.”

Just because I look crazy means I am.

One of the working passengers is dressed in a dark blue suit, gets out of his chair and approaches us, saying thus: “How can I join your ride next year?” He’s been eavesdropping on our curses and insults and enviously reading our t-shirts and wants to join the fun.

A glance at his earnest demeanor and funny combover indicate he’s batshit crazy.

“Well, first you’ll have to join Ironfly,” says Canyon Bob.

“And then you’ll have to stop being a dork,” someone adds.

Batshit then launches into a detailed lecture to Canyon Bob and Cadillac about how we can improve the route and turn a tidy profit.

“Let me get this straight,” I say. “You haven’t even stopped being a dork yet and you’re already telling us how to improve the ride? Shut the fuck up, please.”

Batshit takes the abuse with the practiced wimpy, beaten down smile of a married guy and continues his lecture. Everyone walks away as the boarding siren goes off.

A short time later we land, and it’s public toilet pandemonium as we dash into the head, strip buck naked, and pull on our kits.

The bikes are lined up outside the airport. It is rad. Fuckdude, Fireman, and M8 pulled it off despite farting each other half to death in the cab of the U-Haul for eight hours. The mantourists who drove up the day before are only slightly hungover. We take the gang photo, throw a leg over, and we’re off!

Let MT4 begin!!

Or not!! Hairball, known for his great preparation, woke up at the crack of seven for his 7:55 flight, fixed his oatmeal, made his coffee, read the paper, and then began packing for the five-day trip. Oops! The darned airplane took off without him, ensuring his star in the Hall of Shame and earning the bonus Doofus of the Day Award. After chilling at the airport we finally leave without him, but in the nick of time he arrives so we abort the ride and wait another hour while he shaves, takes a faucet shower, and changes into his kit.

The other no-show is Dr. Jekyll, who shows us the superiority of NorCal mass transit by hopping the train in Oakland and riding it until it runs into a car, chops it in half, and falls off the rails. Jekyll, who carries all his shit in a giant cardboard box, has to ride twenty miles to the airport, looking like a pack mule.

Finally we’re off. It’s a glorious sunny day and we’re happier than pigs in shit. Dr. Jekyll has assured us that the climb this year is easy, so we’re not bothered by the gradual rollers on Moody Road. After a couple of miles Davy Dawg starts killing it and we’re stretched out single file.

The road makes a sharp hairpin right up Page Mill Road and the group explodes on the steep ramp. Dr. Jekyll attacks and rides away. Davy Dawg cracks. I struggle as Triple, Pretty Boy, JC, and the Fireman go by. I latch onto the Fireman, who drags me for a few miles until I blow. The road is vicious, steep, punishing, and endless. Jekyll cracks and gets dropped by Triple and Pretty Boy, Fireman reels in JC for fourth, and I struggle in for sixth.

At the top of the climb we regroup and everyone stands around looking like shit and completely blown 24 miles into the ride. On the descent it’s the domain of the gravitationally challenged, with Bluebeard bombing the tight, deadly turns at terrifying speed. Cadillac is on his wheel, followed by Woodenhead and Jekyll, with Hockey Stick close behind. Sticks, rocks, sketchy turns, overheated brakes, and chattering front wheels get us to the bottom, where we again regroup. The drop has been amidst stunning redwoods, and the clean air invigorates us all.

Over a small bump we form a group of about 12 and start drilling it into Pescadero. Woodenhead hits the front multiple times, with Davy Dawg, Fireman, and Artiste smashing the pedals. There’s an amorphous sprint in Pescadero taken by the Fireman, and then we stop for a late lunch.

Well, some of us do. Hockey Stick doesn’t get the memo, misses the turn to Pescadero, and pedals ten miles on to the coast. Not seeing anyone for an hour, and not thinking to use his phone, he’s lost and hungry and fucked. Luckily, the Anchor has taken a wrong turn, too, and finds Hockey Stick flailing, bonked, and hopelessly lost. He bundles him into the paddy wagon and drives him to Santa Cruz.

Meanwhile, we finish lunch, hit PCH, and all hell breaks loose. The Fireman splits the flailing wankers who are still belching and farting from their double-meat sub sandwich in Pescadero. The tensing 25 miles to Santa Cruz is a death feet of attrition, with only Davy Dawg, Triple, Coupe Deville, Coolhand, Fireman, and me surviving. Coolhand takes the sprint, tying for points with Firehand.

We load up on beef, coffee, and pie at Hula’s in Santa Cruz. That’s it. Done til tomorrow.

