Bakersfield, home of the gods of bad gas

June 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

How many times in your life do you get to compete for a championship? I’m not talking an NFL championship, or an NBA championship, or even an NHPA or an NTL championship. Those last two are National Horseshoe Pitching Association and the National Tiddlywinks League, and no, I don’t make this shit up. I make up other shit.

The fact is, you don’t often get to scrap for a championship, especially when you’re old, gizzardy, brokedown, brokebacked, when you piss too often, crap too seldom, are creaky in the morning and wore out by mid-afternoon. Nope, championships are generally for the young and the restless.

Once a year, though, if you are a bicyclist, you can compete for a state bicycling championship, where you pedal your bicycle as quickly as you can to win a prize. Then, if you win the prize, you can buy an even more special prize, to wit, a poorly made, ill fitting jersey in someone else’s size with a bad design that, ugly though it is and fitting as a potato sack though it may be, bears the words “State Champion” and the year of your championship.

This is a prize worth fighting for.

The course of snakes, stinging insects, drunk truckers, and champions

Today is Friday, June 1, 2012. It’s two days before the 45+ Elderly Fellows’ State Championship Road Race in Bakersfield, California. The race covers three 25-mile loops around a hilly course in the desert that has one moderately long climb and numerous short, punchy climbs designed to sap your legs, drain your fluids, and crush your will to survive. As I write this, a friend has Facebooked the current temp there, a moderately warm 105 degrees.

Although you would think that a desert course like this is destined to be hideously ugly, it isn’t. The hills are beautiful, and the desert has the rugged beauty of places where rain is scarce. The visual appeal of the course, however, can only be appreciated in a fast-moving car with the window rolled up and the air conditioner cranked up to “ten.”

Once you are pitched out from the cool security of the car like a fledgling forced to make its first flight, distanced from easy reach into the cooler and its mother lode of cold water, cold soda pop, and cold beer, the desert racecourse that has been designed by the Bakersfieldians is not beautiful at all. Its lack of beauty is only partially caused by the fact that the searing heat is so intense that your corneas begin to roast off the surface of the eyeball.

The true source of the course’s hideousness is the pounding sense of terror and desperation as you flail and pedal and struggle your way out, praying that you will make it back in. This isn’t a sprinter’s special, where well oiled, handsome, kitted up Adonises leisurely pedal for 54 minutes and pedal hard for one.

No.

This is a course where the cowering starters start slowly, knowing that most will quit halfway through, and where the group will only pedal faster when some idiot attacks, or accelerates, or behaves like he’s in a bike race. The pain and torture of the heat, compounded by stinging flies, bee swarms, and poisonous snakes along the roadway to bite those unlucky enough to collapse from heat prostration make Bakersfield truly a place for others to call home.

The contenders

The field will be half-filled with Big Orange, a smattering of SPY-Blue, and onesy-twosy riders from other teams. Although the bragging rights to the winner are galactic in scope, realistically hardly anyone has a chance of winning. Better to stay home and race another crit than suffer the expense, exhaustion, and humiliation of a beatdown so far from home.

What follows is a list of contenders, beginning with the odds-on favorite.

1. Wankmeister. Let’s face it, I’m the favorite here. First off, I grew up in Texas, so 105-degree heat is nothing. Average summer temperatures where I grew up were 140. At night. It’s true that I suffered a few issues at Punchbowl and got dropped rather quickly, finishing next to last. It’s also true that I got dropped on this same course a couple of months ago, finishing next to last. It’s also true that I’ve never even come close to winning a race in more than twenty years. However, I had Chinese food last night, and after the ER doc pumped my stomach I remembered that my fortune cookie had said this: “Time is a mirror of your desire.” So, that’s pretty clear. My jersey size is small. Thanks.

Pluses: Blogability. No one out-blogs the Wankmeister in a hilly road race. Plus I’ve got a cool helmet cam.
Minuses: Kind of lacking in the speed, strength, and endurance department. But I’ve got a day to come around.

