Climbing lessons, or, Team America 1, Team Socialism 0

May 8, 2016 § 17 Comments

The day dawned bright and clear but only for me and Ol’ Grizzles, who sneaked in before the others awoke and drank all the coffee. After two solid days of food and liquor the guys who had to sleep in the villa kept each other awake with the percussive rumblings of their bowels and the alternating stop-start wheezing of sleep apnea.

The challenging and beautiful ride routes planned by Munch had already been vetoed by the mutinous riders who only desired a brief pedal down to the cheese shop and back. “I can’t climb on this rental bike,” complained Ol’ Grizzles. “The geometry of the rear triangle cuts the power of my stroke by half.”

“I can’t climb today,” said Shit in the Lane. “This is my recovery week.”

The Norwegians all looked contemptuously at the Americans, who were going to vote for Trump. Stigosaurus grunted as he ate an almond and finished off his bowl of salt. “Today big pounding.”

Ol’ Grizzles, whose bike, underwear, toothbrush, and EPO were still in Boston, got on the phone to check the status of his lost doping shipment. “How can I help you?” said the cheerful lady. “What is your tracking number?”

“It’s 54321-24.”

“I’m sorry sir, that’s our partner Iberian Airlines. Our system doesn’t have that number. You should call Iberian.”

“I just called them and they said to call you.”

“Our last record in our system shows the bag was shipped to Ougadougou yesterday. Is that your final destination?”


“Ougadougou in Upper Volta. Is that your final destination or are you simply in transit through Africa?”

“Lady, I’m at my final destination, which is Mallorca.”

“Why were you traveling through sub-Saharan Africa? A more direct route would have been Madrid.”

“Lady, I’ve never been to Africa in my life. You lost my bags in Boston.”

An hour into the conversation we were all milling around waiting anxiously for the ride to begin, as storm clouds were gathering and the window for a sunny ride was slamming quickly on our fingers. “Can you hurry the fuck up?” Munch said. “You’ve got a rental bike, for fuck’s sake.”

Ol’ Grizzles was now speaking to a very nice lady at Iberian Airlines who was also very happy to help him and advise him that the next time he travels from Houston to Mallorca he should avoid connections in sub-Saharan Africa due to the likelihood of issues with luggage.

The navigation for the day’s course was undertaken by Team Norway due to the fact that they were engineers and had complete mastery of real-time mapping technology. As we swooped through the gorgeous Spanish villages with the sun illuminating a deep azure sky and the wind at our backs we were a magnificent group to behold except for one or two tummies that evidenced an excessive consumption of liquor and sperm (whale).

Team Batshit Crazy Texas Evolution Deniers was extremely concerned by Team Norway’s hired guns, Stigosaurus and Posi-Tron, vicious and canny killers on the bike whose sole mission was to annihilate Team Batshit Crazy. As the gentle rollers began, ticking off the first sectors of our 100-mile, 9,000-feet day, we knew that it was only a matter of time before the Norsemen unsheathed their fearsome battle axes and lopped off a few heads.

Suddenly, Shit in the Lane drove to the front, stringing out the peloton into a narrow, snaking line. The Norsemen sat on his wheel, sapping his mighty strength as they prepared to unleash the tremendous power of the Stiganator and his trusty maiden-in-waiting, Posi-Tron.
One by one the weakest of team Batshit dropped a prolapsed uterus and the more culinarily oriented members of Team Salted Fish spiraled off the back. At precisely the moment when Stigosaurus was poised to unleash his tremendous power, Ol’ Grizzles ratfucked him with an acceleration up the side that only SITL, Brian, and I could follow. Despite the tremendous power of Stiggy and Team Aryan, we motored away from them as if they were doing a sack race.

Of the many awesome things about Mallorca, nothing is more awesome than the hundreds of pelotons out prowling the roads. As SITL set the throttle on “destroy,” we caught and dropped countless mini-wankotons, Team Blonde fruitlessly trying to reel us in. When we reached the end of Sector 1 the group stopped for coffee, flan, pudding, beer, and salami, and Ol’ Grizzles expressed his concern to Stigosaurus.

“I’m really disappointed in you, Stig.”


“I expected you would really show us a thing or two in Sector 1 but you rode like a three-legged nag dragging an anchor. How old are you, Stig?”


