Saturday, April 7, 2012

Predictions Sure To Go Wrong: Parry-Roobay

1...Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin)

2...Lars Boom (Rabobank)

3...Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It Was A Good Race: Elf Ears Wins Again


The Most Dangerous Man In The Peloton


11 Speed Electronic Smackdown

It's been a while since I've regaled my loyal readers with my own cycling exploits. Quite frankly, talking about yourself for over four years can be hard. As with batting averages and're going to have some dry spells.

That being said, Mongo is riding very well right now...for Mongo. In fact, I'm probably riding at my best fitness level ever! I'm climbing like a mountain goat with his tail on fire. If it wasn't for the fact that I weigh several (wink, wink) pounds over two hundred and have the eating habits of an actual goat, Mongo might be scaring a few people this Summer.

For the past couple of months I've mixed in my ongoing domination of the Cat 6/7 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride with my mid-pack survival at the very fast, "One Step Beyond" Six Flags ride. It's been a nice variety of hills and speed to keep the training interesting. With three 23/2300 Hammerfests under my belt, I am definitely noticing improvements in all aspects of my game.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Predictions Sure To Go Wrong

1...Stijn Devolder (I have a feeling)

2...Tom Boonen (Can't win everything)

3...Heinrich Haussler (He needs this one)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Happy Little Tree Returns The Favor

"A broad margin of leisure is as beautiful in a man's life as in a book. Haste makes waste, no less in life than in housekeeping. Keep the time, observe the hours of the universe, not of the cars."

(Henry David Thoreau) 

Monday, March 26, 2012



This year might be the most dramatic example of the power of Mongo's "Juice". With my endorsement of Omega Pharma-Quickstep at the beginning of the season, they have gone out and already won as many races as they did in the last two years...combined!

Tom Boonen is having a renaissance year. I just hope it's all legit. Mongo is always skeptical of older cyclists who, after consecutive down years, come back in top form. It's just kinda fishy...especially with the recent scientific revelations that state that there may be up to one hundred undetectable synthesized versions of EPO available to those willing to take the risk. We'll see?!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Lady In The Habit

I went down to the crossroads and stepped through an open door

I went down to the has been there before

I went down to the crossroads and got down on my knees

I went down to the crossroads...unspoken reasons to believe

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm Not A Nutritionist But...

I'm pretty sure that eating an Alfredo Pasta Bread Bowl and a Stuffed Cheesy Bread from Domino's four hours prior to the 23/2300 Hammerfest was "not" a good idea. In fact...I know it wasn't!

Mongo has a bad habit of sabotaging myself with food. It is truly my Albatross..."real talk". Ice cream, pizza, pasta, chocolate...all contribute to my recurring failures. Today it was the pasta, bread, and cheese that turned my legs into sludge. No excuses...but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

It was a fast, fun ride. There was a strong turnout with all the usual suspects, including a rare appearance by "Shade-Tizzle". Unfortunately, MC-Lean was on a "vision quest" in the mountains where he was licking his wounds and was not there to raise the pace to an even more unmanageable level.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Predictions Sure To Go Wrong

Tomorrow, as you all know, is Mongo's birthday. A date which is also shared by such legends as pornstars, Katie Morgan and Stormy Daniels, as well as this eclectic group of fellow St. Patrick's Day babies. I would like to thank everyone in advance for the thousands of handwritten, embossed cards and the hundreds of expensive, custom-made gifts that I will undoubtedly be receiving throughout the day tomorrow. Oh...and there's also a bike race.

1...Edvald Boasson Hagen
2...Fabian Cancellara
3...Oscar Freire

Monday, March 12, 2012

What Will $420.00 Get You On Ebay?

"O.G." 1988 Vision "Gator" Mini deck.

Kate Upton Vs Colnago C59 Disc

Neither Rain Nor Sleet Nor Gloom Of Night: First MNR In The Books

Mongo has been looking forward to tonight for quite a while. With the time change comes the return of the the Smyrna Bicycles 23/2300 Hammerfest Monday Night Ride. Unfortunately, the weather decided to be a dick.

Six brave team members gathered at the appointed place and time under a steady drizzle. The rest of the crew, who have lost their "hardcore" street cred, decided that a little water was the deal breaker for the first official team ride of the season.

Mongo, Clay, Ian, Mark, Chris, and MC, all had a fun ride. The pace was quick but not crazy, with safety being a factor, and everyone rode well...with Mongo being the weakest link in this posse. But...I did climb pretty strong out there. Thanks to MC and some motivation, I managed to hang with the group most of the way on both big hills.

