Thursday, December 31, 2009
"Sleep takes off the costume of circumstance, arms us with terrible freedom, so that every will rushes to deed. A skillful man reads his dreams for his self-knowledge; yet not the details, but the quality. What part does he play in them - a cheerful, manly part, or a poor, drivelling part? However monstrous and grotesque their apparitions, they have a substantial truth."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
As much as I hate to admit it, Mongo spends more time watching the Weather Channel than a seventy five year old retiree living in Boca..."I loves me some Stephanie Abrams!" The upside to my meteorological fetish is that I have a good idea of how to plan my riding for each particular week. Unfortunately, the weather around here has been wet and cold for a couple of months and my riding has been a lot more specific because of it. Yesterday was a perfect example.
Mongo decided to do the 23/2300 Hammerfest loop on my mountain bike, Li'l Pony Express. I figured hauling a 23 lb hardtail with compact gearing around the course would be a challenge...I was correct. Mongo had about a five to ten minute head start on two of his teammates (who didn't invite me on the super-secret "fast guys only" ride with them), and I was pushing it pretty hard. Add in the fact that it was close to freezing, and sleeting occasionally, and it turned out to be a doozy.
Before the ride, I decided to use the mountain gearing to my advantage and never get out of the saddle when climbing. Even on the steepest inclines, I was in the 32 or 22 ring spinning my big ass off. I really felt it in my hips afterwards, but it turned out to be a great ride and workout. I'll definitely be taking LPE around the course again soon.
Speaking of hips, Mongo ran into his "Arch Nemesis" at the shop before the ride. I hadn't seen him in months, and word on the street was that he wasn't riding at all. After talking with him, he explained that the reason behind his lack of riding was due to an undiagnosed hip problem causing him chronic pain... that, and he also had a broken vagina.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Mongo has always been a big fan of the Buddhists. I have tried to incorporate many of their principles into my own spiritual web, so to see a monk cruising on a board in a remote mountain temple in China just reinforces to me how cool they are. But...
He's riding a frickin' "Razor". Come on...!!! It's a toy, not a skateboard. Isn't Bob Burnquist a Buddhist? C'mon Bob...send your boy some schwag!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Mongo's been so full of himself lately, it's been quite amusing to watch. Based solely on some recent strong performances in the highly competitive, Winter-multi-layered-solo-training-ride-Series, I am really feeling my oats. Coupled with the new co-ed, Double-Dutch team I just joined, my fitness level for this time of year may be at an all time high. It's no wonder that Mongo is confident that he will burst onto the scene next year and dominate the Cat 5 peloton. Everyone will wonder where this old timer came from. Obviously...it's time for a new nickname!
As a cyclist, I knew there was just one sports hero, who was fictitiously portrayed in a movie, that accurately captured my upcoming story of next year's racing season. I'm talking about, of course, "Stroker Ace", from the movie "Stroker Ace". Since not too many people have seen this masterpiece, I decided to stick with an old standby.
Played proudly by Robert Redford, Roy Hobbs is an aging and wounded ballplayer who, through mystical means, manages to triumph over extreme corruption and adversity to have one last glorious moment in the spotlight. Therefore...Mongo's new Winter, alter ego, training nickname will be..."The Situation". Yeah...Jersey fist pumpin' in da house!!!
Oh yeah, "The Situation" did the MNR loop today plus an extra fifteen on the trail... "Yous girls wanna get in da hot tub?"
Saturday, December 26, 2009
There are a couple of things that Mongo finds fascinating about this photograph. First of all, this handsome young man looks exactly like Mongo did at that age...haircut and wardrobe included. Secondly, based on the car in the background, I'd say this photo was taken in the late 40's/early 50's.
This kid is either building the first skateboard "ever", or it's the base for what will become a push-scooter...which were popular at the time.
Friday, December 25, 2009
"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys."
"In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'"
Thursday, December 24, 2009
As someone who used to fly gas-powered, R/C planes and pilot R/C boats as a youth, I can tell you that, though cool looking, this skateboard concept is one thrown rider away from becoming a dangerous weapon.
