These words were blurted at me from an unnamed California Giant rider last year while rounding a single track corner into a wide open expanse, where if I were shoulder to shoulder with ten other people, there still would have been enough room to comfortably pass.
With that being said, I am of the opinion that bike racers tend to be real douchebags.
I wasn’t holding him back from greatness any more than his own inability to be a decent human being or marginally talented bike racer was, and as I said, within a matter of seconds, he, like so many others through history before him, passed me, his incessant bellyaching wafting up to the sky like vapors of steam from a pile of shit.
This self perceived notion of grandeur has been maddening to me for years… Your whole career as a regional A (or worse yet, B) racer hinges on this single event, in which if you don’t have the balls or the skill to pass other competitors, that it somehow is their responsibility to pull over and bow to your greatness.
Race leader? Sure I’ll get out of the way, but it strikes me that it’s those who are consistently 30 seconds behind that individual typically are the ones crying about how it’s everybody else’s fault that they’re sucking.
Of course Loudass has an opinion that skirts the topic of when the fun got wrung out of what used to be events chock full of camaraderie and unconditional encouragement;
“On Sunday, one of the Pilarcitos promoters came over to the Freewheel tent with a checklist for items of “cyclocross flair” [I’m not kidding – that was what they called it, without an twinge of irony.] He asked us if we had any Belgian flags or Belgian beer, which were worth 5 points each. I responded by saying, “Yes, I have both a Belgian flag and Belgian beer!”, demonstrating them to him.
He gave me a confused look of disgust. As he walked away shaking his head, I said “Do we get any extra points if we can take a piss while riding a bike?”
Punk bike racing is dead. Hot Topic bike racing is in. But you knew that already.
Note: I was advised that there was a dead pitbull carcass dumped somewhere on the McClaren course, and I spent the better part of a drunken 45 minutes looking for it so I could take a picture, but to no avail. I apologize for my failure.”
See, there needs to be more people like Loudass at the bike races. Of course I realize that I am of an increasingly shrinking percentage of people who feel this way, but really, when did the humorless jocks completely take control?
I should also note that only once did I choose to spend the entirety of my race riding with him because I thought it would be fun to see what sorts of hijinx transpired in the tail end of the pack. It turns out that I just fell over a lot due to the fact that I’m physically incapable of riding a bike that slow.
Another person who knows the fine points of ruining bicycle related athletic endeavors is the man who resides within the stary, purple, unicorn kit that goes by the name of Gary, who recently sent this sampling on to me;
Then Mike emailed from the Great White North to let all of us down here in Canada’s beard, as well as other points around the globe, know about what kinds of goods they have brewing.
Suffice it to say, it’s the good kind of goods;
“Well Stevil they are done…The first inaugural Canadian SSCX Nationals went off with un-paralleled success. Can’t tell you who won though, lets say it was some dude with big gams and a sweet matching kit.
By all accounts the event was a fun one. Hugh Black, of True North, in a supreme act of generosity supplied the beer and BBQ and live band. Winner of a raffle walked away with a custom frame!!! Shop was open for all to viddy Hugh’s latest creations…let’s say its cemented my resolve to have a True North frame forged for my loins next season.
I’ve attached a few pics.. and some links for your perusal. The bottom line is that it was a fargin blast, if not under promoted and I think Hugh and his crew are onto something and will hoepfully host next year’s event.
I can just imagine that the depicted rider doing the beer in hand/fixed gear dismount was screaming “GET OUT OF THE WAY! YOU’RE RUINING THE RACE FOR EVERYBODY!”
He seems to have the eye of the tiger.
In other random image related news, D Pow! sent these shots that were captured by John and Morgan the final evening in Vegas;
Sleep walking is a bitch.
It was our private function, and we were the only ones invited.
One Eyed Zeke wrote in to further confirm that four wheels are worser than two;
“More proof cars are bad…
Friday night after riding and boozing about town I sad down in a friends car for a impromptu safety meeting.
