A thousand yard stare across a long and dirty.

The days in which we live have seen a trend develop in the racing and/or riding of the bicycle machines. This of course is the trend of endurance races across massive expanses of the Mid-West;
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Like the previously heralded Gravel Metric, Minnesota’s recent Almanzo 100 (the header photo of which was graciously provided by Craig Lidner), Michigan’s Barry-Roubaix, The Dirty Kanza, or Wisconsin’s ‘Hell Of The South’.
My compatriots Ben, MW, and Hurl of the Soulcraft ‘team’ have long been involved with such mania, and show no signs of slowing down.
Why even the Down Undaites have their own renditions with the Melbourne Gravel Grinder, and Fyxomacallit’s ‘Melburn Roobaix’.
What these regions might lack in elevation gain, they more than make up for in unholy distances and gravel depth.
For my part I have partaken in one such event here on the West Coast that is put on annually by the masterminds behind Steel Wül. It was really just a nice and fast paced ride with a bunch of friends until they all simultaneously decided to turn it on at about mile seventy. The next twenty miles found me speaking in tongues and spitting into my own hair.
Events such as these are for the tough guys, one of which I have found I am not, though it doesn’t keep me from entertaining fantasies of boarding a plane and winding up in a place where I will eventually be staring at the curve of the earth for hours through slitted and watery eyes.
I have been plotting with the bartenders at The Soil Saloon to put on something similar right here on the Central Coast. It won’t be a two hundred miler, or even a hundred miler… Chances are it will land at about fifty (assuming I can pull it off at all) and will leave most folks with the ability to stand, and commiserate after the ride, which is generally my favorite part about hurting myself on a bicycle anyhow.
One thing I can almost promise is that it won’t look like this;
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Time will tell, and when this happens, you can hear about it here.
Until then I will just have to live vicariously through my brothers and sisters of the flatlands.
Besides writing about rides that might happen, and wishing I was physically capable to attend ones that do, another topic that’s broached here from time to time is the mail bag.
While I’m busy monkeying around counting my toes and other varied nonsense, I have had a few correspondences slip through the cracks. Occasionally folks will very thoughtfully send me event notices well in advance of the days on which they are scheduled to occur. This is a good thing, with the exception of when they get buried by other emails, and then ultimately forgotten about until the day after said event took place.
Recently when sifting through my emails looking for just such correspondences, I came across the following from Bruce;
“Hi Stevil,
I’m the blogger for a new service called 1000passions that provides unique, behind-the-scenes, real life experiences, and I think you and your audience might be interested in our first two offers which both involve getting the chance to be a member of a pro cycling support team during a major race.
We’re working with the Wonderful Pistachios pro cycling team and have one open slot on their support team for the An Post Rás in Ireland (May 21-30) and one for the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship (June 4-5).
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We’d be thrilled if you’d like to share this info with your audience.
My initial blog post about these two opportunities is right here.
Let me know if you have questions or I can be of any assistance at all.
Thanks!
Bruce Stewart”

While I may be a day (or a few) late, at least I’m not a dollar short.
Should any of the AHTBM audience be interested in such a thing, follow the link and make contact.
However it should be noted that at this point there is no word wether or not the lucky participant would be able to take part in one of the famed Wonderful Pistachios Cycling Team’s high fives;
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Then moments later, through handsome Kevin Franks I discovered this clip, and for this fact I smile;

In news of things that showed up in my actual, and physical mail bag, I was perplexed when I opened the gate of my PO box the other day and found this;
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If I was perplexed by one book on Monday, then I was downright stupefied when two more arrived on Tuesday;
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As it turns out, there isn’t enough sarcasm in my vobaulation with which to adequately describe my contempt for this offering. With the exception of maybe ten people, most of the folks included in this collection of photographs had yet to begin puberty, if they were even born, by the time I was proudly voting for Michael Dukais.
I could have sworn at some point or another I’d seen an array of colorful and varied individuals whose love for their bike was only equalled to their rich history abroad one, but maybe they have all gone away to make room for the standard issue NAHBBS attendee.
I would have absolutely exploded my jeans for someone like Pineapple Bob, Larry Woodruff, Andy Muzi, or The Satanic Mechanic to have been included in this book, but they are neither young, attractive, or easy to find, so I suppose it’s no surprise that they weren’t.
Then again, everyone’s a critic. What the hell do I know anyway? I’m a never-will-be who has as many hopes of becoming a published anything as I do becoming embroiled in a sex tape scandal with.. Well.. With anyone, really.
Perhaps photos of shiny, fresh faced individuals with nothing before them but everything might strike your fancy.
Perhaps there’s a hole in your life that could finally be filled with images like this;
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If that’s the case, then you should pick up a copy like, yesterday.
Most likely found at any and all Urban Outfitters stores, this book has a cover price of just $16.95. That’s equal to only eight fancy coffees, and is guaranteed to deliver at least twice as many smiles.
Anyway, thankfully moving on and in closing, I have a final email from someone both from the Midwest as well as young and good looking;
“Hey dude so my date Sunday night went well. Not only did she not walk out on me after I had more whiskey than she had water that day, she also wanted to see me the next day. All in all a success. I only mention this because in a budweiser fueled conversation you requested I inform you how the date went since you would be unable to protect me from her as you weren’t going to be there. Next time you’re up here I won’t be as lame and will continue to drink long into the night.
In other news, I partied down in half moon bay on Saturday night, and just remembered that during breakfast on Sunday morning I took a picture of one of the most unfortunate advertisements I have ever seen.
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The initials of this business and the pointy white hats can’t simply be a coincidence, or can it?
Drink beers and ride bikes.
Schultz”

That’s a fail safe business plan that Kathy has right there. I’d be shocked if she wasn’t aware of the implications, but then again, people do funny things sometimes.
If it’s not unintentionally aligning your bakery with a hate group, then it’s intentionally setting out across vast expanses of nothing or producing a hipster yearbook. Either way, I’ll probably be happily watching any of it from the safety of my barstool.
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9 Responses to “A thousand yard stare across a long and dirty.”

  1. Troy B. May 25, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    If you need some help with putting together a ride, let me know. I can commit to some task specific type stuff vs big projects. I’ve been wanting to see some sort of long-ish road/off-road ride around here for some time.

  2. reverend dick May 25, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    Hey maing,
    I am also able to help with very specific, simple, directed, not-smarts-requiring tasks. And would be happy to do so. I owes you.
    I remember that wet ass slog well.

  3. Velorambling May 25, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    Any post that has a random Larry Woodruff mention is a winner.

  4. Karl Hungus May 25, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    I can commit to drinking beer and coming in last place in your ride.

  5. Loudass, Esq. May 25, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Wow, only $8,500 (non-inclusive of airfare to Ireland) to experience washing bikes and handing out water bottles?! I’ll have to see if Sacha White will refund the $7,000 deposit for my Brevet de Randonneur frame, and then stock up on some Rapha/Paul Smith collabo apparel. I just hope the meals are artisanal and locally sourced…

  6. trama May 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    drive way up here to ride your bike, do the Grasshopper
    http://www.grasshopperadventureseries.com/
    plenty of post-ride time

  7. Pablo Picnostral May 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    That book? I saw it somewhere. It made me ill.

  8. Nate May 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    I still have mud in my taint from that epic day at Nisene Marks.

  9. Trevor May 26, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    There’s a restaurant in my hometown called the “Kopper Kettle Kafe”, not sure if it’s just cutesy spelling of the type that ignorant hicks like to use, or they’re raging bigots catering to a customer base of the same. Either way, I’ve never eaten there.