Letter of the law

October 25, 2011 § 2 Comments

Remember how your dad always used to tell you not to let people smash concrete blocks on your head with a giant hammer? Well, he never said, “And don’t stand in front of a closing, shaft-driven, motorized electric gate because it will fuck you up.” But he should have.

Eager to get the MT4 pain started early, Methuselah got his hand caught an electric fence today, and was stuck in the thing for three hours.

By the time a neighbor found him–“Hey, dumbass, what are you doing standing there with your hand in the gate?”–his hand had swollen up to the size of a catcher’s mitt. They carted him off to the hospital, but he radioed IF WHQ to let everyone know his hand wasn’t broken and he was still “in.”

Cheers went up all around–“Good ol’ Methuselah!” and “He may be old, but he’s tough!” and “Glad we won’t have to pay for his vacant spot!” The next call, of course, went to the IF Legal Department. “Hey, Wankmeister. Our riders are even crazier than I thought. Draft me up some releases.” So I did.

I MAY DIE OR GET HORRIBLY INJURED AND IT’S ALL MY FAULT BECAUSE I’M A DUMBSHIT WAIVER AND RELEASE

1. I ____________________, am a complete dumbshit, hence my participation in this ride, officially known as Man Tour 4, unofficially known as “Wives Hit the Mall and Max out the Credit Cards While Perving on the Young Guys.”

2. However, I understand that even dumbshits have legal rights, like that asshole Cleanthi Peters, who sued Universal Studios for $15,000 for suffering extreme fear, mental anguish, and emotional distress due to visiting the Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights haunted house, which she she claimed scared her.

3. Although I’m not as big a dumbshit as Cleanthi Peters, I’m pretty close.

4. MT4 is going to cause a fuckload more mental anguish, emotional distress, extreme fear, and physical pain than any pansy-ass haunted house. It is going to kick my worthless ass, and I know it. I should have trained more, goddammit.

5. I have lots of medical conditions, including but not limited to Alzheimer’s, arthritis, balance disorders, Bell’s palsy, blepharitis, cancer, cataracts, chalazion, congestive heart failure, COPD, corneal abrasion, coronary artery disease, dementia, diabetes, emphysema, failure to thrive, falls & mobility problems, flu, glaucoma, heart attack, hearing loss, heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hip dislocation, hip fracture, loose bowels, macular degeneration, memory loss, menopause, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, prostate (enlarged), prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, toothache, and urinary incontinence.

6. Riding my bike day in, day out for 500 miles will likely make all these conditions worse.

7. I might crash my stupid bike because I am a careless, incompetent fuck, or because I have a history of crashing because I’m such a careless fucking klutz. I might also just get run over by a car or truck.

8. Some raggedy ass dog might knock me off my bike or a squirrel might hop into my chain or these trick $4,000 carbon wheels might melt on the descent and splatter me all to shit.

9. I might hit a pothole, or lose control on a downhill because I spend all my time on the bike path and once the momentum of my big, hairy ass gets going you can’t stop it with anything less than a cliff-face, a sheer drop, or a triple-meat with extra cheese and bacon.

10. All of these things, and a billion more that are too numerous to list, could kill me dead, or worse, fuck me up so badly that I spend the rest of my life eating through a tube and asking you “What time is it?” for the next 60 years while shitting in my pants and complaining because the food is too salty. Yeah, I re-read that twice.

10. No matter how badly I get fucked up, IT’S ALL MY FAULT. I WON’T BLAME ANYONE, ESPECIALLY KEV, IRONFLY LLC, MEL, SUMMER, RYDER, OR CHLOE THE DOG. THAT’S RIGHT: I WON’T BE A WHINY BACKSTABBING PUSSY WHO PRETENDS TO BE A BRO TO WEASEL HIS SORRY-ASSED WAY ONTO MT4 AND THEN SUES THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYBODY THE MINUTE HE GETS HIS FEMUR RAMMED UP INTO HIS BRAINCASE.

11. I also won’t blame any of the other idiots on this ride, even though they’re idiots, and even though some schmo crashes me out while he is riding one-handed down a sharp, wet, blind curve, and pushes me into oncoming traffic to save his own ass just so he can snap a picture with his iPhone.

12. My old lady, my deadbeat kids, and sure as fuck my hot chick on the side won’t blame anybody either. That’s why I have life insurance, so when I die the old lady and the girlfriend can finally get to meet each other over a big pot of money instead of in family court, where’s the old’s lady’s calling her a homewrecking slut and the hot piece is calling the old lady a nagging bitch.

13. Even though I’m a cycloholic-compulsive idiot and would sign anything if it meant I got to go ride for five days, I’m signing this of my own free will. I’ve read it, even the words that have more than five letters, and I mostly understand it. It means if I get hurt I’m fucked, right?

