January 9, 2015 § 22 Comments
It’s that time of year, when folks are downright desperate. On Saturday we will roll out on the annual French Toast Ride, the finest, best, most awesome, wonderful, and miserable smashfest of the year. The ride starts and finishes at the home of DJ’s parents, who stuff us full of French toast, bacon, sausage, coffee, eggs, and other delicious food, then stuff us again seven hours later when we return. As a result, participation is by invitation only. No more than twenty-four riders have ever been privileged to do the ride.
This leads to the inevitable question, “How do I get invited?”
It’s simple, really, even though there are thousands who want one of the coveted slots. First, you have to ride with DJ at Saturday morning at 6:00 AM a couple of dozen times, leaving from the top secret launchpad of CotKU. These rides are long and miserably hard, not because of DJ’s riding ability but because he tells the same three stories for hours on end, week in and week out. After your third ride most people decide that whenever the FTR happens, they’re busy that weekend.
Those who endure the rides must then do this every year for a few years. Eventually, but probably not, you will then get invited. DJ bases his invitations on a secret set of rules that are all subordinate to The Rule, which is this: DJ Makes All The Rules.
Some of the rules are:
- No Freds.
- No wankers.
- No last-minute-undependables.
- No whiners.
- No riders who violate the secret rules.
However, exceptions abound, which give hope to all, for example:
- No Freds, but numerous Long Beach and New Mexico riders have participated.
- No wankers, but numerrous unfit, hopeless peloton anchors and Elron have participated.
- No last-minute-undependables, but … Neumann.
- No whiners, but Wanky.
In other words, hope springs eternal, and if you show up for the secret Saturday rides, laugh at the corny jokes, cajole, wheedle, and get down on your knees to beg, there’s a slight chance you might get invited if someone else cancels. You might think that such a prestigious event would never have cancellations, but you would be wrong.
Because at Mile 102 you hit Balcom Canyon, and there are still sixteen hard miles to go after that. If you don’t know Balcom, it’s the most incredible … never mind. In other words, the Freddies who eagerly slurp up their invitation in October begin getting nervous in November, having doubts in December, and experiencing severe diaper rash in January. There’s a trickle of defections around Thanksgiving, an exodus at Christmas, and one or two quitters in January. Of course the most heinous quitter in the history of the FTR whose name shall remain unnamed (Neumann) had the gall to simply not show up the morning of the ride and therefore be banished from the invite list forever, but that is another story.
This gives the waitlisters, who have been burning incense and slaughtering goats like mad, hope. And don’t think the waitlisters have simply been roasting quadrupeds on a spit and offering up vestal virgins to the FTR dogs. Nope, they’ve been lobbying like crazy, and they lobby like this.
“You doing FTR this year?”
“Do you think you could get me in?”
“What if someone cancels?”
“It’s still full. For you.”
“Aw come on. Don’t you remember that meal I bought you at Charlie’s Cheese and Lard House and All You Can Eat Buffet?”
“So can’t you put in a good word for me? Please? I’m good for two more dinners a Charlie’s, buddy old pal.”
So then Bull, or whichever other FTR participant has been guilted into making a futile request, sidles up to DJ on a ride. “Hey, DJ, how’s it going?”
“No, he can’t come.”
“Whoever. We’re full.”
And that’s how it goes. What’s worse, if the FTR hopeful has never actually done a Top Secret Saturday Ride, or worse, doesn’t know DJ personally, that person’s name gets entered into a Top Secret Shit List and is forever barred from the sacred FTR invitation email.
Of course no one has ever asked me to lobby for them because I have no pull, and I won’t do it, and the answer is always “No.”
Enter the Hopper
I hadn’t seen Clodhopper in a long time. Ever since they shut down the Parkway and we stopped doing the NPR, he had gone stealth on my radar screen. A few days ago I sent him a Happy New Year email. Clodhopper is one of those guys who, like a great case of mold, grows on you. He pinged me right back and returned the New Year greetings. “You doing FTR?” he asked.
“Yep,” I said, knowing what would come next.
“Enjoy!” he emailed.
And that was it.
