Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween Friday Mail!

Karma's a bitch.  Tuesday, I wrote a little post in which I teased the local all-women's cycling group which calls themselves the PCBC (which has something to do with feline restraint).  That night I rode over to Grindstone to do some "squatchy cross drills" which consist of me lumbering through the woods on bike and grunting and sweating a lot.  As I rounded one corner of a grassy lane, I caught a glimpse of something black moving really fast.....right at me.  By the time my brain registered that it was a black Labrador retriever going hell bent for leather after a Jack Russel terrier, it was too late.  The lab slammed herself into my front wheel which resulted in me doing a Half-Joey en-do and landing squarely on my head.  And somewhere, some PCBC women giggled....

Anyway - here's your last reminder about tomorrow's MONSTER BIKE BASH!
As ever, the good people at OffTrack events have put together an amazing event for us all tomorrow - and the weather is supposed to be spectacular.

In other news - I feel remiss in not sending out a congratulations to Mark Cavendish in the announcement that hs is going to be a father.  He and his significant other, 'Page 3' model Ms. Peta Todd, are expecting, as was announced this week.
Says the oft-topless Ms. Todd: "We planned it.  I'm four months gone which means it was conceived in July, during the Tour de France.  It's a Tour baby," she said.  "We haven't found out the sex yet but we will.  I think it's a boy because I've already had a boy, but Mark thinks it's a girl.  Athletes often conceive girls during the racing season as their testosterone levels are low."

Hold on a tick.  A "Tour baby"?  That makes it sounds like this is a regular thing, which I guess makes sense.  I mean - the Tour is three weeks long, afterall.....unless you are a sprinter - in which case the Tour is typically only a couple days long.  But hang on - Cavs actually finished the race this year (barely)....and he even won the green jersey signifying that he was the fastest (unfortunately for Peta).  It certainly is interesting about how most babies conceived during race season are girls due to cyclists' lower testosterone levels.  I guess if Peta gives birth to twin boys, we'll know he had a couple of T-patches on his scrote to help him get over the Alps.  But at least the twins will be well-fed!

And with that - on to a couple of letters!

Dear PooBah,
Have you heard of the Iceman Cometh Challenge bike race on November 5th in Michigan?  I'm sure you've seen who their new sponsor is - right?  Here's a hint!
Paul T.
Traverse City, MI

Hey Paul!  Yup - none other than Bell's Brewery....elixir of the Gods!  But I also hear the REAL "Iceman" is going to make a guest appearance.  He's already working on developing an all-natural method of insulating himself from the frigidly brutal cold temperatures that are anticipated.

Dear PooBah,
I'm really worried about my girlfriend.  She spends every moment she's not at work on her bicycle.  I hardly even ever see her!  The other night it was pouring rain outside, so I thought we'd finally be able to go out together - but she said she needed to spend the evening "working on her bikes."  The next day I snuck into her appartment and this is what I found!

What am I supposed to do now?
Meredith G.
Reston, VA

Calm down.  Everything is going to be OK.  At least you didn't have to walk in on her bike lounging in her bed completely naked - right?  Anyway - try to accept that you are not the only lady in your lover's life....embrace the fact.  Maybe even buy your significant other a T-shirt to celebrate it....I have a suggestion.

Dear PooBah,
How do you like my T-shirt???

Hey!  Your name isn't Jackie Chan, is it?

Dear PooBah,
I really liked your blog post about the PCBC group this past Tuesday, and I support them completely.  I hope all the ladies enjoy Halloween....and in case none of them have ideas for decent costumes - here are a couple they may find useful.
Richard F.

People!  Let it go already!  I mean it!

Dear PooBah,
As a woman, I find bib-shorts to be entirely uncomfortable to wear.  I really prefer riding in just regular shorts.  However, they never stay where I want them to and ride down too much - and I feel as though I have to constantly pull them up. But I have stumbled upon a little trick to help maintain the position of non-bib shorts while riding that I wanted to share with your readers.
I hope this will help the ladies out there!
Thanks so much -
Tricia G.

I dig they way you've color coordinated your suspenders and jorts to match the colors of your Peugot fixie.  And thanks so much for the tip.  I have a feeling it will help more guys than girls, somehow - but hey - you never know.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Local news: Control your p****, because it's about to get bumpy!