“Well you just got your ass beat by a 63-year-old great-grandfather, which means you flat fucking suck.”

Team Norway jumped to Stig’s defense. “He has ridden 2,000 kilometers this week and he is a national champion runner in his youth and anyway he excels in the high mountains”

“Well someone needs to tell him this isn’t jogging, and it’s not my fault he doesn’t have sense enough to quit riding after 9:00 PM.”

We resumed and we hit Sector 2, a barely paved 10-mile road through olive groves, and soon we had shed Team Norway except for Posi-Tron. Bruce, Shit in the Lane, O.G., Brian, and I scored an incredible victory, adding to our point total by 5,000 points. Unfortunately for Stig, we had decided to only award 45.6 points for the rest of the trip.

At lunch we were all ravenous so I had two lasagnas. Stig and Posi-Tron had a hotel room they were sharing at the nearby resort, so rather than eat with his mates Stig crawled back to his hotel to get a fresh stick of celery, a bowl of salt, and a couple of fresh blood bags.

We chided Posi-Tron for Stig’s disappointing performance and said we hoped the 12 new units of blood would do the trick. Team Norway was getting a bit testy due to their tremendous power and the fact that each time Ol’ Grizzles upbraided them he added another ten years to his age.

“Stig and Posi-Tron do best on the climbs,” they insisted, “and this has been too easy so far. You will see,” they said.

After lunch Shit in the Lane gave his double cheese pizza four minutes to settle and hit the gas. When you are on his wheel his ass is so wide it blots out the sun, you could just as easily look around Mt. Fuji. This time Stigosaurus made the selection and he sat on SITL’s wheel who ripped it through the lanes at 33 mph. When the rollers started SITL exploded and Stiganator unleashed his tremendous power.

O.G. and I were immediately put in huge difficulty and after a few minutes of receiving the tremendous power we put away our nail files and stopped watching YouTube videos. I pulled through in my weak, effeminate California way but it apparently had a detrimental effect on Stig’s tremendous power because he began to wobble and then said “Let’s wait, okay?” which was Ol’ Grizzles’s cue to attack, which he did.

The dominating win of Sector 3 gave us an additional 50,000 points which would be hard for Team Cratering Oil Prices to make up.

However, the next sector was the first real climb of the day, a steep 5km ascent with numerous ramps. Chef Leiv tossed the first grenade and only Stig and Posi-Tron survived the shrapnel. I latched onto Posi-Tron, terrified by his worm-like physique of 110 pounds, his long legs, and the fiendish grin on his mid-30’s face as he contemplated chewing up another feeble old man on the climbs.

Apparently though he was already full from lunch and not hungry for old man and soon enough Stig countered with the ferocity of someone whose last meal was a bowl of salt. He dropped Posi-Tron and the tremendous power had me gasping, heaving, and gagging as the road kept tilting viciously up. With the exception of Derek, Jules, Rudy, Julien, Fukdude, Ponygirl, and a couple of hundred other South Bay riders I had never seen such tremendous climbing power.

After a bit he looked back and snarled, preparing to unleash the super extra tremendous power because the tremendous power, although tremendous, wasn’t quite tremendous enough to have the desired effect. Once the super extra tremendous power came out, however, Stigosaurus began to wobble and weave a bit so he looked back and commanded, “Time for easy pedal now!” but what I heard instead was “Wanker legs now tired and giving up,” so as much as I didn’t want to, I dropped him.

O.G. passed him, too, reminding him of his disappointment at this crushing defeat in Sector 4 and deciding to give Team America 12 million bonus points. Stigosaurus didn’t say anything the rest of the ride but we were pointedly told that tomorrow, when the road tilted skyward, we would see the true prowess and tremendous power of Team Left Testicle.

Munch redeemed the Vikings by earning three bonus points with an extra Puig and a 20km pull all the way home to Lloseta, where we had magnificent paella for dinner with jokes on the side, mostly directed at Stiganator, who actually ate some real food. We knew that he was gonna unleash some tremendous power.


Pass the sperm (whale)

May 6, 2016 § 15 Comments

There is no question a man will ever have to answer in life more significant than “Bring my own bike or rent?”

