Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ripple In Still Water

R.F.K. Stadium (1989)

Kool-Aid Acid Test

"I'm freakin'!"

Champagne Supernova

Christian Hosoi is Mongo's guy when it comes to skateboarding legends. He built on the foundation of Adams, Alva, and Peralta...and took it to the air.

His life story has been well chronicled, including drug use and prison time, but he has emerged as a man with a strong faith and a sturdy character.

With veterans like Miller and Caballero and Mountain still ripping in pool contests, there's no reason that Hosoi shouldn't be right there as well.

It Isn't About The Trophies

When Tom Boonen wins the Tour of Qatar this week, and Tiger Woods probably wins the Dubai Desert Classic the same week, they'll both be smiling as they climb aboard their G 5's.

It won't be because of momentus acheivements in their respective sports...They will be smiling because they got "Paid!"

Massive appearance fees for these superstars fuel the seemingly out of place events along the Gulf Riviera. Dubai and Qatar are rich countries...I mean really rich! These people have shacks that put Master P's crib to shame.

I'm not hatin' tha playa or da game... but it is what it is! The only way to get world-class athletes to this part of the world is to create silly events and then overpay the big stars to show up.

I'm pretty sure that in Boonen's trophy case his Paris-Roubaix victory is displayed a little higher than his Khalifa Stadium-Camel Race Track win.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Never Knew How Bad It Was

Can you guess which one is the new 69'er from Trek?
They describe it as a reverse mullet..."Party in the front/Business in the rear"...I'm not kidding!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Straight Outta Compton

Mongo has always been quite vocal in his disregard for the man. Today, the man came in the form of a fat, redneck, Cobb County Sheriff.

I was riding down a very steep road with multiple switchbacks, going a little faster than the posted 35mph speed limit, when I get the quick double honk(which scared the s**t out of me) from this douchebag in a cruiser.

He flys past me on the outside and gives me a look like I'm the one doing something wrong. Nevermind the fact that he passed me in a no passing area, and was going faster than the speed limit, and we were going downhill, I saw him two minutes later at a fast food drive-thru. What an asshole!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why I Ride

A pretty girl asked me the other day what I liked to do for fun.
At one time the answer would have involved witty-indifference, conceit, or a variety of pretentious vodkas.
Honesty was the second or third option in my pursuit of self promotion.
That day though… Eight years sober, immeasurably wiser, and in the best shape of my life… the truth flowed easily.
“I like to ride my bikes,” I told her.
“Cool,” she said.

X Games: The 'Burbs

Mongo was reflecting this morning on what a good cycling week it has been for me. In between the snow and Ice Station Zebra temperatures, Mongo has managed two days on the road bike and one on the mt. bike since last Sunday.
I rode solo on Sunday, had a "brisk" group ride on Monday, and had a strong showdown ride on Wednesday. My legs and lungs are coming around and Mongo is feeling pretty good about his fitness level.
As I continued to reflect and bask in my self-lovefest, I wondered what I could do to bring the good vibes to a screeching halt. There was only one answer...Mongo had to go skateboarding and injure himself doing something stupid, "again", and set himself back weeks so he can rehab his: A.(Wrist) B.(Elbow) C.(Knee) D.(All of the above)
Well my friends...the answer is "B". Ding!..Ding!..Ding!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008



(Johan Bruyneel needs winter home...Signs licensing deal with small country)

"Mmmm...I can't wait for the conch chowder at the feed zone".

Aussie...Aussie...Aussie !!!

Rael Imperial Aerosol Kid

“ Where was I going when my journey began?
Did I ever know at all or forget along the way?
Does wisdom gained join lessons learned?
Can I right the wrongs of ignorance?”

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Smoke On The Water

Occasionally, when Mongo needs a good night's sleep, he takes a couple of Goody's PM powders. They have the effect of a Marlin Perkins tranquilizer dart on me, and I'm out for a crazy dream filled eight hours.
I woke up around seven this morning from my Fellini Satyricon coma and checked the weather to see if I'd be riding today. It didn't look good... The temperature was seventeen degrees with a high on the day of thirty five.
At that point I was resigned to a day of housework and football.
Then it hit me...What would Ned do?
Ned would get off his lazy, excuse makin', fat ass, and then layer up, get out, and ride. So that's exactly what Mongo did. Big Mistake!
It was definitely way too cold to be riding and all my exposed skin froze immediately. Eight brutal miles later, Mongo called it a day.
I may be easily inspired, but unfortunately I have the cold tolerance of a Chihuahua.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Winter Sucks...I'm Getting Fat

As much as I enjoy cycling as a purist, if I'm "keepin' it real", and I am, I also relish the fact that cycling allows me to eat like a billygoat.

