January 23, 2014 § 30 Comments
Divorce makes me sad. My parents did it, and every time I think about it, it makes me sad. Our local peloton is filled with people like me whose parents are divorced or who themselves are divorced or, hardest of all, who are going through divorce.
Breaking the marital bonds is often for the good. Once the rupture is done the scar tissue can begin to heal the wound. Lots of people come out of divorce happier, better adjusted, and with a new lease on life.
When I read that the Captain and Tenille had filed for divorce in Arizona after 38 or 39 years of marriage, it made me sad. Not because they were making the wrong decision — no one on the outside can ever understand what’s happening on the inside — but because the media couldn’t resist making fun of them. Their hit 1975 single, “Love Will Keep Us Together,” earned them a Grammy. Written by Neil Sedaka, who discovered them performing at a dive bar in Burbank, it’s a great song. Simple, catchy, powerful, and true. “I guess love couldn’t keep them together” was the running gag line, sharp like a razor, tossed gleefully at them in their pain.
The Captain apparently has a severe Parkinsons-like neurological disease that makes it impossible for him to play keyboards or even go out in public, and TMZ juicily reported that he was blindsided by the filing. Why anyone would shove so much happiness in this old, ill man’s face is beyond me, except for this one fact: people are cruel.
Love really will keep us together
I don’t have any special respect or admiration for marriage. It works for some people, it doesn’t work for others. Marriage is no more meaningful or important or wonderful or honorable than what the partners put into it, get out of it, and expect from it.
What I do respect and admire is people who make the effort to hang onto relationships they care about, whether it’s a spouse or a friend or a riding buddy or someone at work. Human relationships are nasty, bloody, painful affairs, but when we work on them they give us something we can get from nowhere else except maybe a dog or a cat. The marriage of 40 years is no more impressive than the marriage of 6 months because both take the same daily effort and elbow grease required for the relationship to make it to the following day.
That effort is what keeps us together, riding our bikes together or sleeping in the same bed or being there to take my California phone call in frozen Illinois. I call it love.
August 1, 2012 § 41 Comments
It’s simple. If you’re a grown man, and you’re shaving your legs, and you’re not a professional athlete or in the porn business, then you have a problem. The only question is “How bad is it?”
By now you MUST have heard about David Anthony, star of the New York Times, feature stud on VeloNews, zeitgeist at BikedoucheNYC, the 42 y/o Cat 2 full-on HGH and EPO doper who got popped at a fucking gran fondo in New York. If you haven’t, you should take the time to read these stories. They get the facts pretty much right, but they all miss the point completely.
David Anthony is a hero. Actually, he’s a king. The King of Wankers. The greatest wanker of our time, if not of all time.
Tawdry tales of a twit’s terrible trajectory
It’s incredible what Anthony achieved in the space of little more than three brief years. He went from middle aged Cat 5 neo-wanker to all-in Cat 2 wanker. Injecting EPO into his belly fat. Shearing 20 pounds off his 160-lb frame. Sleeping and whacking off in an oxygen tent. Pouring money into the pockets of private coaches who would analyze his power files, send him e-pats on the back, and stoke the raging fire of his drug-crazed frenzy. He left his starter dork club and moved up to racing with a big team, aptly named “Comedy Central.”
We can assume he got the bro deal on his frame as he blew a grand a month on drugs, spent his spare time in a wind tunnel, and notched some huge results, culminating in a 16th place after upgrading to Cat 2. Sixteenth place. And before you snicker and howl, how many 16th places have you ever gotten in a Cat 2 race?
Then it all unraveled. Busted at a lame-ass gran fondo, surrounded by hairy-legged freds and nice ladies who wanted to “do their first century,” he got booted from his team (losing the bro deal, no doubt), was banned by USA Cycling for two years, and worst of all became the object of ridicule in the lowest and filthiest and most depraved circle of hell, otherwise known as the online bicycle forum where anonymous people with handles like “Big Hammer” and “Wattmaster” pass judgment on real people they’d be afraid to say “Hello” to in real life.
