Oh folks, it looks like we’ve got a scandle to handle.

In late breaking news, and before we get onto today’s post, something sinister and extraordinarily ugly is rearing its head in Washington. It seems Senators McCain and Levin have proposed a bill called the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which declares American soil a battlefield and allows the President and all future Chief Executives to order the military to arrest and detain American citizens, innocent or not, without charge or trial.
This is really, really bad. Basically this means people who oppose the government, or in the case of OWS, big business and the association between the two, and exercise their Constitutional right of assembly and expression will be considered enemies of the state.
The Senate is voting on this either today or tomorrow.
Please, before we go any further with Black Market business, read this article, or at the very least click here, and send a letter to your senator.
This is an act that America and anyone who appreciates the right of free thought and free speech cannot afford.
Thank you.

But as I was saying before The Man took a swing at us- we have a scandal.
The scandal in question has got nothing to do with mob killings, love nesters or nefarious government conspiracies against the people who pay its salary. No, this my friends is concerning the deafening silence of a tattoo machine in San Francisco last weekend.
It would seem as though the men’s and women’s winners of the SSCXWC (Chris Jones and Julie Krasniak, respectively) have not only buggered off, forsaking the champion’s ink, but their tradition loving sponsor appears to be backing them up on their decision.
It seems that of all the traditions in cycling Rapha holds true to, this doesn’t happen to be one.
Over the weekend, C.D. and I went back and fourth for some time in a torrid of texts and Facebook postings on the matter (because there was nothing else for either of us to do at the time), with him supporting the winner’s decision to balk at the only constant in the varying single speed World Championship races.
His point, which I appreciate, though don’t entirely agree with went thusly;
In response, the point that I made, which I happen to both appreciate and agree with whole heartedly (if only to support my opposition) went something like this;
From the Single Speed World’s inception of mountain and more recently cross, (with the exception of the Big Bear race), it has been known far and wide that if you don’t want the ink, you don’t win.
When Travis Brown first showed up to Rancho Cucamonga in 1999, I was disappointed. Not because this ‘culture’ which I had long held near and dear to my heart was now infiltrated by a pro, and in association, his mainstream sponsor, but because at that point, I knew every single person there was going to be fighting for second place. However as the professional attendance at these events became more and more common place, and the realization that five people would actually be fighting for the win, with the rest of us striving for whatever was left settled in, there was still some comfort in the fact that at least they took their ink.
I’m sure Chris and Julie are lovely individuals, and just as every past pro who attends one of these events similarly arrives bringing guns to a pencil fight, they couldn’t have possibly thought there would be any other contenders to the title.
There is one rule and one tradition that everyone knows, and they have been there from the start;
You ride a bike with one gear, and the winner gets tattooed.
This isn’t new news, and I don’t think it was sprung on anyone at the finish line.
Fine, they don’t care for the design. Frankly, I don’t either. Say for the sake of argument that we lived in a bizzaro reality where such a thing could occur, and I won the race. Personally, I would design my own, or work with any number of highly creative and skilled tattoo artists to come up with something I liked.
There- compromise made.
Ooorrrrr, even better, I think I’ve found a way to make everybody happy next year. In order to race, everyone who enters has to get half a tattoo. Then, the individuals who win, gets theirs finished.
We can go around and around about this. “It’s truly counter culture to reject the rules of the counter culture” and so on, but from my perspective, and considering that it’s the only one I have, the ink ought to be laid, or Devon Gorry and Michael Broderick should take the title.
Actually, to that end, I would hope that everyone would reject the prize all the way down to one thousandth place, then I would finally get the opportunity to emerge victorious, (if only by default) which I would gladly do with a smile.
I say all of this with partially shrugged shoulders, because though I bring this up with a somewhat hot collar, I still stand my original proclamation;
One speeding is dead, long live one speeding.
Agree with me or not, I just loves me a periodic debate about nonsense, especially when it involves a single gear. Even beyond that, I find it notable that I’ve never before written about a topic where at the start, I possessed a mild concern, and by the time I was finished, I felt a general sense of apathy. That my friends is catharsis in action.
Moving on, we have an array of other matters to discuss, each mattering less than the last.
Andy from Fyxomacallit sent me a short and sweet declaration;
“Excuses are like arseholes. We all have one, they all stink.
I’ve decided you should come to Melburn;
You could do an artshow, stand up comedy, wizard staff tutorial, whatever you feel like. You could pay for it off the back of selling t-shirts alone.
What’s your excuse?

