Rolling thunder

August 29, 2019 § 2 Comments

Let me die free.

Let me die like this: hammering off the front on the world’s dumbest and most exhilarating group ride ever, the New Pier Ride.

Let me die like this: helmetless, the wind blowing through the locks that I yet have, by colpons oon and oon, my hairless enemies gnashing their teeth, eating their livers in my wake.

Let me die like this: young and enthusiastic riders, not beaten down by conformity and fear of death, bridging up and refueling the break with the force of twenty bulls.

Let me die like this: pinned on Ramon’s wheel as Pornstache passes, hye on hors he sat, frame too big, catching wind as a spinnaker, throwing watts onto the pedals like copious ocean foam upon the rocks.

Let me die like this: John Candy Trump ignominiously cutting the course and reappearing out of the neighborhood just in time to blow by him, my caboose latched onto the Pornstache Express.

Let me die like this: a thousand slow deaths as Ramon and Pornstache take turns motoring even farther from the dejected and dispirited group.

Let me die like this: face bismotered and slathered in, uh, pain.

Contorted in awful misery, yo.

Let me die like this: the end in sight, having saved every ounce left in these old bones, punching once and dislodging the raging bull.

Let me die like this: watching the bull counter and ride away.

Let me die like this: with Pornstache slapping his ass in the universal bikespeak of “hang on, hang on, hang on.”

Let me die like this: the Pornstache catch, the raging bull fade, and the leadout at every punishing mile per hour that Pornstache’s legs can churn.

Let me die like this: coming around with every ounce of strength in my sagging body, gifted the #fakewin at the #fakerace by a #truefriend, arms raised in the #fakesalute, all caught on video by Fran Sur in the LAX police follow car.

Let me die free.

END

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Did you do the NPR?

July 9, 2019 § 8 Comments

There has been a lot of discussion lately about what the NPR actually is. I am not good with flow charts and stuff, but what follows might help you out if you are wondering whether you really did the NPR.

Did you start at the Manhattan Beach Pier?

NO — You did not do the NPR.

YES — You might have done the NPR.

Did you leave at 6:40 AM?

NO — You did not do the NPR.

YES — You might have done the NPR.

Did you turn right at Imperial?

YES — You did not do the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

Did you wait for the group at the top of Pershing?

YES — You for sure did not do the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

Did you get dropped, cut across the Parkway, then hop back in with the group, a/k/a Hop-in Wanker?

YES — Don’t even think about saying you did the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

Did you run a red light?

YES — You might have done the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

When you ran the red light(s), were you in a breakaway or solo OTF?

NO — You didn’t do the NPR.

YES — You might have done the NPR.

Did Elijah yell at you?

NO — You need to do more action to get noticed.

YES — You might have done the NPR.

Did you peel off on Lap 3 so you could watch the finish?

YES — You did not do the NPR.

NO — You might have done the NPR.

Did you complete all four laps plus Pershing plus VdM plus the Alley?

NO — You didn’t do the NPR. Sorry.

YES — Go ahead, post it up on the ‘Bag, the Gram, and the Stravver. You did the NPR.


END

No place for old men. Or women.

March 6, 2019 § 17 Comments

I went to the NPR yesterday and hung on for dear life.

All the people drilling, grilling, and killing were twenty years younger, at least.

All the old farts who used to line it out at the front were cowering, grabbing wheels, wondering when the root canal was going to end.

A whole second NPR has formed now, the Old Fux NPR, consisting of Great-grandfather Time Timmy G., Jim H., and a whole bunch of superannuated bristlecone pines who plod around the course with various hangers-out and hangers-on.

I’ll be joining them before long, it seems.

I can see how some people get depressed at the harsh reality of their doddering weakness and infirmity, and deal with it by riding somewhere else, or creating a secret OF Ride, buying a cruiser bike, or finally, finally, getting serious about golf.

For me, it’s a breath of fresh blast-furnace air to get pummeled by crazy strong riders in their 20’s and 30’s, because that is how it is supposed to be. It is nice to be reminded of the true order of things, which is this:

You get old, you get weak, and you die, if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky, you just die.

Major Bob and I were laughing about it on the parade pedal back to the coffee shop. “I don’t even know who these young guys are,” he said.

“And I’m pretty sure they don’t know who we are, either.”

“Or who we were.”

“Yeah. It’s just, ‘Get out of the way, old fuck. Your senior citizen seat is at the back of the bus.'”

“That’s the way we were, too.”

“Yep.”

