October 17, 2013 § 39 Comments
I get angry often, despite the beer, but then I remember: Every person has to learn all of human history anew. So, here is an explanation of that most complicated, subtle, and elusive act of cycling, the pull. Commit this shit to memory, yo.
The pull is the essence of cycling. It reveals your character. It defines your ride. It makes you a person or a non-entity. It defines you. So here is what you need to know about the pull. What is it? When to do it? How to do it? Would you like fries with that?
- The Tri-Dork Pull: The Tri-Dork Pull is done at 35 mph until everyone on your wheel melts into a puddle of goo. To paraphrase Yoda, “There is no ‘why.'” There is no reason or rhyme to this pull; Tri-Dork pulls at the front, forever, because he can. Tactics don’t matter. Races don’t matter. Physics don’t matter. You sure as fug don’t matter. Whether it’s five miles or five days, the Tri-Dork Pull is the immaculate conception of pulling. It happens, purely, because it can. It is the Sir Edmund Hillary of pulls: “Because it is there. And because those behind you will quit.” The Tri-Dork Pull plots a declining IQ to infinity on the x-axis, and time on the front on the y-axis. Current practitioner: There is only one Tri-Dork.
- The Thurlow Pull: This pull is done to split the field, to crack the will of the feeble, to demonstrate physical and mental superiority over the herd. It is repeated and relentless. In the words of the Black Knight, “None shall pass.” And none ever do. This pull is only done by the truly cruel. It is knowing, conscious, and designed to ruin. Most often, it is employed on rides like the NPR and Swami’s in order to crush the barking seals and watch them choke on fresh sardines as the split rides away on Lap One. Current practitioners: Rudy, MMX, Ryan Dahl, Brian Zink, Phil Tinstman.
- The Racer Pull: This is calculated time on the front, just enough to make the wanker on your wheel spit up a lung, but not so hard that you can’t catch back on. Do this pull when you’ve been ordered to the front to keep the enemy’s balls in a vise, or when you’re in a break and trying to stay away, or when you’re on the NPR and you’ve been ordered to club a brace of seals before the World Way Ramp. Current practitioners: Josh Alverson, Eric Anderson, Dave Jaeger.
- The Fireman Pull: This is the most noble and complex and difficult pull of all, because it combines ability to go fast with ability to hurt with loyalty to the team in the face of certain extermination. This is the pull that drags a teammate across the infinite empty space to the break, and, once accomplished, you fall to the wayside like the spent undercarriage of a three-stage rocket. This pull is pain with a purpose, perfectly executed. The executioner is held in eternal awe by all who sit on his wheel. Current practitioners: John Wike, Greg Lonergan, Harry Martinez.
- The Self-Immolation Pull: This is the top o’ the heap in the world of wanker pulls. The self-immolator knows not why he pulls and blows, and cares not. He only grits his teeth into the wind, the rain, the muck, or the hopelessness of defeat, and makes those behind him wish they were having their livers gnawed out by cannibals. The self-immolator’s single goal is that someone out there hurt as badly as he hurts. Current practitioners: Bull Seivert, Dave Miller, James Cowan, Sven that Dude from Norway Who Has Thankfully Gone Home.
- The Faux Pull: This pathetic effort is barely worthy of mention, except that its practitioners are far better than those human dregs who never even reach the front. The faux pull is a cheap, weak, worthless, infinitely fake “effort” at the front designed only to act as a placeholder while earning some kind of equally faux respect from those who actually pull the train. It is typically done 2-3 mph slower than the rider who swings over. Usually only happens after you’ve been shouted at, cursed, or repeatedly yelled at for doing #8 below. Current masters of the genre: Spivey, Wankmeister.
- The Glory Pull: This piece of shit effort only occurs when there’s a camera, video, or finish line somewhere in the offing. It consists of a feeble, fake, weak, worthless half-second at the front that is designed to garner a few clicks of the camera shutter and perhaps a photo by Danny Munson or Phil Beckman or Kristy Morrow. Current master practitioner: Brad House.
- The Gap Pull: This is possibly the lamest pull of all time. To do it properly you rotate up to the guy who is on the point, then, when he swings over, YOU swing over. This pusillanimous, sniveling, shitass pull puts the person behind you in the hellish position of having to pass two wankers to get to the point, weakens him, and costs you nothing other than the pride you were obviously never born with. You’d be ashamed, but you’re shameless. The only possible redeeming aspect of this awful pull is that, sitting second wheel on a fast ride, you’re at least doing more work than the wankers behind you. Current practitioners: Hockeystick, others.
