“GET OUT OF THE WAY! YOU’RE RUINING THE RACE FOR EVERYBODY!”

These words were blurted at me from an unnamed California Giant rider last year while rounding a single track corner into a wide open expanse, where if I were shoulder to shoulder with ten other people, there still would have been enough room to comfortably pass.
With that being said, I am of the opinion that bike racers tend to be real douchebags.
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I wasn’t holding him back from greatness any more than his own inability to be a decent human being or marginally talented bike racer was, and as I said, within a matter of seconds, he, like so many others through history before him, passed me, his incessant bellyaching wafting up to the sky like vapors of steam from a pile of shit.

This self perceived notion of grandeur has been maddening to me for years… Your whole career as a regional A (or worse yet, B) racer hinges on this single event, in which if you don’t have the balls or the skill to pass other competitors, that it somehow is their responsibility to pull over and bow to your greatness.

Race leader? Sure I’ll get out of the way, but it strikes me that it’s those who are consistently 30 seconds behind that individual typically are the ones crying about how it’s everybody else’s fault that they’re sucking.
Of course Loudass has an opinion that skirts the topic of when the fun got wrung out of what used to be events chock full of camaraderie and unconditional encouragement;

“On Sunday, one of the Pilarcitos promoters came over to the Freewheel tent with a checklist for items of “cyclocross flair” [I’m not kidding – that was what they called it, without an twinge of irony.] He asked us if we had any Belgian flags or Belgian beer, which were worth 5 points each. I responded by saying, “Yes, I have both a Belgian flag and Belgian beer!”, demonstrating them to him.
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He gave me a confused look of disgust. As he walked away shaking his head, I said “Do we get any extra points if we can take a piss while riding a bike?”

Punk bike racing is dead. Hot Topic bike racing is in. But you knew that already.

Note: I was advised that there was a dead pitbull carcass dumped somewhere on the McClaren course, and I spent the better part of a drunken 45 minutes looking for it so I could take a picture, but to no avail. I apologize for my failure.”

See, there needs to be more people like Loudass at the bike races. Of course I realize that I am of an increasingly shrinking percentage of people who feel this way, but really, when did the humorless jocks completely take control?

I should also note that only once did I choose to spend the entirety of my race riding with him because I thought it would be fun to see what sorts of hijinx transpired in the tail end of the pack. It turns out that I just fell over a lot due to the fact that I’m physically incapable of riding a bike that slow.

Another person who knows the fine points of ruining bicycle related athletic endeavors is the man who resides within the stary, purple, unicorn kit that goes by the name of Gary, who recently sent this sampling on to me;
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Then Mike emailed from the Great White North to let all of us down here in Canada’s beard, as well as other points around the globe, know about what kinds of goods they have brewing.
Suffice it to say, it’s the good kind of goods;

“Well Stevil they are done…The first inaugural Canadian SSCX Nationals went off with un-paralleled success. Can’t tell you who won though, lets say it was some dude with big gams and a sweet matching kit.
By all accounts the event was a fun one. Hugh Black, of True North, in a supreme act of generosity supplied the beer and BBQ and live band. Winner of a raffle walked away with a custom frame!!! Shop was open for all to viddy Hugh’s latest creations…let’s say its cemented my resolve to have a True North frame forged for my loins next season.
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I’ve attached a few pics.. and some links for your perusal. The bottom line is that it was a fargin blast, if not under promoted and I think Hugh and his crew are onto something and will hoepfully host next year’s event.
Shalom,
MikeH”

I can just imagine that the depicted rider doing the beer in hand/fixed gear dismount was screaming “GET OUT OF THE WAY! YOU’RE RUINING THE RACE FOR EVERYBODY!”
He seems to have the eye of the tiger.

In other random image related news, D Pow! sent these shots that were captured by John and Morgan the final evening in Vegas;
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Sleep walking is a bitch.
It was our private function, and we were the only ones invited.

One Eyed Zeke wrote in to further confirm that four wheels are worser than two;

“More proof cars are bad…
Friday night after riding and boozing about town I sad down in a friends car for a impromptu safety meeting.
Unnoticed by my phone slid out of my pocket.
I managed to wobble on two wheels home post bar close and apparently decided to take a nap in my yard compared to going inside.
When I woke at 7 am in the cold of my yard I suddenly realized something was wrong… and it wasn’t because I had slept in my yard… no phone.
I panicked and wanted to go search. But my hangover, hunger and have absolutely no idea where to look quickly killed my urge to search after a few blocks.
I resigned myself to depression and my couch.
I ½ heartily searched Sunday as well but had already resigned myself to the possibility of getting a new phone.
I also skipped out on back to back CX races figuring I should save that money for a new phone.
Found my phone on my desk when I get to work today. My buddy had found it under the seat of his car.
Cars are bad… they steal phones.”

Zeke was bound to learn that lesson eventually. Of course if ‘One Eyed Zeke’ was ‘Two Eyed Zeke’ he mighta seen that his phone was sitting next to him and avoided the whole unpleasant situation.

