July 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
As I pulled myself up into the cab next to Holmes, a chill went down my spine in that typically British, closeted homosexual way of two men pushed shoulder to shoulder and imagining how the other would look dressed in leathers, tied to a tree stump, and barking like a dog while the other spanked him with a wet baguette.
“What could have happened to him, Holmes?” I asked as the cab rattled across the cobbled streets.
“Do you suppose that’s the correct question?” Holmes riposted, and I could see his face turn towards mine in the dark.
“Dash it, Holmes, aren’t you the one who said the poor wanker had vanished without a trace?”
“I did, indeed, my dear Watson.”
“Then what else in blue blazes could the question be? He was here, now he’s gone. What on earth happened to him?”
Holmes chuckled that maddening chuckle of his, when his rapier-like mind has fastened onto its prey like a hungry mastiff, and no goading can loose its grip. I wondered if he’d ever paid to see a grown man naked. “I’ll be at your service when you need me, then,” I said, somewhat gruffly, and pained by Holmes’s sudden turn of silence.
Soon the cobbled roads of London gave way to the rutted unpaved roads leading out of that great city, and my mind drifted, then dozed, until I awoke with a start. “We’ve arrived, Watson,” said Holmes as we both exited the cab.
There before us was a quiet home, to all appearances as normal a place as you could ever hope to find. A tall hedge was in front, and a pretty garden filled with trees suggested the blissful hearth of that happiest British convention, the country home. Holmes rapped on the door, which was swiftly answered by the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Dark haired, voluptuous, and radiating sorrow, she cried out, “Oh, Mr. Holmes, thank you for coming! I thought you’d never arrive! Please do come in!”
The wanker’s abode
Holmes strode across the threshold with the piercing look I have seen so often, when the genius of his mind misses no detail, and when what to others is a mass of confusion is, to him, an ordered story legible only to him.
The lovely lady stood there, uncountenanced somewhat as Holmes had not bothered to introduce us, and the awkwardness was furthered by her stare at the giant bulge in my trousers where I had placed my revolver. “Pleased to meet you, madam. John Watson.”
She blushed and held out her hand. “Mrs. Prez. It’s a pleasure, my good sir.”
Holmes turned to us, startled to realize that there was anyone in the room, so raptly had he focused on the living room. “Do you mind,” he asked, “if I have a look in the bedroom?”
“By all means,” said the lovely lady, blushing again.
“Watson, if you would,” Holmes motioned me to follow.
We entered the bedroom of the wanker and Holmes went straight to the closet. Rapha clothing of every variety, Assos bibs and jersey of every color under the rainbow, and cycling shoes in green, yellow, pink, orange, and mucous filled the closet. “Great gods,” I exclaimed. “The man’s a fashion model!”
Holmes shook his head. “As usual, Watson, you cannot see the trees for the forest. There’s nothing here.” He turned back, and took a quick look beneath the coverlet on the bed as he left the room.
“Can you find my husband, Mr. Holmes?” the distraught woman asked, her tear-streaked bosom heaving in worry and fear.
Holmes smiled at her in that comforting way a man has of reassuring a woman, as if to say “You can trust me, my dear, I’m thoroughly gay.”
We remounted the cab, and Holmes let out a short, satisfied laugh. “Well, Watson, what do you make of it?”
“Make of it? Deuce it all, Holmes, it’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle ensconced in an enigma, that’s what I make of it!”
“Come now, Watson, surely you jest? Isn’t it clear what happened to the poor man?”
“Holmes, if I didn’t rate you as my closest friend, I would be so exasperated as to refuse all further attempts at conversation! Don’t tell me you have figured this out? The poor wanker had a terrible wardrobe and even worse fashion sense! What else was there?”
“In the main, the mystery is solved, Watson. There are but two small details I should like to make certain of before we retire for the evening.”
The shanties of London
Before long our cab had brought us back to the outskirts of the city, and from the dim lights of the gas lamps I could see that we were in the slums of Chutney, London’s most notoriously impoverished shantytown, where life’s outcasts, men who had gambled all and lost, dragged themselves to die amidst the stink of filth and the reek of gin. I braced myself as we got out in front of the most wretched, dilapidated tenement I had ever seen, and did all I could to hold my breath as Holmes banged on the door with his walking stick.
A bedraggled, besotted, broken, and surly fellow came to the door, his long greasy locks covering a pock-marked face in which two red, sunken eyes stared out from his gaunt and deathlike skull, the last embers of a spirit that was all but quenched.
“Mr. Smith, I dare say?” said Holmes.
“And what is it to you if I be?” snarled the man.
“It could be nothing, or it could be this and bit more,” said Holmes with a wicked smile, carefully tucking a sovereign into the man’s curled paw.
In a flash we were over the threshold, and never have I seen a more horrid den of iniquity. Floozies lay draped in whatever position their drunkenness or opium stupor left them, while similarly stupefied patrons lounged on the couches, awaiting the dawn that would force them out again into the world they had shunned for a few brief hours of night.
“Come in ‘ere, guv’nor,” said Mr. Smith. “An’ tell ol’ USCF district rep Smithy ‘ow ‘e can be o’ service to the guv’nor.”
“Mr. Smith,” said Holmes. “It can come as no surprise that we’re here to inquire about a certain Prez. Wanker of all on two wheels.”
“Prez!” shrieked the old man, his body shivering with rage. “Prez! O, guv’nor, don’t come ‘ere an’ ask me about ‘im! It’s all I been ahearin’ these last five years, guv’nor, ‘Force upgrade the lad, Smithy!’ an’ ‘E’s winnin’ all the Category 3 races, Smithy, damn ‘is eyes, force upgrade the lad!’ ’tis all they can say from dawn to sunset, guv’nor! An’ what uz I to do, guv’nor? One minute some young lad’s father’s a’ breathin’ down me neck, ‘Force upgrade Prez or I’ll have your hide, Smithy!’ an’ the next it’s Prez ‘imself, guv’nor, writin’ letters and callin’ the higher-ups and takin’ me aside on Sundays an’ sayin’ ‘Now see here, Smithy, you keep me here a Category 3 ’til the SoCal Cup’s all said and done and see here, Smithy, I’ll make it worth your while, eh, Smithy?’ until ol’ Smithy’s been pulled and stretched like a piece of good English taffy in the Indian sun, guv’nor!”
“I’m sure you’ve done your very best, my good sir,” said Holmes in that sympathetic way he had. “But pray tell, what did you decide?”
“What did I decide, guv’nor? Odds bodkins, I force upgraded the lad! I ‘ad to, guv’nor! I ‘ad to! Oh, may the lord have mercy on me wicked soul!” With that the anguished man collapsed in a heap, sobbing inconsolably. Then he sat bolt upright. “But I didn’t do away with ‘im, guv’nor! An’ y’can’t say I did! P’raps one o’ them Cat 3 fellows did ‘im in, guv’nor, but me ‘ands are clean!”