_______________________________

END

Boyz badly beaten

December 29, 2018 § 5 Comments

Today CitSB sat down with Lauren Mulwitz after her amazing NPR #fakerace #fakewin on Thursday in order to get her take on this hard-fought battle.

CitSB: So, you’re now the second woman to ever win the NPR. How does it feel? Best feeling in the world?

LM: Second best.

CitSB: Right. How did it unfold?

LM: There were a bunch of riders and I beat them.

CitSB: Yes, got it. What happened exactly?

LM: Everyone pedaled hard and went crazy fast.

CitSB: Yes?

LM: But I went just a little faster.

CitSB: Um, okay. What about the strategy? How did you pull it off?

LM: I pedaled as hard as I could.

CitSB: Is it true that Charon was in the field?

LM: I think so. They were behind me so I don’t really know.

CitSB: Ouch! And Evens? Did you beat Evens, too?

LM: I don’t know. Was he back there?

CitSB: Ouuuuuuch! Ouch!

LM: Look, it was NPR. I don’t know who all was there.

CitSB: Oh, that is painful, just painful. So how did it unfold?

LM: Cressey and some really strong dude bridged on the golf course bump and the pack didn’t chase. They let me have it.

CitSB: Riiiiiiight. Kind of like a late Christmas gift?

LM: Yes, I guess so.

CitSB: Because everyone on NPR is so nice and friendly and loves to see women win?

LM: Well …

CitSB: Nice job out there.

LM: Thanks!

CitSB: But don’t go beat all the guys again, okay? Please?

END

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Work together!

December 2, 2018 § 1 Comment

Cyclists often have a conflicted relationship with law enforcement. This is because law enforcement often does not give so much as one-tenth of a broken fuck about cyclists. They often don’t know the law, don’t care about the law, and have even been known to willfully ignore it to the detriment of the cyclist.

My best worst memory was having a Hayes County sheriff’s deputy outside of Buda pull his service revolver and point it at my head as I tried to escape by riding off in a bar ditch. I fell over so he didn’t have to kill me for failing to pull over.

But it’s not always that way. There are cops out there who know the law, and even more unicorn-ish, cops who actually cycle.

One of those cops is officer Fran Sur. And he’s the classic example of why it matters to have law enforcement on your side.

Last week on the NPR an apparently crazed and/or insane and/or drug-addled and/or drunken driver came close to mowing down the group. He then flipped a u-turn and had a second go, which thankfully came to naught.

Officer Sur, who works for the LAX PD, was immediately on the scene and helped apprehend the suspect. It’s not the first time he has gone above and beyond to make sure that cyclists are respected on Westchester Parkway. An avid and dedicated triathlete (forgiven, dude), and member of Big Orange, he’s an example of what happens when cops and cyclists are one and the same.

Nor is he the only one. Many cops ride, a few of them race, and they are dedicated to making sure that the laws are fairly enforced, not just against cyclists, but against drivers, too.

END

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Chick wins #fakerace, wankers groan

November 30, 2018 § 15 Comments

I still remember three-ish years ago when Kristie said, “I want to win NPR.”

“Never gonna happen.”

“Why’s that?”

“Look around. See all these wankers? 98% of them have never won and never will.”

“Why?”

“If it ends in a bunch sprint you have to be able to bunch sprint. Only a few riders can. If it ends in a break you have to be strong enough to make the break, ride the break, then attack the break or outsprint the break. Only a few can. If you go solo you have to be strong enough to stay out there and run all the red lights for four laps. Only a few can.”

“How do you know I can’t?”

“You’re a woman. Women have been riding the NPR since it began and none has ever won it. Suze Sonye never won it, for dog’s sake. Tink, Lolo, Emmy Sue, Katie D., Kate V., the list goes on and on. It’s woman-proof.”

“I’m gonna win it one day.”

“In your dreams,” I said.

The Rule of Brauch

Derek the Destroyer once told me the secret of bike racing. “Your race is decided by who shows up.”

On Wednesday night Kristie sent me a text. “NPR tomorrow? 100% chance of rain and 40 mph wind gusts.”

“In,” I said.

We rode down there in the nastiest gale imaginable and by the time we got to the pier the rain had slackened but the wind was insane. We were a crowd of two.

The rain resumed. We hammered out Vista del Mar, the rain beating so hard it drilled into my face like needles. Atop the Pershing Bump there was no one. “Gonna be your day,” I said.

