Bicycles are very serious business.

This guy knows what I’m talking about.
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And speaking of which, don’t forget Cross Vegas is just around the corner, and D Pow! has come through with a report from the fun police, or as they have might been referred to in Germany at one point in history- The Crosstapo;

• No handups or feeding is allowed in a cyclocross race. This includes dollar bills and alcohol. Penalty is disqualification from the race.
•Be prepared with team uniform or team-branded leisure wear for the Awards, no street clothes will be permitted.

In response to this, is it wrong to quote myself from last year’s report?

“…Eventually we all departed from the debacle in the convention center and made our way to the Cross Vegas cross race. I’ll spare you the ugly details, but apparently during a heated exchange with a ruggedly handsome and well dressed, albeit slack-jawed fan, race promoter Chris Grealish wildly lashed out at the sight of dollar premes being given declaring that “real pros do not take handups”, based on Nat Ross’s world class beer feed last year which ultimately led him to being banned from this year’s competition;
(Though he never acknowledged the fact that over the years Gina Hall, Travis Brown, Barry Wicks, Molly Cameron, Ian Brown, Barb Howe and even Adam Craig have in fact taken handups- the final four of which took them at this particular event last year, (but then again, as far as Adam is concerned, I guess racing in the Olympics doesnt necessarily define one as a ‘real pro’.)

He ultimately cleared up the misconception that Las Vegas and Belgium were not in fact two separate locations, that “I dont know how you do it in California in your ‘fun races’, but in Boulder we take racing seriously”, and that any interaction with the bike racers short of mild appreciation is absolutely unacceptable, thereby spawning his new nickname of ‘Golf Clap’‘.

When presenting the offender his business card so that a post race debate could ensue, the ner-do-well stated “ohh… you’re Chris ?!”
“Yeah, who the fu#k did you think I was?” Mr. Grealish blurted..

“Uh.. I dont know.. Some douchebag security guard I guess” was the response, which led to the early heart attack candidate having to walk away and take a time out, sitting alone on the hillside to collect his bearings.

Regardless of last year’s beer feed zone being turned into an off-limits VIP area, there were still highjinx that abounded, some of which resulted in police intervention, and even for a few, rides home in the backs of cop cars. (Yeah, yeah. There were some total amateurs, who, as it turns out totally blew it. I am not including those fools in our ranks.)

So, the lesson here I guess is that Cross Vegas is just like Belgium (with the exception of the fans interaction with the participants, and the small matter of geographic location), that this race is every bit as important as the Worlds (regardless of the antagonist’s claim that its just a B.S. exhibition race, and then offering this comparison-”if you stick a corsage in a pile of crap, it still doesn’t make it a tuxedo”), and that cross racing is the world’s most serious athletic pursuit which if tainted by the fervor of its most passionate fans will assuredly result in the earth spinning off of its axis.

So now you know.”

No sooner do I complete my discussion of how seriously cross racing is, as are bicycles in general, do I get an email from The Pleasure Intercourser concerning those who are chomping at the bit to knock me off my throne of mediocrity;

“Hail,
The next generation is upon us.
Hail Yeah,
Jon”

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After a race last year as I was limping away from the finish line with my tongue dragging just above my feet, I watched in amazement as a little scutter broke free from his parents and took off top speed and balls out, down a long and bumpy hill upon his little strider bike. Everyone who was present was watching this through their fingers, certain that soon he would be buried from the neck up in terra firma, but much to all of our amazement, he cleaned it like a champ, and ran back up to meet his nearly frantic parents, ready to do it again.

It was almost enough to make me think about maybe considering the possibility of perhaps one day possibly beginning to dwell on the idea of having a kid.
In other baby news, GeneO continues dropping seeds like Johnny Appleseed with the announcement of a new little one in his life;

“Boy, 2910g, 3 pushs & he was screaming @ 9:55am.”
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Upon requesting a name for the little varmint, I suggested naming him after me, but including ‘Treeclimber’ and ‘Machinegun’ in there somewhere.

At post time, I have yet to get a response.

It only seems right that it would appear the nurse is throwing a photobombing horned hand into the background.
Look at this.. As a general rule of thumb I attempt to only make two mentions of children a year and here I have got both of them taken care of in one fell swoop.
That my friends, is efficacy.

From my old homie Schoolie I get this drunk-dial the other night;
Duder,
You’ve seen this shit before. When this story came out I had been on that bike for three years.
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Zo, Richie and a handful of others doing what they do. When is a fad not a fad anymore?
You’re gonna have a birthday on Sat? I wish I could be there so you could sock me again and then I can get thrown out of whatever bar you’re occupying. That’d be sweet.”