“I thank you for your time, Mr. Smith. Here’s something for your trouble.” The old wretch’s trembling paw accepted the gift, and we left.
“Holmes!” I exclaimed. “Won’t you arrest the man? He’s the killer as plain as day. Either that, or he knows who is!”
With his maddening chuckle, he replied, “Watson, I’m surprised you don’t see it. It’s as plain as day. Let us make one last stop. I think you shall find this amusing enough to place it in that little history of my cases at which you apply yourself so assiduously.”
Palace of the lord
“Cabbie, take us to Kensington!” Holmes shouted to the man.
Before long we found ourselves in front of an iron gate, with a watchman who was none too pleased to see us pull up in our shabby hack. With all the ease of a man who had lived there his entire life, Holmes handed the man his card. “Please tell Lord Smythington that Sherlock Holmes desires the honor of a few moments of his lordship’s time.”
“You can’t be serious, Holmes!” I said. “Lord Charon Smythington? At this hour of the night, uninvited and crudely announced?”
“Let us see,” he said with a smile, “whether Lord Smythington can fit us into his busy schedule, even at such a late hour as this.”
In minutes the watchman led us to the front door of the great home, where the butler ushered us in. “Lord Smythington is taking his evening massage. If the gentlemen have no objection, milord will see them in the massage parlor.”
As we entered, the great man barely nodded his head in greeting. His massive legs, covered in massage oil, were being assiduously worked by his masseuse. “Mr. Holmes?” he said. “To what do I owe this unusual, late night visit?”
“We’ve come for Prez,” said Holmes, his steely blue eyes matched with razor thin lips that meant only business.
“Prez? The wanker? I’ve not seen him since the forced upgrade back in April. It’s a bit of a mystery, really, and I can’t imagine why you’ve come to me.”
“Lord Smythington,” said Holmes “you can either show us to him or we will request official assistance. I’m not certain that the publicity would be welcome to a man such as yourself.”
Smythington looked up. “How did you know he was here, Mr. Holmes? I thought I’d covered my tracks quite professionally.”
“Indeed, sir, you had, but you made one fatal mistake.”
“Ah, yes. And it was?”
“The coverlet, of course. Prez slept every night with pictures of Your Excellency taped to the underside of his coverlet. As soon as I saw them, I knew it was you who had kidnapped him, fearful that with an upgrade he would now become your biggest threat at the Dominguez Hills crit. I needed only a brief chat with Mr. Smith, the district rep, to confirm that Prez had received a forced upgrade, and from there to conclude that it must have been you.”
I couldn’t hold back my admiration. “But Holmes, why didn’t you suspect one of his fellow Cat 3’s? Or one of the junior riders whose parents complain after every race because their boy never gets a chance to win?”
“Elementary, my dear Watson. The 3’s had no reason to do away with him, as he’d been upgraded. From there it was child’s play. Despite his matchless string of victories, Lord Smythington was still concerned about Prez in the 35+ or Cat 2 peloton, if only because of his propensity to fall and crash everyone else out. So he brought him here.”
Lord Smythington looked at Holmes. “And how did you know he was here?”
“Prez went to bed each evening staring longingly at your pictures beneath his covers, Lord Smythingon. You sent a messenger to him, inviting him to come to Kensington to learn the ‘sprinter’s secret.’ He couldn’t resist. Once here, you placed him in the basement with ten years’ worth of cycling magazines, and told him that once he had finished reading them, he would finally win a 35+ masters race. And the poor fool believed you.”
“Yes,” Lord Smythington said, laughing, “he certainly did. I also told him that if he rode all over the peninsula in a giant gear and lifted huge weights in the gym he’d be invincible.”
Even Holmes, ever the steely investigator, broke into a smile at the thought of poor Prez, pushing a 53 x 11 up Hawthorne in the middle of December. Lord Smythington bade us adieu, and we left the great house, Prez in tow.
The following racing season, shortly after I had been apprehended while watching another gentleman through a small hole I had cut in a public lavatory, but prior to sentencing at the Old Bailey, I ran across Prez. He looked to be in the finest of fettle. “How are you, my boy?” I asked.
“Never been better!”
“Oh really? Be a good fellow and do tell.”
“I’ve won every 35+ crit of the season so far! And no crashes!”
“It appears your hard work has paid off, then.”
“Yes,” he said with a smile. “It certainly has.”
July 18, 2012 § 7 Comments
When I reached 221B Baker Street, I was highly agitated. Holmes had sent me a message through the street urchin Stathis the Wily Greek, and he had intercepted me on the way to dinner.
“‘Scuse me, sir, message from Mr. ‘Olmes,” he’d said, in that impertinent way of urchins everywhere, one hand thrusting the message and the other grasping for a few pence.
I had unfolded the paper immediately, and quickly scanned the note written in his long, spidery hand: “Watson, come quick. I’m in a spot of bother and need your immediate assistance.” Holmes never requested my presence unless it was a matter of quite some urgency.
As I went up the stairs at Baker Street, two at a time, I wondered what could be so pressing. It was only two weeks ago that he’d solved the Case of the Wheelsucking Wanker, a matter of international intrigue and diplomatic delicacy that, had matters turned out otherwise, might have implicated the very highest levels of Her Majesty’s government.
Almost as recently, he’d found the culprit in the Matter of the Wheelchopping Wanker, just before the criminal had taken down an entire peloton’s worth of the very finest men and women in the South Bay. And of course, Scotland Yard was still covering itself in glory after Holmes had uncovered the chain of events that led to the Dropping of the Sag-bellied Wanker, a matter about which Lestrade would be marveling for the rest of his days.
Liquor in front, poker in rear
I burst into Holmes’s flat and was taken aback to see him lethargically staring at the ceiling, a monogram of some sort open on his lap, amidst the telltale signs that he was deep in throes of his beloved opium.
“Dash it all, Holmes!” I said. “You can’t have had me cross London like a madman just to watch you smoke that devilish drug! What is it, man?”
In that languid and sexy way he had just before taking off his clothes and exposing himself to the neighborhood toughs, Holmes slowly turned his head. “Good of you to come, Watson. Pray have a seat. I’ll be with you presently.”
Fidgeting at the ridiculous prospect of watching him in his drug addled state, but secretly pleased that he’d needed my services, I settled down in my habitual chair, unfolded the paper I’d brought with me, and settled into reading the latest front page news. Soon enough, I surmised, Holmes would finish dreaming about prison showers and turn his attention to me. My patience was soon rewarded, as he came out of the drug’s fog with an alacrity that can only be described as astonishing.
“My dear Watson,” he beamed. “Why on earth did you give the cabbie such an absurdly generous tip after he argued with you so about the fare? Surely his joke about the carpenter wasn’t as humorous as all that?”
If amazement had a price on it, mine would have been ten thousand sovereigns. “What on earth, Holmes!” I exclaimed. “Surely you watched me from the window as I alit from the cab! But how would you know about the argument and the jest? They happened before I ever arrived!”
