Friday, May 28, 2010

Putting On The Ritz

It's funny when deprived of something, how you can convince yourself you hate it. I have used this technique to recover from disbanded bands, one sided romances and jobs I've been asked to leave. Since Shimano is never going to make a Dura Ace C1-7 neck gruppo and my stock parts are getting squeaky, I decided road riding sucked. It was a little easier to take the denial route. Oh sure, I made a half hearted effort to run a higher stem with drops. The bike handled like a Yugo with a V-8. Then Big Worm took the bike to the lab, and Frankensteined that biotch. He gave it back to me with flat bars, rapid fire shifters and bar ends. The results looked cool, but the bike got real scary over twenty mph. It danced like Peter Boyle and people moved away from me like I was an escaped mental patient.

I gave up. After my extended recliner engagement a few years ago, I made deals with (Deity of Choice) faster than a Hummer salesman. Could I just ride a recumbent a few times a week? Could I maybe ride my MTB on the side walk? People heal and forget all those desperate hours, but I never will. I figured (Deity of choice) took my road bike, for the same reason he closed The Mill, took Northern Exposure of the air, and ended my tenure as a bush league manager of a one hit wonder; because he/she/it/wave/particle couldn't let mortals have it all. You can either bitch and moan or push the rock up the hill. The blood of my beloved Raleigh was dripping off the alter and the Mayans where playing soccer with its head. I had to ride the MTB and move on.

A funny thing kept happening: I would try friends road bikes and I noticed the longer ones (even with low stems) felt good. As a last ditch effort (and to make the rig sellable if all failed) The Large Segmented Night Crawler, put a longer stem on the Blue Bomber. I have done two Joe's rides with an acceptable amount of discomfort. It happened just in the nick too. Even though our trails are getting better by the minute, it was a wee bit monotonous doing the MTB thing. You can only pretend you are "Ricky the Cabana Boy" so many times before the novelty wears off. Eventually you are the same dweeb you've been for years, wearing some stupid white shorts. When that happens, the smell of cocoa butter is not so sweet. Every so often the venue must change, or the gig starts to stink like old fish.

The two Joe's rides I have done where the best rides of the year. You couldn't pry the smirk off my face with a crow bar. I will never be a smart rider in the peloton (my panicked stint at the front last night is proof). If I ever do anything cool on a road bike it is purely motivated by fear and nerves. I am the biggest dork that ever rode Joe's. I promise you I am cutting up, sprinting for yellow signs, and having more fun than anyone out there, and that makes me the winner.

Here's hoping (Deity of choice) doesn't send a group of Transylvanian rednecks up the hill with torches.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Seven A.M. at Poles. Setting launch code for F-Bomb. Stand by.....

Monday, May 17, 2010

No More Drama

Dare I say it? I have had a tame few days. I enjoyed a long ride on Saturday, and it was long over due. I experienced the peace that only exhaustion can give me. It was my first big week of miles, since before the trip to N.C.. It feels good to get off the porch.

Bump and Grind looms on the horizon, like an enemy ship, blocking the sun. I am not ready for a lap of Oak Mountain, much less the new longer lap. I am not throwing my hat into the "skirt bet". I hope you don't mind if I sit this one out. I wouldn't consider going at all (now that the Bike Chain Crew is all but a memory) save for the hard work and battle ready status, of Lil W.B.. He has put in the miles. He is bucking in the chute. Thanks, in no small part, to riding with Lil Mingo. He and L.M. are all cycling friends should be. They always ride hard. They always laugh, and you have to peel them off their bikes when the dinner bell rings. The group (formerly known as Bike Chain) could learn a thing or two from those boys. Seriously, can you make one ride a week for the crew? I know you have young kids, new girl friends, jobs and whatever the f^#$! Give Momma a night with the girls, cut the yard, GROW A PAIR! You are all grown men, use your talents to negotiate.... ONE RIDE A WEEK! Either that or lets get some beer and burn the jersey's, shorts, socks, stickers and all the other shit, that filled up the space where the rides used to go. I'm not pissed, I just miss the old days. I had two young boys, two jobs and a band of knuckle heads to manage, when I started riding with the crew. I did dishes, laundry, made dinner (whatever I could) to earn my miles. Negotiation is simple; find out what they want, and give it to them. Nuff said, I'm stepping off soap box.

I used to train all week for crew rides. I lived in mortal fear of those rides. Those days are gone forever. If it wasn't for Lil W.B, Big and Lil Mingo, Worm and Slade, I would have hung up my pistols.

Hey remember that time?



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Straight to Hell!

Maybe it's the poison ivy spreading like a gated sub division over my legs and arms. Maybe it's the groin injury I keep aggravating. Maybe it's the jammed ring finger that just doesn't feel right, months after my first crash of the year. Maybe it's the hammered knee, from the jump track crash. What diff does it make?

I hoped to be healed in the company of crew and magic trails in Ellijay and Pisgah. The riding was epic, no question. When I got home, I had the worst respiratory infection I have had since I laid in bed for three weeks with pneumonia. My house decided it needed several thousand of our dollars. My computer hard drive crashed and so did I...AGAIN! I have averaged a crash every two weeks, since late February. Whats the rub? My neck feels great! Go f#@^*+*# figure.

Then there are the human challenges. The confrontations out of the school yard play book. The small indignities that one must suffer as a price for turning O2, into exhaled breath. The subtle, passive aggressive pokes to the chest, that normally I don't acknowledge. In the current climate (tired, hurt, and out of reserves) the message goes to the bridge, where the pissed off captain fingers the "launch" buttons.

I know I am a comical character to all that know me. You would rather hear a funny story of how I fell in a creek, while my crew all stood around laughing. Sorry, I don't feel like putting on black face and singing "Mammy" for you. I am fresh off an engagement as the pissed middle aged guy, confronting a twenty year old douche bag, at the movies. I'm not coming to you as a repentant parishioner in the confessional, but as a guy ready to roll in the grass with the next prick, that flips my switch.

And the contenders are lining up. They started with the two dicks on carbon Scott's talking shit at the Stomp Out A Cure race in February. Even though I beat them both by a ton, all that remained was the anger. Not one shred of satisfaction survived the day. I had a mild skirmish with a rich Soflorida punk that almost crashed into my son. I held my tongue when the shop rat pushed my buttons. I have to say, when a local rider professed a high school love crush he had for the mother of my children, I think I behaved admirably. I gave him several outs, which he ran by like remote exits, on a desert highway. A few weeks later he let me know (in front of my wife) that he would have beaten me in the Red Bug Challenge, had he not been late.

Had any one of these grounders come my way, during a normal epoch, I would have dispatched with them like Pedroia. These incidents stack up like pancakes, and it just makes me want to box.

The bike is the cure. The miles are the meds. When the cure becomes the curse, and the conduit for all the bullshit, nothing flows. No matter where I go, the hate finds me. It could go either way, armistice or Armageddon. All I know is: the more I try to evolve, the more neanderthals I find.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Initiating loading sequence.
Got my laptop back bitches. I have a lot of anger. Pretend you are going to see Gallagher. Pretend you might get hit by shrapnel instead of casaba.....