2. DQ Louie: Unless he gets dq’d, which frankly is most of the time, there’s no one who can beat him in a hilly road race. Blazing speed. Relentless attacking. Strategic wheelsucking when necessary, full-on TT mode when he’s off the front. Always has a vicious kick at the end.
Pluses: Tininess. He’s got a drag coefficient of .00000002, which is about the same as a newt or a flea. His power-to-weight ratio is 3 gigawatts per kilo. So you’re basically fucked.
Minuses: Cheatyness. The officials love to dq DQ Louie. Why? He’s from Nevada, that’s why. The races are in California. He’s the dude on the freeway doing 80 who gets pulled over when everyone else is doing 100. Sorry, dude. But not really.

3. Roadchamp: He won last year, and he won two years before that, and he had a creditable showing at Vlees Huis even though they’d removed all twelve lower teeth for implant surgery the week before the race.
Pluses: He’s so skinny that he has to safety pin his socks to his calves. He’s focused. He’s all about winning. He hasn’t had sex in months, ergo mucho ferocityness.
Minuses: Everyone will be gunning for him; carries around old trophies from previous road victories as a talisman; has been known to crumple in the extreme heat. The pressure of not having won yet this year may be too much.

4. Invincible: He’s won this race before, he’s got national crit titles to his name, he sprunts, he climbs, he time trails, and he has more wins in the 45+ this year than everyone else combined.
Pluses: Dude always fucking wins. What more of a plus could you want? Best all around tactician in the game. Knows who to work with, how to control a break, how to kick out the shirkers, how and when to pull out all the stops.
Minuses: Sneakiness. He makes DQ Louie look positively forthright. Plus, he’ll be isolated in the race. THOG is recovering from a major injury. Glasship got his fill of Bako heat at Vlees Huis and is on sabbatical to the beer capital of Deschutes County. So, he’s by himself…yeah, I know. So what?

5. G$: This is one title that’s always eluded him, either due to bad luck, or poor luck, or inferior luck, or luck that wasn’t quite right, or fuckaluck. That’s too bad, because he’s one of the top guys in any category, and built to succeed on a course like this. He has specially prepared snake stomping boots that were made just for this race. With a huge B.O. contingent, he will likely let attrition do its nasty work, and only get to stomping dicks in earnest at the end, when they’ve all gone limp and stretched out from the heat.
Pluses: Time trails. Climbs. Attacks. Makes cool interview videos. Deep and wide team support to control the race or protect a break or send guys up the road. You know he’s got to be frothingly hungry for this jersey. He’s been tapering on the local rides, and has even cut back to five burgers ‘n fries a week. Serious shit.
Minuses: He’ll be dogged by Invincible and DQ Louie. If they get up the road with him, he’s got slim chance in a sprunt. Also, his team is so strong that Roadchamp, Kalashnikov, Capture the Flagg, Thing Two, Herndy Doo, or Hottie could wind up on the podium.

6. FTR DS Jaeger: The smartest rider in the bunch, always goes with the right move. Conserves when he has to, churns out the watts when it matters, never gets dropped on the hard climbs. Missed the vee at states by the narrowest of margins a couple of years ago, this could be his year.
Pluses: Savvy. Tenacious. Experienced. The best in the peloton at making up with savvy and smarts what he lacks in the legs, which frankly isn’t much.
Minuses: Can’t sprunt. Small team, and partially weighted by the anchor teammate from hell, a/k/a Wankmeister.

7. Kalashnikov: Super strong, fast, and clearly on form, Kalashnikov has the benefit of his Big Orange teammates to further strengthen his hand. He will likely play the role of agitator, forcing the other teams to waste valuable energy chasing, a strategy that has worked like a charm in the past.
Pluses: As stated above.
Minuses: If he has to go early, the bitterness of the course could spell doom.