“It’s quite elementary, actually, my dear Watson. You’re a careful fellow who pays particular attention to his boots. Yet your boots are covered in mud, which has only partially dried. You’ve obviously been standing in mud, quite uncharacteristic of you, particularly when riding a cab, and particularly when interrupted by my urchin on the way to dinner at the club–a place you’d hardly appear at looking like you’d taken a tramp through a public latrine.”
“It’s true I abhor a filthy boot.”
“Of course you do, my good fellow. And that’s why you stand on the curb and positively never step in a puddle when mounting a carriage. I’ve seen you protect the shine on your boots this way a thousand times. Yet you did so today, as the mud is not yet dry.”
“That’s plain enough, I suppose.”
“Plain if you observe, my dear Watson. So the question becomes, why did Watson stand in the mud prior to mounting the carriage when it’s plainly not his custom? Obviously, just as he prepared to mount, or shortly thereafter, the cabbie said something to him that made him reconsider. So he stepped back down, missed the curb, and landed in the mud. Quite simple, really.”
“Dash it all, Holmes, it may be just as you say, but it hardly explains how you knew I’d argued with the cabman about the fare, though he was in fact a blackguard and a thief!”
“Aren’t they all, Watson? But what else would have caused you to dismount? Perhaps he could have offended you, but you’re a thick-skinned fellow and well accustomed to dealing with cabbies. More to the point, you’re tight with a pound, Watson, and it’s likely the chap changed his fare once you took a seat.”
“That’s exactly what happened, Holmes! It all sounds so simple to hear you explain it.”
“It sounds simple, Watson, because it is. One only has to look at what’s in front of his nose, rule out the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
I was now enjoying his little game. “But you’ve still not explained how you knew about the large gratuity or the jest. You must have watched me from the window, Holmes. That’s too easy.”
“Not at all, Watson. I’ve not moved from this chair for the last three hours. You dashed into the room and your right pocket was unbuttoned.”
“So it is!” I said with surprise.
“A man such as yourself never keeps small change in a capacious pocket like that. For such things he uses a change purse. No, in his right pocket, aside from the sheepskin condoms he uses to protect himself from the microbes in the prostitutes he frequents, a proper English gentleman would keep only a pound note or two.”
“I do, indeed,” I chortled, seeing the way the game would end.
“Why remove a pound note unless you were pleased with the fellow and intended to give him something extra for his troubles?”
“I did indeed!”
“And what could have pleased you about a filthy, boorish, argumentative hackney driver other than a jest? Surely he wasn’t giving you advice on the finer points of brain surgery.”
“Right again, Holmes!”
“Well, then, the rest is mere child’s play. The newspaper that you brought with you has a bold headline about Sir Timothy Carpenter, the banker who now stands accused of fraud. The cabbie, in an attempt to jolly you up after your spat over the fare, made some silly jest about Sir Timothy. Unlike the cabbie, however, I know how greatly you detest Sir Carpenter, and how pleased you are to see him brought to justice. You laughed roundly at the joke, let bygones be bygones, and left the man with a tidy little sum.”
“By Jove, Holmes, when you explain it like that it seems like only a fool wouldn’t have seen it. But I confess that your powers, without the explanation, are astounding.”
“You’re too kind, Watson, but they’re nothing of the sort. I’ve not brought you here to banter about cabbies, however, as you must know.”
“I assumed not.”
“To the contrary, I stand on the verge of the most devilishly confounding mystery I’ve ever encountered. It’s a small thing in its own way, as it concerns a wanker who most agree is a generally disgraceful chap when it comes to cycle racing, somewhat prone to hitting his head on the paving stones, that sort of thing. But the chief difficulty of the thing is that he’s vanished without a trace. And Watson…”
“What is it, Holmes?”
“No ever vanishes without a trace.”
He stood up, threw on his trench coat, pressed his hat against his head, took one last draw from his pipe, and bade me follow. “Do you have your service revolver, Watson?”
“I never travel without it, Holmes.”
“Then let us see what we can find.”
June 24, 2012 § 10 Comments
Mrs. Wankmeister and I were coming home along PV Drive North today when we approached a cycling dude from the rear. He had a very fine Cannondale, a very fine electronic transmission, a very fine Specialized helmet, a very fine pair of Sidi shoes, and a very, very, very fine commemorative jersey from the century ride he’d completed with 10,000 of his closest friends. It was purple and green and yellow and brown and white and black and red and green. It was styling.
For a moment.
“What a wanker!” I said.
“Why he’s wanker?”
“Look at those shorts.” Dude was wearing khaki loose riding pants.
“Those are are called dickhiders. Pure wanker.”
“Not hiding. Hider. Dude’s got ten grand in bike and paraphernalia but he’s afraid to wear lycra because he’s embarrassed to show his package.”
“Yep.” Mrs. WM and I often speak Japlish together.
“Why he’s ashamed of tiny chin-chin? Asian girl’s gonna wear little tight thing shows tiny oppai. Why he’s not gonna show tiny chin-chin? Smart shopper wanna see it before she buy it.”
“I dunno. But any time you see some dude wearing floppy shorts on a racing bike, it’s cuz he doesn’t want you postal inspector chicks to examine his package. ”
“He don’t oughta be ashamed about no tiny chin-chin. I don’t wanna see no big chin-chin in a bike shorts. Makes me sick, looking nasty all sticking out like bones and bagels.”
“Dudes I ride with, you won’t have to worry about that.”
“Onna bike I don’t wanna see no big nasty chin-chin poking in the lycra shorty pants with a pokey tip. Tiny chin-chin fits in the pants nice and don’t make a bump. Like a girl’s jeans. That’s why a boy’s jeans look nasty and not smooth. Gotta big lumpy donut and pokey in the middle not girl’s smooth line.”
“I’ll try to remember that the next time I go shopping for jeans.”
“But offa bike without no shorts it’s okay if a big chin-chin. But not too big like a German sausage. Kind of middle size is best. Offa bike tiny chin-chin it’s a kind of like a bumblebee who’s not got the stinger. It’s the disappointment.”
We pulled up to the dude at the light. Mrs. Wankmeister rolled down the window. “Don’t you worry about your chin-chin!” she said with a smile.
“Your chin-chin. It’s a okay one nobody looking it just don’t poke out like bones and bagels.”
Dude looked seriously fucking perplexed. Then we drove off.
April 19, 2012 § 5 Comments
It’s rare that anyone reads this blog, filled as it is with much sound and fury, signifying nothing. It’s rarer still that someone takes the time to dress Wankmeister down for his blustering, mouthy satires that amuse no one but himself, and sometimes don’t even do that.
The recent publication of Tuesday’s New Pier Ride recap was met with scorn and derision by one of the mightiest people in the peloton, and someone whose delusions of cycling greatness occasionally get tangled up with, and therefore become hard to untangle from, reality. Wankmeister can relate!!!