- The Top 10 Pull: Now we’re getting down into the real shit-pit of wankerdom, and you know who you are. The Top 10 Pull is where you keep yourself in the top ten, usually ninth or tenth, and never move up in the rotation, constantly gapping out, swinging over to catch the wheel rotating back after a real rider has done a hard hit, then sneaking back up again. The benefit to this is that it keeps you out of the Freddy scrum, where tires rub, shoulders and bars bump, and clogstacles tump over at turnarounds and stop lights. It also gives you a pretty sweet draft and, depending on the ride, allows you to pedal with the good riders. The down side is that, done repeatedly, this tags you as one of the worst riders in the group — happy to live off the efforts of others, never willing to contribute, yet refusing to make room for those who are actually trying to move up in the line. Current practitioners: Multiple.
- The Glance Pull: Although this is usually a function of weakness, and therefore not worthy of much scorn, the glance pull is effected by swinging over to the edge of the pack (you’re in the middle), and glancing up the road to see who’s up front. You should be so far back that you can’t see, and this distance justifies your decision to slink back into the scrum, as it would be altogether too much work to pedal all the way up to the point and actually do some work. Current practitioners: Lots and lots.
- The Neverpull: The neverpull is practiced so much by so many that it requires little elaboration. What’s interesting is that people go for years and years never taking a pull. These welfare leeches are often the same folks who vote Republican and who can’t stand it when people in the real world get something for nothing. Yet they hide in the group, day in and day out, refusing to even try to share the work. They always have an excuse for shirking, but no one cares what it is. Current practitioners: Zillions.
- The FB Pull: If there’s anything lamer than the neverpull, and trust me, there isn’t, it’s the Facebag Pull. You execute this move when you’ve been caught out on video or when someone complains about your wheelsuckery on social media. Simply go to your keyboard and tell people how hard you pulled that one time on Lap Three.
Okay, kids, any questions? No? Good. Class dismissed.
October 11, 2013 § 12 Comments
First KK set the hour record, then Fukdude set the hour record, and suddenly everybody was “training for the hour record.” But I wasn’t, because the only thing I know about it is that Eddy considered it the hardest thing he’d ever done. When I saw Fukdude get off his bike after an entire season of starving, training, intervaling, waxing his chain, and boring out his hair follicles for extra lightness, I knew the hour record wasn’t even in my imagination, forget actually doing it.
However, there are others who dare to dream big dreams, and no one dreams bigger than Hockeystick. Caught up in the excitement of watching a drained, depleted, dazed Fukdude get peeled off his bike, Hockeystick declared that he was going after KK’s hour record, as it was in his age group. This was shocking.
KK is only vaguely human. He’s one of a handful of people who can crawl into the pain box, shut the lid, and throw away the key. He’s got the perfect mix of athleticism, discipline, ability, and work ethic to take on cycling’s biggest test. But Hockeystick? Our dear, beloved Hockeystick? He of the happy-go-lucky smile, last to a fight, first to a feast, belly up the the bar and devil take the hindmost, when the going gets tough Hockeystick gets a note from his mom, why train when you can talk about it, I don’t like road riding because the sun is bad for my complexion, THAT HOCKEYSTICK? THAT HOUR RECORD?
No fuggin’ way.
I ran across Hockeystick on the way home from a race a couple of months ago. “‘Sup, Hockeystick?”
“Training for the hour,” he said.
“You? You’re kidding.”
“Nope. Man’s gotta dream big. Have challenges. Never give in to aging..”
“Never give in to aging? Dude, you look ten years older than you are. Your gut sags lower than your pecker. You’ll never set the hour record — KK has that.”
“I’m on a program. I’ve got a coach. My way, like the song says.”
“So tell me about the plan.”
“Long miles on the weekend. Steady cadence. Defined interval work on the velodrome.”
“What about diet? You still look like you’re hung over from Christmas.”
“Anquetil was a hard partier.”
“Anquetil was a multiple winner of the Tour, classics winner, hour record holder, the greatest time trialist the world had ever seen. What does that have to do with you?”
“Ya gotta dream big to stay young.”
“Dude, you can’t stay young. Everyone gets old. And some get older than others, quicker.”
“My way, baby.”
We parted ways.
An hour record hopeful walks into a bar …
A few weeks ago I was in a bar for a party, and who should I see on the high stool but Hockeystick. “Yo, Hockeystick. What the fuck you doing here?”
“Having a little snack.”