8. Your name here. I’m sorry I left you off. You deserved to make the list, as you’ve got the right stuff, the training miles are there, and it’s finally your year. On the other hand, it’s almost 8:00 PM on a Friday night and I’m blogging about a stupid bike race for old men out in the fucking desert, for dog’s sake. This is enough, even for me.

Wankmeister cycling clinic #11: The lefty wobbly

May 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dear Wankmeister:

All my friends call me “Lefty Wobbly,” even though my name is Herbert. I got this awful nickname because every time I look over my left shoulder to see what’s going on behind me, you know like cars or who’s on my wheel or checking for cops before I blow through the stop signs in Hermosa, my bike kind of veers off to the left. I’ve tried everything to fix it. But no matter what, as soon as look over my shoulder, I head off to the left, which is really dangerous because it takes me out into the lane and stuff. I get majorly honked at when this happens and usually almost killed to death, plus chop wheels of whoever’s behind me and crash out all my bros. They don’t like that too much.

I want to be rock solid straight like all the good chick riders and dudes and get rid of this sorry ass nickname. “Lefty Wobbly?” What about “Straight Hard Iron Tough Dude Like Fukdude?”

Annoyedly and frightenedly at the same time,
Herbert Bungpucker

Dear Herb:

Wankmeister sifts through eighty zillion emails a day from his reader, so when this one hit the inbox it positively made my day. Finally, a legit question. Admittedly, the asker’s a total wanker, but the question is rock solid, unlike your lookback technique. So instead of reviewing some dumb book or some dumber bike race, Wanky’s gonna put on a clinic. Strap on your seatbelt.

The reason your bike veers left (aside from the fact that you’re a goofball) is because the turning neck muscles slightly pull on your left shoulder when your head spins around. The slight motion tenses your left arm, the muscles contract a tad, and that “tad” moves the bike to the left. The muscles on your left side also tighten because your turning head, which weighs about 10 pounds hairless (and much less with the typically atrophied cyclist brain), swings out to the left, kind of like if you had a giant watermelon on your shoulders that suddenly leaned off to one side. Of course it’s going to pull everything with it.

So the whole point is to stop the muscles in your left shoulder and arm from tightening up when the watermelon goes looking for whatever it’s looking for. There are four ways to do this.

1. Get a dork mirror. There are zillions of kinds of these. They all work perfectly, which is to say they make you look like a perfect dork. The big drawback is that everyone will laugh at you and say, “Yo, dork!” This is a small price to pay for not getting run over by a car. Unfortunately, even if you go big and get one of those whomperdaddy motorcycle mirrors, or one of those massive adjustable four-frame deals they hang from the window of an 18-wheeler, at some point you’re still going to have to turn around and look, which kind of puts you back to square 2, which is next.

2. Let go with your left hand. If you’re riding on the tops, just let go with your left hand. Your right hand is plenty to stabilize the bike and keep you from crashing, and with your left hand off the bars, your rotating watermelon will still pull your left shoulder and arm, but since the hand isn’t connected to the bars, who gives a shit? The bike will go in a straight line. You can then gaze over your left shoulder for hours, or until you smash into a parked car, whichever comes first. There’s a great example of this in the 2001 Paris-Roubaix video, where Romans Vainsteins turns back to see what’s behind him. He drops his left hand to his side and turns all the way around on the bike. Of course, if you have the 2001 P-R video and know what I’m talking about, you can do this shit in your sleep.

3. Right bow bend. Maybe for some reason you don’t want to let go with your left hand. Like, you’re on the NPR and there are thirty idiots in front and thirty idiots behind and you’re scared out of your fucking mind, but you still want to see if that cute chick you invited to the ride is on your wheel. In this case, with your hands on the tops, relax your right elbow so that it droops. When you spin the melon, the droopy right elbow compensates for the pulling on the left shoulder and arm, and the bike stays straight. This works because the drooping right arm pulls the bike to the right, and the turning head pulls the bike to the left. The two movements cancel each other out, kind of like when you say “Blow job?” and she says “Chick flick?” and so you end up doing nothing.