Mongo made an Air-Boat once which had almost this exact configuration but with a smaller engine... and it was clocked at 30 mph.
Monday, December 21, 2009
It never cracked forty degrees yesterday. The sun came out for about fifteen seconds...and it was really windy. Perfect weather if you happen to have a "j" in the middle of your first name. For the rest of us, it was fairly miserable.
That being said, Mongo met up with his much stronger teammates, Clay and Jason, for a training ride on the "Hammerfest" loop. I felt pretty good, though because I had bronchitis as a kid, my lungs perform badly in cold weather...It's either that or the weed.
Mongo's Winter training program is right on schedule. If I can keep doing what I've been doing with my diet and riding over the next couple of months, I see no reason why I won't be a force in Cat 4/5 this upcoming season.
In Mongo's extremely hectic world of no wife, no children, plenty of rest and exercise, plus an incredibly flexible job, it's easy to see how I might forget a few important details every now and then.
Thus is the case with the anniversary of my own little corner of the Internet. If truth be told, and it is, I thought my first post was on December 17th. I was planning to write something to commemorate this monumental occasion on the seventeenth, but when I double checked, I realized I had missed the boat by two days already...so I said "screw it" and went about my aforementioned busy life. Upon further review, I decided a few words needed to be written about why I have even been doing this blog for the past couple of years.
I never imagined that I would be enjoying and enthusiastic about an endeavour that allows me to express myself in so may ways. Mongo Pusher started out as an homage to the talented and prolific, Bike Snob NYC. His style and humour made me laugh out loud, and I thought a "similar'ish" blog for my own personal amusement would be fun. I soon realized that he was much better at it than I could ever be, but...I was having fun and slowly finding my own voice.
It was not my intention, at first, for everyone to read what I was writing. It was a cathartic way to express my feelings through humor and some occasionally dark poetry, and the anonymity of the computer provided a safe shelter. This blog became as much a personal journal as it did a satirical commentary. It's wild for me to think that today my blog has been viewed almost 20,000 times by people in 1,700 cities and 89 countries around the world. As far as Internet views go, I know it's no "Two girls...One cup", but it is nice to know that there are people out there that enjoy, for their own personal reasons, what I write sometimes.
I want to thank all of my patrons who have stopped by...especially the regulars. All the best to everyone...MP
Friday, December 18, 2009
Juan Mauricio Soler gets a chance to bounce back from injury and a crappy team with a spot on Caisse d'Epargne in 2010. Mongo has a good feeling about this move. If Soler is back on form, he will be a key player in the mountains of any Grand Tour.
Citing contentment with the UCI biological passport program, Mellow Johnny and Team Radio Shack will no longer use independent testing or publish blood values...Isn't that convenient!!!
This team is chock full o' slimeballs and suspected dopers. Steegmans, Rubiera, Popovych, Kloden, Mellow Johnny...all have skeletons in their closets. I think Bruyneel and his minions have figured out how to cheat the system, and are doing everything they can to seal the team off from any unwanted attention..."Allegedly!"
(Photo:Casey B. Gibson/CyclingNews)
Monday, December 14, 2009
Mongo got himself a new pair of winter gloves recently. I was able to parlay my old Look A3.1 pedals into a gift card...which I then used to get some Louis Garneau 2/1 Vital gloves.
The "lobster claw" style wind covers can be tucked into the back of each glove in an unnoticeable manner, but based on personal experience, if it's under 45 degrees...use them. My hands were quite warm at 37 degrees.
Mongo used to use, and still has, Pearl Izumi Cyclone gloves. Though quite good in their own right, the Izumis can't match the Garneaus for warmth and flexibility...And they're both around the same price.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Freshly emancipated, Bradley Wiggins sits in for an acoustic set with his new team manager, David Brailsford.
With the "Ice Cold", Team Sky, Pinarello Dogma as the backdrop, these two busted out the classics from their favorite band...who also happen to look just like them.
There's nothing Mongo hates worse than when I act like a complete pee-you-ess-ess-why, and ruin an opportunity to go riding. Today, I definitely fit the description.