“Snack? That’s three plates of tacos in front of you. And a pitcher of beer. How many pitchers so far?”
“Dude! What happened to the hour record?”
“Nothin’. I’m going for it.”
“Impossible. You look like the Pillsbury doughboy’s fat grandmother. With his hour record attempt eight weeks out, Fukdude looked like a coathanger on a diet. KK was down to tendons and gristle. You look like an elephant seal getting ready for an Arctic winter.”
“I got this.”
“Got what? The bill?”
“The record. I got this.”
“Talk to me, bro. The only thing you got so far is arteriosclerosis.”
“I decided not to go after KK’s record.”
“Well, that’s a fuggin’ relief.”
“But I’m still goin’ after an hour record.”
“Which one? 210-lb. plus category? I didn’t know there was one.”
“Naw, I’m goin’ for the Eddy Merckx hour record, age 50+.”
“Merckx style. No aero. Just me, drop bars, spoked aluminum box rims. Mano a mano.”
“You’re fuggin’ kidding me.”
“Nope. I figured I couldn’t beat KK, so I looked it up and there’s this Merckx category that no one’s done in the US before in my 50+ category.”
“So all you fuggin’ have to do is ride around the track for an hour?”
“And no matter how slow you go, you set the record?”
“Like, you could pull a taco out of your skinsuit and drink beer out of your water bottle?”
“And still get to tell people you set the hour record?”
“Hockeystick?” I said.
“You’re a fuggin’ genius.”
He shoved the last giant taco into his mouth as a burst of sour cream and salsa drizzled down his chin. Then he drained his one-pint tumbler and smacked his lips. “Yeah,” he said. “I know.”
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).
June 14, 2012 § 4 Comments
Your morning begins like this, his morning begins like this, her morning begins like this, and my morning begins like this: “Fuck. Is it time to get up already?”
Shortly after the get-up-now-you-fucker ringtone, I got a text buzz from Hair, who had planned to meet me at the top of VdM, from whence we would pedal to the ride. I didn’t even have to look at the screen. The only reason a riding buddy texts you at 5:20 AM is to say, “I’m a lazyfuk and not coming. See you at the Pier,” which is exactly what it said.
Strap it on, bitch
I got up. I put on my undershirt. I put on my bibs. I put on my jersey. I put on my armwarmers and socks and gloves and helmet. I put my tire lever thingy and spare tube and plastic wallet and shit into my back pocket. I aired up my tars and I filled my water bottle, the one that says CalBikeLaw.com just in case some fucker runs me over and I need to dial up my lawyer’s website while I’m bleeding out in the gutter.
I opened the hall closet and rummaged through the shoes that were all dumped on top of each other, looking for my stomp boots. The big red ones with gnarly ridges on the soles so that when I get to stomping on somebody’s dick and it gets caught in the soles the ridges hook onto it good. The big red ones with 47 eyeholes for lacing it up with thick leather laces. The big red ones with the left foot pointy steel toed for drawing blood, and the right steel toed one for just kicking the shit out of something until it’s blunt too.
I laced up those motherfucking stomp boots good and tight.
Then I got my GoAmateur camera and bolted that motherfucker onto the rails of my bike seat using a mos-def K-Edge GoAmateur Seatcam Rail Clamp. It sounds like an antivenin for venereal disease, but it isn’t.
I strapped that bitch onto my bike seat good and tight.
This hero sandwich ain’t got no beef
We got to Pershing and I hit the jets up the little riser. Then I fizzled at the little bend and Hair came stomping by and gapped everyone. Then G$ came stomping by and gapped everyone. Then I drifted back into the wankoton and sucked wheel. I had flat legs and was going to have to sit in and hide from the front like all the other wankers on the NPR usually do.
And you know what I learned? It’s ridiculously easy. I barely cracked a sweat. What a fucking joke. No wonder everyone’s always smiling and chatty and catching up on the news and complimenting each other’s thick, luscious eyelashes and shit.
So then I went and took a pull and felt really terrible, so I stopped doing that. There was a passel of wankers who had steel in their eyes and fire in their bellies and they were determined to get up to the front and lay it down. But they were having difficulty finding the front. I overheard ‘em.
“Hey, Wanker #3491, where’s that there front?”
“I was gonna ask you the same thing!”
“Is that it up there?”
“I think so!”
“Let’s go up there, then!”
And off they went and I followed for a way, but sure enough, they got lost and couldn’t find it. I felt sorry for them and tried to help. “Hey, you pussy motherfuckers! The front’s up there! Where all that open space is! And where there’s ten guys in a single line! And where the wind is blowing that steel flagpole double! Get up there and take a pull you lazy motherfuckers!”