When it came to the Sprint, Mongo attacked MC early... which led to Mark jumping on the other side. By the time MC realized I was no threat, which was immediately, Mark had a big enough gap that MC couldn't reel him in. I have to say that this would be considered a moderate upset in the Smyrna Bicycles hierarchy.

A Van Garderen Away From Perfection


I have to say that Mongo's prognosticating skills are at an all-time high. Had it not been for three crashes by the "Li'l Bronze Medalist" on the penultimate stage of Paris-Nice, I was a lock for another 2 for 3 on my podium predictions...with my third guy finishing a respectable fifth.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda...but didn't! Stay tuned for my return to glory with Milan-San Remo next weekend.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Irina Shayk Vs Giant TCR Advanced SL 0

Gavia: This Too Shall Pass

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The Beginning

The Juice Keeps Flowing


Seventeen Years In The Making

If truth be told, and it is, Mongo enjoys working on my bikes almost as much as I like riding them. The trouble is...most minor wrenching projects soon turn into all-day productions. Thus was the case last Thursday.

Towards the end of last year, Mongo turned one of my bikes (LPE...for those who know) into a trainer only ride. On this bike is a Manitou 4 fork from 1994 with elastomer suspension. I have owned this fork from new and have changed the elastomers a couple of times, but I have never given it a full breakdown cleaning...and now I know why.

Thursday was a nice day and I was planning on riding but I made the mistake of pushing down on the fork while I was in the garage. The squishy travel and slow rebound told me something was wrong. I should have just moved along and gone about my ride as planned.

Instead...I spent the next three hours taking the fork off the bike, cleaning the headset and races, and finally, breaking the fork down completely...the whole shebang...sliders, crown, elastomers...the works!

The exterior of the fork is in immaculate shape for it's age. The interior, on the other hand, was a sloppy, goopy mess. Gasoline, Clean Streak, WD-40, and lots of elbow grease...were all used in large quantities to get this baby back to "better than new" condition. I now have the firmest and smoothest 1.5 inches of travel of any trainer bike around.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Predictions Sure To Go Wrong

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Paris-Nice are the races that mark the beginning of Mongo actually caring about what's going on in Pro cycling...OHN for it's "Classic" feel, and P-N because it's the first "legit" stage race of the season. Paris-Nice is a tough one to call because the field is so stacked...but here we go anyway.

1...Levi Leipheimer
2...Alejandro Valverde
3...Tejay Van Garderen

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

They Might Be Giants: Built To Shred

"Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Will $2326.51 Get You On Ebay?

"O.G." 1970's Z-Flex, Jay Adams "Z-Woody"...undrilled.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Races Won And Efforts Given

It was a great weekend for Mongo and the entire Smyrna Bicycles team. Mongo returned from my Pit Bull mauling and got a victory on Saturday at the Cat 6/7 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride, while team members, "Cap'n" Clay, "Full" Gass, "MC-Lean", and "Fuji" Tom, took their skills to "Perry Roubaix" and managed multiple podiums.

Big ups to "Full" Gass for his timing-chip, sprint win in the Criterium, and to MC for his classy move in letting his breakaway partner take the win in the Road race after doing all the work.

Also...congratulations to the "Danimal" on competing in, and completing, one of the hardest Cyclocross/Mt Bike races in the southeast..."Southern Cross". It's going to be a great year!

Cutting To The Chase: Self Shout-Out


Mongo was just one pick away from being drafted into the super secret, "Men Who Stare At Goats" division of the PFN. With my correct prediction of Boonen and Flecha in second and third, only Gilbert prevented a prognosticating trifecta.

It was good to see Heinrich Haussler getting back on form, but once again Mongo was extremely disappointed with the podium girls. C'mon Europe...step your game up! This is how we do it in the good ol' a shitty Continental race.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Predictions Sure To Go Wrong

Based on Mongo's in-depth analysis of the maiden "Classic" of the season, which involved mostly scanning the start list and the winners from previous years, I came to some conclusions.

Unfortunately, I forgot those conclusions, so I'm just going to wing it.

1st...Phillipe Gilbert (Safe/smart pick)
2nd...Tom Boonen (Something to prove)
3rd...Juan Antonio Flecha (I like saying his name)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

74 Toupe

“One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.”

(Henry David Thoreau)

My Afternoon Ride: You Might Need Google Earth To View

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Best American Cyclist...Get Used To It

Seriously?: Nice Beaver


I could say a million mean yet witty things about the podium girls "every year" at the Volta ao Algarve...but I won't. Just answer me this...ARE THERE ANY GOOD LOOKING WOMEN IN PORTUGAL?