Unnoticed by my phone slid out of my pocket.
I managed to wobble on two wheels home post bar close and apparently decided to take a nap in my yard compared to going inside.
When I woke at 7 am in the cold of my yard I suddenly realized something was wrong… and it wasn’t because I had slept in my yard… no phone.
I panicked and wanted to go search. But my hangover, hunger and have absolutely no idea where to look quickly killed my urge to search after a few blocks.
I resigned myself to depression and my couch.
I ½ heartily searched Sunday as well but had already resigned myself to the possibility of getting a new phone.
I also skipped out on back to back CX races figuring I should save that money for a new phone.
Found my phone on my desk when I get to work today. My buddy had found it under the seat of his car.
Cars are bad… they steal phones.”
Zeke was bound to learn that lesson eventually. Of course if ‘One Eyed Zeke’ was ‘Two Eyed Zeke’ he mighta seen that his phone was sitting next to him and avoided the whole unpleasant situation.
It was right around a month ago that Jeff sent me an email concerning his then-recent travels, but after cleaning up my inbox I realize that it is as relevant now as it would have been when I got it, so here you go;
“Just got back from a vacation. Never being one to stray too far from work (which is ok when your work is bikes) I visited Copenhagen to see what all the hub bub is about. I wanted to see what its like when a city really makes bicycling part of the transportation mix and part of the culture. It was pretty awe-inspiring. SF, Portland and other cities here are up to great things, but this is a city that really gets it. Something to work towards and to look forward to. Oh, and everyone is as hot and stylish as you see at Copenhagen Cycle Chic. I think I made the city a little uglier during my short visit.
But really how is any of that relevant? I’m getting there. In addition to noticing when we hit 666mph on the flight (Sorry I couldn’t snap a pic of the display screen in time), a couple of things caught my eye that made me think of you in a land far, far away. As part of Copenhagen’s Architecture and Design Week I was able to take a tour of the Arne Jacobsen design SAS Radisson Hotel. It was a cool hotel with an awesome view from the restaurant:
The real highlight of the tour though came at the end and seeing the plaque with the (in)famous folks who had stayed there. It was truly eeeeeeeevil.
And by that I meant to point out Slayer, but interpret the rest as you will. Just when South of Heaven began playing in my internal soundtrack, the fake evil guests gave way to the true devilishness, Beelzebub himself:
There’s gotta special place in hell for bike thieves and Henry Kissinger.
Ok, ok…the trip wasn’t that evil. But in the city that influenced Disney Land and the Little Mermaid, its the best I could do.”
I appreciate that Jeff was keeping me in mind while out and about in one of my very favorite places in the world.
And in response to that email I will just say my last time in Copenhagen I left with many stories, neither having to do with Slayer or Henry Kissenger, but one of which that I will share with you now.
My friends and I were at a punk rock show and one fellow in particular was determined to find me a date. The drunken Dane kept running up to me sluring “Mah freend, Haav you med a gurl yet?” “No Lars. Not yet” I’d say, over and over, until this astonishingly beautiful girl approached me and said “I understand you don’t have a place to sleep. Would you like to stay with me?” Dumbfounded, I stammered “Uh, I kind of have a place to stay… ” She insisted that I take directions, but being totally unfamiliar with the city, I immediately got confused. Smiling and taking my hand she said “that’s ok. Here is my number. Give me a call tomorrow.” I looked over her shoulder and saw Lars standing across the room with a huge grin spread across his face and both thumbs in the air.
Waking up bleary eyed the next morning I dug through my pockets to find the woman’s number and give her a call. Hesitantly I dialed the number and when the call connected and I finally spoke with her, I eventually came to the realization that I was calling her at work.
At the homeless shelter.
And such is my life.
Being that today is International Bicycle Messenger Appreciation Day, if you are one one the road, I tip my hat in your particular direction, and it is with a heavy heart when I say yours is a dying craft. Good luck and godspeed.
Happy Hump Day everybody