I have no excuse. Especially now.
Speaking of Wizard Staffs, I realize that we have
1) December
2) January
3) Febuary
4) March
5) April
6) May
7) June
– Seven months until June 23rd, but there is no sense in wasting time sitting still. The time to start planning on being awesome is now;
That’s correct ladies and gentlemen, we have the world famous WSATU (formerly the WSATW) just around the corner, and I’m like a kid at Christmas. Mark your calendars, and let’s plan on making magic.
Now that we’ve discussed matters of the future, let’s broach a couple of the present.
Eric made contact with a call to both arms as well as upper lips;
“In support of the union brothers and sisters on the movie I’m currently working here in Canada and in support of mens health, I am participating in Movember. Our team name, appropriately, is Stache of Steel. If you feel inclined, please contribute to the team at this link;
Staches Of Steel.
Like a bunch of 70’s porn-stars, or conversely a bunch of 90’s Portland barristas (same difference?), we grow and groom our moustache’s with pride….
photographic evidence available upon request.

The month is almost over. I’m sorry I dragged my feet on this issue, but they’ve spent the last week in the mud.
Moving along, George from Colorado’s Dead Deer Bike Gang sent me a spy shot of my young’n, just doing what he does best;
“Your kid is raising havoc already….”
No matter the age, an orange jumpsuit always looks awesome.
As we near the finish line, I’ll include a video I had previously seen spits and spurts of, but then found the final edit on George’s website, this year’s Thrasher magazine Skater Of The Year, Grant Taylor;

The kid barges like few others.
In closing, a small group of friends and I embarked on a speed cycle ride this weekend, and as per my usual style, I was hanging on for dear life with one hand, while snapping photos from my hip with the other. Of the dozen or so images I shot, one turned out ok, and the rest are an assortment of broken attempts with messed up colors and whatnot. I would guess it was my camera, while others have surmised it is my memory card that is at fault. Either way, some of the resulting images have a distinct Rapha-esque quality to them;
My own camera has even bought into their schtick.
Now that is a scandle.

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Leave a Reply

57 Responses to “Oh folks, it looks like we’ve got a scandle to handle.”

  1. dicky November 28, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    Balls have been sucked. Tradition tossed aside all in the name of selling scarves… blasphemy.

  2. JT November 28, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    Not getting the tattoo is like racing the Super Stupor in MPLS and not drinking the required beer or shot at each stop. They forfeited their placing, 2nd place is all theirs.

  3. Jim November 28, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. -Tony Baretta

  4. Gypsy November 28, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Just sent a letter to my senator… Anyone out there reading this that hasn’t done so yet, feel free to copy/paste this into yours. Seriously. Do it. This is important. Stevil, thanks for doing what you do.
    Apologies for the cliche, but this is a very slippery slope. No one, on either side of partisan politics should support these measures. Conservatives supposedly believe that the government should be playing a smaller role in our lives… And while liberals disagree with conservatives on the exact role that the federal government should have, there can be absolutely no disagreement that sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA are an unbridled, uncamouflaged and undeniable assault on both our constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble and our freedom of speech. If you vote in support of these measures, you will be clearly signaling to your constituents that you care more about campaign contributions from corporations than you do the working people of your state.

  5. dflbrad November 28, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    long live the California Crusty Cruiser Cup….

  6. reverend dick November 28, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Rapha’s tatooless SSCXWC brouhaha…

  7. steveP November 28, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Wait there’s a single speed culture?!?! No one told me. I guess I’ve been doing it wrong for 18 years. Crap, can he send me the rules?

  8. Latarian November 28, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    No tattoo, no championship. Fuck Ralpha and their epicness. Although I have to admit, the Rapha mandana goes nicely with my Miyata.