They doubled up their efforts and charged up towards the front, but just where the double-wide draft of Pischon and the triple-wide draft of Big Steve and the quadruple-wide draft of Fr8 Train stopped, that’s where they got lost again and drifted back to the back.
Save your bullets, especially when they’re BB’s
On the beginning of the third lap Paul Che attacked into the headwind. Stathis the Wily Greek and Ryan Begley and some other Big Orange dude went with him, and I struggled up to the rear. We had a good gap but got stopped at the light. Just when we put our feet down the pack caught us and the light turned green and there I was in the thick of the wankoton again.
Everybody was so darned happy and the pace was so damned slow, the pack spread out five or six people wide. What a wankfest. It strung out a little with the tailwind, but if you cowered behind Big Steve you got up the little climb without hardly turning your legs, much less hurting. On my right was Hockeystick. On my left was Gooseman. What more proof did I need that it was easy?
Please momma, I promise I’ll stop wetting the bed
On the beginning of the fourth lap I attacked into the headwind. G$ and Don the Referee Dude went with me. We flailed along for a while until the wankoton sort of gave up. G$ took a big pull. Don the Referee Dude came through and flailed, then cracked. I saw he was hurting, and he really seemed like a good guy and I liked him and respected his effort, so I put the knife in his nuts and turned up the pace a couple mph when I came through. He fell out through the bomb bay doors and was gone.
G$ hunkered down and adjusted the “kill” setting on his stomp boots and began to kick the shit out of his pedals like they were made of dicks. It was all I could do to hang on. The wankoton had gotten a big ol’ mouthful of headwind and was choking on it like a dog trying to swallow peanut butter, and we had a gap of 40 or 200 nautical miles. At the turnaround we were about twenty seconds up.
G$ sat up. “I’m going back there, Wanky. You got this one. Get it!”
This was like when my mom used to drop me off at the Harmon School in Houston, before she got my my stuffed tiger, Georgey. I wanted to cry. “Please don’t leave me, mom! I promise I’ll stop peeing in my bed! I promise I’ll stop chewing the liners in your dress shoes! I promise I’ll quit feeding ammonia and aspirin to the dog!”
But it was all to no avail. G$ left me to my own devices, just like at the Harmon School when I had to walk through the gate, sobbing bitter tears as the evil pack of cruel bullies gleefully waited their turn to rip me to shreds. So I wiped my eyes and put my head down and kept stomping the pedals. Pretty soon I was up the riser and had crossed the bridge.
No one in the history of anything has ever been chased down by Prez
You know how when you meet a nice girl and in the first few seconds you kind of hit it off and you both get that good vibe without having to say anything, and then before you’ve even had a chance to introduce yourself she says, “Look, I don’t do anal unless we’re married”?
Well, that’s how it is with Prez. Prez don’t do chasing (not sure about the premarital anal). So you can damn well bet I was chagrined to get caught 100 meters before the finish line, which is the start of the third traffic island, and to have Hair pass me at 40mph, followed by Erik the Vicious, followed in turn by Prez. I checked my post-ride video and there was Prez, leading the chase and leading out Hair and Erik to pimp me after a five-mile breakaway.
I could tell you that I stopped at the stoplight because it was red and because there was a cop there and because I’m a noble and honest dude who doesn’t believe in cheating to win something as silly as a group ride that you can’t even win anyway, but you’d call bullshit and say I was a lying, cheating, underhanded fuck who would stop at nothing to win, including spiking my water bottle with RuggedMAXXX2 and running all the lights, because that’s the kind of bastard I am.
And you’d be mostly right.
March 6, 2012 § 2 Comments
A second recon ride was held on Saturday. I wanted to attend, but had to go grocery shopping.
Twenty riders participated.
It’s true, the twenty consisted mainly of San Diego riders and Swami’s guys. That’s like saying the orgy consisted mainly of impotent men, but the fact remains: how many rides have you ever done that were so hard that only 5% of the riders finished?
I shouldn’t name names of invited riders who should not bother showing up, but I’m going to. If your name isn’t here, it should be.
Hockeystick…you have a shattered collarbone. You couldn’t finish the ride with three unbroken collarbones. What are you thinking?
Junkyard…you know you can’t. Give up now. You & me. By the beach. Checking out the first thongs of spring. That, or vomiting at the 90-mile mark and crawling home on our hands and knees only to be laughed at and spat upon by the three riders who completed the entire route?