4. Chin tuck. Sometimes you have to do a super quick check, like when you’re firing through the turn in a crit with two turns to go and you’re setting up to get 78th in the sprint, ahead of that dude who beat you out for 75th last week. Turn your head, but rest your chin on your shoulder. This keeps the watermelon from flapping in the wind and from hanging out over the edge of your shoulder and starting the death spiral of veering to the left. If you want to be completely rad, you can do the bow bend with the chin tuck simultaneously.

So there. Don’t say I never taught you anything.

Pedantically,
Wankmeister

The Hand of God, Part 3: Bee swarms, poisonous snakes, and the fiery orb of death

April 24, 2012 § 14 Comments

DJ got the bikes loaded up and we went to pick up Roadchamp. He was waiting at the curb with four sets of spare wheels, a 75-lb. bag, and his trophy from Vlees Huis Ronde 2010. This enormous sculpture consisted of a giant block of wood with a meat cleaver embedded in it. “What’s the trophy for, dude?” I asked.

“It’s going with us. To let the competition know what they’re up against.”

“Like, somebody attacks and you’re going to brain them with it?”

Roadchamp was unfazed and loaded the thing in the Suburban, which listed a few degrees starboard as a result. We next picked up King Harold, who, not to be outdone by Roadchamp, had a bike bag heavier than Roadchamp’s, filled as it was with his igneous rock collection.

The drive was a pre-race bullshitting contest, with each person telling a more outlandish tale of stupidity than the one before. DJ led off with his famous “lost a tranny towing a boat outside Vegas story,” which I easily topped with my “running the Alpha Spider sans oil ’til the engine seized tale,” followed by Roadchamp’s “we got lost riding mountain bikes and spooned overnight in a briar thicket after jumping across a waterfall until we were almost rescued by the sheriff narrative,” followed by DJ’s “broken femur on Bronco epic,” which I had to totally p*wn with “the time I bow and arrow target practiced one day on the public golf course legend” which totally shut everyone the fuck up, except King Harold, who admitted that he’d never “had an adventure, gotten lost, been arrested, sunk a boat, crashed a car, killed anyone by mistake, or been in jail” although there was one time when his dad fell out of a chair and all the kids laughed really hard.

When we got to Bakersfield it was already 107 degrees. We parked next to G$, Axena, and Mighty Mouse, who were trying to put up a tent with half of its legs broken. Fortunately, King Harold, DJ, and Roadchamp are all engineers, so by the time we finished the canvas was torn and the other half of the legs were broken. I slammed a tuna sandwich and a couple of bananas, loaded up with three water bottles, and we rolled to the line.

The ref began with, “The center rule line is permanently enforced for all eternity by cement trucks and crazed pickups going the other way and by angry people with loaded guns. Cross the line and you will be relegated to the coroner’s office. Also, at the bottom of the first climb there is a massive swarm of stinging bees. Close your mouths. Finally, when you pull off the side of the road to quit or just to die, watch out for the poisonous snakes that are everywhere. Riders ready! Go!!”

Pain is intelligence leaving your body, or, what doesn’t kill you makes you pretty much an invalid

Vlees Huis Ronde, which in Dutch means “How’d you like getting fucked in the throat with a sharp stick while having your balls slowly roasted over a campfire?” has quickly become a place that racers avoid with a passion. Its first year, the 45+ field had 30 finishers. Word spread that it was a brutal and nasty race, and riders flocked to test their mettle in 2011. Forty finished. This year, everyone who’d wanted any had gotten a taste of this beastly desert beatdown, and barely 45 racers signed up. Twenty-three finished.

The soul-destroying heat and relentless climbing whittled the field down by half in short order. Somewhere up the last steep climb on the first lap, I think it was after the second turnaround coming up the backside of Leibert’s Corner, I realized I was up to my old tricks again: glued to the wheel of the craziest dude in the race.