For me it was simple. Traveling with a bike is like carrying smallpox with you on a vacation. Far better to overpay for a filthy, maladjusted creaker with a nut-punishing seat and enough grease on the chain to open a burrito stand than to put hell in a case and drag it through airports filled with hurried, harried, angry people whose only goal in life is to prevent you from reaching your destination at the highest possible price.

We got to Palma and the weather, which had forecast rain, was raining. I say “we” but that didn’t include Ol’ Grizzles’s bike and gear, which American Airlines had decided would be put to better use in Boston. “No problem,” said the agent, “we can have it delivered to your hotel on Thursday.”

Now that the bicycle trip he had been planning for six months except for the how-to-travel-with-the-bike part was effectively ruined, we went to OK Car Rental, a licensed criminal organization whose business model is to double the guaranteed rare, force-place wildly expensive insurance, charge you a $40 handling fee for filling the tank, and watch you flip out. “You can walk or take bicycle if you don’t like,” is their sales-clincher.

We piloted to the grocery store in Inca in a hailstorm, our single goal being to buy provisions and get to the villa before the others so we could snag the plum beds and Shit in the Lane would get the couch or baby crib again. The first day’s grocery bill was $700.

“Holy shit,” I said as we checked out our five carts.

“Yeah,” said O.G. “Better put it on your card.”

We headed over to the villa, our turdbox from OK Rental groaning under the groceries. We’d been awake for 28 hours and hadn’t eaten anything except a half-dozen in-flight meals and we were now wrestling with the fact that our villa had no address and our contact, Rafael, wasn’t awake yet at noon.

Fortunately it all worked out but not before three pounds of butter melted in the back seat. No matter. We beat the Norwegians and SITL and scored the lovers-cabana-for-two next to the pool. The villa was over 300 years old (“Older than your Constitution!” remarked Munch cheerfully) and furnished with all the comforts you would expect from the Spanish Inquisition including jagged stone floors that tore away unsuspecting toenails.

The crew assembled, minus J-Lo, who hadn’t checked his expired passport until the night before, and Stig, who had arrived a week earlier, was staying elsewhere, and in any event was still riding as he’d only put in 1,000k in five days. “New to cycling,” we all shrugged. “He’ll get over it.”

A mad flurry of bike assembly ensued for those who had shipped bikes except for O.G., who had a mad flurry of a phone conversation with American Airlines as he got them to pay for a bike rental, new kit and helmet, and floor pump. Three of the guys had Ritchie Breakapart frames, a collapsible contraption that is heavy, slow, and ugly, but like children it’s yours.

Brian amazed everyone with a massive, three-foot torque wrench. “What the fuck is that for?” We howled in derision.

“Sets my pedal torque.” More howls. “I got these Garmin power pedals …” More howls. “And the torque has to be right …” More howls. “Or they don’t work properly.”

“Dude!” said SITL. “That wrench weighs more than your fucking bike and I’m gonna drop your ass no matter what pedals you use.” He emphasized the point by emptying his gin and tonic and his wine glass and vodka.

Before long we had tired of making fun of each other and demanded dinner. Leiv the Salted Fish Eater, who was also our cook, brought out an amazing platter of liver-colored, shimmering red meat soaked in blood. “He bring it with him from Norway,” Sverre whispered.

“What the fuck is it?” Dan said. “His neighbor?”

We all took turns guessing. “Reindeer?”


“Anus of bear?”

“I will tell you after you try it,” Leiv said. We each fearfully took a sliver of the barely cooked, quivering meat, like when someone sticks his finger under your nose and says, “Smell this!”

It was tasty. “Gimme some more!” said Shit in the Lane. “What is it?”

“Sperm whale,” said Leiv proudly. “Who would like seconds?”


Eating like kings

May 5, 2016 § 13 Comments

A couple of days before my big trip to Spain where I will contest the 2016 Tour de Prostate I got to wondering about the details. So I called up Ol’ Grizzles who was more than happy to take the 76th call of the day from anxious participants wondering about which gears, which tires, and which syringes to bring.


One bag, 10 days. Thanks, Larry & Fukdude!


All you need for 10 days, including what’s on your back.

“Hey, man,” I said. “I been wondering.”

“Yeah?” he said.

“Yeah. What about food?”