Toronto…your daughter is an amazing athlete. You once were. Taking the elevator to the 21st Floor twice daily doesn’t count as training. Join me and Junkyard for the March thong browse-a-thon. Don’t sully the family name.
DJ…you barely finished Palm Springs. You’re so desperate for fitness that you pedaled up Tuna Canyon. You’re going to get crushed at Solvang. Bow out now, while the embarrassment is simply public and not yet personal.
Wehrlissimo…your family still needs you. There won’t even be enough pieces left to make a presentable corpse. Leave more than an ash-filled urn. Do not enter.
Big Bowles…you are really old and slow. You don’t even race. This isn’t a ride where the grizzledest ol’ duffer who plods the longest gets the strippers and meth at the end. Please quit. I’m already thanking you for it.
DK…you’re a passionate advocate, but do you also want to be a passionate invalid? This ride will crush you up and shit you out. No one will be your friend. Think New Pier Ride for ten hours. You’re slow, unfit, and weak even in the best of times. Please give up on this madness.
Jimbo…you have to do this, but you shouldn’t. Sick days are legal in California. Take one in advance. You’re double-covered; it’s Sunday anyway.
Alain…I love you like a brother, but I hated my brother. You know how you collapsed two weeks ago on our recon ride and were taken home in a hearse because they thought you’d died? Race day will be worse. Fill out your death certificate now. Then live it up with us purplers on the beach.
Steve McWankerston…you’ve got nothing to prove, as you’ve already proved it. This ride is too hard for someone of your vintage and girth. Do not show up. Forget about honoring the Swami’s name. That’s like honoring a multi-generational family of hookers.
G3…I know you’ve begged and weaseled, but be thankful that you’ve been excluded. It’s not that no one likes you, or that you’re too weak, although that’s part of it, rather it’s just that awful blog you started. It’s really terrible. If you take it down and claim it was written by someone else, you might get in for 2014.
Entire Big Orange contingent who wasn’t invited…please don’t take it personally, but no one wanted you around.
G$…ordinarily you’d get a big thumbs up, but with all the cracked ribs, broken collarbones, and general propensity for falling off your bike at random times, there are just too many falling off spots for you to reasonably contemplate finishing this race. Be a quitter.
Victor…you still haven’t finished the entire course. 7 hours of threshold…or thongs? You decide.
Baby Bruce…at first I thought this was a typo. Really? Really? This isn’t 45 minutes of ‘cross with your friends. It’s a death sentence levied by people who want to kill you. Give up.
Natty Hnatiuk…you have an easy out, buddy: the paramedics won’t be able to pronounce your name. Look, I love a good joke, but this is ridiculous. Stay home. Smoke a cigar. You can read about it all in the blotter.
Poppy Popovich…have you confused the pleasantries of a stroll through the vineyard with a leg-crushing beatdown that would humble a man of triple your fortitude? I think you have. De-confuse yourself with some pilates and meditation. Then give up.
Marckx Brother…I don’t know you. That pretty much sums it up. This isn’t a 90-minute 1940’s comedy with Harpo, Groucho, Wanko, and a happy ending. It’s a technicolor, fully digitized dismemberment that will drag on, for you at least, until long after sundown. Go for the happy ending at Ingeborg’s Swedish Massage House. Not here.
Becker Bob…first I heard this was a brutally hard ride. Then I heard you’d been invited. They can’t both be true. Now that I’ve done the course, I know which one is true: it’s a brutally hard ride.
Surfer Dan…what, did someone tell you this was like a big surf day, when all the local rippers and talkers stand on the beach and critique the waves while two guys out of several hundred actually have the balls to paddle out? It’s not going to be like that. Everyone will have to paddle out. Few will make it back in. Stay in Hermosa and support your home break. The North County locals will not be forgiving.
Bull…it’s time we had a talk. But not now. You are tough. You used to play football. This is not football. You are not tough enough for it. Imagine you’re Brett Favre and the hills of North County are the Saints’ defensive line after learning there’s a bounty on taking you down. Bow out gracefully before you get crippled.
Major Bob…yes, it’s going to be a war. Yes, you’re a battle-tested soldier. No, you won’t survive the shrapnel and IED’s. Why? Because you still haven’t learned how to use tiny gears. That 55 x 9 will slowly grind you down into a puddle. Slowly, as in the first 35 miles.
Johnny Boy…this isn’t a 45-minute crit shortened down to 30 minutes by Chris in order to save time and cram in a couple extra races. It’s not a 60-lap points race with Neumann crashing out the rest of the field on the last lap. It’s seven hours. 9,200 feet of climbing. Your cup of tea? Naaaaah.