Dated: __________________

Your “X” here: ____________

Weekend South Bay cycling notes

October 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

Feeling that way. Mantourists throughout the South Bay dropped off their bikes at the IF WHQ on Sunday and Monday, and picked up their incredibly awesome MT4 t-shirts, designed by StageOne and made by ActiveT. The logo is designed to represent a stiff man part, accompanied on either side by a pair of other man parts. I hope you don’t think I’m joking, because I’m not. It was an awesome sight to see all the MT4 bikes lined up at the WHQ, each one nattily attired with its own nickname sticker. There were only a couple of misspelled names, 42 names printed for 43 riders and 50 shirts for all 40 who ordered. Mantourists don’t do math or speling.

Record on the Rollers. Douggie’s record of 9:57 on the Rollers, per Strava, still stands despite my repeated attempts to break it. He set the record on the Donut Ride, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 and despite the best efforts of Roadchamp, Bull, Howard Hughes of the South Bay, Rodley, and me this past Saturday, the record is intact. We never even got within striking distance. This is the stretch that goes from the bottom of the Switchbacks to the church just before Hawthorne. Think it’s easy? Have a go! Not that this is keeping me up at night. Of course not. In fact, it hardly bothers me at all. Why, I could care less about breaking that fucking record. Strava is stupid, anyway.

Fool me twice. Day 1 of MT4 goes from San Jose to Santa Cruz. I emailed Dr. Jekyll, asking for a link to the exact route. He told me that the climb, Moody Road and Page Mill Road to Skyline, was only a couple km long. Remembering that he’s the one that took us on the 9,000 feet of death in that same vicinity last year, I checked on Strava. Here’s the dope, dopes: 8.4 miles, almost 2,000 feet, average gradient 4.8%. The record is 37 minutes by some 40-lb. mountain goat named Daniel Green who owns most of the harshest climbs in the area. It may not be as completely awful as 2010, but it looks pretty bad.

Marckxed man. I went by Brad House’s cyclocross race on Sunday at Lunada Bay to watch grown men play in the dirt and pay homage to MMX. Brad is to be commended for the efforts he puts into promoting these races. The work laying out the course looked harder than cleaning the Augean Stables with a toothbrush. The actual racing looked so hard, nasty, treacherous, and pain-laden that it made me glad I only have one bike. MMX won his category–kudos–and it appeared that most of the field and the spectators were sporting SPY. This last part is really important, because it shows that more and more people are willing to say “Hey, Oakley is made by the same people who make sissy Prada handbags and Chanel perfume, but SPY is designed in SoCal by SoCalians. Very cool.”

Angel in a centerfold. Those of you who are used to gagging on his rear wheel or suffering the ignominy of having him beat the crap out of you in the IF club time trial can relax for a minute as the Spivinator shows a different side: local camera ace. After getting thrown from his horse and dragged through the mud at the San Diego ‘cross races, he’s taken some time off ‘cross to re-grow his skin and focus his prodigious creative energies behind the camera lens. If you’re lucky to be his FB friend, you’ll enjoy his series from this weekend’s races. He’ll also be heading up to San Jose on Wednesday with the IF Blue Train to participate in the Occupy PCH! Movement, where dedicated 1-percenters fill up the entirety of America’s most famous road with their bicycle unprotest. Kudos!

Alberto’s worst nightmare. This Romanian CPA showed up at the Center of the Known Universe on Thursday after the world-famous Pier Ride, asked everyone how much their bikes cost, bragged about his $300 shit-spattered bicycle, hit on all the chicks, made us hold his smelly canvas jacket for him, then dumped it unceremoniously on our legs, snatched my iPhone and took a photo of everyone, modeled his lobster-man cycling jersey and matching gut, gave us his email, showed us his iPhone, explained to me that my name means “seven” in French (it doesn’t), then kicked back with a cigarette and blew smoke in our faces even after being told to leave. Some people are in control of any situation. This dude is in control of the universe.

It’s lost $73.45 in value thanks to that asshole. En route to the IF WHQ on Sunday, I stopped at Cheapo-tle for a grease ‘n chicken gutbomb. While in the lot, some asshole nailed my cherry ’02 Camry and totally thrashed its bleeding-edge rad trick rear end. The caddywhompus bumper now ruins the coolness aspect of America’s stylingest pimpmobile. I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve cruised PCH in this chick magnet just to have some smokin’ hot broad pull up alongside and say, “I love navy blue and velour seats in a mid-sized economy sedan that gets 28 city/36 highway, cowboy!!” Plus, this baby only has 189,000 miles, three matching plastic wheelcovers, 20 or thirty rusty “style” spots on the hood, a gash in the left door (looks like you’ve BEEN there, you know), and some other character aspects. My buddy Stern-O once told me that if I was going to take a trick cherry like that out on the road, I was crazy. Looks like he was right. Again.