This hairy-legged wanker was riding a vintage 1980’s steel DeRosa with “Diamante” tubing (Srsly? Diamond tubing?) and downtube shifters, and each time we hit a climb he would plunge from deep in the red zone into the purple zone and from there into the wobble off into the gravel zone. With me on his wheel, stupidly, of course.

By the second lap our tightly knit group of people who all hated each other was feeling the effects of the heat. Roadchamp’s stitches from his 12-hour oral surgery the day before the race had come loose, and every time he exhaled, a spray of blood blew out like spit fired from a misting machine. The steel bike dude had received a brief graveside service where everyone threw their empty water bottles and GU wrappers at his corpse as we rode by. Giants of the road such as Thing 2 had pedaled off into oblivion. King Harold had turned the ride into a solo pedal through purgatory.

The only people left were the gritty, the tough, and those who can only be called “too stupid to quit and/or so poor that it’s worth a $15,000 hospital bill for the chance to win $37.” However hard up and miserable we all were, though, it was about to get that much worse.

[Tune in tomorrow for “Wanky Learns the Difference between Self-Preservation and Self-Immolation”]

Wankmeister cycling clinic #7: Help for your gonads

April 3, 2012 § 6 Comments

Dear Wankmeister:

I’m in my second full season as a Cat 4 here in SoCal, and things have been going really well. Top 10 at Ontario, made the break last weekend at the Torrance crit, and I’m finally confident enough to say I’ve “figured out” bike racing. It’s taken me a long time, though!!! I guess like my pap always said, “Son, you sure aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed.” But anyhoo, now that I’ve got a handle on it and training, my wife is clamoring for me to get a vasectomy. I’ve done some Internet research and so I understand like, what it’s all about, but I can’t really find anything on how vasectomies might affect bike racing, or actually, what I’m more concerned about, is training. I’m a pretty high volume guy and that’s pretty much the reason I’ve made such a big mark on the cycling scene (just a li’l bragging, but if you can do it, it ain’t bragging, right, WankY!!) and it would be a big wrench in the derailleur for something like this to sideline me for the better part of the season. News or views? Thanks!

Nuttily,
Donnie Deferens

Dear Donnie:

It’s not often that people ask me about the care and feeding of their testicles, but I’m glad you’ve put aside the public humiliation and ridicule sure to ensue once I post your email and real name in order to get answers to these very important questions. However, the easiest way to approach this is to understand that, whether you’re a bike racer or not (and as a second year Cat 4 you’re definitely “not”), you should never, ever get a vasectomy.

The Reasons You Should Never Ever Get a Vasectomy Or Even Think About It For A Nanosecond Not Even If You’re Promised All The Pussy In Hello Kittyland

1. They cut open your balls.

2. After #1 above, it should be over for any rational adult male. But there’s more.

3. It’s a semi-public EMBARRASSING procedure, with people kind of milling around, nurses and shit, casually paying attention while they saw open your nutsack with a rusty file.

4. The Latin root of the word “vasectomy” means “nutless dude who sings high-pitched songs for the king.”

5. You will never, ever, ever, ever, ever get even one extra throw as a result. Why? Because your balls have nothing to do with her headache.

6. If the world is attacked by alien mutants who kill all the men except you with a special death ray thingy, leaving millions of women needing fertilization in order to repopulate the human race, once you’ve had a vasectomy the human race will die out. And it will be all your fault.

7. Swollen balls. This one dude I know got the snip and his nuts swelled up like Valencia oranges. I suppose it kind of fills out your Speedo, but according to this guy it hurt like hell and was like having a pair of tits in your shorts, i.e. very hard to cross your legs without damaging the produce.