Who Knew?: Oh That's Right, I Did


Peter Velits, one half of the genetically cloned Velits brothers, captures the Tour of Oman and continues the early season winning streak for Omega Pharma-Quickstep.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

At Least Portugal Is In Europe, Isn't It?: EBH Get's On The Board


Mongo stated last year, on this very blog, that Edvald Boasson-Hagen was my favorite current Professional cyclist...this has not changed.

The kid, at 24, has all kinds of game! Sprints, Classics, solid TT efforts, TDF stage wins...he does it all.

I think one of the main reasons I like him is that he reminds me a little bit of Mongo's "all time" favorite cyclist, who also happens to be the greatest American cyclist of all time...Greg Lemond.

(That's right...I said it! What?!)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

You Can't Outrun Your Past


Well...A Win Is A Win


Surprise!...Tom Boonen won the Tour of Qatar for the fourth time. I would normally laud my own influence in securing this victory by mentioning my endorsement of OPQS a mere three weeks ago and their ensuing victories here and in the Tour de San Luis...but I won't.

For whatever reason, Boonen has dominated this sham of a race...which is bankrolled by billionaire sheiks for their personal pleasure while huge appearance fees are secured by the riders and teams to ensure a quality field. So...I'm not taking too much stock in it as a predictor for Boonen's season.

Irina Shayk Vs Beistegui Hermanos G5

Thursday, February 9, 2012

So...This Happened

I know that most cyclists viewing this photo for the first time are probably feeling both horrified and amazed....Horrified by the fact that my legs are so hairy, and amazed by the size of my sweet, Cat 6 calf.

Oh...and I got attacked and bitten multiple times by a Pit Bull while cruising on my skateboard.

Let me address the most important issue first...the reason my legs are not shaved.'s Winter and I enjoy the extra warmth during the off-season, and B...I have a tradition of shaving the day before my first "official" race of the year so my legs are extra silky-smooth and aerodynamic.

So here's what happened...I was bombing hills in the neighborhood when I cruised past a couple walking two dogs. As I went by I heard barking, and shortly thereafter, screaming. When I looked back, I saw the girl struggling to hold her dog on the leash and then...he broke free and the attack was on.

It's a strange feeling to know something very bad that hasn't happened yet is about to happen...and there's no way of stopping the inevitability. I was thirty yards ahead of the dog and going about 15 mph, while the dog was closing in on me at about 20 mph with bad intentions in it's eyes. I had about 4 seconds to decide what to do.

I planned on bailing out in someones yard and trying to defend myself before the dog got to me. But...right before my ollie to ninja-stance, he hit me in the calf and dropped me like a baby Gazelle. After that, there was about 10 seconds of biting and me elbowing the dog in the face before the owners got to me and pulled him off.

Overall, I was bitten three times on the shoulder and back, once on the calf, and have some really bad scrapes and bruises from the actual fall from the skateboard onto the pavement. The shoulder bite is worse than the calf, but luckily a very thick hoodie prevented any flesh being torn. The worst wounds are fairly deep punctures. If Mongo wasn't the kind of person who's had tons of crazy shit happen to me in my lifetime then this would definitely be the craziest. As it stands now, it is certainly the most surreal and unexpected source of pain and injury that I can remember.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Anything Is Possible Through Skateboarding: Weezy And The Biebs Having A Sesh

Click (Here) to see one of the greatest displays of skateboarding of all time.

Dude...It's So Worth It

Hilarious!...(Click Here)

Adios: You Got Off Lucky


Though Mongo would have loved to have seen Contador get the hammer and start his suspension from ground zero today, because up until now he hasn't missed any action and therefore wasn't really suspended, I think the decision by the CAS was the correct one for the integrity and longevity of the sport. (53 word opening sentence...I'm on fire!)

What's really going to happen is that he will only be physically suspended until August and all his results going back two years will be stripped...including a Tour and Giro win. Too bad, so sad!

This is what needed to happen.

On The Other Hand: It's Amazing What You Can Get Away With If You Retain The Highest Priced Most Politically Connected Lawyers


Monday, January 30, 2012

Sepia Sky


“Men have become the tools of their tools. Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul. Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”

(Henry David Thoreau)

Now In A Fast Acting Formula: The Juice


After receiving Mongo's "official" endorsement mere days ago, Omega Pharma-Quickstep go out and win the overall at the Tour de San Luis with the "Li'l Bronze Medalist"...and...also win the final stage of the race with Tom "When do we go to Qatar?" Boonen.