Mongo likes to eat crap! Ice cream, burritos, candy bars...usually these things aren't a problem when I'm logging 150+ miles per week and burning thousands of calories. It's when the miles go down and the crap consumption stays the same that the flabalanche begins.

Winter is overrated...Let's move it along!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bonefishing On The Flats

Mongo was lucky enough to spend some of his childhood growing up in The Bahamas. As you can imagine, water activities consumed much of my time. Scuba diving, sailing, fishing...I did it all. I reference this because I encountered a sound the other day that brought me full circle back to my days on the water.

On the Monday group ride there was a guy riding a Kona CX bike with King hubs. I rolled out behind him, admiring his rig, and then
I heard the sound for the first time.

Chris King hubs, when they freewheel, sound just like 8lb test fishing line being stripped off a spinning reel. It's not a purposeful clicking noise, but more like a whine. And as we all know, whining gets really annoying after a while.

These are some sweet, high-quality, "expensive" hubs, but for Mongo, I like my cheese without the whine.

WoooEeee...Daniele Bennati Rules !

Mongo knows that you don't have to be skinny or French to be a good cyclist. It definitely helps to be light, and to have the power to weight ratio of a Badger, but not all of us have access to the appropriate Panamanian doctors. Instead, we work with what we've got and embrace it.
Just get out and ride...Yeah C'mon !

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Really ?

Mongo took the new Allez, or as I like to call her, White Lightnin', out for her sea trials today. Thanks to my buddy Tom(I wish my last name was Boonen) and a new EC 70 carbon fork, she's 270 grams lighter and better than ever.

Though I was only planning a 40 mile shakedown ride, ol' Lightnin' was chompin' at the bit for her first smackdown. I was holding her back at a brisk 20mph, when a twelve point buck eased past me on the left. It was a Trek Madone... with the added bonus of the rider in a full Mapei kit.

The Madone is the Land Rover of poseur bikes. The only reason most of the chuckleheads ride them is because of Lance, or because they want to keep up with their country club neighbors. I know they're good bikes, but come on! There are at least twenty other bikes I'd spend six large on before I got a Trek. To Mongo, the Madone represents smugness...and I hate smugness.

Lightnin' did her job and the Mapei/Madone/Smug Cycling Team was disposed of in short order and Mongo turned for home in a leisurely manner...Then it happened.

Like I said, I was in cool down mode, so when two guys rockin' Titanium(unfortunately not Litespeeds...Mongo's favorite prey) zipped past, W.L. and I had to ramp it back up to battle stations.

These guys were worthy opponents, but after several miles I had gapped them by a few hundred yards and was coming to the end of the ride. With about half a mile to go, traffic and lights had allowed Ti 1 and Ti 2 to catch up to me and I was quite prepared to cruise the rest of the way in with them.

As the words "nice ride" are coming out of my mouth, the dude on the Merlin goes into a full sprint. He couldn't keep up with me over a period of miles with the help of a partner, but now with the help of traffic and my good will he's trying to go Petacchi on me.

Of course, ol' Lightnin' would have none of that, and she out sprinted Mr. Douchey McDouche to the line. As we passed him, I looked at him and asked..."Are you f***ing serious?" There was no reply.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Same Old Trip It Was Back Then

A friend of Mongo's just built up an old school skateboard. It's a Powell Vallely with Indy 169's and OJ wheels. It is a sweet ride...but it's also a dinosaur.
Heavy, wide, has no place in modern skateboarding. That is exactly why I love it.

This board comes from a time and a place where flow and style were king. I don't care how many obstacles you can ollie up, down, or over...give me a smooth backside air any day.

Silent Lucidity

"Cold numbs the fibers inside the lungs
Rapid revolutions of oxygen in the blood
High and faint while sustaining the pace
Redeemed for the effort is a beautiful result"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Welcome To The Machine

When a dream becomes reality.
Pink Floyd 1987
(Mongo and stoner buddies sneak into sound check/Get thrown out twenty minutes later) It was awesome !
It also happened to be the last time in Mongo's life that he camped out for concert tickets. Do the kids still do that anymore?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy As A Monkey On A Trek

Mongo got his frame back from Specialized today and two things jumped out at me immediately. First of all, this company has their s**t together. Their customer service and product replacement is the industry standard. Secondly...THE FRAME IS WHITE !