Of course that was it, because Clodhopper don’t beg. He’d been assiduously doing the Top Secret Corny Joke Rides all year, he knew the chance of admission was somewhat less than zero, and he did them anyway. But among all the pretenders and SoCal profamateurs and not-good-enough-to-ride-pro-but-good-enough-to-be-a-masters-racer fakers who do the FTR, Clodhopper is the only cyclist among us who’s actually an athlete.
Let me put it this way: Even though he looks like he’s had one cheeseburger too many, Clodhopper once held the world record in the 1600-meter relay. We’re not talking a silver medal at the master’s nationals crit, folks. We’re talking the fastest human being on the planet in an actual sport, as opposed to geriatrics in clown suits on wheels.
When Clodhopper took up cycling back in the 90’s, he showed up at the Lake Castaic road race and won by smashing the snot out of Jeff Pierce, who was only a couple of years past his record as the first American to win a stage at the Tour, and the only American ever to win on the Champs-Elysees. Clodhopper, in addition to a world record at the pinnacle of the world’s most competitive sport, was also a badass on the bike … before he met all those cheeseburgers.
Nonetheless, I’ve ridden with him enough to know that he can still crank out more watts on a 5-hour-a-week training plan than most full time profamateurs. Genes + pain threshold + world titles on the track = Clodhopper Don’t Beg.
“Yo, Clodhopper,” I said when I saw him next, “what have you been up to?”
“Been doing the Saturday rides with DJ.”
“And no FTR invite?”
“Want me to put in a word for you?” I never put in a word for anyone, except perhaps the word “wanker.”
“No, thanks,” he said. “I’ll do the Saturday rides this year and hope for a ride in 2016.”
“Let me ask,” I said.
“I’m specifically telling you not to ask. If I’m a fit I’ll get an invite. If not, it’s a blast riding with those guys.”
He had clearly lost his mind. So, I went home and composed a carefully-worded email to DJ that went exactly like this: “Yo, DJ: Clodhopper.”
A couple of days later, I got the email with the finalized list of participants. There at the bottom was Clodhopper’s name. I immediately called him. “Dude,” I said. “Me and Surfer Dan need a ride. Got room?”
“Of course,” he said. “You said something to DJ, didn’t you?”
“Me? No. Never. I got no pull, dude.”
“Yeah,” he said. “Whatever.”
Wankers, start your engines!
The final start list is below. It will be epic.
1) Road Champ
6) Full Gas
7) Dream Crusher
9) Major Bob
11) BP a/k/a Oilspill
14) Iron Mike
18) Surfer Dan
20) FTR DS
22) Limey Carboy
For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog and I will put in a good word for you for the FTR, which won’t help at all. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!
September 23, 2012 § 5 Comments
“Are you doing the Ride to the Rock tomorrow?” the email from Hockeystick asked.
“No. I’m riding with Bull and Major Bob up to Pasadena to watch the UCLA game.”
“You should send out an email to everyone telling them the Ride to the Rock starts at 6:00 AM instead of 7:00.”
“I’m not going on the ride and in any event I’m not the organizer, promoter, or sponsor. If you want to coordinate, why don’t you send out an email?”
A few hours later, in popped the email. “Ride to the Rock, leaving at 6:00 AM. Everyone welcome. Signed, Hockeystick.” It went out to a bunch of people.
Will you go to the prom with me? You will? Awesome! (One day later: How are you getting to the prom? And who’s going to buy your dinner?)
Later that evening Bull emailed to say that Hockeystick would be joining us on our sojourn to Pasadena.
“But he’s doing the Ride to the Rock tomorrow, and emailed a bunch of people about it.”
“Yeah. Several people blew off their regular ride to join him.”
“Oh. Well, surely, he wouldn’t just blow everyone off like that.”
“You don’t know Hockeystick.”
Glorious ride statistics and factoids
Distance: 90 miles
Climbing: 6,800 feet
Elapsed time: Seemed like forever
Food consumed: Half a bagel with jam, three cups of coffee, 3/4 of a Clif bar
Route: We rode from the South Bay to Santa Monica to the West Side, climbed through Bel-Air, took Mulholland to Laurel Canyon, crossed the Valley, then climbed back up Big Tujunga, Angeles Crest Highway, and dropped down into Pasadena and the Rose Bowl. This was an extraordinary route and got us way out of our comfort zone, except for Hockeystick, who was not just out of his comfort zone but pretty much in the urn for cremains from the minute we hit Bel-Air ’til the end.