  9. cary November 28, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Not getting that tattoo is so gay. And I don’t mean hot man or man sex gay, I mean that’s kinda lame gay. And yes, there IS something wrong with that.

  10. Stevil November 28, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    As one who who loves my gay friends very much, and so as to not confuse the term, the request has been made to call that ‘forth grade gay’, and not ‘hateful, hurtful gay’, but generally not in mixed company, in case some folks might feel differently about the matter.

  11. Pablo Picnostral November 28, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Thanks for the news. I wrote both Boxer and Feinstein. Do I get a Gold Star?
    Also, I was starting to not hate Rapha after their recent art show. Now I hate them more than ever. I expect they’ll be some quality heckling in Chris and Julie’s future.

  12. fomenter November 28, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Ralpha serves weak sauce. no ink, no title.

  13. Slate Olson November 28, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Make a ‘Banned in the USA’ t-shirt, ala 2-Live-Crew. I’ll support your decision.

  14. hellbelly November 28, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Can we get the ACLU to draft a letter to Rapha insisting that their shameful athletes be summarily flogged, water-boarded in beer and still tattooed if they wish to keep their titles? Saving that, only the most obscene and brutal heckling awaits these (well dressed?) infidels. Single speeds are fucking dead.

  15. Christo November 28, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    I second Andy’s motion.
    Melbourne in Spring or Autumn will be worth the trip.
    And hey, at least you can get away from that totalitarian fascist government you seem to have going on over there.
    You’d make a great Aussie…

  16. CD November 28, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    My 8% notgivingashit beats your 100% tattoo

  17. Loudass, Esq. November 28, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    I wrote Boxer and Feinstein urging them to outlaw Rapha.

  18. Ryan November 28, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I just wrote my senator about the gross injustices that Rapha has done to those that believe in the spirit of SSCXWC. How horrible. That other thing really sucks too, about your camera not working.

  19. cary November 28, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    I was going for ‘third grade gay’ but if I can skip a grade fine by me. Actually now that I think about it 3rd grade WAS my 4th grade due to some spelling issues I couldn’t overcome. But I did get to sing in Father O’malley’s boy’s choir for an extra year. Talk about hot man sex. Damn that guy was handsome. Anyway not sure what the lady might do but as for the 1st place dude; if he doesn’t like the tattoo design then perhaps he could just get it on his dick? That way it won’t be very big and little chance anyone would see it. Unless of course he runs across Father O’malley.

  20. Half Fro. November 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    Rapha was lame before this and will continue to be lame after this. If ever there was a company that made me want to ride in cut off jeans and tshirts, rapha is it. I may even go so far as to say I’d rock the primal wear before rapha.

  21. scooper November 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Remember riding singlespeed bikes before it was the cool thing to do? I also remember when he was called chris not California. Loudass for prez…..

  22. Pablo Picnostral November 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Get ’em inked before the Gold Speedo photo op. If they decline, delegate them to last place (after the dropped riders even). Continue process until a champion is named. This solution is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
    Also, fuck C.D.s “anti-hipster conformity” excuse.” If they felt that way about it they shouldn’t have lined up at the start.

  23. Nived November 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    I thought the race was for the Tattoo… Seeing as they cost so much this is a chance to get a free one??

  24. nate November 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    OI. Here’s a link to the full text of the bill S.1867.PCS:
    Here’s a link to the section describing who can be detained (See sec. 1032(b)):
    What a long-ass fucking thing! I didn’t find the part about Battlefield America. All the same, I’m glad there’s someone out there reading this shit and pointing out the details. It ain’t me, BTW. I just skimmed to the potentially scary part. It appears to exclude American citizens and resident aliens. wordup.
    Here’s the language:
    “(b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
    (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.”