Start list for MT4

October 20, 2011 § 6 Comments

Fuckdude: Spiritual leader of cycling in the South Bay. Strengths: Climbing, time trails, sprinting, herding cats, babysitting, total mastery of the word “fuck” in all its forms and declensions. One national championship in 2011 and multiple state titles. Weaknesses: Less than 150 road miles leading up to MT4. Prediction: May spend part of Day 4 in the paddywagon.

Fireman: Mops up the end of the peloton, changes flats, hands out spare diapers, tells the crybabies to “Man up, you pussy.” Strengths: Sprinting, wheelsucking, utter and total fearlessness. The only MT4 participant who has an actual man’s job and doesn’t earn his living tapping out crap on a computer. Weaknesses: Beer. Prediction: Will likely take the win at the county line and at the bar.

Davy Dawg: Breaks wind at the front for hours at a time. Not that kind! Strong as an ox, friendly, patient, handsome, best tattoo, never whimpers. Strengths: Sprinting, time trailing, climbing. Weaknesses: Too nice to his enemies. Prediction: He’s bailing after Day 4 due to his alleged job, so will be expected to rain down punishment, especially on Days 2, 3, and 4. Battle to the death with Fireman for the Big Sur sprint.

Gonzo: Renders medicinal care to those in need of herbal remedies. Earned his star in the MT Hall of Shame when his chain exploded on the first climb of the first day on MT3. Strengths: Climbing, steady and strong in a paceline. Weaknesses: Chains. Prediction: He’ll check that fucking chain so many times on Tuesday you’ll think he’s practicing to become a metallurgist.

Woodenhead: Marches to the beat of a different drummer, and her name is Mrs. Woodenhead. Earned his star in the Hall by sprinting up and over Topanga on Day 5, jettisoning the IF WHQ celebrations and victory parade in order to change poopy diapers. Strengths: Anything involving lots of gravity. Weaknesses: White shorts, hills. Prediction: His cell phone will “break” on the afternoon of Day 1.

Bluebeard: Earned the fury of the Fireman on MT2 by dyeing his beard orange. Earned the fear of the LA-San Jose Southwest flight crew and everyone else on MT3 by dyeing his beard and hair blue. “Had to match my kit,” he said. Strengths: Beer cubed. Weaknesses: Cold, rain, mud, training, anything before 9:00 a.m. Prediction: He’ll enjoy every second off the bike.

Randommeur: Annually voted “Most Likely to Die in a Fiery Crash” by those who ride near him, Randommeur is famed for the random unpredictability of his bike handling. Friendly, tough, and recovering from a busted hip (lost focus for a second, whoops). Earned his star in the Hall by bringing his wife on MT2. Shamefulness heightened when she rode better than most of the alleged men. Strengths: Endurance. Weaknesses: Straight lines. Prediction: He will take the lid off at least one can of whupass. Whether he can get it out of the can without crashing remains to be seen.

StageOne: If Fuckdude is the spiritual leader of South Bay cycling, StageOne is its insignia. StageOne, also occasionally called “Junkyard” due to the numerous metal parts in his skeleton from previous crashes, is beloved by all. Strengths: Grit, good humor, toughness, Apple products. Weaknesses: Poor eyesight, recovering from a full elbow rebuild. Prediction: A prescription set of cycling glasses would be nice.

Hockeystick: Happiest guy in the history of cycling, ever. Has “happy” moments where he fiddles with his buddies’ brakes before a gruesome descent and similar brainfarts. Would ride his bike to the ends of the earth if you gave him an unlimited beer gift card, a cell phone, and King Harold to change his flats. Strengths: Real estate. Weaknesses: Leaps before he looks. Prediction: Will be just as happy on Day 5 as he was on Day 1.

Pratfall: Loves to ride his bike, but usually opts for work instead. Responsible, successful, tall, handsome, and the kind of stand-up guy any woman would love to have. Unfortunately, we’re not women and his dedication to work means that by the middle of Day 2 he will be one hurting puppy. Strengths: Mortgages, tuition. Weaknesses: Well, yes. Prediction: Last to a fight, first to a feast.

Peachfuzz: On MT3, when he was 15, Peachfuzz finished Day 1 one by collapsing on the hotel room floor, curling into a fetal ball, and sleeping for 12 hours straight in his sodden, salty, smelly bike suit. One year later he’s kicking ass on all comers up the Switchbacks, winning races in Belgium, and using MT4 as a leg stretcher prior to the national team training camp in San Diego. Strengths: Youth. Weaknesses: None. Prediction: Everyone else will be racing for second.