Recommendations: Big Tujunga + Angeles Crest is long, hard, brutal, hot, and a favorite for crazies like the 300-lb. dude on the cafe racer whose passing fat draft almost bowled us over. Rednecks in pickups are de rigueur, as are rusted out turdboxes crammed with tweakers speeding to Palmdale for another meth run.
Best in-town discovery: Roscomare from the bottom and over Bel-Air is beautiful and a stiff climb. Hockeystick emptied most of the contents of his suitcase of courage on the first 1/3 mile, meaning that he had to do the rest of the climb using the contents of his moneybelt of adipose, which was painful to do and almost as painful to behold.
Bring your Trojans: Hockeystick was decked out for the UCLA-OSU game in a USC kit with the word “Trojans” in big, bold letters, which almost got him a date. Not at the game, but at the top of the Angeles Crest climb. Bull, Major Bob, and I had stopped at the forest service fire station to wait, and after three or four hours Hockeystick appeared, looking like Matt Barkley after playing Stanford. The half-naked fireman at the firehouse was playing loud, gay workout music as he flexed and preened with his barbells and calisthenics. Hockeystick made the mistake of wandering down by the water faucet and pulling out his own watering device to relieve himself. The combination of Hockeystick’s exposed stub and the word “Trojans” may have suggested to the sweaty, lathered up fireman that Hockeystick was inviting him to play a game of “hide the sausage in the tunnel,” and it was only by quickly suiting back up and dashing away at top speed that we were able to avoid having Hockeystick dragged off into the mancave and turned into a prison bitch.
Worst sound of the day: Bull, towards the top of Angeles Crest, moaning and groaning and whimpering the last two miles of the climb. “Unnnnnh!” and “Munnnnhrg!” and “Wennnnnghhunnh” are new words for me. Thank you, Bull.
Strangest comment: Bull, as we climbed Big Tujunga, turned back and said, “Aren’t these desert colors beautiful?” Although I was focused mainly on his rear wheel, I later looked around. The colors were brown, tan, gray, off-brown, and charred black from the forest fire. Uh, no, they’re really fucking ugly. But that’s just me.
Best view: Descent from La Canada-Flintridge into Pasadena via Chevy Chase and Figueroa. This is spectacular, and Bull took us on a secret back route to the Rose Bowl.
Weirdest police behavior: Cops at the Rose Bowl refused to let us bike through the parking area until Bull told them the exact location of his car. Like, what were we going to do? Steal a parking space with our bikes?
Heavenly angel of the day: Mrs. Hockeystick, who had sent a care package of fresh, iced and sliced watermelon. Watermelon on a hot day is the best. Cold, sliced watermelon after a brutal slog through the nasty heat is a foodgasm.
Narrowly avoided beating of the day: Hockeystick’s USC/Trojans bike outfit didn’t wear too well in the UCLA fan parking area. Thankfully, he’d packed a change of clothes that featured UCLA’s famous pansy blue with gold sparkles. I never saw someone change out of a bike kit so quickly.
Fashion fail of the day: My pants no longer fit and I’d forgotten to pack a belt. Saggy jeans falling down around my ass made for comic relief in some, nausea in others. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t been wearing my yellow and green Sponge Bob underpants.
Dietary mistake of the day: 2-foot long brat heaped with sauerkraut, jalapenos, ketchup, mustard, salsa verde, and chili, followed by cramming myself into a tiny seat under the Rose Bowl’s 106-degree heat blanket.
Funniest putdown of the day: Hey, Wankster, I know you’re from Texas and everything, but is the heat bothering you? [It wasn’t actually, unless you consider heatstroke “bother.”]
Smartest move of the day: Abandoning Hockeystick, Bull, and Major Bob after the first quarter, returning to the park, and falling asleep on the grass under the shade of an oak tree. For three hours.
Moral of today’s ride: Get out of your routine and explore somewhere new. And don’t forget to bring the Trojan(s).