  25. Stevil November 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    As I have learned over the course of the last twelve hours, there were earlier drafts that were in fact considerably more extreme and have since been watered down a touch. As was mentioned to me today, this indicates to me that there are people in positions of power that are already thinking in that direction.
    I would rather sound the alarms now, then at a later point when it might be too late.
    I would like to note that in no way, shape or form do I consider myself a journalist. I feel more like a filter, and when I come across something like this, I do my best to figure out the full story, but the quilt-work resources that I use are not always the most effective way to check facts. I do what I can with what I have at my disposal. Though it may not be as dire as I initially declared, it’s still an extremely important issue and could very well have an impact on anyone who exercises their constitutional rights. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but when I see bills like this, I fear that it might not be that far off.
    For times like that, I’m happy to have this site as a resource with which to exchange information. At the very least to get the facts as straight as they can be.

  26. nate November 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    I dig the site and check it often. All you mpls folks are the cream of the subversive crop, IMO. Y’all are a ray of dark sunshine in my corner of AR. Keep up the good work. I would never accuse you of being a journalist.
    Cheers, nate.

  27. sbarner November 28, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Trophies belong on the shelf, not on your arm. Kudos to the winners for bucking a stupid custom.

  28. babaloogie November 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    gotta say that tats, once proof of some kind of rebel status, are so mainstream and boring that i’d rather have a sharpened spoke put in my eye than have a tat on my ass.
    if the riders don’t want the stupid tat, who cares? SS World Police in orange jammies? lame!
    having said that, the only solution to Slate’s little PR problem here is for him to volunteer his own ass for a stupid tat.

  29. alex November 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    I have to agree with half fro. This would make me seriously consider wearing some tribal designed primal jersey before a rapha kit.
    The riders decision to try for a win, knowing they would both not go through with the prize (or even bother staying for the awards) is ridiculous. It speaks towards their respect for the event and cycling in general.

  30. Stevil November 28, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    People are still pretty bummed with me not getting the 25th place tattoo in 1999. I think the time has arrived for me to follow through.

  31. Pistil Pete November 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    I called my senator and he said “Forfeit”…of course that prick is the author of the evil bill in question,the prick.

  32. Jim November 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    In other news, the Rapha Team dominate the Brompton World Championships and politely refuse the traditional winners spot of tea.
    P.S. I like that the captcha below is using the word occupy.

  33. Jim November 28, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    Oh, and speaking of scandalous. Too bad I missed the money, but at least I got a beer. That was all I needed to power to a mid pack finish. Nice time.

  34. Scottyp DFL November 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Perhaps professional racers should be able to race but not place. Winning should be kept to the amateur riders and Charlie Sheen of course. In lieu of this violation of the traditions i am in favor of a stealth Branding , give them their awards. like them or not.

  35. pablo picnostral November 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    @sbarner & babaloogie
    Yeah, so you think tattoos suck, whatever. But why then, for fuck’s sake, would you enter a race, and try to win, if you knew the trophy was a tattoo?
    Anyway, I hear Rapha-Focus is gunning for the critical mass win next. (shit, this is my 3rd post on the subject)

  36. Dave S. November 29, 2011 at 3:16 am #

    I for one call bullshit.I wrote my senator, as we all should but that’s hardly worth mentioning. Don’t do the race if you don’t want the fucking tattoo. I race SS cross(not well) and would gladly accept the tattoo if I won. Hell I couldn’t even afford to go to the race and it’s looking like next year is out too. Epic my ass, keep charging sixty dollars for socks I’ll keep not buying your shit.

  37. reed November 29, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    bicycle racism is dumb. maybe next year there will be a singlespeedspellingbee? the “winner” would recieve a rapha scarf to be donated to the starving children in minneapolis? or they could live in the box in which it was shipped.

  38. Ty Shelton November 29, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    No tat, no recognition, lifetime ban. They have been erased.

  39. onedarklord November 29, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    oh no, not again. lot of e-dick being waved, both inked and nekkid, on this topic here and elsewhere. smells to me like we have to kill one speeding. again. fucking thing is like a zombie. just won’t die…

  40. thegreenmamba November 29, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Though I don’t have the skillz, fitness, work ethic, or entry fee to win the SSCXWC rest assured, that if I did win, I would get the tat right in the middle of your forehead.