Below, reprinted sort of with permission but actually probably not, is “The True Unvarnished Unadulterated Unexpurgated Pure Tale of What Really Happened on the Tuesday NPR and Why Wankmeister is a Poser Douchebag but I Love Him Anyway and Can I Have a New Nickname Please” by Aaron “Hair” W.
So I show up at Telo today and someone says to me, “So Perez beat you in the Pier Ride this morning?”. To which I respond, “Hell no! No one was even in the same zip code!”. To which they reply, “That’s what it said in Seth’s blog”. My response, “what the fuck is Seth’s blog!?”. So I read it for the first time tonight …dude, you are one bad ass writer! But your killing me with the whole, “Me have big swinging dick, me take so many pulls”. It’s redundant, and people are just gonna tell you to stop whining. So let me help ya out with the taking a pull thing …if your taking that many pulls, your not pulling hard enough. When I take a pull, it’s to break mother fuckers off. It ain’t to keep the pack speed at some certain average speed. People don’t respond well to hard accelerations …and that’s what I like to give them. And if it don’t break shit up, well, it took all the pop out of their legs for the finish. So change the mantra …fuck pulling, attack bitches! Attack over and over and over until we break the bitch in two!
Now let me give you the final finish, since it seems you were unable to pull through that section ; ) At the turn around by Sepulveda, 5 Big Orange guys got off the front, and Leibert sat in front of Derek, Mark-Paul (our other teammate), and myself to block. This part is comical …even with Leibert soft pedaling, these guys were not pulling away. So I said to Leibert, “Tell them you can’t go any slower!” …I could see Leibert was disappointed.
Anyhow, Derek, MP, and myself took over at the top of bridge before Loyola and were on the front all the way to the finish. And when the sprint happen, I can assure you Perez was nowhere near me (or in front of me for that matter). So reprint that shit bitch! ; ) And tell these weak dick mother fuckers to start attacking more! When the group slows up, it’s cause their hurt’n …so fuck’n hit ’em again!
Now don’t get all teary eyed, and take any of this shit personal …cause you big dick swings too low for that.
And for Christ Fucking Sake, come up with a better fucking name than “Hair” …maybe something like,
“Giant Swinging Dick” or “Totem Poll Dick!
…you’re one of my favorite dudes, seriously.
and thanks for all the other compliments in some of your post.
Now I know what you’re all thinking. “Does he have any idea how hard people are going to laugh when this goes up on the Internet?” and “Does he even know what the Internet is?” And I can answer that for you: “No, and no but he soon will.”
However, it has now become necessary for Wankmeister to defend his honor, and since he has none to defend, he will go try and borrow someone else’s at least for a few minutes. So listen up, Hair.
You’ve broken a bunch of rules with this noxious missive, which is awesome. You are fast and smart and tough and you train hard and you win races (I’m making that last part up). But there are some rules that even you can’t get away with breaking. Here they are:
- Don’t ever ask for a nickname. Nothing good will come of it. Ever. Just ask the dude who wanted to be called “Cheap Trick” and is now known as “Nancy.”
- Don’t ever ask for a “better” nickname if one has already been bestowed. It’s like being a crippled dude with syphilis and telling people not to call you “Gimpy.” The only possible replacement is going to be worse, unless you’ve always fancied being called “Skankdick.”
- No matter what, don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever (and you can toss in a couple more “evers” just for emphasis) tell anyone what you really want to be called. Especially me. It will make the consequences of #1 and #2 above look positively benign.
So, you’ve fucked up, and now you’re going to be punished. Henceforth you shall only be known as Super Heroic Radically Impressive Manly Penis Yeoman Doing Incredibly Crazy Kermesses. But since that’s a mouthful (so to speak) and takes too long to type, we’re just going to call you by the acronym. Or, we could go back to using “Hair.” Your call, buddy.
PS: After you get through strumming that totem pole…go the front, you sandbagging wanker.
April 18, 2012 § 14 Comments
When our small pack of starving, drought-ravaged, beatdown wankers hit the second rest stop at mile 65.4, it was pandemonium. Fistwads of BonkBreakers, heads doused in cold Coke, unpeeled bananas devoured whole, and all the while smokin’ hot SPY babes making hashmark soup of our numbers to ensure we were credited for reaching the checkpoint, and me boring straight for the water, refilling my bottle, and jumping back aboard while most of the others were still gobbling PowerBars, sticking a finger down their shorts to see how egregiously their stinky diapers needed changing, or just rolling in the dirt and softly moaning.
A hundred yards past the transfusion station it hit me: whenever your ride involves a half-naked woman in her 80’s wielding a broom and threatening to kill you with it, you’ve just crossed the threshold from epic and wandered over into the batshit crazy realm of the surreal.
In fact, my last encounter with a crazy octogenarian woman during a bike ride didn’t involve one who was half-naked or carrying a broom, it involved one who was completely naked and barefoot, and ten miles from the nearest farmhouse.
Spit and Spanky Muffins
Spit&spankymuffins, or Clanghorn Leghorn as he was also known, had been whooping it up on the side with this little package from Granger, the only town in Texas that still had a Czech newspaper, and as far as I know, the only one that ever did, or for that matter, wanted to have one.
I don’t remember her name because I always just called her Czechmate, and that particular morning in July of 1984 as I rolled up the frontage road along I-35 to pick Clanghorn up at his house for a ride, I could tell from a distance something was amiss. For one, in front of his little white rental shack there was a silver Z-car, and the only person I knew who drove a silver Z-car was his fiancee, the little ballerina, who I always called “Bally.”
For another, from the distance and angle I could see a maroon Ford pickup parked out on the back lot, obscured by the mesquite and the brokedown storage shed. Clanghorn didn’t own a car, and the only person I knew with a maroon pickup was Czechmate.
For a third, I could see the side window that abutted Spit&spankymuffins’s bedroom, and it looked like a head was sticking out, a head with long brown hair, which was odd because Clanghorn always had a crew cut. For a fourth, even from that distance I could hear the godawful pounding on his screen door and see a highly agitated Bally making more racket than a 92-lb. ballerina ought to be able to make.
The only thing that meant we weren’t going to need a homicide detective was that Bally had approached from the north and thus couldn’t see the truck out behind the house, and that Bally didn’t carry a handgun. Most days.
By the time I got up to the fence Spit&spankymuffins was slowly opening the screen door, in tandem with Czechmate falling clumsily out of the window in her panties and hopping like a crazy woman through the goatheads and fire ant mounds to the safety of the thorny mesquite and her pickup, where she carried a handgun every single day of the year.
Bally jumped inside the house and was yelling so loud that she never heard Czechmate drive away. I played dumb and added a little more to the distraction while Clanghorn did a disappearing act with Czechmate’s clothes that would have made Houdini blush.