After confessing, apologizing, revealing the drug trail’s intricacies to USADA, and displaying the kind of remorse that is never, ever, ever, ever seen by pro athletes, politicians, or people who shoot up movie theaters for fun, karma revealed the true cunty nature of her awful self and subjected him to a bike crash in which he broke his leg in three places and may never cycle again. He now walks with a fucking cane.
This boy went all in, and he went all down. The only thing that could have made his undoing more complete might have been an arrest for public masturbation or the discovery of unpaid child support bills. It’s not stated in any of the interviews, but he sounds single, so in addition to all the misery and public opprobrium, he also gets to be alone.
Put yourself in his shoes for a couple of minutes. Done? Now that’s some heavy shit.
I like my sinners covered in sin
Although you’ve become pariah non grata in the BikedoucheNYC scene, dude, you’re way fucking welcome on any of my rides. You are badass. You took what we all do and maxed out the mental credit card. You went to a place that lots of other idiots go, but few return from in such a shattered, broken heap. You don’t have battle scars, you have been mortally wounded and somehow survived.
And to top it off, you have a conscience. It is warped, fucked up, and was clearly out of commission for a period of years, but you still have one, and it’s come to the fore. You’ve not only confessed, you’ve repented. You are the reason we believe in justice, in the hope that people can do stupid things, be punished, and then be better people.
See, David, buddy, you’re not that bad. You got involved in cycling from the asshole end rather than from the sweet end. It could happen to anyone, and it does. The asshole end is the one that looks down on people for being slow, or fat, or clumsy. It’s the end that sneers at freds and wankettes because their lives have other trajectories, other priorities, other limitations, or other blessings that supersede racing a $10k bike around an office park on Sunday.
Once you climbed into the warty anus, where there are winners and everyone else is shit, you did the logical thing: you played to win. Unfortunately, you had enough early success to make the craziness seem real. If a 5 then a 4, if a 3 then a 2, so maybe one day a 1? Then, perhaps…
Yep, you should have kept counting, because the next number in that progression is “0.”
The crazies are all around us
Dave, your mistake happens to lots of pudgy, middle-aged bike racers. You’re hardly unique. You’ve been unathletic all your life, you’ve got the first stench of mortality firmly wedged in your nostrils (and it’s a smell that only gets stronger with each passing year), and you got involved in something that seemed to reverse the clock. Your body and mind are capable of so much, and it’s an incredible feeling, especially when you’re putting the wood to some snot-nosed punk twenty years your junior. Robin Williams fell into the Kook-Aid vat, so you’re in smart and good company.
The sweet end of cycling is not there, though. The sweet end is the end where the fun is the turning of the pedals and the admixture of people you meet on the bike. The sweet end is the one that whispers “We’re still dying, but what a happy journey it will be to the grave.”
The sweet end never lies to you, either. If you’re religious, it heightens your appreciation of life as you prepare for eternity with hot coals up your ass or eternity listening to bad gospel music. If you believe that this is all we get, cycling intensifies these few microseconds before we’re blasted back into nothingness for a zillion trillion eternities.
Come back to us, buddy
Go ahead and heal up your leg. Get some good PT. Make your physical recovery the keystone to your mental recovery. Hang onto one machine and sell all your extra bikes and TT shit on Ebay (if you’ve got Di2, I’m actually in the market for some if you can cut me a bro deal).
Then throw a leg back over and you’ll see that cunty karma has a sweet side as well. The bike will always welcome you back. If the BikedouchesNYC insist on giving you the stinkeye, fuck them. Find a group who doesn’t care and who rides for fun…fun, of course, meaning weekly beatdowns without having to pay an entry fee.
Get into the groove of riding not for a purpose, but because you can. And give me a shout the next time you’re in California. We’ll go for a pedal and laugh at the wankers, over whom, by the way, you will forever be king.