“What about it?”

“Like, what’s the eating situation? Should I be bringing BonkBreaker bars and BeachBody elixir [*note pro placement of club sponsors smack in the beginning of the post, where exposure will be maximum, before  readers close the window when they see their name isn’t mentioned]?”

“Dude,” he said, “there are a lot of things to worry about, for example Stig the freak who has been in Mallorca for the last week and already logged a thousand kilometers.”

“So he’ll be worn out by the time we get there.”

“Or you could worry about your candy California ass and how the Ted Cruz Contingent is gonna tear your legs off.”

“As long as you Cruz Campaigners agree to carry any and all of your non-viable attacks to term, that’s fine. How’s his campaign doing, by the way?”

“Or you could worry about the fact that we’ll do more hard riding in the first two days than you’ve done all year.”

“Hmmm,” I said.

“But the one thing you don’t need to worry about is food. We’ll be eating like kings.”


“Dude. We get up, hop on our bikes ride for a couple of hours, grab a huge lunch, ride a couple more hours, get back to the villa, and eat a huge dinner. There’s food everywhere, all the time.”

“Cool,” I said, and hung up.

This morning you can imagine my surprise when I got the following email from Leiv, the Director of Hospitality. Here is his missive:

Wanky and Grizzles,

Since you are arriving first, you will be required to visit these premises for acquiring the below list of essentials as stipulated by me.

Hiper Centro, Inca
Avinguda General Luque
Inca, Illes Balears, España

These items required for your purchase are not voluntary but are stipulated as required purchases to ensure that governing dietary needs are met durational for our enjoyable together time and nutrition proper for exercise and recovery.

  1. Beer, regular Pilsner type, 300 bottles, 330ml
  2. Beer, dark type and Weisbier, 100 bottles each and however way
  3. Cava, 36 bottles, based on their selection but preference is from these two producers which are not voluntary but stipulated by mutual order and consent: Millésime 2011 or Gran Reserva Brut or Reserva de la Familia or Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2010  by  Juvé y Camps, Cava, España
  4. Heretats, 12 bottles, Gran Reserva  2009 or MIM Brut Reserva  2010 or Pinot Brut Reserva Rosé  2011 by  Vins el Cep, Cava, España
  5. Rose wine, 10-15 bottles, free selection with stipulation of no American vinegar tasting
  6. White wine, 10-15 bottles, free selection with stipulation of no American vinegar tasting
  7. Red wine, 10-15 bottles, free selection with stipulation of young wine, Tempranillo grape, Spanish only
  8. Bottled water, 1-3 bottles for Seth, stipulation for purchase in litres, a measurement unknown to provincials and Americans
  9. Coke/Soda, 1-3 bottles for Seth or other babies
  10. Milk, 0% fat, 50 litres for morning recovery and general healthfulness
  11. Juice, selection 40-50 litres, with stipulation of nothing from concentrate due to unhealthfulness
  12. Tonic water, 14 litres for healthy mixture with stipulated hard alcohol
  13. Limes, 80, for healthy mixture with stipulated hard alcohol
  14. Lemons, 45, for healthy mixture with stipulated hard alcohol
  15. Red chili peppers, 25-30, for healthy mixture of cooking and proper bowel
  16. Spring onions, 10-15 singles, for more proper bowel and health
  17. Red onions, 10-15, very good for extra proper bowel
  18. Yellow onions, 2-3, moderate bowel yet stipulated flavoring
  19. Bell peppers, 13, dinner garnishing and healthy vegetable
  20. One lettuce, healthy bowel roughage
  21. One cucumber
  22. One honey melon
  23. One cantaloupe melon
  24. Charentis / Gaia / Ogen melon, 2 each for bowel roughage
  25. Ripe!!! Mango, 4, stipulated vitamin for replenishment of bodily fluids
  26. Avocado, 10 ripe for chili mixture
  27. Cillantro, a good heap for green chlorophyll benefits
  28. Basil, a good pot or heap for concentrated chlorophyll benefits
  29. Mint, a good pot or heap for freshy breath
  30. Garlic, net of 10 for fart reduction
  31. Olive oil, virgin 15 litres for various stipulated cooking and healthy fart reduction
  32. Corn oil, 1 litre, less healthy but cheap and healthy for stipulated budget
  33. Balsamic vinegar, 1 litre, extremely bowel health
  34. Sweet soy sauce (black stuff, small bottle ok)
  35. Regular soy sauce, salty type, 1 litre
  36. Rice wine vinegar (with the sushi stuff and Asian people area of the stipulated market), 1 litre
  37. Mustard, Dijon type for various health application
  38. Sesame seeds for bowel roughage
  39. Wheat flour, 15 kg for regular morning baking
  40. Maldon salt (pack) for flavoring
  41. Pepper (ground, one glass + one mill glass)
  42. Sugar 25 kg, for all applications and cooking meals to assignment as stipulated and manufacture of home made energy bar for cycling
  43.  Breakfast oats, 20 kg, for daily logging of morning cooking and lunchtime meals
  44. Butter 5 kg, for all cooking procedures as stipulated and bowels
  45. Eggs, breakfast mainly, 13 dozen, but application as needed throughout day and as hunger dictates late-night omelette production
  46. Cheese, a selection yet refraining from heavily stinking goat type
  47. Pata negra ham (several different please), 12 kg for much protein throughout all times
  48. Boiled ham, 2 kg, for chewing
  49. Jam, one or two glass for application with bread to be baked each morning fresh as each stipulated member takes turns on morning baking crew
  50. Bacon, 10 kg, for frying and healthy aroma to be assembled by morning baking crew on rotations
  51. Yoghurt, 12 litres for hangover absorbtion and bowel
  52. Nuts, selection of hazel, almonds, walnuts for dessert and hangover rapid absorption
  53. Snack chips, beer nuts, etc. for frequent ingestion and hangover delay
  54. Shampoo
  55. Soap
  56. Toilet paper
  57. Cling foil
  58. Aluminum foil
  59. Toilet paper written twice because forgetfulness of this stipulation would result problematic in catastrophe
  60. Kitchen paper
  61. Trash bags
  62. Extra ration beer and wine for emergency
  63. Low grade tequila for stipulation of necessity
  64. Medium grade whiskey for washing down parts of beer and wine
  65. Flavored liqueur
  66. Vodka, varying prices but all cheap, please