Hairball: Father of Peachfuzz. Quiet, solid, steady, last year he was a chaperone, this year he’ll be holding on for dear life when Peachfuzz hits the climbs. Strengths: He can slow down Peachfuzz by threatening to withhold his allowance or making him do his math homework. Weaknesses: Peachfuzz can beat him up and take the money anyway. Prediction: We’ll hear a lot of “That’s my boy!” for five days.

Breathanarian: 17 year-old junior racer on his first Man Tour. Breathanarianism is a subset of veganism. Its adherents only eat food products made from air. He weighs twelve pounds and is 5’11”. Strengths: Climbs rather quickly. Weaknesses: Bogs down in LA, where there hasn’t been any air for the last few decades. Prediction: Overwhelming hunger and survival instinct will have him gnawing raw bacon by the end of Day 3.

Iron Mike: As he’s the only adult on MT4, he’s been assigned to look after Breathanarian. Iron Mike limits his consumption to food items that never had a face, and has the rather unusual trait of always doing what he says he’s going to do. Strengths: Endurance. Weaknesses: Kindness and basic human decency. Prediction: Thorough preparation with several 118-mile rides under his belt, he’ll be as strong on Day 4 as on Day 1. Remember last year? I do…

M8: The only MT4 participant with a personal assistant, M8 got in all his MT4 training miles during MT3. He was spotted once this year on the Pier Ride, albeit briefly. M8 still holds the record for the worst hungover, least fit mantourist who still got up and rode the next day. Strengths: None observed, ever. Weaknesses: Too many to list. Prediction: M8 will still be the most popular guy on the ride, and after a few Advil and a hearty barf or three, he’ll be good as new.

Dr. Jekyll: Part of the IF Norcal contingent, by day Dr. Jekyll invents new drugs for a major pharmaceutical firm. By day off, however, he’s Mr. Hyde of the hills. Skinny, fit, and a lover of punishment, Mr. Hyde is the bastard who came up with the route for Day 1 of MT3 which saw a selection of mantourists bundled into the paddywagon in order to get over the second big climb. Strengths: Uphills. Weaknesses: Got to be careful here, he’s my roomie this year. Prediction: He’ll be battling out the 2nd place KOM with Pretty Boy (1st already reserved for Peachfuzz).

Canyon Bob: The nicest guy there is. Simply that. Oh, and he’s been doing all the Saturday rides, so he’s got the legs to rip yours off. Strengths: Funny jokes as you’re buried in the red, effectively popping you off the back; climbing; time trailing; pacelines; CPR; helping you change your flat as the group rides off in the distance. Weaknesses: Canyons. Prediction: Canyon Bob and Iron Mike will duke it out for honors as to who changes more flats for lazy cheapasses who showed up with threadbare tires.

Pilot: If there’s one guy you want at the helm when you’re plunging off a cliff, it’s the Pilot. He’s so good that he could literally steer your sorry ass back up onto the lip of the cliff, get you out of the gravel and back onto the road. Wicked sense of humor matched by a nasty, brutal, punishing, ugly, vengeful pair of legs. Strengths: Life vests, seat belts, oxygen masks. Weaknesses: First 30 miles of Day 3, MT3. Prediction: He will be rolling like a fast fucking freight train.

Chief: The Internet doesn’t have enough space to list the accomplishments of the Chief, formerly master of all he surveyed. Each year Chief obtains the maximum score on the inverse proportional scale of training to enjoyment. Prepares for MT  exclusively with excessive libations of firewater, Chief has never met a hill he couldn’t say something nasty about. Strengths: Hard liquor, client development on coffee/PCH rides in the middle of the workday, delegation. Weaknesses: CMC’s, paperwork, hills, anything over 15 mph. Prediction: Chief will form a rearguard contingent with M8, Sta-Puft, Woodenhead, Bluebeard, and one or two others ensuring that no one gets left behind.

Pretty Boy: Dresses only in Rapha, with lots of white. Changes kits twice daily so the icky sweat doesn’t build up on his Rapha undershirts. Pretty Boy is a radiologist, so when anyone needs to have their MRI or x-ray film read on the tour, he’s always available. If you’re bleeding or hurt, though, tough shit. Pretty Boy trained for 6 weeks prior to the tour in Austria, where he reports that “the default gradient seems to be 18%.” Strengths: Climbs like a beast; KOM’d MT3 to my eternal chagrin. Weaknesses: The front of the peloton, icky dirt, non-premium cycling kits, poorly manicured toes and feet. Prediction: He’s the only one who will give Peachfuzz a true run for his money.