August 14, 2012 § 11 Comments
I understand this may be a one-tweet stand, but now that you’ve tweeted a request to me, and I’ve tweeted a tweet to let you into my secure Tweeter inner sanctum, I think we need to come to an understanding.
First, I understand that you have 3.7 million followers, and I have 188. I also understand that the people who follow you are some of the most powerful and influential people in the world, whereas most of my followers are tweetbots, spammer personal injury law firms, and insane people with names like FrauFickenDammt and Scabby the Rat. Well, actually, Frau Ficken hasn’t followed me yet. I’m hoping she will soon, though, because she says the coolest shit, like today when she went into a restaurant and called the waiter a knuckle fucker.
Before granting your request, I checked out the people who you follow, and was frankly concerned. Bill Maher. Mahatma Gandhi. Lots of chicks with killer racks. People whose opinions matter on the world stage and who have the ear of those in power, not to mention totally boss pimps like Cancellara.
Which really made me think, like, why are you adding me to that select list of barely 400 people out of 3.7 million? Is it because of what I write here?
There’s no “here” here
So I thought about it and figured out why you wanted to enter the inner Wankmeister sanctum. First, you wanted to see who my associates are. Well, now you know. Funny, huh? And only a handful of them are currently incarcerated.
Second, you wanted to begin the process of seeing if there was some way to influence “the message.” The good news? You already have! The bad news? So can anyone else with a keyboard and a little flattery. Like all whores, I go to the highest bidder. Right now the going price is really cool prescription eyewear and free kits designed by Joe Yule. So make a note of that, and by the way, you should hire him as your kit designer. The Shack/Livestrong stuff needs…help.
Now that I’ve given you everything you want, it’s time for us to talk about me. My needs. My wants. My hopes. My childhood dreams and hopes for the future, except for those which have been shattered by Jonathan Vaughters.
Accept me for who I am
A loving tweetership between equals is only possible with mutual respect. You mustn’t try to change me, but rather you must accept me as I am, RuggedMaxxx2 and all. If you don’t know about and use RuggedMaxxx2, I’m not sure we can ever have a meaningful relationship, although I’m willing to try. Of course even as I write this, I fear that we may not work out. I have one small drawer that contains all my socks and underwear. You have entire dressers devoted to undergarments. I rent. You own. I’m Specialized. You’re Trek. Most perilous to our relationship, and the one thing we may never get over, is this terrible reality: You’re Oakley. I’m SPY. I feel so helpless.
Are we doomed from the outset? And then I consider other material things, like your gym and your bike shop and countless bikes and all the other possessions that make me feel small and rather poor. But there can be more to a relationship than just money and power, right? You can learn to appreciate what it’s like to be batshit poor, and I can learn to appreciate being showered with free bike swag and invites to swanky parties and free trips on your personal jet and free bike swag and invites to the Tour (well, maybe not that), right? Right?
Love me, love my friends
I know a lot of people who get involved in the heat of the moment like this and then have trouble with the other’s friends once Tweeter passions cool. Let’s take care of that now. My friends are non-negotiable (except for the ones who are, like that dude who wore the undersized all-white kit on the Holiday Ride last year and blinded several people with his hairy buttcrack).
I think the best way for you to get to know me is to spend time with me and my friends on the bike. We have a little ride here called the NPR. You would have a hard time hanging on, and I’m not saying that to be rude, but rather as a warning.
We have Prez, who just got force upgraded from Cat 3 and has the hardest abs in the wankoton, plus the weirdest kit color combos. He is a sprunter and is not afraid of you. You’ll have to get on his good side but be wary at the same time, because all those steel plates in his head are from crashing.
We have dudes like Bull, a wanker of legendary proportions, and Hair (a/k/a Shrimpy Dick), who is a badass. If you’re too scared to mix it up on the NPR, you’re welcome to join us on the Wheatgrass Ride, where Backpack George in the floppy jogging pants, saggy socks, and askew helmet can outclimb anyone for the first mile up from the reservoir.
Bring your A Game, Lance, and I’m just saying that because I want you to fit in. And even if you can hang with Backpack George, we’ve still got Tink who WILL school you, and Jules, the 13 y/o child who will put you in the pain cage and throw away the key if you dare to challenge him on the Donut Ride. Check my YouTube videos under fsethd to see what you’re signing up for. I think after a couple of tries you will be able to hang, but don’t feel bad if you get dropped in the beginning.