Elron…WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? Your last long ride was in January, and you barely survived that. You don’t even cycle anymore. You have a beautiful, intelligent girlfriend who we all admire from afar. Go admire her from anear. Don’t come on this ride.
Triple…at least you have the excuse of awful judgment and following whatever dumbass plan DJ and JK come up with, a/k/a going up Tuna Canyon or leaping off your bike at 45 mph on the Everest Challenge. This, however, is too big for your tiny plate. Remember Palm Springs? This is just like that, only 10,000 times harder. Thongs. On the beach. Be there. I’ll even put the pink umbrella in your pina colada.
MMX…you’ve done the full route twice now, and have officially peaked. Each day from Saturday you will be either losing fitness or overtraining. No one will take pity on you as you wither and flail somewhere between Summit and Deathhaven. My proposal? Miss your flight home from NYC. What are they going to do, fire you?
Jurist Imprudence…I got the funny email. It was clever. Witty. Made me laugh. You and me, we’re “word” guys. Lots of talk, no action. So–let’s write about it and let others do the dying. Okay? It will be funnier that way.
Ian McWanksalot…saw you did the second recon. You’re double the man I am. Which makes you 1/4 a man. Note to you, sir: you’ll need to be at least 1.5 man to complete that ride. Of all people, you should now know that. Plus, people will abuse you for riding a steel bike. Third time is not the charm. Gracelessly abandon…deal?
Stephenovich… you did your longest ride ever attempting to do most of the BWR course, but collapsed on Questhaven, which is before the San Elijo climb, which is before the Double Peak of death. Pack it in now, and start training for 2020.
Andisimo…you fear the purple reaper more than anyone, which keeps you on or near the front a lot. It’s endearing. But stupid. Case in point? When you were five yards into Bandy Canyon, you dropped like an anvil. Stay home, Andy. The Purple Police won’t find you if you pull the covers tightly enough over your head.
Aunty Ant…you were shelled on the very first bump of a dirt road with Albert and Mirko. This seems like the perfect wake up call, doesn’t it? Or rather, the bedtime ditty before the raging peloton turns out your lights. Who wants to go to war and ride at the back in the medic truck, hiding from the call of duty? Well, you do, but…don’t.
Mirko…with two purple cards thrown your way before the first climb, you’ve already flown your true color. Singular. Step away from the microphone before the ugly hooded man with the scimitar disguised as a hook removes you. Permanently.
Big Bad Lee…you are fast but you get tired. It’s a gravity thing. Your bigness is good for a lot of things, but not Couser Canyon, Bandy Canyon, Deathhaven, San Elijo, or Double Peak. However, in true Swami’s fashion, since the group ride will get too fast, you can always create a B ride. This way you can get your fifty miles out of the way, come back to help drink the BWR Ale and review the KOM’s you set on Strava.
BenNiceKnowingYa…you’ve repeatedly stated you are ‘in,’ but what you are ‘in’ for is a beatdown. You joined the group at the 20-mile mark, hid as best you could until a pull was demanded, but then you got shelled on Couser and were never seen again. Sure, you’ll get a commemorative diaper and BWR purple pacifier, but is that what you really want? ‘Course not. Quit now while you’re behind.
Andrew…This event far exceeds the capacity of your family tree. If you are barking on a Monday, imagine what will happen to you on Sunday when the hammer comes down and the waffles come back up. Yuck. Just say “No.”
Casey…You and Andrew can help the girls at the finish line prepare the IV drips, cots, and bed pans. After the men depart, join me and the other 1/8 men down on the beach for some thongwatching.
Shorter…you were the first to quit, which makes you the smartest man of all. So follow up that stroke of genius with an old-fashioned “Gotta take the kids to their soccer game!” Works every time.
Matt… maybe you ought to try a tandem with Wanksalot? I know a guy who has one with a motor. You could follow the peloton and pick up their empty GU wrappers.
Jury Is Out…the jury is still out on you. You may be able to survive the ride, but there is a cut off time of midnight, March 25, 2014. This only gives you, him and he a few years to complete the thing. Which is probably not enough. Why not just throw in the towel? Yes, you CAN.
Douggie…it’s okay to fool yourself, but you’re not fooling anyone else. This is a very tall ride, and this blog post is like the little wooden man you have to measure yourself against at Disneyland in order to ride Splash Mountain. You’re almost tall enough…but not quite.