Granted, it was thirty six degrees and overcast when I got up at eight am this morning...and the forecast was for rain, but I knew that last night and still had every intention of doing the "Enemy Bike Shop Ride" at ten am. I had the appropriate cold weather gear picked out, and though the ride would be operating on the boundaries of sanity and hypothermia, Mongo was all in. Then when I woke up this morning...I talked myself out of it.
I should have gone. I won't be able to ride again until Monday.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
AK tries his best to look dignified while some of the younger team members impress Mellow Johnny with their track stands and nose wheelies. A team building mountain bike ride ensued, during which MJ regaled his new teammates with scintillating stories of how he dominated Dave Wiens at the Leadville 100.
(Photo:Casey B. Gibson/CyclingNews)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
It's been a good weekend for Mongo. On Saturday, my ECU Pirates won their second consecutive Conference-USA title over nationally ranked Houston, and today, my Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots to stay one game back in the AFC East.
I also went riding...and it was very, very, cold! Mongo happened to run into teammates, "Alp d'Huez" Mike and "Two time defending Hammerfest champion" Clay at the trailhead this afternoon, and along with Mike's friend, "Smokin' hot" Lindsay, we all put in a brisk 30+ miles. Except for the the guy wearing sweatpants and ankle pouches on the Tri bike that we passed two or three times, there was practically no one out there. I would have enjoyed the ride much more had I not permanently damaged my lungs.
It's only appropriate that this post is the "feel good" second chapter to my last one. Redemption...rising from the ashes...overcoming adversity...sticking it to that dude from the "Cobra Kai" dojo in The Karate Kid...these are themes we can all rally behind. It is programmed into our human DNA to cheer for the underdog or embrace an unlikely champion who triumphed using wit and guile against more talented adversaries.
That being said...Mongo would like to congratulate his much slower training partner, "Shade Tizzle", on winning the final stop of the Georgia Cross cyclocross season...And by doing so, he completed a late season charge that secured him the Masters 35+ overall title...And all of this is because of Mongo!
I have a track record of motivational success, or what I like to call "The Juice", that has been used on Pro Tour teams as well as riders, and it has now trickled down to the regional cyclocross circuit. After my subtle jabs in the last post, Brady knew he was ready for "The Juice". He took it...and he won!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
It was pretty damn cold today... We're talking 40's and windy. As it turned out, Mongo was also quite under dressed for the occasion. This all made for a pretty short and miserable ride. I did get a chance to stop by the shop and chat with "Two podiums in a row" Brady about the conspiracy that's keeping him from winning races this season. Though I did find it a little odd that he made me watch the Zapruder Film in slow motion, I do think Oliver Stone might want to take a look into the secret "Star Chamber" of the Georgia Cross organization.
What caught my eye when I was talking to him was this beauty pictured above. It was just built for one of our team members, "God is my co-pilot...literally" Jason. It's a Blue AC1 SL with full SRAM Red And Zipp 404's(808's pictured)...and it's bad as shit! It comes in at a little over 15 lbs, with pedals, on an XL frame. You could line up at any UCI race and hold your head high on this bad boy
Here's what the bike is supposed to look like when not photographed by Brady's "Sepia" camera phone.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Right about now-ish marks thirty days to the minute since Mongo gave up his beloved Ben & Jerry's ice cream for the entire month of November. Except for the previously mentioned "Klondike Incident", Mongo has succeeded in what turned out to be not that hard of a struggle.
I have estimated that I saved 18,360 calories and 850 grams of fat over the course of the month. That's approximately 5.25 pounds that I either didn't gain or have to work off.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
As a cyclist, it's always fun to take one's skills into unfamiliar territory. No matter how confident or relaxed you are on your home track with your buddies, there is a tendency to doubt one's abilities when surrounded by well equipped strangers. It's not until you get rolling that you can properly asses your competitors.
Mongo, and our youngest and strongest team member, Jimmy "I could probably be a pro if I wasn't getting so much tail in college", took our respective games to the local, douchey(They sell Madone's and Orca's to Lawyers and other pricks) bike shop group ride. There were about forty guys and one girl, from Cat 1/2 racers to rich Doctors on fourteen pound, eight thousand dollar everythings.