It’s a one-way street
Although you have to love my friends, I don’t have to love yours, although I will try to. Maybe. For a small fee. But not that Ferrari dude. I understand that you have some current legal issues arising out of the use of drugs. Now, I smoked a bunch of dope back in the day and am a reformed drunk, so I “get” the drug thing. No matter how much Nancy Reagan used to preach “just say no,” it always seemed easier to just say “Yes, the sensimilla, please.”
It was sure more fun than saying “No,” except for that time in junior high when I had failed 8th Grade life science and was taking summer school at Sharpstown High. We were taking the HouTran bus to school, stoned out of our gourds at the back of the bus, when I started hallucinating that the fucking bus had caught fire. I imagined that everyone ran off and a fire truck came.
Finally a huge firefighter rushed in and dragged me off the bus, which had actually caught fire. Being stoned for me was always like that. I just hallucinated shit that was already there, so I figured why pay all this money for weed and get kicked out of school to see what I’m already seeing?
I bring this up because drugs are that way. You kind of fall into it, and then it’s like, “Fuck, I don’t need this shit.” But hey, you probably hear about this enough in your day job, so I’ll let it slide for now.
Oh, here’s some other info. I’m a Capricorn. I love Japanese food. My favorite color is blue. I love puppies. Once upon a time I co-authored a book on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. So…TTYL!
May 12, 2012 § 5 Comments
For the last couple of years my right palm has been getting really callused. A series of hard lumps has formed around the base of my middle finger, lumps that are so large and hardened that they have made it impossible for me to fully open my hand.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “I bet his vision is worsening as well.”
It’s not, smartypants.
Since I spend so much time typing, it made sense that this was carpal tunnel syndrome, or probably, according to Dr. Google, “Trigger Finger.” I wouldn’t ordinarily have given much thought to it, since it never really affected me, but over the last two years it’s become harder and harder to reach the front brake lever. And when something starts jacking with my ability to ride…I pay attention.
(Not) Rushing to judgment
It usually takes me a long time to get to the doctor. For anything. The last time I had a physical was in 1997. I had a cold. The infection had traveled into my chest, and avoiding medical care allowed it to become full-fledged pneumonia in one lung. After recovering I went to the doctor, who took a chest x-ray and told me that I was in great shape.
Haven’t caught cold and haven’t seen a doctor since.
I don’t like doctors for the same reason I don’t like dentists. They hurt. When I was a little kid I had lots of bad doctor and dentist experiences. That, combined with a daily diet of beatings from my brother, didn’t make me tough. It made me weak. Weak and fearful. I remain that way today. As a result, I’ve never gone to get my trigger finger treated because Dr. Google said it would require minor surgery, and as everyone knows, surgery means needles and blood.
I don’t mind blood. Unless it’s mine. In which case I will do anything to avoid it. And when the only thing I have to do to avoid it is not call the doctor, it’s pretty simple, since I never call him anyway. Like I said, though, it has started to affect my cycling, so about a year ago I started making plans to get ready to prepare for perhaps getting in the mindset to be fixing to think about making an appointment with the hand doctor.
Yesterday I went to see him. You know how you always bust your butt to get to the doctor on time? And you know how once you get there you wait for an hour, which makes you wonder what in the world you were hurrying for? That happened. Filled out the forms (No, no STD’s. No, no heart disease. No, not allergic to any drugs. No, not currently pregnant. Last period? She was complaining about it a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t remember the date. What does her period have to do with my hand?)
And then…”Briefly describe your problem.” Wow. Briefly? I took a stab at it: “My problem is that I’m pretty fucked up because I’m from Texas.”
I turned the paper around and looked at it from different angles. Somehow it didn’t look right. So I added, “And my middle finger hurts and is callused and I can’t open my hand all the way.”
The French are watching you
If you were a cynical bike blogger who always made fun of the French and the Danes, what kind of disease would karma send your way? It would be a disease with a French name that was caused by a recessive gene among people of Scandinavian descent. Of course it would.