It was right around a month ago that Jeff sent me an email concerning his then-recent travels, but after cleaning up my inbox I realize that it is as relevant now as it would have been when I got it, so here you go;

“Just got back from a vacation. Never being one to stray too far from work (which is ok when your work is bikes) I visited Copenhagen to see what all the hub bub is about. I wanted to see what its like when a city really makes bicycling part of the transportation mix and part of the culture. It was pretty awe-inspiring. SF, Portland and other cities here are up to great things, but this is a city that really gets it. Something to work towards and to look forward to. Oh, and everyone is as hot and stylish as you see at Copenhagen Cycle Chic. I think I made the city a little uglier during my short visit.
But really how is any of that relevant? I’m getting there. In addition to noticing when we hit 666mph on the flight (Sorry I couldn’t snap a pic of the display screen in time), a couple of things caught my eye that made me think of you in a land far, far away. As part of Copenhagen’s Architecture and Design Week I was able to take a tour of the Arne Jacobsen design SAS Radisson Hotel. It was a cool hotel with an awesome view from the restaurant:
copenhagenview.jpg
The real highlight of the tour though came at the end and seeing the plaque with the (in)famous folks who had stayed there. It was truly eeeeeeeevil.
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And by that I meant to point out Slayer, but interpret the rest as you will. Just when South of Heaven began playing in my internal soundtrack, the fake evil guests gave way to the true devilishness, Beelzebub himself:
othercopenhagenlist.jpg
There’s gotta special place in hell for bike thieves and Henry Kissinger.
Ok, ok…the trip wasn’t that evil. But in the city that influenced Disney Land and the Little Mermaid, its the best I could do.”

I appreciate that Jeff was keeping me in mind while out and about in one of my very favorite places in the world.
And in response to that email I will just say my last time in Copenhagen I left with many stories, neither having to do with Slayer or Henry Kissenger, but one of which that I will share with you now.

My friends and I were at a punk rock show and one fellow in particular was determined to find me a date. The drunken Dane kept running up to me sluring “Mah freend, Haav you med a gurl yet?” “No Lars. Not yet” I’d say, over and over, until this astonishingly beautiful girl approached me and said “I understand you don’t have a place to sleep. Would you like to stay with me?” Dumbfounded, I stammered “Uh, I kind of have a place to stay… ” She insisted that I take directions, but being totally unfamiliar with the city, I immediately got confused. Smiling and taking my hand she said “that’s ok. Here is my number. Give me a call tomorrow.” I looked over her shoulder and saw Lars standing across the room with a huge grin spread across his face and both thumbs in the air.
Waking up bleary eyed the next morning I dug through my pockets to find the woman’s number and give her a call. Hesitantly I dialed the number and when the call connected and I finally spoke with her, I eventually came to the realization that I was calling her at work.

At the homeless shelter.

And such is my life.

Being that today is International Bicycle Messenger Appreciation Day, if you are one one the road, I tip my hat in your particular direction, and it is with a heavy heart when I say yours is a dying craft. Good luck and godspeed.
Happy Hump Day everybody
I’m out.
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23 thoughts on ““GET OUT OF THE WAY! YOU’RE RUINING THE RACE FOR EVERYBODY!”

  1. After seeing the pics of your private function, I can’t believe you lost your camera that weekend…it just doesn’t make sense.

  2. Traditionally, the term douchebag has been reserved for the lowest form of sapien behaviour, the bike thief. Evidence can be seen here, http://samsaracanbefun.blogspot.com The term ” self agrandised bipedal penis” is the term used most commonly in cyclocross. It doesn’t translate well from Flemish, but legend has it that the Norse god Testicleese embues riders of slight talent and great ego with his attributes. The only thing that will fend off this behaviour is beer and cow bells. The tradition continues today.

  3. Dear Stevil,
    You should proudly wear the “Maillot Jaune” today, for the lead podium spot, without a doubt…best blog post to date! Keep it up the great work and we’ll ram those new custom AHTBM words down the fucking throats of Urban Dictionary (probably the same douchebags that say things like “Get out the way! You’re ruining the race for everybody!”)
    Andy yet more new sticker ideas…
    GET OUT OF THE WAY! YOU’RE RUINING THE RACE FOR EVERYBODY!
    Reading AHTBM daily is like wafting up to the sky like vapors of steam from a pile of shit.
    Buy some fucking Girl Scout cookies douchebag!
    Great Scott! 666 miles per hour!
    P.S. Tell One Eyed Zeke to get one of these: http://www.cellchainz.com/pictures.htm he’ll be the coolest kid in the neighborhood (especially if he alternates a wallet chain on the opposite side…)

  4. Hey Stevil,
    Isn’t 10-9 International Bicycle Messenger Appreciation Day? I am not saying your wrong or anything…. Just confused is all.
    Stewart
    Atlanta

  5. Stewart,
    You are correct. See, this is the downside of not having a job. I have no idea what day it is, much less the date from day to day. I even looked at a calendar, but it turns out I looked at September. I am well aware that M.A.D is on the 9th and have acknowledged it annually for the last 14 years. Think of it as Messenger Appreciation Week.