The individual cooking crews will by stipulation be on assignment and in shifts with new members beginning cook shift at 5:00 AM or early as by stipulation of senior members’ dietary stipulation and awakening schedule. Cooking crew rotational shift designation will be throughout each day with new members carrying proportionally heavy stipulation preparation and cooking and shopping load until Year 2 when seniority accrues by stipulation.

Thank you.

So now at least one thing is clear. We’ll be eating like kings, all right, but in order to do it we’ll be needing a few slaves.



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Mallorca 2016 Tour de Prostate

May 1, 2016 § 20 Comments

Now that the final start list for the Mallorca 2016 Depends Challenge a/k/a Tour de Prostate has been released, I’ve begun training in earnest in order to show my main sponsor, Metamusil, that I’m not just another dirtbag roadie who takes all the swag and shits. Er, splits.

None of the Norwegians have nicknames because when your parents named you “Munch” or “Stig” there is not a lot of room for humorous improvement.

The Texas Cruz Crazies are led by one of the fiercest, canniest, toughest, most experienced elderly fellows in the assisted care facility, Ol’ Grizzles a/k/a Skinless Boneless a/k/a What’s Your Name Again, Sonny? Next comes a man known only by the initials SITL, the meaning of which will never be revealed (unless you happened to have read Friday’s blog).

After that the Texas Cruz Crazies are:
Steve B.
Daniel P.
Bruce M.
Brian S.
… and J-Lo.

The Norwegian Salted Fish Eaters are:
Trond da Furst
Trond da Sekund
… and Stig.

Since none of the Texans can read, it made sense for the Norwegian contingent to plot out our ride routes. Even though Norway is essentially Germany for Dumb People, they have been the designated choice for detailed planning ever since the Texans were put in charge of building a bonfire that one year.

In order to view the routes you’ll need access to, the cycling equivalent of MySpace. You’ll have to join MapMySpace and friend me and promise not to be one of those stalker weirdos. Here are the stages:

Stage One: San Salvador and Puig de Randa. We start out guns blazing because everyone knows that in our aged and weakened condition we’ll only become feebler and unable to ride as the days pass, especially on Day 2. This 85-mile loop will separate the men (none) from the old men (almost everyone else) from the wheelchair-bound (Ol’ Grizzles). MapMyRide link here.