No country for old women
Clanghorn finally convinced Bally that nothing was amiss, and she was never the wiser until the big shindig the night before their wedding, when I raised my glass and made a toast that more or less wandered off onto the topic of Czechmate and how glad I had been that Bally had left her .45 at home that morning. That, along with their subsequent divorce after the world’s shortest marriage, is another story.
THIS story is about how Spit&spankymuffins and I decided that Bally was going to be laying in wait for most of the day, so the only way to throw her off the scent was to go do a nice long 120-miler, the only problem being that it was now 8:00 AM and the temperature was already 104, and if we waited much longer it was going to get hot.
Clanghorn thought he knew a couple of routes that would at least take us near a convenience store where we could get water, so off we went. By mile 90 we were both delirious. The temperature was well over 110, and the ambient air temperature four or five feet off the asphalt was easily 130. Clanghorn got turned around and we missed the convenience store, so we now had to either get something to drink or die.
By some miracle we hit a low water crossing that was mostly filled with nasty green stuff from a dairy farm upstream, but we were pretty sure we didn’t have to worry about brain damage, as no one would notice, and so we filled our bellies and bottles on that nasty green sludge, which, if I say so myself, was the sweetest and best tasting water I’ve ever had in my life, notwithstanding the cramps that night followed by the vomiting and diarrhea that ensued for the next three weeks.
As we rode out of the shade from the water crossing, ten miles from the nearest farmhouse, we saw a figure approaching us in the distance. As we got closer, we saw it was a woman. A very, very old woman. Naked. Barefoot. Walking on that frying pan asphalt looking as starry-eyed batshit crazy as we felt.
At first neither of us could believe it. “You see that?” I asked Spanky.
We pedaled slowly by. “Hi, ma’am,” I said.
She never looked to the right or the left, and I couldn’t help noticing that her body was perfectly brown all over, with nary a tan line anywhere. “Hey, Wankmeister,” Clanghorn said after we passed.
“Why don’t we just pretend that never happened?”
No country for lycra-clad whackjobs on the BWR
While I’d been downing plasma and EPO tabs at the transfusion station, a group of about twenty riders had taken the hard right turn down the dirt road that led to the quagmire of mud and water and slop and hell known by the bitterly ironic name of Country Club Road. As I made the right turn in their wake, I was surprised to see them all coming back again, pedaling pell-mell and screaming at the top of their lungs: “Turn back! There’s a crazy lady with no teeth and a broom barring the way!”
Well, all the motivation I needed to go full steam ahead was the chance encounter with a crazy toothless broom Hilda. Within seconds the SPY broom wagon came up, shouting the same thing. On I went until there in the distance I could see her, hopping up and down in a blue fury, one-piece burlap sack jostling about her skinny frame, three-foot breasts slinging thisaway and that like two bad dancers, one of whom wants to tango and the other of whom wants to do crossword puzzles.
“No blog,” I thought as I got closer, “will ever top this.” Then, as I saw her making some pretty fair batting cage slices with the broom, cuts that, if they connected, would at least be good for a ground rule double, it hit me: Crazy half-naked lady with three-foot breasts doing major league swings with a broom can only mean that her son, who is probably also her husband and the father of her grandchildren, has finally pulled on his burlap bag, loaded the guns, and drained the rest of the turpentine bottle prior to going out on the porch to see which raccoon or possum or skunk or crow or lizard or trespasser he’s going to have to shoot the legs off of.
“Fuck blogalistic integrity,” I thought. “I’m outta here.”
The surrealistic hell of the North County
After a mad dash I connected with the pack that had flown from broom Hilda, a completely different amalgamation of wankers than the dead and dying who I’d left at the doping station. The inaugural Belgian Waffle Ride was already an unmitigated nightmare of British proportions. The last thing I could clearly remember was the sight of MMX churning away at the front on Green Canyon Road, with zombie The Bone battering away, and freakish K. Strychnine grinding up each roller with the nasty efficiency of an industrial food processor.
As I struggled at the back, bladder almost bursting, I could only think enviously about the pee stop at mile 20, when MMX had urinated while riding his bike, splashing a fine, 12-foot film of hot piss along the public bike path and most of his hand. “Why can’t I do that?” I wondered. Several miles later, when I watched him absentmindedly wipe his nose and mouth, I wasn’t quite as envious.
By mile 39 the lead group had less than fifty riders, many of whom were already gassed from the 100mph run-up to the first sprint followed by the inhuman attack up the mile-long gravel road that looked like it had been paved with artillery shells.
The schmoes who had showed up uninvited to bandit the ride had long ago been crushed and shat out the back, and those who had shown up with minimal preparation were already well into the most miserable day of their lives, including the first time they ever rode an aluminum road bike.
During the neutral portion I had found myself next to a giant dude in a purple jersey. “Name’s Fred,” he said, with a perfectly straight face. “I’m a track racer from back in the day. Mounting my comeback.”
I looked at him to see if this was part of an elaborate joke. It was and it wasn’t. “I don’t think there’s a velodrome on the route today,” I offered.
“Yeah,” he muttered. I never saw him again.
The crazies come out when it’s muddy
My next companion was the guy who would have won the psychedelic batshit jersey if one had been on offer. In preparation for the 124-mile deathfest and its 9,400 feet of climbing, he had shown up with his hairiest legs and his best single-speed bicycle. “I’m a ‘cross dude, dude,” he said.
“Really?” I thought. “I mistook you for a retard.” He turned out to be very much the badass.
But the most amazing person of all was the rider from Los Angeles who had shown up to bandit the ride and shamelessly help himself to all the goodies. He too was quickly shed.
Legs burning as I hung on the back, I realized that I could either force myself to hang for another fifteen or twenty miles and then be completely wrecked, or I could drop off the back and pee so that my bladder didn’t rupture. It’s amazing how easy a hard ride becomes when you get off your bike.
After remounting, I settled into my own pace, and the remnant grupettos from the wanker rear guard began to pass me, first in ones and twos, and then in small groups. Like the old sailor in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, I tried to warn them of what awaited.
“Yo, Swami’s dork! Have you done this course before?”
“Because you’re going too hard. You will implode at mile 80, or before, and have to cheat to finish. Ease up now, while you’re still behind.”
They nodded and zoomed off. I saw them all again, of course, many miles later, in varying states of collapse and disarray.
The end of reality bleeds over into the impossible and false
Keeping my own steady pace I hit the bottom of Couser Canyon, and three quarters of the way up the climb realized my bottles were empty. With less than a quarter mile to go to the top, I spied a blue support pickup parked on the side of the road. “Got any water?” I called out.
I hesitated because I was carrying my rad CalBikeLaw.com bottles. I didn’t want to give them up, but I didn’t want to carry them empty, and I didn’t want to collapse from heat prostration. As I slowly rolled by I reluctantly handed the guy my bottle. He thrust the replacement in my hand. It was icy cold. I glanced at the logo. It said CalBikeLaw.com.