In came Dr. Slutsky. Yep, that’s really his name. And nope, I’m not going to make fun of it. What am I going to say that he didn’t hear every single day of his life the first 12 grades of school? Nothing, and I can’t stand not being original, unless I’m copying CapTaintBag.
Doc Sluts glanced at my palm, and said something that sounded like “De Pooter’s Contracture.”
“D-u-p-u-y-t-r-e-n-s Contracture. It’s named after the 19th Century French physician who first tried to treat it surgically, Dr. Baron Gillaume Dupuytren.”
“You kidding me? I got a French disease? How degrading is that?”
“Not exactly. The name is French, but the condition is genetic, most likely of Scandinavian origin.”
“Danish. Even worse. Dolphin-killing-inbred Viking disease named by some French dude. So you’re going to operate?”
“No. Surgery doesn’t really help. It’s incurable.”
“We have a cure for syphilis. For bad spelling. For small breasts and short penises. Don’t tell me you can’t cure this claw-hand deal.”
“Eventually your hand will contract so much that you’ll have great difficulty doing normal activities. Unfortunately, you’re right-handed, and it’s your right hand, and you’re young, which typically means a fast progression. We can do some surgical procedures later, but the problem is that the genetic defect causes uncontrolled Type 2 collagen growth. The collagen will come back even more quickly after surgery. It’s genetic. 100% rate of recurrence.”
“What does this mean for whacking off?”
“As long as it doesn’t spread to your left hand, you should be fine.”
“Left hand? I can’t use my left hand! It doesn’t even feel like me. And what do you mean ‘spread’? Don’t tell me this shit spreads.”
Dr. Slutty tells me that this shit spreads
“It can. Do you have any calluses like this on your feet?”
“I don’t know. They’re so gnarly I don’t get down there too often.”
“What do you mean, ‘gnarly’?”
“Oh, the usual. Stuff between the toes. Giant ol’ crusty yellow toenails that smell like dead eggs when you try and scrape ‘em clean underneath. Just not a real cool place to hang out, y’know? It’s one of the benefits of being tall. Your feet are a long ways off.”
“At this point all I can tell you to do is to keep an eye on it. Come back in about a year or so, or whenever your hand is so arched that you can’t lay it flat on the table.”
“I already can’t lay it flat on the table.”
“Hmmm. Yes. Well, there’s nothing for it as of now. And keep an eye on other body parts.”
“Whoaaaa—what do you mean ‘other body parts?’ You mean, aside from my left hand and my feet?”
“Yes. You want to make sure it doesn’t develop into Peyronie’s disease.”
“No! Not another French disease!”
“I’m afraid so. It’s another type of collagenic thickening.”
By now I could see the two little twins from The Shining covered in gore shouting “Redrum! Redrum! Redrum!” only it was worse than that. They were shouting “Sinep! Sinep! Sinep!”
I got faint and had to sit down, but I was already sitting down. So I lay down on his leather couch, and wondered why a hand doctor had a leather couch in his examining room. I slowly choked out the words. “So…tell…me…about…Peyronie’s thing.”
Doc Slutmaster tells me about Peyronie’s thing
“It occurs in the penis. The collagen lays down bands beneath the skin of the penis, causing it to curve.”
“This can’t be real. Anglecock? If you were doing a stand-up comedy routine I wouldn’t even laugh.”
“You don’t have it yet. It only occurs in a minority of cases of people with Dupuytren’s.”
“A minority? Dude, 49% is a minority. How many, exactly?”
“The penis develops a bend…”
“A bend? Like a river? You’re telling me my dick is going to look like a U-bolt? Good Dog, what’s gonna happen when we stop at the Ocean Park toilets on the Saturday ride? Everybody’s gonna laugh and say, ‘Don’t stand behind that dude when he whizzes!’ Can you imagine the nicknames? ‘U-Turn.’ ‘Double Joint.’ ‘Comin’ and Goin’.’ My Dog, this is the worst thing imaginable.”
“Not the worst,” Doc Sluthopper said. “The worst is that when the curvature becomes sufficiently hardened and pronounced, it can result in penile fracture during intercourse.”