8. Other shit that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Okay, maybe your worst enemy. Such as? Such as:

Adrenal gland dysfunction
Atheosclerosis (hardening of the arteries leading to heart disease)
Autoimmune orchitis (degeneration of testicular tissues due to antibody action)
Chronic inflammation including the formation of sperm granulomas
Chronic testicular pain (Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome)
Circulatory problems including phlebitis
Congestive and infectious epididymitis
Decreased testicular function including changes in testosterone production
Diabetes
Erectile dysfunction/impotence
Gangrene of the scrotum and other serious infections
Generalized lymph node enlargement
Hypoglycemia
Life-long autoimmune (allergic) responses
Liver dysfunction
Loss of libido
Lung cancer
Lupus
Migraine and other related headaches
Multiple myeloma
Multiple sclerosis
Narcolepsy
Neuropathy (nerve pain and damage)
Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
Personality disturbances
Prostate cancer
Prostatitis
Pulmonary embolism
Rheumatoid arthritis
Scrotal and epididymal cyst formation including Spermatocele and Hydrocele cysts
Staph infections including infections of the heart valves
Testicular atrophy (shrinking of the testicles)
Testicular cancer
Urolithiasis (kidney stones).
Vasitis nodosa (chronic inflammation of the vas deferens)

Hope this helps.

Surgically,
Wankmeister

Wankmeister bids adieu

March 1, 2012 § 14 Comments

Well, it has been a fun 114 posts in the blogosphere, but apparently success has caught up with me. I applied for the job as managing editor at VeloNews.com in Boulder, Colorado, and was hired as of this morning. One condition of my new gig is that I can’t blog any more independently. This blog has received over sixteen million hits since it began little more than a year ago. What a tribute from the handful of slackers who check over and over to see if they’ve been mentioned, and whose places of employment don’t yet have SonicFirewall.

I thought it might be interesting for my half-dozen or so readers to see my job application and how I completed it as a sort of future reference, as the job will likely be vacant again soon.

  1. The requirement: Velo Magazine is seeking a managing editor. This is a full-time, salaried position with benefits, available immediately, based in Boulder, Colorado. My response: Sign me up but I gotta stay here in SoCal, dood. Can you move your offices and stuff out here? Boulder’s a shithole. Who wants to live in a place named after a rock? I mean Im sure its nice and all.
  2. The requirement: Candidates must have well-established experience in writing, editing, formatting and timely project management, as well as a firm understanding of all aspects of the sport of professional cycling — road, mountain, cyclocross and track. My response: I’m a gud ritter and spelchekker and got the biking shit down, bro.  And here’s what I know, yo: Road is for MEN, mountain is for PUSSIES, ‘cross (not “cyclocross,” ya dooshheads) is for HARDMEN, track aint a sport unless you mean NASCAR and Im all over that shit.
  3. The requirement: Working closely with the editor-in-chief, the managing editor is responsible for the coordination, organization, control and completion of all aspects of editorial production, from raw material to finished publication, by maintaining effective communication among the editorial, design, production and ad sales departments. My response: Nobody fukkin tells me what to do.
  4. The requirement: Minimum skills required include a B.A. or advanced degree in journalism or related field, or equivalent work experience and working knowledge of Word, Excel and InCopy. My response: “Journalism” aint no fukkin “field” its a job description for dooshheads who want free swag in exchange for bullshit stories. I’m all in, dood. I am very nollegible about Words. Plus I Excel to. I can do everything In Copies if you show me how to work the fukkin machine but dont I get a couple hot secretaries for that shit?
  5. The requirement: Essential skills include project management, attention to detail, communication, creativity, people skills, multitasking and decision making, all within a deadline-driven environment. My response: Yah, detail shit, that’s me, cross every fukkin i and dot ever fukkin t you ever saw. Communication? Fuckin-a I will tell it like it is. Creativity, check. I can make shit up like nobodys busness. People skilz: chicks dig me, for sure. Multiasking? I can ask for all kinds of shit–“gimme another fuckin beer now”–cool huh? Decision making–fuckin’ a I am The Decider type guy. Beer or wine? Fukkin-a beer every time, DECIDED. Deadlines, check. They dont call me Ol’ Giterdone for nothin.
  6. The requirement: In addition, the ideal candidate is intimately familiar with major cycling acronyms/abbreviations. My response: What is this  fukkin spel test or a mans job? UCI (United Cigarettes International), USAC (Underwater Society of Ass Kikkers), ASO (You need an ‘l’ in there, dooshheads, its a word, ‘also,’ duh), WADA (thats what you blow, dude, gross, this better not be some porn gig), NCCA (National Cigarette Checkers Assn), IMBA (In My Badass Apinion), HRM (Hot Rod Magazine), LBS (Lance & Betsy Showdown), TT (Tough Titty), KPH (I dont know this one, happy with your little bitch ‘gotcha’ crap now?), OTB (Oklahoma Turd Blossom), JRA (Jerks, Rags & Assholes), and, of course, DFL (Dont Forget the Lube).
  7. The requirement: The ideal candidate will be able to spell names like Frischknecht, Maaskant and Vinokourov from memory. My response: Why the fukk I gotta remembeer it if you just speled it for me?
  8. The requirement: The ideal candidate can list off every winner of the last 20 Tours de France. My response: What in the fukk are you talking about?
  9. The requirement: The ideal candidate is able to fix a flat tire in under 10 minutes, using only tire levers and a mini-pump. My response: The ideal chick is a 10 stripper who owns a liquor store and turns into a pizza at midnight, but good luck with that shit, too.
  10. The requirement: One last thing — a sense of humor always helps. My response: If I wnated to work with a bunch of fukkin clowns Id join the fukkin zoo.

