Monday, October 24, 2011

Taking A Break: The Baby Stopper

One More For The Road

Tonight was the penultimate 23/2300 Hammerfest of the season...meaning that next Monday, Halloween, will be the final official team ride of the "Road" year. Many of the team members have already transitioned into the quirky, cantilever-brake, world of cyclocross, but it really is the end of the season for most of the guys.

Though Mongo has promised to practice up on my portaging and dismounts for the "uno" cyclocross race I'll be doing this year, I'm kind of sad to see the sunlight, warmth, and enjoyment, inevitably slow down to a trickle over the coming Winter months.

I've had a good year on the bike! Next to Cat 3 up and comer, "Full" Gass, I can honestly say that Mongo was probably the most improved member of the Smyrna Bicycles peloton. I went from "bad" to "I've seen worse" in a little under a year. If I can get to "pretty good" next season, then there might just be some "Cat 4 Domination" in my future.

If Only The Lonely Ate Bologna

The ebb and flow of inspiration

A slack tide in the face of a filling moon

Brilliance exhausted through rational procrastination

Accepted except when truth intervenes

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bad Idea Or Really Bad Idea?

It is said that repeating an action and expecting a different result is a sign of insanity. I contend that repeating an action knowing full well what the result is going to be each time, and that result is always going to be bad, is a sign of stupidity! Mongo is guilty of carrying some short-bus DNA.

I love pizza! Next to ice cream and chicks, it's my favorite thing in the world. When I eat it, I tend to eat large quantities. I whip myself into a carb-deprived trance while channeling the gluttonous spirits of Henry VIII and Jabba the Hutt... until I have gorged myself to the point of shame and self-loathing. This usually happens on a Sunday afternoon when I have nothing to do afterwards other than whimper and gather together the reading materials for the marathon, mildly lactose intolerant, bathroom session that is sure to come.

Occasionally, Mongo will go off the grid and eat pizza, much smaller volume, prior to a ride that same day. It always ends horribly!...My legs feel like molasses, my stomach is bloated, and I can't generate any power. I probably put such a strain on my body digesting the large quantities of cheese and dough that it can't have any blood left to pump oxygen to my muscles. I know this!!! I've done it at least three times with bad results...yet occasionally my hubris leads me to believe it will be different the next time.

Let's cut to the chase!

Yesterday at noon, Mongo consumed an entire medium, Dominos chicken pizza. At five fifteen, Mongo pedaled out of his driveway on the way to the start of the 23/2300 Hammerfest. At five fifteen and ten seconds, Mongo knew he was in trouble.

It was a fast ride with all the big guns in attendance...and even on a good day, Mongo would be in the bottom third of this peloton. I hung tough all ride but was no threat to anyone at any time. I thought about throwing out a pre-ride excuse at the pre-ride excusathon that takes place in every parking lot before every ride, but I held back...both the excuse and the acid reflux that would be bombarding my sinuses for the rest of the day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lost In America


Mongo has been spending a lot of time and miles on the F600 lately...and really enjoying it! There have been both legitimate and phantom reasons for me to have interrupted my training routine, which included my regular "Singletrack Sundays", but I am happy to say that Mongo is back on track.

A big dose of rain over the past few weeks and my unwillingness to hurt myself on the wet, slippery, rocky, rooty, unstable terrain, along with a saddle that nearly eliminated my ability to pee, have children, and ever sit down, temporarily took Mongo away from a part of cycling that I really enjoy. (55 word sentence...possibly grammatically correct...impressive!)

Today, Mongo put in about seven miles on the local trails. It was more of a recovery ride since I put in a hard effort yesterday, winning the Cat 6/7 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride in a crafty sprint and notching consecutive podium, number twenty two. Tomorrow will be Mongo's first 23/2300 Hammerfest in almost a month, so I'm anxious to put in a strong performance. We shall see how my training pays off.

What Will $427.00 Get You On Ebay?

For those of you who know, and you know who you are..."OG" 1980's, Alva, Bill Danforth (The Godfather), "Candle-Skull" deck...Signed!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Third Wheel: Literally

So...what's been going on?

The Pro cycling season is winding down after a pretty exciting World Championships. Of course, we all know that  Mark "If You 'Aint Ridin' Specialized Then I 'Aint Ridin' On Your Team" Cavendish won in dramatic fashion...proving once again that he is unbeatable if he is placed in the right spot by his teammates. What was great about guys like Mario Cippolini and Robby McEwen in there prime was their ability to win sprints without organized team tactics. To me, though a great talent, Cavendish still needs some more wins like Milan-San Remo.

The UCI is peddling a sham of a World Tour event in the ongoing Tour of Beijing. This event was forced down the throats of teams with veiled threats of reprisals if there were boycotts or opposition. China...really!? I know a billion people there ride bikes that look like early 70's Schwinns, but I'll bet those same people couldn't tell you the difference between a derailleur and a DeRosa. As usual, with corrupt governing bodies in sports, the almighty Yuan factors prominently in the UCI's decision.

Mongo will wait until after all the transfers are complete and the UCI names the Pro Tour teams granted licenses for 2012 before I opine at great length about the state of the game. Let's just say that I'm not too thrilled about the "mega-team" future of Pro Cycling being led by two shady characters whose names rhyme with Johan Bruyneel and Jim Ochowicz. Stay tuned...

I always get a kick out of seeing a guy on a mountain bike sticking it to a group of roadies at their own game. After all, this is exactly how Mongo transitioned from being one of the fastest guys on a mountain bike on the road to being one of the most average guys on a road bike on the road. I feel so proud.

Today at the Cat 6/7 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride Mongo was joined by teammates, "Baby Daddy" Eddie and "I Thought We Were Regrouping" Dan. After taking the win, and my 20th consecutive podium last week, Mongo was looking to "legalize it!" with a win and podium numero dos uno.  Done!!!

Mongo got in a breakaway over the last few kilometres (European for miles) of what was a very fast and spirited ride. Both of my arch nemeses were also in the breakaway. I haven't mentioned them before, but these two guys are always my main competition. They will be referred to from now on as..."Hairy Guy With Beard On Parlee" and "Hairy Guy With Glasses On Colnago". These two, along with Mongo, Eddie, aforementioned guy on mountain bike who came out of nowhere at the end, and a couple of other dudes with some game, all went to the sprint where Mongo seized control and took it to the hizzy.

Though I am riding my third rear wheel in the past two weeks, my fitness and motivation haven't waned. I broke the rim on my American Classic Hurricane...broke two spokes on a warranty, loaner, Oval Concepts...and now I'm riding an old school, Sun/Ultegra with "36" spokes. The stiffness is great but the weight 'aint light. This one will have to see me through until my AC gets built.

There are only a few 23/2300 Hammerfests left this season and Mongo still has some personal goals to achieve before I retire to my Villa on Lake Como for the holidays. As the late, great Al Davis loved to say..."Just win, baby!"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You Can Only Invent The Bicycle Once

"A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."

-- Steve Jobs, 1998

Monday, October 3, 2011

Close To Home...Straight Outta

Irina Shayk Vs Wilier Zero 7

A Silly Grin And A Bubble On Your Head

Only when there's no solution

Because the light no longer shines

While inside the dance endures

Following the scripted play

Crack A Smile And Cut Your Mouth