By now I was softly sobbing. “Great. Fucking great. My pecker’s going to break off during sex. Then what? Call a tow truck to pull it out? And what happens to the stump? Do they put me on Dr. Phil to do a panel with that dude whose wife chopped his weenie off while he was sleeping? This isn’t happening. It’s not real. Tell me it’s not real. Please, Doc Slutbag.”
Moral of the story
There isn’t one, except for his assurance that the Peyronie’s disease thing was unlikely, and I was probably just going to have my right hand turn into a deformed claw in the next five or ten years. So I have that going for me.
I was feeling pretty sorry for myself until I went to a party with King Harold, Roadchamp, DJ, Polly, Triple, and Bull. I showed them my hand and they immediately turned my deformed fingers into a gang sign…”The Claw.” And when they found out that one day I might have the dreaded U-dick, they made so many jokes and laughed so hard and came up with so many funny nicknames that I almost felt better.
And of course they all promised to take care of Mrs. WM for me if my pecker broke off. “We’ll make sure she’s taken care of,” they said.
These dear buddies helped me realize that no matter how bad off I get, they will always be there to laugh at me and steal my wife. That’s what friends are for. Cycling friends, anyway. Allez, allez.
April 20, 2012 § 5 Comments
Would you lay off with the “go to the front” bullshit already? It’s, like, boring. The only time Thurlow, Glass Hip, G3, Hippstar (may his soul rest in peace), Fukdude, and Hair ever go to the front it’s to attack like a bat out of hell and either escape or break the field. Sitting on the point like a fucking clodhopper is for wankers. Oh wait, you are the King of the Wankers. I didn’t upgrade to Cat 3 on good looks. I play to win.
First, do us all a favor and stop comparing yourself to the above-named racers. They are badass and they win (well, I guess you can go ahead and compare yourself to Hair). In short, you should go to the front on the NPR because there are only five people–at most–who have a snowball’s chance of winning the sprint. You’re not one of them.
Going to the front on the NPR is stuppid. Racing is conserving like how when you fuck you try to hold it all til the end not blast away in the first twevle secunds like some fukkin tenager in the back seat of Dad’s Chevy. That’s how you win.
Since you have zero chance of winning the sprint, being “strategic” to conserve energy is stupid. Conserve it for what? Watching porn on the couch after the ride? It’s the same kind of tactical fail as taking condoms on a trip to the supermarket with your grandparents. On a training ride you got to fire the cannon, same as H.L. Mencken’s election strategy: “Vote early, vote often.”
WTF do I want to go to the front for? I’m just in it for fitness, dude, and for the shot at winning the sprint. Who gives a shit what you think? Lay off, already.
Since you have zero chance of winning the sprint, you need to understand that you build fitness at the front, not nestled in the middle of the pack behind that goober with the pot belly and the the knees that go out at right angles wearing the size M shorts on a size XXL derriere, shorts that are old and threadbare and right in front of your face while you pedal under the awful gaze of the evil brown eye and try not to barf all at the same time.
You really don’t get it, do you? NPR isn’t a “race.” I just want to improve my bike handling. I could give a shit about hero pulls. Plus, there’s no harm in seeing what I can do in the sprint and maybe claw me a “vee.”
Since you have zero chance of winning the sprint, you’ll become a better handler by riding in proximity to the best riders, who ride at the front, not by tailgating the crazy lady with the penchant for throwing herself over the handlebars.
I work long hours at a very stressful job. For me, the NPR is chance to get in a good workout before the grind begins, and maybe score a win against the “big boys.” Going to the front seems suicidal, frankly.
Since you have zero chance of winning the sprint, you need to understand that if you are comfortable, it’s not a good workout. It’s not even a workout. Look at the wankers who, year after year, muddle along in the middle of the pack and never take a pull. In order to get a good workout you gotta go to the front and take your medicine. And it will hurt.
For me, the NPR is all about street cred. I spend a lot of my disposable income (okay, all of it) on bike shit. My cyclaholism has cost me three marriages, two residential evictions, and numerous job displacements. I want “the boyz” to see I’m serious about this shit and to ogle my new Crumpanator Carbon wheels, which are rad, plus maybe get lucky and ding ‘em in the sprint.
