The smell and taste of yesterday… did I ever care?
The inevitable failure that fear haunts with success
The boy in the bubble…enabled or blessed?”
Every serious road cyclist out there knows that there's no better feeling on your bike than to have your saddle dialed in properly.
Oh, you can have a professional fitting where measurements are taken, angles and positions are set, and money leaves your wallet, but true satisfaction only comes after a nightmarish, OCD obsession, manifesting itself in hundreds of micro-adjustments over an infinite period of time. Until finally...it's perfect!
Mongo affectionately calls this..."A little slice of Heaven." No matter what else is going on with your riding that day, ass problems won't be a factor.
Mongo's been rocking a Specialized Alias saddle for a couple of years. Once it got dialed in, I never had a problem with it. It was the perfect combination of a light race saddle with just enough padding. Then I crashed a couple of times, broke the saddle, repaired the saddle with electrical tape and Macgyver know-how, and eventually lost my "little slice of Heaven."
I've known for a while that I need a new saddle, but I haven't really wanted to drop a hundy on on a new Alias...with times being tough and all. So what did I do?
Mongo, as always, found himself a deal. Being a Masters cyclist, my prostate and my package are always a priority when choosing a saddle. For that reason, I am a lifetime Specialized user. Unfortunately, I am not made of money, so economics always play a factor in my cycling purchases.
I got myself a Specialized Phenom saddle.(Pictured above) It is based on the Toupe, but is marketed as a racing MTB saddle. It is lighter that the Alias, but with cro-mo rails versus the ti rails found on the Alias. The only way to make up for the weight is to remove practically all the padding. This sucker is hard as a rock. My butt hasn't been this uncomfortable since someone slipped me a mickey at Backstreets in '97.
Oh well. As a famous French philosopher once said..."If you ain't sufferin', you ain't cyclin'."
As the only action sports outlet on television, Fuel TV has to be all things to all people. Because of this, the message gets diluted and the product suffers.
That being said, there are a few gems to be found in this pile of rubble.
My second favorite show on Fuel, behind Drive, (W/ Mike Vah-la-lee. Not Va-lay-lee...for all you young punks out there) is Built To Shred.
Jeff King and his crew prove every week that any obstacle can be made skateable, and most importantly, fun.
Of the many benefits of Mongo's DIRECTV service, the Biorhythm Calculator has to rank right up there. As a child of the '70's, I remember well when this pseudo-science became as trendy as the Pet Rock and Abba.
Here's the deal...I don't necessarily believe in this crap, but... many times when I've had a particularly bad ride or done something really stupid or found myself getting over-emotional for no particular reason, when I check out my biorhythms for that day...my readings are in the toilet.
This has happened far too often for me to believe it's just a coincidence, but I feel like I'll lose some intellectual credibility if I buy into it.
Mongo was going to write about me getting fat over the winter and the interval hill training I've been doing to try to combat the inevitable...but that all changed this evening.
The fact is, I came as close as I ever have in my life as a cyclist to being run over, and possibly killed. And here's the kicker...it was totally my fault.
It was dusk, I was wearing Oakleys, (I did have my "blinky" light on) and I was attempting to cross a four lane road with a median. As I waited at the stop sign, all the cars that passed me had their lights on. So when I looked left and saw no lights, I thought it was all clear...I was wrong.
Once again...it was getting dark, and my dumb ass was wearing sunglasses.
The black Cadillac CTS with tinted windows and it's lights off passed in front of me as I clipped in and put the first down stroke to the pedal. It was so close that I could feel the heat of the exhaust on my leg. I never saw him coming!
Those of us who feel we are skilled and experienced cyclists have a tendency to get overconfident and oblivious with our surroundings. Today, I almost paid dearly.
Though we are at the mercy of motorists when we enter their domain, we as cyclists need to make sure we are not only protecting ourselves, but not doing stupid shit like I did today.
SAFETY FIRST !!!
Though many of Mongo's exploits and adventures as a cyclist have been well chronicled, not only in this blog but in several sub-regional community free periodicals, what has not been revealed heretofore is Mongo's true prowess on a bicycle.
I am happy to announce that Mongo has been awarded the coveted #1 ranking in the Masters Division (w/o "Blinky" lights) by the Suburban Amateur Nighttime Highway Riders Association...I am very proud!
Mongo, who has been suffering with a self-diagnosed case of Carbohydranucleosis, mainly due to ingesting sixteen chocolate chip bagels over the course of three days, layed down a monster shred on the Alva today.
LB and the Z-Boys would be proud.
Mongo has always been able to spot talent when he sees it. This came in handy for me when I was searching for fresh arms as a minor league scout for the Expos back in the early '90's.
My point is this...Chaz Ortiz wins the AST Dew Tour Cup in his first season as a professional...and he's fourteen years old...and Mongo predicted it.
This kid has some Rodney Mullen mojo. It might be all but over for P-Rod(who I like) and Sheckler.(who I don't)