Before I could fling the bottle away like some talisman from the Twilight Zone, the two dudes were giving me a mighty push to restart me on the climb. The water was life giving. The bottle was brand fucking new. I never saw them again. I recounted the story to Junkyard, who smiled, rolled his eyes, and made the loopy finger motion around his ear.
Fast forwarding to the post-broom Hilda faux turn, the grupetto turned left onto DIRT ROAD at mile 66.98. With the exception of the lead group and a few other individuals, most of the BWR victims missed this turn. They were easy to spot because their bikes, legs, and shoes were devoid of thickly caked mud and slime at ride’s end, and because the first words out of their mouths on completion wasn’t “Oh my fucking Dog, that dirt road with the 18% sandy wall and the narrow, deep river crossing with a rock ledge drop off and trench mud embankment on the other side followed by 1.5 miles of the nastiest, bitterest, slidingest, badassedest unpaved mud pit known to man was AWESOME!!!”
Instead, they would say in a very purple jersey sort of way, “Oh, yeah…I, uh, did that. It was the wide water thingy, huh?” or “I dunno I just followed everyone else.”
I just followed everyone else
Problem is, my everyone made the turn. We launched down the mud to the rock ledge and mayhem ensued. People slid to a halt, fell off their bikes, toppled over, yelled, cursed, and rode exactly like you’d expect roadies to behave when greeted by wet mud.
Except for Singlespeed Nutter and Purple Jersey Andy. These two dirt dogs flung themselves into the water, hammered up the other side, and quickly gapped everyone else by a hundred yards. As I hurtled down the embankment, unable to see the water, I only thought one thing, back from the day that Filds tried make me a ‘crosser going around the golf course, and me trembling every pedalstroke of the way: “Just go fast!!!”
So, fast I went. So fast, in fact, that the only thing I heard when I launched into the river was “Holy fuck!” from some wanker who was lying in the mud and whose head I almost took off with my rear wheel. I landed full force on my front wheel in the water, and to my shock the bike of its own accord rocketed up the other side. I pedaled. The bike went faster.
There aren’t many times in your life when everything around you stops except you. It happened that day. The wankers up ahead just froze. I picked their perfect line and as my bike jumped and jolted up behind them I muttered, “Coming through!”
Purple Jersey Andy looked back in terror. “Holy shit!” he yelled “That’s his breathing!”
The noise coming from my lungs was so deep, so racking, so nasty, so fraught with spit and snot and spray and flecks of flesh that I fully expected to have to get off and poke my lungs back down my throat. But I didn’t. Wankers 1 and 2 vanished. I hit the wall and just went harder. Before I could even vomit it was over, and the crippled, broken remnants that were still wiping the mud off their asses might as well have been in Waco.
It’s the only badass thing I have ever done on a bike. It’s certainly the only badass thing I did on the BWR, because the rest of it was a nasty slog to the finish, overtaking one shattered rider after another until I hooked up with Mad Stan and Daffy Dave from the Wolfpack. They worked me over for miles, their shiny bikes proof that they’d avoided the muddy test of mettle, and despite shellacking them on Questhaven, they rode me down after Double Peak and we finished with A Day in the Life of Ivan Stefanovich, the long-haired Swami’s dude who had knocked over twelve bikes and three helpers at the last feed station as he fought off the LA Bandit Cheapass Fuckstick for the last swig of Coke and the last fistful of pretzels. He had passed me on Double Peak like a man on a mission.
Only the strong survived
The BWR got its inspiration from Dave Jaeger and his annual French Toast Ride, a 118-mile death march held every January before Boulevard RR. No one in the SoCal peloton exemplifies the qualities of toughness, fairness, good humor, and great perspective as well as Dave. So it’s fitting that when The Bone, Lars Boom, and Shirley Temple crushed everyone into fine bits of powder and then, like Cat 5’s getting lost on a square office park crit, wandered off course and failed to complete the entire route, it left Jaeger et al. to claim the winner’s jersey.
Nonetheless, the way The Bone, Lars, and Shirley dispatched everyone else who even pretended to contend, and the fact that their deviation was completely unintentional, earned them all the coveted King of the Waffle jersey and matching SPY waffle shades.
Rules still being rules, this meant that the next group of three finishers were the actual wieners of the event. That Dave was able to pull on StageOne’s incredibly beautiful yellow jersey, a jersey nicer than anything you’ve ever seen at the TdF, was proof that there’s a force for transcendental fairness and goodness in the universe. Nice guys sometimes rip your nuts off by the roots, stuff them down your throat, and, yes win.
Steve Klasna and Brent Prezlow joined with yellow jersey wiener honors, Phil Tintsman took the points jersey, and the hardman jersey was shared by MMX, Tintsman, and Zinc Oxide.
The color purple
The Belgian Waffle Ride started with a basic tenet: There will be winners, losers, finishers, and non-finishers, and they will be determined by relying on each rider’s honesty, sportsmanship, and personal integrity. After the laughter subsided at the ridiculous notion that a bunch of scuzzball cyclists would do anything other than lie, cheat, and steal when swag was at stake, it was emphasized that the concept of “It’s okay if it’s MY dog” doesn’t apply. Follow this link for the instructional video. This was of course ignored.
The Belgian Waffle Ride was also unique because on the one hand it was billed as a true hardman event, but on the other it counted Stern-O as a participant. Those who have ridden with this softman of cycling know that despite having been banished from California and sent to live with the horse people of Santa Fe, a city whose cycling community has in turn banished him and forced him to ride in the desolate wasteland of Albuquerque, no cycling event exists at which Stern-O cannot garner the lion’s share of the attention. Worse, his time spent trawling the tumbleweeds, saguaro, and meth shacks between Lower New Mexico and the cultural epiphany that is Tucson mean that when he shows up he’s in particularly fine form.
Whether by chasing down beginning cyclists and berating them for their choice of bicycle/color of jersey/pretensions to athleticism, by instigating a confrontation with a violent motorist and then leaving the mayhem for others to deal with, or by simply whining about his back surgery/broken teeth/brain replacement therapy/AARP membership status as the reason he flailed and got dropped, when Stern-O rides, people take notice.
The BWR was no different. In an event designed to rely on the integrity of the participants, the Man in Purple floated to the top like the very biggest and smelliest chunk, while the participants could only stare in shock like a hapless economy class passenger stuck next to the toilet door on a 13-hour flight. Some observers noted that Stern-O had been strangely absent along the muddy road of death. Others remarked that although he rode manfully through the water after the third water crossing, he fell into the mud after crossing it in the manner of a complete dirt noob, resulting in a boo-boo to his knee. Stern-O’s reported comment? “That ought to get me the hardman jersey!” Still others noted the fact that he actually rode up on G$’s wheel later in the ride was proof positive that he’d shorn at least a hundred and twenty-four miles off the125-mile route, as the day that Stern-O chases down the Gazelle of SoCal is the day that a one-legged sloth outruns a Secret Service agent to a Colombian whorehouse.