Since you have zero chance of winning the sprint, the quickest way to be seen and earn “cred” is by going to the front. No one cares if you flame out. Everyone cares that you made the effort. There’s a recall on those Crumpanators, BTW, something about rim failure at speeds over 21 mph. You’re probably safe, but just in case.
I’m still not convinced. My goals are simple…get home in one piece, and maybe be in position towards the end to sneak one by the sprunters. How’s this “GTTF” crap going to help me?
Dow Ting Thomas
Dear Dow Ting:
Since you have zero chance of winning the sprint, please believe me when I say that sitting at the back with the pack going 35 mph is a bad idea. Why? Because when the pack slows, the wankers at the back who are mashing like madmen just to hang on, with their heads down and eyes glued to their front tire, will slam on their brakes at the last second. You’ll slam into them. Crushed orbital bones sound like fun? Get thee to the front. Or to a nunnery.
I’m all about winning. I’m a winner. There are winners and losers. The winner comes in first. Everyone else is a loser. Same in life. You’re a winner or a loser. Winners are rich. Losers write blogs. So how does this “go to the front” shit help me win? Sounds like some moron ploy to make me go do all the work and some other goof gets the glory. That blows. FYI, I’m the dude who helps himself to seconds first. Invite me to your party and I’M the present I bring to the host. Get it? There’s a universe out there, and it rotates around me. So rotate this shit, Wankmeister, and explain yourself some more. ‘Cuz I’m not buying it. How’s this GTTF crap going to make me good in a fast crit?
Since you have zero chance of winning the sprint, in order to hang in a tough crit, you have to practice in a group where the pace is high, like in real races. The only way this happens is if people take turns at the front. It may look cool to be dawdling along at 21 and then watch Hair launch an attack at 35, but in reality his races are never like that. They’re incredibly fast, and they stay fast. Since you have zero chance of winning the sprint, as I may have mentioned, perhaps it’s time you were introduced to the concept of doing your share. This is common among people who have integrity. They hate to see the same people doing all the work, so out of a feeling of duty, fairness, and honor, they drag their sorry asses to the front to give some a rest and the others a pounding. Knoll is a classic example of this. No matter how many custard pies he’s eaten in the last six months (and it’s usually a lot), he will motor his way to the front and pull like a motherfucker, even if he blows and pops his eyes out of the sockets. Fireman is another sorry motherfucker who will stick his pointy fucking elbows out and beat the goddamn pedals like a farmer going after a rattlesnake, doesn’t matter if he’s just gotten off an overtime shift at the firehouse where he’s had to drink beer and fart in the TV room for three days straight. St. Johns is another worthless fuck who will climb up to the head of the peloton and rip your goddamn heart out, even if he craters and rolls over in the ditch after taking his pull. MMX, before he got too high and fucking mighty for the South Bay and went off to become the King of the Hell of the North, was another two-bit bastard who’d mash it at the front until his dick fell off rather than Freddy freeload at the end of some lameass paceline. Jaeger? That weak turd will pull and pull hard until he pops and drops, and he won the fucking BWR. Uberfred’s another has-been goober who will nose his way into the wind even when his paunch is hanging down to his ankles, just because he can’t stand being lumped with the wheelsucking, freeloading, cheapassing, dingfucking shirkers. Surfer Dan? Same fucking thing. Put him in a fast group and he’ll be out on the point tying your dick into knots because FAIR is FAIR, and SHARE is SHARE. Bull? Go ’til you blow, baby, and don’t come off the front until the road tilts up. King Harold? Sonofabitch invented the flatback, puts pain-inducing medicine in his intravenous drip, and thinks rear wheels are for him to pass and you to follow. USC John? Piece of shit grits his teeth and attacks, pulls, accelerates, and thrashes so much at the front that it makes my taint sore just watching him. These are just a few of the lions of the NPR peloton, and I haven’t even mentioned Vapor or G$ or Davy Dawg, much less the Tinksters, Suzesters, Mousesters, Tongsters, Mattesters, Dukesters, Gangstas, Christinestas, Supergirl Kelly and the other chicks who push their way as far forward as they can even when surrounded by guys. Do your share. You’ll be sorry you did, but happy, in a beat to fuck, miserable, pain infested kind of way.