Stage Two: Cap Formentor. For the one or two riders still alive after Stage One, this little jaunt, also known as Cap Tormentor, takes us out onto a promontory and 8,000 feet of climbing that is often swept with howling gales and, if you leave past 9:00 AM, is littered with giant tour buses.”Cap Formentor” is Catalan for “You should have driven.” Although marketed by the sneaky Norwegians as a recovery day, Cap Formentor promises nothing but hell, awfulness, and one more excellent reason to fall off the wagon. MapMySpace link here.

Stage Three: The Gristmill. After two days of vicious riding, the Norwegians have inserted a truly despicable day, the 103-mile rolling ingrown toenail known as The Gristmill for the tiny, fine granules into which riders are ground. With only 5,700 feet of climbing it will feel like 57,000, especially for the Cruzin’ Crazies whose idea of a hill repeat is the 12-foot climb coming into Fulshear. Several of the Norwegians can be expected to DNS if the ride starts before noon, as they’ll still emptying the dregs from last night’s bender. MapMySpace link here.

Stage Four: I’m Mainly a Birdwatcher. By now the 2016 Tour de Broken Man Parts will be over for all but a few who are properly dosed and under a medically supervised training plan. At 72 miles and two minor climbs, today is the first true recovery day, and we can expect to see enthusiastic competitors take out hiking boots, binoculars, and Spanish phrasebooks as they insist they really only came to Mallorca “for the hiking” or “for the excellent birding at Albufera Marsh” or “in order to practice my Spanish and learn about the culture.” MapMySpace link here.

Stage Five: Sackwhacker. This is the queen stage of the Tour, so called because of the toll that this day will take on your manhood. Ascending 7,400 feet in 64 miles, the Cruzies will all be chanting anti-abortion songs and voting for secession from the comfort of the villa while the ill-tempered Norwegians drink salt-fish gels as they pound their way to the top of Puig Major, the biggest climb on the island. No one will dare post his time to Strava. The Texans will prove they climbed it with Photoshop. MapMySpace link here.

Stage Six: The End of Life as We Know It. This day’s ride is simply a sick joke; 103 miles and 13,000 feet of climbing through the hilliest portion of the island. No one will start. No one will finish. Everyone will brag about it back home, claiming you can’t see their time because their battery died or that the Spanish GPS stuff doesn’t work on their English Strava/Garmin etc. Whoever hasn’t booked an early flight home by now or checked into the ICU will have sold the bike and headed over to the mainland for something easier, like bare-handed bullfighting. MapMySpace link here.

Stage Seven: Bitch Pudding. 50 miles and 3,200 feet. Who cares? MapMySpace link here.

Stage Eight: It’s All Downhill Not. By now everyone hates everyone else, the nationality jokes have turned to nasty glares, the Norwegians mutter angrily in Norwegian and the Cruzy Crazies whisper among themselves in Pig Latin. The Not Smart Enough to be Germans have one last knife up their sleeve, though, and it’s the 67-mile, 10k-feet Sa Calobra, truly saving the worst for last. No one shakes hands as each rider gathers his filthy belongings and glowers, each harboring dreams of revenge and planning for the other’s destruction … next year. MapMySpace link here.



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What are you training for?

April 29, 2016 § 28 Comments

I was standing in the bar, downing my third craft water and feeling my prostate start to bulge. BD was downing something with a bit more horsepower, and he was not happy.

“Fuggin’ wanker brake-checked me! Tried to take me out.”

“Bummer, dude,” I said.

“Bummer? Eff that! That guy’s a fuggin’ head case! He brake-checked me and tried to take me out! Why didn’t you do anything?”

“I didn’t see it. And I’m not your mother.”

“Eff that! It’s your ride, dude. You’re the enforcer. That was bullshit!”

“It’s not my ride, I’m not the enforcer, and every pelodrama has at least two versions, if not a dozen. Plus, you’ve been doing this long enough to know The Rule.”

“The Rule?”

“The only person responsible for what happens to your front wheel is you.”