While wildly claiming to have completed the course ahead of his betters as he swooped in to snare his finisher’s tee-shirt, his finisher’s bottle of commemorative ale, and his finisher’s BWR jersey, Stern-O failed to produce his number with the proper hash marks, and, what was worse, claimed to have assaulted Double Peak when he was seen sneaking past the turnoff to this bitterest of climbs while glued to the wheel of…oh shame!…a triathlete. In a later document entitled, “Affidavit and Declaration under Penalty of Perjury Regarding the Performance of Stern-O on the Belgian Waffle Ride,” he was even audacious enough to claim that after slinking away from the finish area before being awarded the ignominious purple jersey in absentia, he went off in search of Double Peak in order to find it and climb it.
Unfortunately, he was unable to locate this mysterious hidden landmark, as it’s only the highest point in San Diego County and looms 1,666 feet over the city of Carlsbad like a single rotten tooth jutting out from the sunken gum off an ogre. Plus, he had to hurry back to New Mexico in order to spend time with his family.
As a result, Stern-O received the dreaded purple jersey, an item of clothing reserved for the lamest rider of the entire BWR. On the plus side, it comes with a matching pair of purple sunglasses. If you ever want to see the whole ensemble in action, though, you’ll have to head out to the byways of America’s desert meth labs, as rumor has it that Purple Freddy Gregg will not be invited back.
So how hard was it, really?
Compared to the recon ride, which was shorter, which I failed to complete, and which had no unpaved roads, the BWR was oddly enough a piece of cake. Had I just failed to adequately nourish that fateful day back in March? Had my legs been unprepared for the rigors of the course that fateful day? Had it been a terrible mistake to match efforts with the likes of MMX, Victor, and Purple Parks? Yes, yes, and yes.
The real secret to finishing this grueling course turned out to be simple: Eat lots of cheeseburgers and fries the day before, and realize that I was a wanker amongst men with no hope of following the leaders, and ride accordingly by never going into the red. Towards the end, after the last heart and lung transplant station, I fell in with a guy named Scott who, with the exception of the purple-clad Wawansea wankers, had the ugliest jersey in the peloton. We stayed together through Bandy Canyon, the place of my earlier undoing, and Via Rancho, the place of my spiritual death, and through most of Elfin Canyon, where the battering of the Wolfpack duo finally kicked him out the back. I would have felt a shred of sympathy had he not drilled nails into my head the last forty yards up Bandy.
More than the difficulty, this ride was memorable for its striking natural beauty, for its snow-encrusted mountain peaks, for its leafy green Spring foliage, for its streams, its chiseled rock faces, its piercing blue sky, and most of all for the mob at the last aid station that frantically fought for food as their last ebb of strength and morale failed them before the longest, hardest, most brutal and unforgiving part of the ride was to pitilessly crush them into broken and whimpering fools.
To SPY and the people who made this great event happen, including the wearers of the yellow, green, blue, polkawaffle, and hideous purple jerseys, I’d say thank you. Once the tubes have been removed and I’m well enough to get out of bed.
For further reference:
Complete results (I’m #131 and not at all bitter about all the cheaters who cut the course and finished ahead of me).
Official recap by MMX (prepare to be scolded by Dad, who is disappointed that you cut the course, took the swag you weren’t entitled to, and in general proved yourself to be a lying, cheating, thieving little turd).
April 17, 2012 § 6 Comments
Prez wins by a country mile. Takes one hard pull on the first lap. Sits in the rest of the ride. Pfffffft. Still, you can’t deny the boy is fast, because he smacked the shit out of all the other wheelsuckers, too. Go to the front, Prez!
Motorhead attacks, pulls, lives at the front, and still gets top four in the sprunt. Of the top five, only he took more than one pull. And he took a fricking bunch of them. Props, dude, especially after the beatdown you administered on the Donut. Now ditch the black and white kit and join up with SPY or Ironfly or Big Orange.
Fireman launches an attack on the last lap midway up the climb to the bridge in a hopeless bid for glory. Reels in the two Big O dudes hoping he’ll have some help only to find they’ve flamed out, dropped their booster rockets and are plummeting back to earth. Fireman discovered repeatedly at the front, battering like a madman.
Tree, perhaps still suffering from PTSD as a result of his collision with the vegetation at Boulevard, fails to take a single pull despite constantly posting Strava records demonstrating his awesomeness. Go to the front, Tree. Stay there until you puke.
G$ attacks, pulls, brings the pain bucket and dumps it all over everyone’s head. Coming off the World overpass he pulls so hard that the vomit string goes back forty riders. 300 people queue up on his wheel expecting that he’ll led them to glory in the sprunt, only to be disappointed! G$ ain’t your bitch, bitches!
Mighty Mouse goes to the front over and over, hammers as wussy-like dudes with no shred of self-respect hang onto her wheel and let her carry the water, chop the wood, and bury the axe in their feeble, cowardly heads. Good job, MM. Now go back to the front!
Tink goes to the front. Good job. Now go back. To the front.
New Girl gets blown out the back, hops back on, overcomes Wheelsuckophobia and does some excellent maneuvering towards the front for a couple of laps. Wankers, are you taking notes? Chick was closer to the point than most of you have ever been. NG, now that you’re a master of pack riding…go to the front!
Gooseman returns to NPR with crushed elbow, dented skull, and electric green bike that is uglier than an assboil after BWR. His first move? Goes to the fucking front. Pulls til he blows, swings over and finishes the ride. What’s with all you SBW wankers? The dude was in intensive care for, like, six months, had a brain transplant and a full skeletal replacement. No one gives a shit if you crack and blow. Go to the front like Gooseman, wankers!
Douggie sucks wheel the entire ride, then informs all on the bricks that it was faster than last time by 1 mph. What’s up with that, Douggie? Go to the front!
Davy Dawg mashes and bashes, takes one nasty troll up the hill on the way out that hooked all kinds of junk fish, beer cans, spare tires, and a brokedown outboard motor. Gets bollixed in the sprunt when he picks G$ for the shake & bake and winds up with nothing but the shake. Good job! Now go to the front!
Junkyard says he felt good after BWR and that he had no problem sitting in on NPR. Sitting in??? Go to the front!
Brazilian Wax makes his presence known in the last 400m. We don’t care if tree look taller when bush is trimmed. Go to the front!
Big Dude in Bahati Kit chills and soft pedals the whole frickin way. What’s up with that? Your kit says “Bahati,” dude! Bahati don’t sit in! Go to the front and hammer til you crack and flail and collapse and drool all over yourself with snot, spit, and a bloody stool!!
Really Big Dude fights me like a pit viper for Davy Dawg’s wheel on one of the ascents to the bridge, but wanks and tanks when it comes his turn to hit the wind. What are you afraid of? Dying? Die, you sorry fucker! But before you do that, go to the front!