Silenttreatment: We rode together for five days last year, and have ridden together a couple of hundred miles in 2011. I still can’t tell you the first thing about him. Dude is quiet, which is obviously his strategy to avoid having anything posted about him on the world-famous PV Cycling blog. Strengths: Keeping his mouth shut. Weaknesses: Voicing his opinion. Prediction: Lots of 1 and 2-day pauses between sentences.

Methuselah: Living proof that despite what’s written in the Bible, the earth is more than 4,500 years old. Methuselah was raised in impoverished South Africa, where the only way a man could make his way in the world was through hard work, dedication, clever business skills, hustle, and the forced labor of 25 million humans deprived of basic human rights. Methuselah trains 600 miles per week. On MT3 he took inordinate pleasure in watching his 40 y/o son slink into the paddywagon while he sturdily pounded through every stinking mile. Strengths: Perseverance in the face of adversity. Weaknesses: Perseverance in the face of common sense. Prediction: He will persevere.

Illtrainlater: Happy-go-somewhat-lucky son of Methuselah, he has carried on the family tradition of thriftiness, hard work, dedication, and self-sacrifice except on days of the week that end in “day.” He was a no-show on MT2, but trained hard for MT3 by showing up with a case of bronchitis. Illtrainlater recovered and on Day 5 shattered the group with a 37-mph tow into the headwind, leaving dear old dad choking on the fumes. Strengths: Tomorrow. Weaknesses: Today. Prediction: He’ll show up ready to drill it on the flats.

Bigbowls: Never stops for anyone, never waits, and always gets a head start by sneaking off ahead of schedule. Famed for tackling the hardest rides around: the Death Ride, Son of Death, Mt. Everest Challenge, Breathless Agony, Gonad Pulp-Crusher, Smashed Liver of Misery, etc. Great sense of humor, never whines or complains, and is of the “Happy to be on My Bicycle”  tribe. Seen all over the South Bay at all times of the year, and will show up for the tour in fighting trim. Strengths: Tough as hell, endurance, labor disputes. Weaknesses: Leaving on time. Prediction: He’ll sneak off early out of Big Sur, but we’ll catch him anyway.

Timidator: Younger than Methuselah, but still older than dirt. Timidator is famed for putting his head down and gutting it out. He’s the quintessential guy without a quitting gene, gotta bury him to beat him. Quiet and thoughtful, I’ve talked with him before about the tattoo on his leg. It’s a moving and powerful story, and shows the depth of his love as a father. Do yourself a favor and ask him about it sometime. Strengths: Tough but gentle. Weaknesses: He’s hanging out with us. Prediction: He’ll finish up this man tour just like he’s finished the others, and we’ll enjoy every minute of it we spend with him.

Twigman: Often puts family, job, and financial independence ahead of cycling, unpaid bills, fucking off, and swilling beer with Fireman, M8, Fuckdude, and Gonzo. Twigman would roar up the climbs if he rode more than twice before Man Tour, but as they say, if grandma had balls she’d be grandpa. Strengths: Suffering, hanging out. Weaknesses: Day 3 onward. Prediction: He’ll suffer like a dog, and love every minute of it.

Rocky: First-timer on Man Tour, Rocky hails from Colorado and is coming down to the flatlands to show us how real men ride bikes. Since none of the Man Tour vets are real men, no one really wants to know. No intel on Rocky, unfortunately. Is he wide of girth? Twiggy of leg? Saggy of gut? Iron of will? Strengths: Better be hills or he’ll get a star in the Hall. Weaknesses: Unknown. Prediction: He’s our wildcard.

Triple: Bad news for Triple haters out there…he ripped my fucking legs off on Sunday going up the Reservoir to the Domes. He’s lean, mean, and has obviously had the sex spigot turned off for a while. Either that or he’s wearing a testosterone patch the size of a blanket. Strengths: Uphill, endurance. Weaknesses: Wine. That last time at King Harold’s they had to pour him into the car. Prediction: Those who’ve been slacking off on the hills will be put to the sword.

Coupe DeVille: A former marathoner and Man Tour veteran, Coupe DeVille is tough, fit, fast, and has been logging his MT4 miles religiously. In the Pilot/Canyon Bob category of “great guy to ride with,” he never fades and never whines. Strengths: Long efforts, pacelines. Weaknesses: Wine. Prediction: Get him and Triple a box of Napa’s finest and they’ll be no trouble at all.