He thought about it and drank some more Thought Stimulator. “What’s your next race?”

“I don’t know. Barry Wolfe?”

“Ugh. Crits. So no Dana Point?”

“No. I’m off the bike for the next few days.”

“How come?”

“I just did three back-to-back days of 5-hour rides and I need to rest.”

“What are you training for?”

“I’m taking a trip next week.”

“Really? Where?”

“Mallorca for ten days.”

BD stared, then had some more Thought Stimulator. “Dude! You’re going to Mallorca? To ride?”

“Yes. And yes.”

“Oh my fuggin’ dog! That’s bike porn! You’re going to be buried in bike porn for ten fuggin’ days!”

“Bike porn?”

“Dude! It’s the best riding on earth! It’s Disneycycleland times a billion! Who are you going with?”

“A group of crazy people, unfortunately.”

“Taking the family, eh?”

“No, they’re staying home. I’m meeting up with Ol’ Grizzles from Texas and his band of Ted Cruz Moral Majority crazies, and then we’re going to be joined by Ole Oleson and his band of Merrily Grim Norwegian Salted Fish Eaters.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Ol’ Grizzles is a riding buddy from Texas. We became immediate and lifelong friends when I showed up on a ride on my steel Eddy, no helmet, and wool jersey, and beat the snot out of the local West Houston posers. He and some of his gun nut abortion-haters go to Mallorca every year and do a week or so of super hard riding, which basically means one day of going full gas and seven days of recovery beer and feasting on smoked hog testicles.”

“What’s the Norwegian reference?”

“So Ol’ Grizzles and his buddy Shit in the Lane had another friend, Ole Oleson from Norway, who was stationed in Houston as part of his company’s plea-deal to avoid prison. He could have gone to jail or to Houston, so he picked what he thought was the lesser of two evils and found out he was wrong. Anyway, Ole rides like a maniac for the three weeks every year that Norway isn’t covered in snow and ice and mud and vodka, and he brings some of his buddies to meet up with the Texas crazies, and it’s kind of a Man Tour on testosterone supplements. They’ve badgered me the last couple of years to join them as they need riding lessons, but all of my kindergarten-bike classes are too advanced for them so I’ve always declined.”

BD heard about half of what I said, maybe. “Dude!” he urgled. “Bike porn!”

“Yeah,” I said. “Bike porn. Whatever that is.”

“So what’s the plan? What rides are you doing?”

I took out my phone and showed him the latest missive from our Directeur de Démembrement:

Dear Weak-legged Ones,

Le Tour de Mallorca 2016 is coming up fast, much faster even than your carefully planned training schedule, which you meticulously plotted out last August yet doubtlessly put off until the week before departure. That is okay. You are likely well prepared for eight days of hard, mountainous riding with those two extra-long rides to and from the liquor store. Mallorca is mostly easy riding and will accommodate your efforts much as your manufacturing sector has accommodated the “inferior” competition from China.

In short, do not worry.

As Directeur de Démembrement I have promised to come up with an assortment of rides. This seemed daunting at first since, given your riding profiles the only “assortment” that would fit involved flat rides to the liquor store, as mentioned above. However, there should be something for everyone, from large sections of flats where Shit in the Lane will hammer for a mile or two until he has to dig deeply into his Suitcase of Excuses (which will be well-filled prior to departure), and climbs where our Norwegian contingent has finished translating a few chapters of Egyptian hieroglyphics before the Ted Cruz Contingent catches up. We even have rides where Ol’ Grizzles will be able to tag along, at least until the right turn out of the driveway. Maybe. The distances vary from 65-ish to 100-miles with a possibility to cut some of them short, and a guarantee to cut all of them short for Grizzles and SITL. Note that I use miles because the complexity of the metric system is too confusing for a group of Texans who are still trying to decide whether a birther Nazi or an Islamic State Christian are the better standard bearers for America’s highest office.

We are a rather large group, although we will become much smaller as the days pass and the rides tend to select towards fitness, preparation, ability, and mental fortitude, meaning that we will more and more tend to be exclusively Norwegian. My hope is that early on, if the Cruz Contingent can avoid complete drunkenness on Night One, we can manage some discipline and should be able to cover some ground. However, knowing some of you guys and my experience with you on the West Oaks rides I know that things will most likely fall apart. My scheduled plans for the rides are just that; plans. To borrow one and the only intelligible quote from Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Just a suggestion, but bring face masks.