When is a fad not a fad anymore?
Let me answer that question with another-
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Or better yet..
If a fat girl falls off of a rope swing and no one is there to see it, is it still funny?

My dear friends, I don’t know, but I assume that the answer is somehow wrapped up in this shot I blatantly stole from The Snob;

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Welp, no sooner do I get back into the proverbial saddle here on the interwebs that am I off again like a shot to points East. Some of you I will be seeing soon, and the rest of you I will not, but for those who care, don’t forget about the Soulcraft Bicycles ten year anniversary/AHTBM launch throw down on Wednesday. (I’ve been asked what time this kicks off and so far the closest guess I have is either ‘party time’ or ‘when you get there’.)
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Based on the following information from the Peppermill’s epically artistic website, it promises to be a feast for the senses;

“ROMANTIC FLAMING POOL!
EXOTIC DRINK MENU!!
EXTENSIVE MARTINI MENU!!!
15 WIDE FORMAT PLASMA SCREENS!!!!
ALL THE LATEST VIDEOS!!!!!
STATE-OF-THE-ART SOUND!!!!!
FRIENDLY STAFF!!!!!!
UNMISTAKABLE ATMOSPHERE!!!!!!!
COMPANY PARTIES!!!!!!!!
PRIVATE PARTIES!!!!!!!!!
OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY!!!!!!!!!!”

That’s too many exclamation points for our party not to completely rule.
As if that wasn’t enough to seal the deal, they also make this claim;

“The Fireside Lounge at the Peppermill. Voted one of the “…places to see” by Casino Magazine.”
Voted one of the what places to see?…
The most coked out?
Killer?
Hookery?
Boneriffic?
Best from a distance?
Radtarded?
I’ll be sure to let you know.

Funny thing is, ten years ago at the Soulcraft launch party we were all there standing around wearing wigs, having cocktails, throwing glasses of spiced peanuts in the ROMANTIC FLAMING POOL and whatnot, and who should stroll in with a few friends but King Buzzo from The Melvins;
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At some point while pulling my wig’s hair from my mouth, I confided to him that in my opinion, he was the ‘king of metal’. He responded by looking at us like we were all insane.
Did the pot call the kettle black?

Have you seen this next clip?

The kids are alright.

Now, finally in closing, as I mentioned on Friday, I had planned to turn myself inside out on a bicycle both days of the weekend, and as it turns out, I did such a tremendously efficient job of it on Saturday, there was no need for a repeat performance the following day. Lucky for me, one of the honches on the ride in question has a bit of skill with the written word, because due to the fact I was experiencing the whole thing from behind crossed eyes, my memory of it is a little fuzzy.

Jay expounds;
“The air was still, but cool. The riders were even cooler. While hot coffee permeated the morning fog, the sounds of ratcheting hubs rolling up to the Hess household resonated through Live Oak.
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But the beginning of this story is not about the 18 gentlemen about to take on the roads of the Steel Wül Classic, it was first about their descendants. With a loud start, the kid’s Crit took off. Sophia ever the good sport was overheard saying – “no I’ll just wait till they come around again to go. ”Olivia Jane” took an early lead off the gun screaming past the first round about. Emma and Peter, tried to bridge the gap with all their might early on – but Peter had a plan. Seeing there was no line judge and no rules to speak of, he took an inside line through the last cone to advance his lead over Olivia for the overall. In the end, Olivia took the women’s race, with Peter DePolo taking the men’s. Eva took the coveted D.F.L. spot by advancing approximaely 5 feet before becoming bored with her steed – Lady LuvBug. On-lookers were proud to see the talent pool spuring in the land of Santa Cruz
So in about another 5 min……or maybe 10 …….or maybe 20 min, the Media arrived to snap pics of fresh riders on their way into the unknown……
And boom – cannons were heard all the way to Piggly Wiggly market as the start of the second annual Steel Wül launched off into the morning air. Phil Ligget had a tough time identifying riders on he way out of town- for circling helicopters had thick moring fog with which to deal.
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The Groupetto Compacto rolled past the city, through the fields of Aptos into the land of Sausage. Several mortal Saturday Ride scragglers were seen jaws dropped watching our lean machine roll by. Birthday Steve shared some Makers Mark to numb the pain of what was about to ensue.
Right before the climb, last year’s winner of the Steel Wül respectfully pulled himself from the race. His coach has him on full taper for tomorrow’s triathlon, and he is needing rest to save his legs for another noble challenge. To commemorate the spirit of Steel Wül, he has pledged to do tomorrow’s entire event- from swim to run – in wool knickers.