Douggie: Made the fatal mistake of asking not be nicknamed “Douggie.” Otherwise, overall he’s one of the fittest and best-prepared Man Tourists of 2011. He logs the miles, does speed work, gets in the climbing, and frankly could have done MT4 in August with no problems at all. Strengths: Climbing, pacelines. Weaknesses: Doesn’t like to sleep on the rollaway cot in Big Sur. Prediction: His train will run on time.

Coolhand: Never flustered, even when he’s flatted and is twenty minutes off the back with me on Day 4 before we hit the 101. Takes a back seat to no one in the beer department, never complains, just puts his head down and takes his beating like a man. If he’s there at the sprint finish, he’ll pop you. Strengths: Sprinting, chugging. Weaknesses: Pasta. Prediction: Fast finish in Big Sur.

Fishnchips: Originally from Wales, which is a small town in England filled with stupid people, Fishnchips spent his first years in America unlearning Welsh and learning how to speak proper Americlish. He can now be understood by most adults before his second beer. When he’s not learning to talk English goodly, he’s pounding on the bike. Strengths: Language. Weaknesses: Near-sighted senior citizen motorists. Prediction: He will spend much of the time wondering if the tradeoff of good year-round weather in California for intelligent company in the UK was really worth it.

Gritty: By day a boring accountant, and by night an even more boring accountant. Ugliest pedal stroke known to man. However, he backs up the ugly stroke with some killer speed and unbeatable toughness. Loves nasty riding conditions. He’s pegged a silver in the national men’s elite crit champs before, and knows how to ride a bike. Came within a tire of taking the LA County Line on MT3, and is as cagey as he is tough. Strengths: Last-second kicks, caginess. Weaknesses: Beauty. Prediction: He’s ALWAYS in shape.

Stay-Puft: Used to ride outdoors, but nowadays he trains religiously indoors. Unfortunately, his religious discipline is a tad spotty, so in the last six months he’s only logged half an hour or so of prayer time. Strengths: XXL. Weaknesses: Uphills, fast speeds, pacelines, endurance, sprinting, time trailing, etc. Prediction: MT4 will be a living hell.

Toronto: Deprogrammed triathlete, Toronto is fit year-round, even the winter he spent in Canada when he wore out the local gym’s spin machines. Never out of shape, always competitive, Toronto spanked me badly at last year’s club time trial. I’ve gotten over it, but not really. Cheerful, has a thing about pain. Likes it when it hurts. Strengths: Time trailing, endurance, pacelines. Weaknesses: Butter, lard.

Bigsurf: Biker, big wave rider, multi-sport athlete, and MT4 official photographer, Bigsurf drives one of the paddywagons and helps the mantourists change flats, air up tires, get a snack when they tummies hungwy, and makes sure the rolling entourage works flawlessly. There would be no Man Tour without him and Anchor. Well, actually, there might be, but it would be an unmitigated disaster.

Anchor: Twigman’s dad, Anchor, like Bigsurf, holds the whole thing together. He drives the other paddywagon and provides Kleenex, Band-Aids for booboos, and sanitary napkins for the mantourists who are habbing a bewy hawd day. Anchor is there for you, whether you’re rolling like a stud or, like Major Bob, smashing into someone else at 35mph.

Artiste: Famed for his artistic creations, Artiste sees everything slightly differently. Nonetheless, he’s always a blast to pedal with, and is one of the many South Bay cyclists who also have surfer cred. He’s generally known for not doing wild-ass crazy shit on the bike, and doing his turn when it’s time. Strengths: Dark blues, pack-dwelling. Weaknesses: Pitchers that still have anything left in them. Prediction: He’s known for getting in his MT miles, so it should be a relatively painless slog. Relatively.

Postal: I’ve not ridden with him much, so am going to have just make this up. He’s um, well, uh, known for, ah, his overwhelming, uh, and his impressive, er, things that he’s done while cycling in the, um, places he’s been known to ride, and is often considered to be, well, one of the people who, uh, everyone thinks is the best, um, one who does the things he’s good at. Strengths: Ah, climbing, and, um, sprinting. Weaknesses: Er, time trailing. Prediction: He’ll, um, sort of, well, you know.

Cadillac Draft: Cadillac is much beloved on group rides of every kind due to his large presence and ability to create the Rolls-Royce, or rather the Cadillac of all drafts. Once you tuck in behind him, your wattage will drop to zero. He’s tall, he’s wide, he’s happy, and as Bob Seeger once sang, provides “shelter against the wind.” Strengths: Pushing away massive amounts of bothersome air. Weaknesses: Tends to tire out sooner rather than later. Prediction: Fistfights will be breaking out from Day 3 onward to see who gets his wheel.