  41. blacksocks November 29, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Stevil, big time thanks for the link and the call to action. As for the other dealio, well…it’s hard for me to take that one too seriously, but I think CD looks pretty snappy in that red jersey. But as we all know, it isn’t the shirt that makes the man…

  42. dontcoast November 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    the ‘baggers need this tattoed.

  43. TB November 29, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    To add to Nate’s *informed* response, section 1031 states:
    (b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under
    this section is any person as follows:
    1) A person who planned, authorized, com
    mitted, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred
    on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces
    that are engaged in hostilities against the United
    So, added to the fact that this doesn’t apply to US Citizens or Resident Aliens (sec. 1032), why the huge scary scandal with overtones of fascism? #Checksandbalances

  44. Stevil November 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    Please refer to comment number 25. I tracked down as much information about the bill as I could given the short amount of time between posts, and clearly made some assumptions. The fact that I have since learned that the existing bill was a toned down version of earlier drafts, (which were on the extreme side) it’s not a stretch to believe that there are people in Washington who would like very much to instate such drastic measures. As I said, I would rather be an alarmist with a partial understanding of the facts than apathetically meandering with no mention of them here whatsoever.
    We are currently living in a country whose president has applauded the Egyptian government for their kid-glove handling of social unrest yet turned a blind eye to chemical weapons being used on his own constituents during peaceful and legal assembly.
    Perhaps I read between the lines, but again, all I am is a filter, and this site is my opinion and my opinion alone.
    Lastly, I present this.

  45. Trina November 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    wow. a survey, now its serious. – Should the Rapha SSCXWC winners forfeit?

  46. duderino November 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Well, you have to admit that that tattoo is especially, really, fuckin offensively UGLY.
    You can not force anyone to wear this shitty thing on one´s skin.

  47. Wheels November 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    It was a glorious race at one time, but first the rules were bent on how to decide where the race would be held (you had to win the derby), then there was that whole go-kart thing in PA, and now this.
    Don’t want to take the ink? Don’t take the win. Don’t like the design? Do you’re own thing – came to race first – and party last? You’re in the wrong place anyway.

  48. Voice of reason November 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    “Bottom feeding is for poseurs. We live down here.” So the SSWCs have been co-opted. It was a long time ago. Let the jocks have the punk show. It’s time to go deeper underground.

  49. Dubba November 29, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Is this true? Did the Rapha Focus racers show up to the SSCXWC, take the win and not get the ink? That is like winning the TdF and getting busted for doping. You lose the title. Right? I’m f’n serious here. They should lose the crown. Get that tattoo on second place and take the titles from them!!!

  50. phatty P November 30, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Mandanna AND Miata in the same post! What about that turdwagon they bring around. My friend got a milk truck when he turned 16 in 1981 he was soo heckled he might be one of the current Rapha sack rubbers.

  51. anoncx November 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm #


  52. gene o November 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    I would encourage you all to buy a firearm (and ammo)or make sure you know somebody that has an extra one(Joop and I have you covered Steve) for you or your kids. For if and when the shit hits the fan.

  53. Jeff Rowe December 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    Dang. SS in NorCal is almost more serious than CX in Colorado.

  54. Gillis December 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Bad tattoo or good tattoo…it doesn’t matter. This tat is about the experience of acquiring it. So when you’re in a bar and someone asks what that is you can say “I won a fucking bike race and this was the trophy”
    If they don’t take the ink, they can keep the win but they should be banned from any future SSWC competition.

  55. VMFR December 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    I think I’m gonna start a race with handguns and Tattoos. First place gets a Tatt of a gun and last place gets shot. I can’t enter the race though, being the fat guy I would get shot. Maybe I will just call Shorty and tie a rope to him so he can tow me around everyone.

  56. gern blanston December 3, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    The last group of people that insisted that people got tatoos were called Nazis. And people here are talking about having a respect for cycling? Wearing white socks, black shoes and a jersey has been a way of showing respect for the tradition of the sport for well over 100 years. Get over yourselves, you give “hip” a bad name.

  57. vaeringjar December 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    I am too old to get the reference, but my 22-year-old cousin says Rapha is as lame as Hot Topic.