Alright folks, the time is nigh. At 12:00 pm, Thursday the 18th of March I’m pulling the trigger on the kit order and you’ll not hear of the matter again.
This is exactly three days from today. Once the order is placed, there is no looking back, and anyone who doesn’t get in on it will be left behind wearing their clown clothes.
If you can live with that, I guess I will have to as well.
Interestingly, I was going to insert an image of someone shrugging, and when I typed in ‘shrug’, I found that not only is a shrug a gesture of “ehhh, waddya gonna do?”, but it is also a sort of incomplete sweater that apparently women in very sparkly butterfly skirts might like to wear;
I can tell you one thing.. I didn’t get out of bed this morning thinking I was going to learn anything today.
Someone who may or may not have previously been aware of what a shrug was is our friend Ben. Ben has gotten in touch periodically to let us know what’s going on in his current home of Beijing, and as it just so happens, there is alot;
All is not lost in the world of Cross.
Don’t get TOO hot and bothered, because here on the other side of the planet things remain ass-backwards as the cyclocross season just got underway here in Beijing. Trek China is putting on a series of 3 races here (Specialized is also doing a few down in Shanghai). Last weekend was the first, not exactly stellar turnout, but probably around 30 or so total for the Elite, Amateur, and Women’s races.
Most of the crowd was Chinese (which I think is pretty rad), few were riding crossbikes (mostly mtb’s and a few roadies with slick tires, totally badass). I’m trying to track down photos from the race itself since i was riding I didn’t take any, and only knowing how to order beer, give directions, and cuss people out in Chinese doesn’t help much when searching for photos on the internets. However, I’m attaching the few I got from the kids race and one of myself in all my bearded glory with the coveted “free shit” award for the first place finisher in the Amateur race (that I’ll admit I did so I could get some free junk before they kick me up to the elite race and I can’t win shit).
Anyways, the kids race went as follows: Brothers Louie and Barnaby lined up shoulder to shoulder at the start. After louie pulled ahead after the first dismount he suffered a mechanical/mental breakdown due to the pressures of racing in such a small field, against his brother, in the lead, you name it, dismounted his bike and refused to go on. Barnaby, seeing his opportunity to make an escape, pounced and solo’d the rest of the way to victory.
Sorry for that super shittily written email. It’s morning, I need coffee, and these damn kids need to start speaking english (or learn how to play music, I’d take either/or). Just thought it might subdue the hot and botherdness of yours to know the cross season aint over yet. It’s just getting started here.
Cheers. Keep the good shit coming. You’re blog helps keep me sane over here.
First I have to point out the obvious matter that Louie’s performance would never fly in Boulder.
Secondly, I have to say it is indeed difficult to find photos of nearly anything in China relating to cross racing.
Thirdly, I have to say ‘rad’, because this email was, and lastly I’ll take the opportunity to call Ben a sandbagger.
And for that matter I wonder why he didn’t just against Barnaby and Louie as well.
Also, from the maestro behind Cycling Inquisition who goes by the name Carlos Alberto Del Castillo Cabeza De Vaca (at least that’s what he tells me his family calls him) I received this bit that we’ll call ‘art that doesn’t suck only because it was painted by Marco Pantani, but otherwise it pretty much does’.;
I’m posting these on Thursday. I hate to pick on a dead guy….but tell me: as a person who appreciates the arts, does Pantani’s artwork not look amazingly similar to that of John Wayne Gacy (remember his creepy self portraits that showed him in full clown costume)?
I think the person on the top right is Tonya Harding. Bottom left? Al, the sidekick from Home Improvement (may that landmark piece of TV magic rest in peace.) You can see more of his work here.
ps: As further proof that I’m super awesome/amazingly sad I offer you this:
when typing the word “peace” in the above email, I actually typed “piece”….this was clearly inspired by Megadeth’s album “Rest In Piece”. I do it all the time, and am rather embarrassed by the source of my typo. I also do this with the word “instead”, which I often write as “insted”, as a result of my teenage love for the Orange County straightedge band by that name.”
If there is one thing I know well it’s crappy art, and this is as crappy as it comes, but alas, because of the hand that painted it, it’s considered noteworthy. As I’ve said many times before in regards to the boy’s club that is Juxtapoz Magazine, I’ve not yet ‘made it’ as an artist because I was never a good enough skateboarder (I’m looking at you, Ed Templeton). Now it appears as though I can add not being a drug addled professional cyclist to the reasons as well.
Sour grapes you say? Yeah, probably.
As I mentioned last week, the high school league has kicked off their race season, and Bike Monkey Magazine scribbler, Yuri Hauswald sent me a couple more cool shots captured around the event;
I apologize for the unsolicited bombardment of photos you may not even want or use but this photo has a funny story: This is one of Vanessa’s varsity riders who had pushed himself so hard to finish that he chundered all over his hands and bars about 2 miles out….he still finished;
These guys are all first timers who I had just walked to the start line talking strategy. Nerves doesn’t begin to describe what they were feeling;
These guys totally inspire me.
I second that notion. Being in high school is hard enough without putting on lycra every weekend and barfing on your hands.
Luckily I saved that part of my life for a couple years after I graduated.
While we’re on the topic of inspiration, I found this clip of Lance Mountain that I like alot. Occasionally folks email me and mention that they don’t care about skateboarding, or understand what connection it has to bike related nonsensery but I do and it does, and if you don’t like it, start your own dumb web log.
Though I don’t skate like I used to, it is still an integral part of who I am and where I have come from. I suppose if you don’t care for it, I invite you to not watch the clip.
And yeah, Lance is a bible thumper and all of that, but besides the fact that he’s got a unibrow, his commitment to, and love for his craft is something that I think I admire the most;
Back on the bike side of the playground, weather permitting, I have maintained a forward direction and the dedication to my training regimen has been unwavering;
Though between taking breaks to run barefooted hill intervals and engage in reps of one handed push-ups at the beach, I recently had the pleasure of spending a day with Mr. Blacksocks.
The opportunity to spend an unbroken length of time with the aforementioned individual is indeed a rare thing, as he is a man of many obligations who has been known to break out mid-ride because he has quadruple parked four other commitments all in line with one another.
Well not on this day he didn’t, and with my camera pointed straight from the back of my brilliantly toned calf I captured what can only be described as the ultimate in Rapha flavor;
Or, if you wish;
Anyway, the ride was long, and lovely, and we even broke a sweat a couple of times, though Blacksock’s version of sweating could best be described as a ‘glow’;
The miles are being logged at a healthy pace, and as soon as the trails dry out, (not that that’s stopping anyone around here from annihilating them) I can continue with periodic descriptions of how life looks from the dirty side of the tracks.
As a matter of fact, on a recent reconnaissance mission to the above depicted network of trails, I became excited at the prospect of plotting an upcoming adventure. At one point after stopping to take a leak and survey my map, I turned around to see this fellow coiled behind me not two feet from where I was standing;
After moving away slowly, and then shaking out the resulting debris from my pants, I beat a hasty retreat reminding myself that riding with leather gators (or some close facsimile) might not be such a bad idea.
For that matter, maybe I could just get crafty and cut the sleeves off of my shrug.
Welp, that seems to be about it from this end. In honor of Monday, might I suggest you throw caution to the wind by flying a flag in the face of convention and treat it just like Friday.