Hair takes one or two hard pulls, disappointing since he should have taken fifty. Go to the front, Hair!
Derek the Destroyer sits in the whole time like he was racing for money or saving his legs for Telo or filming the fifteenth installment of a business park crit featuring all the usual suspects with his GoPro, which we’re told he sleeps with. Enough with the videography, you hammer! Go to the front! And given your ability and speed, stay there!
Somo and Big O Wankers at the turnaround on Lap 2 ignore the giant car traveling 100mph in its own lane, zip in front of it, almost get t-boned, then do the u-ey ignoring the storm of oncoming traffic. Irony: they were going to the front. Nonirony: they were only at the front because the rest of the pack had slowed to 3mph to let the car go by. Reality: as soon as the pack caught them, they slunk back into the safety of the rolling cocoon. Go the front, wankers…but safely!
Rodley drills it on the way out to the World Parkway overpass, takes a nasty pull up the hill on the return section of Lap 1. Good job, Rodley! Now go back to the front!
Gangstachick shows up late, joins the ride, participates fully in post-ride coffee smacktalk at CotKU. Next time, get here on time, and go to the front!
MORAL FOR TODAY’S NPR, AND FOR ALL FUTURE NPR’S…GO TO THE FRONT!
March 28, 2012 § 1 Comment
I rarely read VeloNews online because it is such a worthless piece of shit. Plus, they fired the only people who know how to write. Plus plus, they put little bios after each writer saying things like “Andrew Hood cut his journalistic teeth on…” Cut his journalistic teeth? What, is he a tiger cub?
And then they get these li’l wet behind the ears pups like Nick Legan who, we learn, “jumped into wrenching straight from college” after studying French and journalism at the University of Indiana. They make it sound like he joined the Marines instead of being hunched over some greasy bike stand for minimum wage listening to a rich douchebag customer with a $12,000 bike drone on about alloy spoke nipples.
Why can’t they just say, “Facing unemployment, huge student loans, and no demand for French speakers in Indiana, he took whatever job he could get”?
Occasionally, though, someone posts a link to a VN story and I read it, always expecting the worst, and never being disappointed. Until today. VN has come up with a checklist for how to be a responsible road cyclist. It is flat fucking awesome. I’m reprinting it here in its entirety, with a few little additions of my own to grout in the cracks.
1. Be courteous and share the road. Being courteous gains respect and helps make the roads safer for all cyclists.
–Wankmeister adds: Be sure to smile and wave at the crazed asshole/texting bimbo/roadraged teen stoner as they smear you all over the pavement. Respect! It has to be earned!
2. The law allows you to ride two abreast, but it may not be the courteous or safe option. If you hear a vehicle approaching from behind, ride single file. Don’t ride three abreast.
–Wankmeister adds: Courtesy is key! Safety is sexy! You never get a second chance to make a first quadriplegic.
3. If you’re blocking a whole line of cars and there’s a place to safely pull off be courteous and stop.
–Wankmeister adds: Again, courtesy is key! Cars are often in a hurry and can be frustrated by little fleshy organisms on plastic bikes that make them late for their mid-morning adulterous tryst. After pulling over, wave at each motorist and bow your head slightly in a downward direction so they know you didn’t mean to hold them up. [Note: don’t “pull off” where people can see you as this is a misdemeanor in most jurisdictions.]
4. Don’t wander all over the road. Try to ride predictably and as far right as safely as you can. This does not mean to ride in an area that is littered with road debris or places you at risk.
–Wankmeister adds: However, if you do have to ride over rocks, glass, gravel, barbed wire, fence posts, car axles, sheared off rubber strips from 18-wheelers, land mines, or broken penises, do so with a smile and a wave. Also, “road wandering” refers to people who do ginormous figure “8’s” in the middle of PCH during rush hour. This is bad and discourteous. Unsafe is unsexy.
5. Do take the lane if it safe to do so if there is a blind corner, high-risk junction or narrowing of the road.
–Wankmeister adds: When “taking the lane” do so with a smile and a courteous wave to the livid motorists you’re now blocking. They will calm down shortly after impact.
6. Use common sense — don’t pee in people’s yards or hang out across the entire road if you’re waiting for a regroup.
–Wankmeister adds: Peeing in yards is a no-no, however, No. 2 is occasionally unavoidable if you had the Arby’s Double Cheese Beef Bomb with Onions and Chili Sauce the night before. Reminds me of the time that Hector G., a buddy from Texas, was forced to answer his gastrointestinal distress in a farmer’s dirt driveway. There he was, crumping a hairy beet, when ol’ Farmer Bill came around the bend. Things got ugly. And stinky. But that’s a different story.
7. Stop at stop signs and signals. By law, cyclists must obey all traffic control devices.
–Wankmeister adds: Har! Good one!
8. Signal your intentions if you can safely do so. If you are turning, point in the direction you plan on going. If you are slowing, put your hand out behind you.
–Wankmeister adds: The proper hand signal when communicating with a motorist is always a raised middle finger.
9. If you wave a car around you, don’t get impatient. Remember that it is their decision to make as to whether it is safe to pass.
–Wankmeister adds: Also, remember that they can kill or maim you easily with little or no harm to them or their vehicle. And don’t think that just because you’re with Stern-O you’re off the hook. As soon as some big goon jumps out with a tire iron, Stern-O will already be on his third latte at the coffee shop.
10. If you’re in a group, take leadership, set a good example and do your best to make everyone ride courteously.
–Wankmeister adds: Groups are sheep-like and must be driven with a whip of oaths. “Pull through, you sorry fuck!” and “Hold your line you fucking idiot!” will establish your position as the chief douchebag and make everyone live in terror of being called out. Be sure to smile when cursing.
11. Pay attention! While it is the responsibility of drivers to avoid hitting you, ride defensively to minimize risk!
–Wankmeister adds: Adding exclamation marks to little lists like this is an excellent way to make you remember them and understand how important they are!!!
12. Remember the 5% rule. 5% of drivers are jerks. Don’t let that 5% get to you. Take a deep breath and move on.
–Wankmeister adds: Remember the 95% Corollary to the 5% Rule…95% of all cyclists are complete morons, so if we could somehow get the 5% jerks to run over all the 95% morons, and then have the police incarcerate the 5% jerks for manslaughter, it would be paradise.
13. Be friendly. If someone is courteous to you and does the right thing, wave and smile. Everyone likes to be acknowledged for doing the right thing.
–Wankmeister adds: Hugs are even better. When someone fails to act like a complete numbskull, give them a little hug. People also like a little peck on the cheek, especially women, and especially accompanied with a friendly tap on the fanny. But you know what people really like? Full-on, leatherclad, bullwhip-toting biker sex with chains and a hammer. The next time someone does the right thing on the bike, acknowledge their behavior with a tie-down and an ol’ fashioned humping. But only between consenting adults.