Enclosed are both the GPX and KML coordinates for the rides. I doubt that anyone with an American high school or college degree can read them, however, the files can be uploaded to Google Earth or other applications such as Mapmyride is free and takes only a couple of minutes to register, although its terrible interface and complexities (you will need to have your child help you with the instructions to “log in” and “register”) will deter most of you. Your 5-year-old, however, will be good to go and will see the routes with distances, feet of climbing, and other cold, hard facts that no amount of bragging to your wife will now allay. SITL and others should be wearing diapers when they see the daily routes for the first time.

Should you have a GPS device please upload the rides. It won’t help you go faster, and it will certainly subject you to merciless shame should you have the bad judgment to upload your ride times to Strava, but it will help when you get utterly, completely, and thoroughly lost, which will happen each time the road tilts up, the speed picks up, or we pass a bar. You do not want me at the front all the time shouting directions, as when excited I revert to my native Norwegian, and for safety reasons we certainly do do not want any of you up there.

After speaking with our Officier  d’Hébergement I trust that he is in control of the accommodations. The left pig sty is for SITL, and Ol’ Grizzles has first dibs on the horse barn. I know you will all enjoy the new culinary experience of Mallorca. Make sure to bring your favorite bowel irrigation device.

Please make sure that you all include cycling shoes, a bib short, and jersey in your carry-on, though for most of you a pair of gym shorts and flip-flops would more than suffice given the length of time you will survive the actual rides. The Specialized  “bicycles” that our US friends will be shipping over may be impounded by Spanish authorities as imitation bikes; don’t say we didn’t warn you in advance to rent rather than travel with 400-lbs. of poorly made American-branded junk.

Please let me know how the GPX/KML files work out and if there are any issues uploading them that your children can’t immediately resolve.

Directeur de Démembrement



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Hi, Mom — worst day ever (Part 5)

September 13, 2014 § 2 Comments

Hi, Mom

I want to kill myself. After getting moved in I rode down to Bunny’s Liquor Store near my place to get some silver bullets. There were seven or eight guys standing outside and they also had lost their belts. So I said to them hey could you watch my bike for a minute because this bike is worth about $5k and one of the guys said sure, man.

So I went inside and got three 24’er cases of silver bullets and when I came outside my bike was gone. Hey, where’s my bike I asked them and they said I don’t know I didn’t see anything. You’re kidding me I said you were here the whole time and that bike is my livelihood. They were like hey man we didn’t see nothing and mom I almost started to cry. They were like why are you so upset and I said I’m a pro bike racer and that’s my team bike. I’m gonna lose my job now.

They were like oh man that sucks. I said didn’t you see anybody but they were like, nope. I don’t usually cuss mom but I said f*** and s*** and god**** it to h***. There goes my whole life and they were like oh, man that really sucks and hey is that Coors Light?

So I was like, hell yeah, silver bullets baby so we went around to the dumpster behind Bunny’s and started cracking them open. They are a pretty good bunch of guys and they said they would keep an eye out for my bike and if they saw the person who stole it they would take it back and give it to me. Pretty soon a bunch of other guys showed up and we emptied the third case so I went back and got three more. None of the dudes in my neighborhood have belts like I said before there is a HUGE belt shortage here in LA.

Then they were like hey, do any brothers race bicycles and I was like no, I only have a sister and she works with Pap on the hog farm. They were laughing hard at that, go figure.

I don’t know what I’m gonna do now, mom. After we killed that last case of silver bullets I got three more but now I’m completely broke. Anyway the guys in my neighborhood and I are good friends now, they invited me to play hoops with them tomorrow and told me to bring some more silver bullets. I have no idea what hoops are but if it’s a sport I will have to open the can on these guys even though they’re my friends. I may be short but I don’t lose to anyone.

PS: Can you put another $150 in my account? I thought I had some extra money but it looks like I spent it all at Bunny’s.

PPS: Love you MOM!!!

PPPS: Don’t tell Pap I got my bike stolen.

Love you,

Your son “Blitz”

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