Wankmeister: Adherent to the “Three Ups” training method of Build Up, Blow Up, and Give Up. Currently in build phase. Blow phase typically happens middle of Day 1. Give phase runs from November-September, with a brief training valley reserved for Jaeger’s FTR in January and a thorough drubbing at Boulevard and Punchbowl. Strengths: Typing, Facebook, procrastinating. Weaknesses: Success. Prediction: Will annoy the shit out of everyone and come up short. Again.

Weekend South Bay cycling notes

October 2, 2011 § 4 Comments

I'm talking to you, shithead!

Ride Single File You Asshole Lawbreakers Dept: Rolling down PCH early Saturday morning you certainly expect the occasional hostile and ignorant motorist who is returning stoned from the Friday night bash that just ended, and upset that you’re taking up a few inches of the six wide open lanes. What you don’t expect (not so much, anyway), is the CHP patrol car going in the opposite direction who turns on his PA and screams, “Single File! Cyclists Must Ride Single File!” Uh, no, Gomer, we mustn’t.

D'oh, I did it again!

Sometimes They Jump Left, So I Swerved Right Dept: A clever PV housewife avoided one of the dreaded “leaping trees” that jumped out in front of her on PV North this morning, forcing her to hit another tree that was camouflaged on the side of the road as, of all things, a tree. Sometimes you can’t win for losing, especially when you’re a loser. Who knew that sexting while drunk on the way to church could be such a pain?

But I Told the Guy in Front of Me Dept: Yes, but he’s a wanker and doesn’t know your name, which is why, when you flat on the big heroic ride to the Rock on Saturdays you need to shout, preferably at the top of your lungs, “Hey you motherfuckers, I flatted!” Someone will (maybe) wait for you, at a minimum the group will soft pedal, and you’ll avoid a 15-mile TT back to the peloton. Moral #2, don’t get too cozy at the back, thinking about how effortless it is. Bad things happen there, and it’s well known that Bike Karma for Lazyfucks does most of her damage to those who purposely dwell far from the front.

Gotcha covered.

Wingman Dept: Manly, meaty pulls at the front by MJ, CL, and the uber-Wingman, Knoll. Even Cedric got into the action at the end of the ride, when it was needed most, after someone shouted, “Get the fuck up there next to Craig and take a pull, you sorry sonofabitch!” The uncouth shouter has yet to be I.D.’d but we’re working on it. To his credit, Cedric pulled like a champion all the way from the Marina back to the Center of the Known Universe. Kudos to CG and VV for a ride well done.

Objective Proof that You Suck Dept: A 12 year-old showed up on the Donut Ride and placed top 10 on the Switchbacks. Everyone present was either deeply impressed or incredibly humiliated, or both. He was about as tall as the seat on my 58 cm bike, weighed about 65 pounds, and laid the wood to what are now some badly bruised egos. Way to go, Peachfuzz! Send us a text when you reach puberty so that we can sell our bikes and take up golf.

Worst Endorsement of a Bike, Ever Dept: JW bragging at the Home Depot Center about how the new Venge was so good that he “dropped the field on the descent at the Pedro crit.” Note to JW: you hold the land speed record for descending in California, in excess of 55 mph on Tuna Canyon. When you drop people on the descent, it’s not because of the bike you’re riding, it’s because of the crap building up in the chamois of everyone trying to follow your wheel.

Next year they'll have strippers.

Smartest Bike Marketing Idea Since the Yellow Jersey Dept: The Home Depot Center sold beer at elite nationals. I hope I don’t have to explain this one.

Gave It All We Had Dept: Davy Dawg, Hockey Stick, Fuck Dude, Old Fuck, Lets Fuck, and CB all acquitted the South Bay with honor at elite track nationals. Kudos to you for having the guts and the legs to throw down with the best in the country.

Pedaling for a Cause Dept: G$ and a host of other South Bay worthies joined the MS 150 ride this weekend to raise money for them to go out and fuck around all weekend on their bikes, er, I mean, to help raise money for a worthy cause. MS is a devastating illness that afflicts about 300,000 people in the US alone. Click here to donate. The efforts of our local cyclists have raised tens of thousands–thanks, all!

Comin' at you!

That Big Black Thing You’re Behind is an 8-Ball Dept: Several zillion miles have been racked up in anticipation of MT4, with certain unnamed individuals now customizing their base miles with sharp, intensive hillwork in and about the PV Peninsula. If you’re just now getting around to thinking about swearing off the Saturday morning beer, there’s still time to join us for our weekly roll out to the Rock. Downside is you’ll have to get up and be on your bike at a time usually known to you as R.E.M. Upside is that when MT4 begins, rather than dying a thousand horrific deaths you’ll only die, say 973 or so.

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