Monday, April 12, 2010

The Chain Gang

I haven't been this nervous before a race...ever. I was really feeling the pressure of 007's promise to make me his hood ornament. I do want to say for the record: I have huge respect for the secret agent, and from now until the end of time, you will never waterboard another negative statement out of me about him or any of his Willkillya kin. Nuff said.

The race was a well oiled machine thanks to Red Butcher, Frog legs, and a host of volunteers. The Black shirts were out in force and I would be lying if I said that I wasn't honored and over joyed to be counted among the Bike Chain Gang brethren. The race was proof that we are not just a bunch of dudes in matching Lycra.

Instead of the normal race re cap I'd like to say a few things about my friends/teammates/assassins:

Big Jim Slade:

No one who has ever ridden a bike, says worse things about themselves than B.J.S. He can't turn, he can't brake, he is slow. I am am stating once and for all, that we will not tolerate any more of that type of talk. Jim is stronger than most of the crew, and has learned how to f*^#)_+ race bicycles. He doesn't get the typical aggressive pre-race hate symptoms. He is a contender in any race in his class. You want a sport trophy? You gotta pass him. Plus it's no small thing to say he is the nicest, most generous guy ever. He would give you the expensive, only available in Europe, for team issue, shirt right off his back.

Spanish Mackerel:

He handles better than me. He corners better than me. He is funnier than everyone, but that's not the coolest thing about the Mackerel. He is the happiest racer ever. He will talk to you like you are sitting in your living room, during a race. He laughs when he is on climbs. If you get passed him, he will talk to you (and make you laugh) as you go by. He can ride once a week and still ride well. He can put in a few training weeks and take your lunch money. In any form, in shape, outta shape, he is always happy and funny. He will always be a better bike handler than me, no matter how much I ride.


The dude has a life and job (which we can't divulge due to National Security laws) that would make a good book. He is strong as a couple Wakulla pit bulls, only way more determined and meaner. I really don't know him that well, but from the first time I met him at a Bump and Grind race, I knew he was a bad ass. I would like to hoist a few beers with him some time, and maybe ride with him in a non race scenario. He hunted me down like a dog during the race. He says (in his blog) that I was on a "Sunday stroll" but I was running like a sorority girl in a slasher flick. If he had his own bike, and a few more pre race laps, it would have been different. I am not being conciliatory, it's just a fact. Bury the hatchet bro, I would like to have some bladder control the next time I see you.

Big Worm:

What can I say about the big man (that will not send Juancho into a homoerotic, grand mal seizure)? Well lets keep it narrowed to race knowledge. If you want to know where the lines are for anything, road or MTB, follow Worm. A smarter cyclist does not exist. For the whole first lap, knowing how nervous and worked up I was, he coached me through all the lines, climbs, and single track. Once he got me through the stuff I was worried about, he let me by. Red Bug beats the crap out of his unhappy ankle, and I don't think his heart was ever in this race. He has kicked my ass for ten years straight on that trail. The only explanation for him not kicking sand in my face, was that he just didn't have his heart in it. He had a tough day and finally flatted. Had the laps gone clockwise? It would have been a whole different bottle of chain lube.

I would like to say a few words about Red Butcher and Frog Legs; Man, when you guys put on your race director hats, you really bring it. Fielding questions while doing twenty things at once? I would have melted down ten minutes after 7A.M.. There would be no B.C. Crew, no uniforms, no anything, if it was not for the diligence and patience you guys show for the cause. I could go on and on (and probably already have) but its a great thing you do for all of us. I know I will look back on this period of my life, sitting in a rocking chair, and I will laugh remembering all the stuff we have done and places we have ridden. I know I have post race euphoria, and I am caught up in the moment, but I would like to thank all the B.C. Crew for letting me be a part of the coolest Crew in town. I am proud to be associated with each and every one of you.

One final note to Mingo: It has been a dream come true watching Lil W.B. and Lil Mingo ride together this past few months. Lil Mingo is a lion and he has the spirit of ten kids. He is a testament to what a great Dad and rider you are. I can never thank you or him enough, for the feeling I get watching our sons ride and race together. Zak and Ice Berg have been great to those kids as well, they look up to you guys as hero's and a better example could not exist.

Congrats to all the people that raced this weekend. I would like to (and could) write pages about everyone in The Black Shirt's, but I narrowed it to my competitors. No disrespect intended.




BIG JIM said...

Nice post and thanks for the good words.

Going waaayyyy back to when I was a little Big Jim Slade I've been on many a "team". To little league football, and baseball teams to track in high school and various adult city league teams. Never have I enjoyed wearing team colors more than I do right now. BC for life.

Double Nought Seven said...

Great post WB, but there never was a hatchet. I am known for falling off the pace like a prom dress, that's the truth. Just wanted you guys to see I am getting better. Beers saturday before the BUMP!

bikechain said...

Awesome post. We should all be proud. I home we can promote and compete in more races soon.

Mark said...

Since you didn't want to write about yourself; here ya go.


It took the guy more than a decade to quit referring to himself as the FNG. He was jumped in long ago, and I believe he was jumped in many times. The funniest of which involved a 16" spare tube. There are some people that you want to have riding in your truck to the race, and WB is one for sure. I always have a seat for him. There is absolutely no funnier person, especially while bombing. He can always get the laugh and he is the illest, most def MC you will ever see. He has an on/off switch for sprints and is a master tactician for yellow sign sprints. Nice post WB

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Thanks fellas. Let's ruin Butcher and Frog Legs' life and start planning the Fat Tire Festival!

bikechain said...


BIGWORM said...

I was asked to forward this along to the proper location;

W.B., you bring tears to my eyes! What a group of folks --- guys, wives, friends, and kids! Remember the family that drinks together gets drunk together, or more appropros --- the family that plays together stays together. You guys have got it" together".

I wish we could have experienced a joint ride in my hay day (note I didn't say my prime) before I was being dropped at Tom Brown by 7 and 8 year old girls or we could have done a dual slalom where , as Big Tony noted, what saved me on one berm/jump was not my riding ability but sheer fear! Ask Big Worm about "payback is hell". You guys continue on to make memories. \

I don's know the key to success but I do know the key to failure is trying please everyone.

See you done got me going all sensitive --- think I'll drink myself a scotch/ You guys stay true.

Banty Rooster

Note worthy: I am sitting here in my rocking chair, laughing, while wearing my Revolutions, Premier appraisal , Rooster, KYDD Racing, and Bike Chain Jerseys. I am sure everyone remembers what KYDD Racing stands for?

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Thanks for coming by Mr. Rooster! What an honor. I don't have many regrets about my add libbed life. I do have one I will always lament: not riding ten years sooner with the crew. I love hearing stories about the days before I was sworn in. Thanks again.

Now! Enough of this love fest shit! Lets get back to kicking each others teeth in!

Anonymous said...

I love the rich detail in the characters you and Worm have created. This is much better than Avatar.

Mingo said...

All on spot, the ability to see it and write it. You have a gift.

Spanish Mackerel said...

Mingo is right Wreck, you have a gift. I'll refer to this post when I need an ego bump, especially after those rides where I receive the KYDD treatment.

It IS sad you didn't get on back in the day, you too could have been shot in the leg by 007 with a training round! Or you could have played "bat the cheese" with Ron and I at Rev Mart2, you might have been there to see "the source" break a store front window with his ass or Nathan crash while doing naked laps of Revolutions during the xmas party. You definitely would have fallen victim the nude y treatment.

Seriously, there is no better crew and i'm lucky and proud to call you all friends/teammates/assassins. One for all and all for one!!