I've never liked white bikes. I like contrast and cool logos. This frame has neither. Unfortunately for Mongo...Too bad, so sad!
I got a free replacement on a three year old frame that had fifteen thousand miles and two crashes to it's name. I need to shut up already. White...It's the new Titanium!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Rollin' On My Six O's

Mongo was unable to make his usual Monday group ride today because of obligations to "the man", but I was able to get home in time to bomb a few hills in the neighborhood.

Of course I'm waiting for the phone calls telling me that the _______ Professional Cycling Team just happened to show up at the group ride today... And it was awesome! It's like when your buddies tell you that five minutes after you left the bar the Swedish Bikini Team showed up and they were really horny. I digress...

Anyway...there's nothing better than the smooth rumble of soft rubber beneath you. It's the best therapy I know.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I Saw A Thylacine

In the male dominated "parking lot poseur" niche of cycling, where five or six guys stand around straddling their bikes and talk s**t about everything, there is a reoccurring theme that won't go away.
Wouldn't it be great to have a hot girlfriend/wife who was also a fast rider?

It is the Holy Grail for male cyclists who, like Mongo, love the ladies... Someone who can not only keep up, but challenge you and look great doing it.

Today, Mongo met his match... Instead of the usual juiced up East German triathletes that I normally run with, this girl was cute and blonde and sweet and fast... and she laughed at my jokes as we rode.

I think I'm going to ask her to marry me next time I see her.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

What Would Ned Do ?

Almost old enough to get in half price at the movies, Ned Overend is still one of the greatest cyclists on the planet. He is Mongo's Sensei for all things geriatric on a bike.

When I'm feeling sluggish and lazy on a ride, I think WWND, and then I stop feeling sorry for myself and pull up my panties.

Today Mongo dug deep and chased down a semi-poseur on a purple Merckx. The dude on the Eddy looked back one too many times and I realized he was scared and getting tired. With blood in the water...It was on!

It took about five miles, but thanks to Ned, another carbon fiber fantasy has been crushed by an old guy on aluminum.

Only $19.95... If You Call Now

So it looks like Girls Gone Wild owner, I mean Rock Racing owner, Michael Ball, has taken another credibility blow to the gut. After spouting off for months about how he was going shake things up and bring a new attitude to cycling,(Did I mention that he's a fashion designer?) Ball has lost his Team Director, Frankie Andreu.

Rock Racing will carry on...unfortunately... because Ball (Remember...Fashion Designer) has stated in the past that he would be the one making all the important decisions anyway.(Like hiring the "pillar of credibility", Tyler Hamilton)

Apparently veteran racer and respected cyclist Andreu was only there to hand out water bottles and yell into the radio on race day. At least Andreu was smart enough to jump ship before he was dragged down in this alternate universe of ridiculousness.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Have I Run Too Far To Get Home ?

I was laying awake in bed last night, extremely uncomfortable due to the previously mentioned groin pull, and I started thinking about all the abuse that my body has taken over the last few months. Hips, elbows, knees, wrists, ankles...I've pretty much injured every joint possible. Though some Mt. Biking mishaps have contributed, most of the injuries have come from skateboarding.

When I skate, I have to go all out. My enjoyment comes from pushing my limits and progressing in my skills. Unfortunately... I'm too old to be doing this s**t ! My sixteen year old brain is leading my forty one year old body into very dangerous territory.

What sucks is that I want to do everything. It's like being in a skateboard coma for twenty five years and then trying to catch up on what you missed. The sad reality is that age and wisdom will probably prevent me from honing my skills for the '09 Tampa Am, but I'm having the time of my life getting every bump and bruise along the way.

Has it been worth all the pain?.....Fo' Sho'!

Asphalt Sea

"Chasing the light, my senses on height...ready to pay the toll
Into the zone, comfortably stoned...cadence is my goal
The wind in my ears disguises the fear of a life at the nadir of sanity
I escape on the road but carry the load of what will define my humanity"

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year...I Have A Groin Pull

Mongo has a long standing tradition that entails riding one of his bikes on the first day of every year. The thinking is that starting the year doing something I love will set the tone for twelve months of good karma. For no good reason, Mongo decided to change things up... and got F'd in the A.

This year I decided to go skateboarding and bomb some hills instead of riding the bike. It was a great session. My friend and I shredded and represented to the best of our abilities and then called it a day. If it had only ended there...!

Long story short...In the process of trying a trick I shouldn't have,(a.k.a. cocky) my back foot came of the board and my front foot didn't. I did a leg split worthy of the limberest sixteen year old female cheerleader. Pain and agony ensued, and I limped home to ice down my crotch.

I'll be back on the bike in '09