Four laps later Kristie cruised to the win. We were frozen to the core as we pedaled back to CotKU. “But did I really win?” she said. “Does it count?”

“Did you leave the MB Pier on a Tuesday or Thursday at 6:40 AM, pointy-sharp?”

“Yes.”

“Did you complete the entire NPR course?”

“Yes.”

“Were you the first rider across the #imaginary #fake finish line?”

“Hell yes.”

“Then you won the NPR.”

“But didn’t you let me win?”

“Bike racing has a hallowed tradition of breakaway riders cutting deals. Sometimes it’s for a past favor. Sometimes it’s for a future favor. Sometimes it’s for cash. But that actually makes it more legit because while you’re cutting deals for the win, the Pillowbabies are back there slitting throats for third, or hitting snooze for the fifth time.”

“So what do I owe you?”

“Coffee,” I said.

Pillowbabies

Of course the hardest thing about a chick winning the NPR is all the guys who HAVE NEVER WON IT AND NEVER WILL. It is quite painful for them. There they were, lying in bed. The alarm went off but they hit snooze after listening to the rainfall. “Ain’t nobody stupid enough to do the ride today,” they thought.

Unfortunately, Gary Cziko, who lives atop the Pershing Bump and trains his video camera on the NPR every Tuesday and Thursday, recorded the morning’s heroics and posted the video on Facebag. “Who’s stupid enough to do NPR this morning?” he asked rhetorically, before answering “Seth and  some guy.”

So far so good until it was pointed out that the other guy was Kristie Fox. The Pillowbabies moaned. Facebook creaked. The excuse factory went into overdrive as each Pillowbaby angrily thought about how HE couldashouldwoulda #won the most prestigious #fakerace in California.

Below are the top Pillowbaby excuses for getting owned by a chick:

  • There wuz only two riders! [Please refer to Rule of Brauch, above.]
  • I woulda beat that chick if I’da been there! [You weren’t.]
  • They wuz goin’ eezy! [They were going full gas, per eyewitness and video footage of Dr. Cziko.]
  • That’s bullshit! [Please refer to Rule of Brauch, above.]
  • Aw, man! [Please refer to Rule of Brauch, above.]
  • I’m gonna kill it next week! [Along with 80 others, which means you’ll get 35th. Again.]
  • Next time it rains I’m gonna show up and beat two other people! [We’ll be waiting.]
  • This sucks! [You snooze, you lose.]
  • I am gonna totally kill the Gram later today! [Okay.]
  • Check out these new socks and kit I just bought! [Nice.]
  • It’s the off season! [Which is now 12 months in SoCal.]
  • Aw, man! [We heard you the first time.]

END

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High school reunion

November 14, 2018 § 5 Comments

I went out and did the NPR today, but not before posting the Wanky NPR call sign on Facebagland, “Switching to Glide.”

It was kind of like the old days, a reunion of sorts minus Sausage, Eric A., Hair, Davy, Rahsaan, G$, Surfer, Derek, and a bunch of others. Still, plenty of tough riders answered the call including the legendary Head Down James, making his reappearance for the first time in ages.

My goal was to go hard until I couldn’t anymore but I got more than I bargained for. Head Down James, Chris Rothermel, Shoutypants Faye, Sleepy David Ellis, and Ram-Ram lit it up on VdM. Cam Khoury blitzed after World Way Ramp, and by the time we were on the Parkway people were already gassed.

James, Chris, and a couple of other riders hit it again and they were gone. The group chased hard until the turnaround on the first lap. The leaders had a red light and they simply stopped. No breakaway rules, they just stopped and patiently waited. We “caught” them, otherwise they would have been gone for the day.

After seeing that kind of stone cold restraint, I’m never running an NPR red light again. Chapeau, guys.

I kept drifting to the front, taking a swing, then drifting to the back. Rudy Napolitano showed up and all hell broke loose. James kept the gas on and people were getting shelled left and right, then playing hop-in-wanker as they cut across the Parkway to hitch back on when the group rolled back around.

I made a hard effort halfway into the second lap, then eased up because my legs were shot as the group came by on the golf course bump. I waited until the last rider then dug, almost at the top, to get back on.

For the first time ever, I couldn’t. It was only about 20 yards to cover, which was about 19 yards too far. “Man,” I thought, “this is a combination of old age and being really weak.”

As I rode alone for a bit, then Tim Gillibrand, the 95-year-old guy who still comes out twice a week, passed me. “That all you got?” he said with contempt.

Yeah, Tim. It was.

END

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