Wankmeister cycling clinic #6: Should I upgrade?

February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dear Wankmeister:

I’m 40 now and thinking about upgrading but am afraid that it will be too hard and I won’t get a lot of podiums in the 3’s like I do now. Should I stay Cat 4 or should I go?

Cautiously,
Pudly Wackum

Dear Pudly:

Upgrading is a serious step, and you should carefully weigh the pros and cons before rashly leaving the safety of the 4’s. I’m assuming, of course, that your idea of “safety” is to be surrounded on all sides by crashing idiots who think it’s normal to fall down heavily on the concrete every three or four races. Once you leave the 4’s, it’s a whole new ballgame: think Quidditch + pole dancing. The pressure in the 3’s is immense. You’re surrounded by athletes of the very highest caliber who, like you, have lofty goals. The commitment level is much higher. To really “make it” as a “pro” Cat 3 will require the hard sacrifices that come from hundreds of hours in the gym, 300-400 miles per week on the bike, serious weight loss and nutrition management, a (more expensive) personal coach, fully integrated power training techniques, and the investment in a bike “arsenal” that will allow you to select the optimal $15,000 rig for each race. You’ll also need to have a heart-to-heart discussion with your employer so that he/she knows your new priority is success as a “pro” Cat 3. You’ll have to get your significant other on the same page, too. For a few years, indeed, the foreseeable future, he/she and your children will have to accept that they’ll be seeing less of you. Much less. Which might be a good thing.

Commitedly,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

I just turned 45 and am really looking forward to racing in the 45+ category. It’s been rough sledding in the 5’s and I’m looking forward to kicking butt in some of those old man races. Any tips?

Hungrily,
Harry Hacker

Dear Harry:

These races are very easy to win. There is an old fellow named Thurlow Rogers who typically shows up for these races. Just hop on his wheel and do whatever he does. Then at the end, pedal very hard until you go flying past him. You’ll win every race!

Tipsterishly,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

Ever since I started racing masters 35+ I can’t seem to frickin win anything. There’s this black dude who wins all the races. What’s up with that? I’m not a racist or anything, but how come he gets to win all the time? Can I downgrade or something? This frickin sucks.

Nondiscriminatorily,
Bubba Beerbelly

Dear Bubba:

That “black dude” is named Charon Smith. Don’t feel bad. White people can be successful, too. Sometimes. But there are barriers and obstacles they must first overcome. In your case, you must overcome the fact that you are slow and he is fast. For a wanker such as yourself, I recommend a lot of drugs and maybe a leg transplant. Next, you must overcome the fact that he is tough and savvy and you are pussy-ish and stupid. Finally, you must change the fact that you are are usually late for work due to hitting “snooze” four dozen times, whereas he’s usually up at 5:00 a.m. doing workouts in PV, up and down the Switchbacks. Plus you have to stop beating off so much.