  6. You really ought to race BMX, Stevil. No one’s going to ask you to get out of the way. The race still lasts all day, but only at 45 second bursts. And since most tracks are in Bumfuck Egypt (i.e. the central valley, where real estate is cheap), there’s always a Hooter’s nearby for post-race wings, beer, and reprehensible behavior.

  7. douchbag here. I recall the incident. not exactly how it went down or the verbage used, but point taken and makes for very good story. I apologize – I am normally pretty considerate of those I try to pass. I am always TRYING to be a better person, but I think most of us do have bad days…..

  8. All is not lost: my race number was 138, and most of the people I showed it to understood immediately why that is 60% radder than 69 or and 70% radder than 666. Of course, that’s due to the fact that I keep only the finest of company…

  9. Stevil,
    Hold it the fuck up, where do these guys come off calling what they do the CANADIAN whatever it was they did??
    Oh yes run around in the green soft smarmmy marrmy, if those are words… Down here on the east coast, where the Vikings landed first. And the Natives told them to go the fuck back to Belgium. We don’t even think about crossing until the first week in November, when it gets just right. Freezing with a chance not to make it to the race because a snow storm closes the roads to get to the race.
    Fucking upper Canadians…
    They always do everything… The Canadian this and The Canadian that. As if Canada was in a 30K radius of where they live.
    It’s amazing they know how to stand board. up on their edges without help from outside.
    -B

  10. Ooohhhh…Cellchainz… just what I need on my x-mas list. Thanks!
    Stevil seeing my note to you gracing the pages of AHTBM simply serves as more proof that I need a proof reader.
    Maybe if I didn’t type with a pen clinched between my teeth…

  11. Last Sunday I did the McLaren Park cyclocross race in the 35+ A men field. The day before I’d gotten all my base miles in, riding the Gran Fondue. I got passed by Don Myrah pretty early, then a couple laps later I heard the announcer say that Murray Swanson and Henry Kramer were coming through 2nd and 3rd, right as I went through the start / finish. I heard them come up on me, asking riders behind me to let them pass. I was already to the right and when I heard Henry say “Rider.” (or something like that, he didn’t say right or left) I moved over more to the right. He was trying to pass me on the right and I pinched him off. He fell and cursed, gave me shit. I told him to “call it Henry, right or left”. A couple more riders lapped me at that point. Henry caught up to me a 1/2 lap later and gave me a little shove as he went by. I am pretty sure he went sideways, not me. I am at least 60lbs and 6″ bigger than Henry. I told him, “Henry, if you shove me you’re just going to go down.” He cursed at me again.
    He’s fast, dunno if he’s got more going for him than that.

  12. I try to be more artistic when I hurl arogant race insults. “Hey slowtard! Can you die on someone else’s shift?”

  13. Talk about ruining it for everyone: Don Myrah blazed past me when he was doing his SECOND race of the day with the Under 35 A’s [the Singlespeed A's started with them], and Chris McGovern was on his tail. Chris got stuck behind me for a moment on some singletrack and threw a tantrum, yelling “God fucking damnit!” like a teenager who just had crashed his mom’s Volvo. And then some hecklers laughed at him, including one mobile heckler/barracade. He lost to Myrah by 11 seconds… :(

  14. full on evil laughter. thanks for that, too many quality moments to point out anything, except “what, canada? i’ll kick your ass!”

  15. HOLY CRAP. Were you at the same CX race as I was? Even though the one I was at was only about 15 total particpants (there are only about 45 cyclists in South Dakota) and I had some DB barking at me. Oh to be the winner of a 15 person field, local CX race…and he wasn’t even CLOSE to the lead rider, so he was being a douche in 3rd or 4th place!?

  16. Reminds me of Sea Otter this year. I had pre-reg’d for sport 34-44 or whatever the fuck class it was, but since my geared bike was down I rode my single speed. Naturally (because i’m fat and out of shape) I was off the back pretty far at the
    beginning, but started catching riders whenever there was single track or the course pointed downhill. On one stretch of single track,
    I eased up behind 1 guy following about 6-8 bike lengths behind another and decided it was way to early in the race to bother putting forth the effort to pass if I wanted to have the energy to finish, especially since it was hotter than a mo-fo that day. It wasn’t too long before the leader of the class that started behind us rolled up. I was just about to
    move over for him when he barked, “Look out, there’s real bike racers coming through”. I found that to be somewhat rude and uncalled for so instead, I said very loudly “Oh, that’s funny”, stood up and went right around the rider in front
    of me. About 6 or 7 more turns of the cranks and I caught the next guy just before a
    hard left which went up a short steep pitch with 1 line. I zigged right and monkeyed it up the rocky outcropping next to the trail for the pass and motored away. When I felt my point was made, which was “if you’re a real bike racer, how come
    you don’t know how to make a pass” (plus I was starting to get dizzy), I returned to my previous turtle like pace. About 5 minutes later, same guy comes rolling up behind me again. This time it was, “race leader needs through…when you get a chance”. See kids, if you just ask nice the fat old ex-bmx racer on the single speed will gladly let you through, instead of making you look stupid.

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