Shocking The Monkey: Time To Get Serious

In a little under three weeks Mongo will be competing in my first  "sanctioned" race of the year. It is also a kicking off, of sorts, for the 2012 season and the entire Smyrna Bicycles (pronounced "lay-o-pard") Cycling Team.

Though it is only a TT, and a length of Prologue proportions, it is still the ultimate race of truth...and smack talking. What has thrown a wrinkle into the equation this year is the change of course venue. All previous results and times mean nothing...we all get a clean slate.

Of course this doesn't mean that Mongo will all of a sudden threaten the podium in my new, less populated, Masters category, but there are always horses for courses...and this might be my track. We'll see. My point to all of this is that my training and time in the saddle have both increased exponentially as of late. This has been a rude wake-up call for my honey-bun infused physique, but it feels good to get back at it.

I had a strong team ride on Thursday with a bunch of the fast guys. Forty-plus miles with lots of climbing and speed work. On Saturday, Mongo returned to the Cat 6/7 "Enemy Bike Shop" ride and took the win...again..."I really should cat-up"...against a pretty small yet formidable field. Sunday was the day of the progressively worse headache.

I rolled out early with "New Bike...Again" Tom and "Danimal" for a brisk thirty on the trail, but I was already feeling a potential migraine coming on. I had a shitty ride and bailed out about three quarters of the way through to get some Goody's at a gas station. Long story short...Goody's didn't work, headache got worse, took more drugs, was asleep by nine.

Today Mongo went out and did a solo loop on the 23/2300 Hammerfest course. It was slow and easy but I was enjoying the sixty degree sunshine. I'm tired... but looking forward to the upcoming cycling season.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm Rolling With These Guys


Mongo is always a sucker for a good comeback story...and I have reason to believe that 2012 could be the year for my man, "Shetland Jens Voigt". He's looking fit and tiny, he's leading the Tour of San Luis, and he finally broke free from the "Bruyneel Triangle" and is the GC leader on a solid European team.

Don't forget about Tom Boonen...he's also on the team. So is the best TT rider in the world...Tony Martin. Plus, they've got a bunch of star riders, young and old, quite capable of competing with the other "Superstore" teams at all the races.

As fate would have it, one of only four members of the Pro Tour peloton to share Mongo's birthday is also on the team. I am pleased to announce that all of my "Juice" for the 2012 season will be given to Omega Pharma-Quickstep.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Let's Get This Party Started


Andre Greipel wins the first stage of the Tour Down Under ahead of (Two of Mongo's boys) Heinrich Haussler and Edvald Boasson Hagen.

A New Wheel And Cramps

Mongo is sore and tired...but in a good way. I've managed to get in 150 miles over the past four days of riding. Two half centuries, a fast Hammerfest loop, and twenty miles of trail and singletrack have led me to this point.

I finally got my American Classic Hurricane rear wheel rebuilt after months of confusion and the ultimate tragedy. It was supposed to be done by master wheel builder, John Kovachi, who is a local legend and who had done several wheels for Mongo in the past. Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly at the end of last year. Ironically, I was using an old school, Kovachi built custom wheel as a substitute while I was waiting on my AC.

Anyway, the wheel was built by someone else and Mongo finally got it back early last week. I was eager to test it out and went on a long shakedown ride with "You Need A New Wheelset" Tom on Thursday. All was good until the way back when Mongo heard a symphony coming from the wheel. Long story short...All the spokes loosened up and threw the wheel out of true. I limped the final twenty miles back to the shop for a crude truing before I rode home and spent a good hour micro-truing the wheel properly.

On Saturday I decided to test my work on some climbs that would put stress on the wheel. The wheel was fine but Mongo wasn't. I was so eager to ride that I not only didn't eat properly, but I didn't bring enough liquids with me. I bonked early and often! The wheel only needed some minor tweaking afterwards and I felt pretty good about my "skillz" with a spoke wrench.

On Sunday, Mongo hooked up with teammates, "Cap'n" Clay, "Full" Gass, "World Traveller" Jason, and "Danimal" for a serious training ride. Fifteen miles of hills followed by thirty miles of 23+ mph speed work. It was lots of fun but exhausting. Mongo had a foreshadowing of what was to come when I started getting pre-cramps towards the end of the ride. Later that night I had such bad cramps in my crotchetal/thigh area that I think I squeezed out a tear or two due to the pain...but don't tell anyone. The wheel held up perfectly and didn't need any more work. Hopefully, there won't be issues down the line.

Today I didn't want to tempt fate with the cramps so I went on a moderate ride on the F600. Trail work and singletrack on a brisk Winter's day. Though I had no energy, it was good to switch things up and work some different muscles.