Affirmatively actionable,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

I’m considering switching from Oakley’s top of the line Dorkus Buttscratcher frames to SPY Optic’s uber-rad Diablo performance cycling sunglasses. Thoughts?

Opthalmologically,
Iris deMental

Dear Iris:

SPY is to Oakley what Scott Dickson is to a first-time century rider.

Parisbrestparisly,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

I want to upgrade to Cat 2 so I can race against that Bahati guy. I’ve heard he’s not really that fast.

Confidently,
Danny DeLucional

Dear Danny:

You don’t need to upgrade to test your legs against Rahsaan. Just show up on the Pier Ride and let him feel the sting of your Cat 3 legs. And you’re right. He’s not really that fast. He can be easily beaten by almost any stock unmodified motorcycle.

Twostrokedly,
Wankmeister

Wankmeister cycling clinic #5: Dealing with icky weather

January 20, 2012 § 2 Comments

Dear Wankmeister:

Forecast says “rain” for tomorrow. I hate riding when it’s wet, but I really don’t want to miss the Donut. Any suggestions? I was thinking about spin class in the morning if it’s really icky out.

Frightenedly,
Sammy Snickers

Dear Sammy:

You’re a contemptible piece of shit. Suit up, shut up, and ride your fucking bike.

Gently,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

I’ve just bought a Specialized SL4.9 road bike with electronic Shimano shifting. It is the bomb and it has Zipp wheels which are the bomb to. Lots of my buddies always do the Doney and tomorrow is my debutt with the new bomb bike so I want to make the big whammo impression but my problem is the bikes going to get nasty from the rain and bad weather forecast in the forecast. I dont like a dirty bike especially a new bitching bomb. Help me Rhonda.

Hippishly,
Tommy Twotone

Dear Tommy:

You, too, are a contemptible piece of shit. That bike is like a virgin, and the mud/rain/muck/slime/sludge/filth/grit are like your dick. You’re asking me what to do with a virgin while pointing to your dick. Ride your fucking bike. If you’re too much of a dipstick to clean it, take it to the bike shop and pay to get it cleaned.

Instructively,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

I’m very excited about tomorrow’s big Donut Ride. It is my favorite ride I have done it three times and you are my hero. I love how I watch you from a long way off as you jackhammer everyone into bits of jelly for the first mile or two before you do that thing where you blow up and fall into the gutter and then everyone passes you. That’s really cool! Anyhow, I want to “Donut” (cool verb, huh!!) tomorrow but it’s going to rain they say and I don’t have good bike handling skills and I’m afraid of the rain because I think I will actually handle even worse. Should I or shouldn’t I?

On the fencedly,
Tweezle Twadsworthy

Dear Tweezle:

Don’t worry about your contemptible bike handling skills. Most of the idiots on the Donut handle their bikes even worse than you, they just go a tad faster. You will improve with practice or get killed, and what better way to learn than taking out half the field with one ill-timed, squirrely wobble? Perez does it all the time, and he wins practically every Cat. 3 crit he enters. Plus, if you time your crashes right, you’ll be out for a season and lose your upgrade points so you can keep hanging out in the 4’s.

Believingly,
Wankmeister

Dear Wankmeister:

I don’t know how to say this, but I’m just not tough. I don’t like cold, or wet, or wind, or dark, or rough, or long, or hot, or steep. For me, cycling is best when I can cruise at 72 degrees on a relatively flat scenic road with no traffic or wind. Coffee stops every couple of miles and a Standing Room burger to celebrate my efforts. I know you’ll understand when I tell you I’m not riding tomorrow because of the rain.

Revealingly,
Freddy Flapknocker

Dear Freddy:

You didn’t have to say it. I already knew.

Observantly,
Wankmeister

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