Long story short...Mongo did well. It was a fast, hilly ride, with a six-man crash thrown in for good measure. I was always under control in the peloton, even taking a short pull at the front, and it was only when the racers kicked it in on the homeward half that the group split and Mongo finished in the second third of the peloton...right next to the only girl.(Who I'm pretty sure was a Pro, by the way)
Friday, November 27, 2009
Mongo is putting it all on the line tomorrow...A super-fast, fifty mile group ride out of a rival bike shop. This will be the first test for my November, "No ice cream/ plenty of jumping rope/ interval riding" training program.
It's going to be cold as hell, which I hate, with lots of riders faster than me...and I've never done this ride before. My confidence level is low!
We'll see what happens...
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Team RadioShack roster for 2010
Lance Armstrong (USA)
Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn)
Sam Bewley (NZl)
Jani Brajkovic (Slo)
Matthew Busche (USA)
Ben Hermans (Bel)
Chris Horner (USA)
Daryl Impey (RSA)
Markel Irizar (Spa)
Andreas Klöden (Ger)
Levi Leipheimer (USA)
Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra)
Fuyu Li (Chn)
Tiago Machado (Por)
Jason McCartney (USA)
Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz)
Sérgio Paulinho (Por)
Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
Gregory Rast (Swi)
Sébastien Rosseler (Bel)
Ivan Rovny (Rus)
José Luis Rubiera (Spa)
Bjorn Selander (USA)
Gert Steegmans (Bel)
Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu)
Haimar Zubeldia (Spa)
Monday, November 23, 2009
In these tough economic times, Mongo has been forced to make some changes...as well as eliminate some dead weight. I was even all set to give my cat Snacks McGee* five hundred bucks cash and kick him to the curb. After all, he's been freeloading off me for ten years without contributing a dime. Unfortunately, he revealed to me that he was in possession of "certain" photographs that the authorities might find interesting. A new litter box and an ounce of premium "Nip" later, he and I have come to an understanding.
What I have been doing though is going through all my cycling equipment and apparel to see what should be kept, cleaned, repaired, or just thrown away. I have a bad habit of letting sentimentality get in the way of practicality as well as reality. An example of this is my shoe collection. Mongo owns five pairs of cycling shoes.(4 Road/ 1 Mt. Bike) In reality, you only need three pairs tops. One racing road, one training road, one mt. bike...that's it! Somehow I collected and justified two extra pairs, and the funny thing is, I was looking to get another pair soon.
Instead, I spent a rainy afternoon scrubbing, cleaning, degreasing, and waterproofing all my shoes. Every pair, from my Specialized Pro Road Carbon "Hammerfest Edition" (Made from only the softest hides of baby seals and Humpback whales), to my mismatched Pearl Izumis, got a makeover.
My efforts yielded four great results and the garbage can for the Izumis. I now have rejuvenated pairs of road race, road training, road "bad weather" training, and mt. bike shoes. Mongo is set for the 2010 season.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
When will people learn not to mess with Mike V or his family? He has had a professional and personal relationship with the Anaheim Ducks and many of the players for years, and it was obvious from the video that Scott Niedermayer was intentionally throwing the stick to Vallely's daughter. The other fan was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.
Mike V is one of Mongo's favorite skaters. Though half a generation younger than I am, Vallely has always embodied the tradition and core of what it means to to "be" a skateboarder...Unfortunately, he is also prone to beating the crap out of people that f**k with him.
Here is the Holy Grail of Mike V "ass whoopin'" videos.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Mongo is disappointed for many reasons that the "Frito Bandito" is staying with Astana for the 2010 season. Though the possibility still exists that the team won't get a UCI license, in which case Contador is Audi, that doesn't seem likely.
I've said before on this very blog that if Contador wins the Tour next year with this crappy team, he will cement his place as one of the five greatest stage racers of all time.
Mongo was secretly hoping AC would end up with Garmin-Slipstream. Racing aside, I really would have enjoyed the "smug-off" between Vaughters and Bruyneel.