Up through the fog, they climbed – climbed high up into the canyon. The heat peeled back layers of emotion from the riders on their way up the canyon, Some of the riders took shelter in the hot, exposed right side of the road, laughing at those riders who chose a line through the hot exposed left side of the road. As Director Sportiff Hess said, it’s hot, but at least it’s steep. Riders reaching the summit were blown away to see aid station #1, sponsored by Nutella. A spectacle of fresh Strawberry and cream cheese sandos, grapes, yogurt, hand made pepperoni rolls, and Nutella. The feast cheered the the riders.
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This was to be an epic single day classic. Most riders choose to plan their attack and moves for later in the day. However, today was not the day for belated moves. The charge for D.F.L. was begun early. Local Aptos high stand-out Andrew Carroll made an unprecedented move for the coveted D.F.L. award- working hard to sustain a triple flat amongst his peers. This was enough to knock Tim out of contention for the rest of the day. Congratulations Andrew. – well deserved.
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Up they climbed – road turned to pave – pave turned to sand – sand turned to cachunk-a-chunk and yet they drove onward and upward. Beautiful views of Mt. Hamilton, Mt. ummm….ummm…ummmm…..Ominumum, the fog encroached valley below, and crystal azure skies above.

Some of the significant others may wonder what type of discussion might go on during a ride as such. Discussions circled from old races and future rides and races, to fish stories of various proportions, and talk of who has the nicest buttocks in the pro ranks.
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Achieving the summit might seem like the high point of the day – but not for the riders of Steel Wül. The terrain re-warded with a sweet- seemingly endless rail down the chunky gravel roads. Through sand berms, potholes large enough to swallow Humvees, and rabid dogs looking for a mid-afternoon snack. Fast moving terrain, wind screaming loudly in your ears, clear skies – doesn’t get any better than this folks. At the bottom, riders were treated to hand and forearm massages and manicure to relieve tired hands from the duty of squeezing break levers.

And lunch. Mob Hits filled the air. Fresh baked breads, fresh meats and cheeses, chips, cookies filled their spirits and guts. By now the total calorie intake was 4 times what was spent on their bicycles. With a chunk in their gut and lead in their legs, the groupetto took off for Lady Madonna and her summit.
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The KOM was taken by local standout Ben Jacques-Maynes, second was Mike Jaques-Moore and Jake Jaques-Hess working for the bronze. Riders toped off their still-full guts with ice cream sandos to end the day.

And so the ride back to town began easy enough. Until someone forgot to tell the entire groupetto that UCI points were in fact being distributed for the race back into Aptos. Sprockets crackled, shifters grudgingly engaged, and the group was shattered. Shattered back into town – but re-united at the Finish. Happier. Healthier. Invigorated, and about 6-9 pounds heavier then when they began their day – this is Steel Wül 2009. Thanks Volunteers. Thanks to our families, and thank you to our bicycles for letting us see this world.”
That was far more poetic then I would have described it, and there were about 100% fewer expletives involved, but I was honored that these folks considered to have me along, and I just hope that they don’t remember to forget about my inclusion next year.
I just may have recovered by then.

Alright. I’m out of here and will resume posting whenever I get back. Like that one guy said, “keep it light, white.”
It’s with a hearty “oh yeah, and don’t forget about these“, that I’m East bound and down.
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12 thoughts on “Bicycles are very serious business.

  1. Yo Stevil,
    Happy belated birthday! Sounds like you made it one to remember and to forget all at the same time. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

  2. I saw King Buzzo with Mike Patton at an A’s game a few years back. A couple of innings later, Buzz was featured on the jumbotron as the “Fan of the game,” although doubtless few recognized him as the king of metal. The hair may have had something to do with it.

  3. Looking back on it all, Chris Grealish’s talk about “real pros” now sounds a little like Palin’s talk about “Real ‘mericans” (compared to use fake ‘mericans).
    Altho, given the timeline, maybe Palin ripped off Grealish with the real vs. fake talk?
    Also, I could have sworn that TJ was among the list of fake pro’s who took dollar bills, but alas I don’t have the photographic evidence. Gratitous TJ & cxVegas superfan photo would still not meet w/ Grealish’s approval.

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