As a self-proclaimed bloggeur de bicycles here in COMO-land, I do my best to keep my finger on the pulse of the "bike scene" which is to say, I actually do absolutely no research, nor scout out any bike-related stories whatsoever, and typically just comment on whatever I happen upon, much like a blind squirrel finding the odd, random nut.  (Note to self - two great ideas for future band names in that last sentence: "Blind Squirrel" and "Random Nut".)  Therefore, it should surprise no one that I've dropped the ball BIG TIME on some recent and future cycling stories and events that I need to mention now.

First of all, this past weekend was the Berryman Trail Epic mountain bike endurance race in the proximity of Steelville, MO.  Its significance to COMO kids is that one of our very own (Jon Schottler) held the course record set in 2010.  That is, until this year, when Steve Tilford topped it, and then wrote about it as though it were as difficult as riding to the store to pick up a 4-pack of Bartles and James wine coolers.  Of course, when you are a cycling bottom feeder like me, and your mantra has become "not last, not lapped," every such feat seems Herculean.....That said, with all due respect (as well as fully disclosing my bias toward COMO's own), I would still suggest that a tad bit more credit was due to Mr. Schottler.

Secondly, the BubbaCross series continues and apparently was rough as a cob this past weekend at Fort Belle Fontain which had the St. Louis Cycling Forum buzzing with commentary in a dedicated thread entitled "Bumpy Bubba":

Posted Yesterday, 03:52 PM
All people who set up a cx race course should have to pre-ride the course or they don't get to set up the courses anymore. If they set up a mean course that breaks bikes rather than showcasing the true spirit of cx, they should be forced to ride the course sans chamois. IMHO

Posted Yesterday, 06:11 PM
This is easy. If you don't like the courses either come out and help design and set up a course or just don't race them! Take your crying ass out to KC or Chicago if Bubba courses are beneath you.

I didn't race this past weekend, so cannot comment on the conditions - but think I have to give it to the second individual here.  Despite being a complete CX newb - I'm pretty sure that the "true spirit" of cyclocross is racing until you either want to cry, puke or poop yourself.....or maybe all three at the same time.  If the course is smooth - then that will be achieved via exerted effort and if the course is rough, that will be accomplished via exerted effort and taint battering.  This little thing called free will allows you to go home without racing if you elect to not pursue the "true spirit".

Anyway - at the end of the day, COMO still prevailed as Dan Miller took another victory despite doing a "Half Joey".  (For those of you that don't know, this is going "Full Joey.")

Thus, a "Half Joey" would be if just the cyclist or the bicycle became airborne - but not both simultaneously.

Ok - now for some upcoming ride announcements.  This weekend, in addition to Bubba's #4 and #5 cyclocross races in St. Louis, you can get your spook on and do the Monster Bike Bash's ride to Rocheport on Saturday.  Or if you want less beer and frivolity and more taint-pain, you can do the Gravel Grumble 100 which starts at Tryathletics at 7:00 AM the same day.

And I don't know how I missed this one - but according to this story in the Columbia Missourian, there is an all-female bicycle group that rides every Tuesday night leaving from RagTag between 7:00 and 7:30 PM:

Perhaps, like me, you saw this disclaimer on the Missourian's page, below the video story:

"The bike club’s name contains a word we normally don’t print because it can be offensive. For more information you can go to the group’s Facebook page."

I have to admit that I was perplexed by this and started wondering what the acronym 'PCBC' actually stood for making it so offensive that the Missourian didn't want to publish it?  So, I did as instructed and followed the link to the group's Facebook page and was so enlightened.

There are several things I appreciate about what this group is accomplishing.  Firstly, a group like this can develop comraderie amongst female cyclists.

Take what rider Brigid Foley says, "PCBC is definitely about the one is there to meet dudes.  That's not the point...."

(Come on Brigid, we all know you got that handsome devil's phone number after the photo shoot!)

The lack of men apparently reduces the intimidation factor for new cyclists.  Again, says Ms. Foley, "They (men) set such a fast pace and kind of intimidate people that are new to riding."  There is no question that this is true.  Put two male newbs on bicycles, and they will have graduated to become racing Freds within 15 minutes, or crashed into one another trying.  That said, a group calling itself "Pussy Control Bike Club" with the motto "Our Ride, Our Rules" kind of scares the shit out of me, personally, and I've not even put on my skirt to try to ride with them (yet).

(Men are only allowed to tag along on the ride if they either wear a skirt or are bearded and come in the form of a tattoo - in which case they get to ride on the ladies' thighs!!!  I just tossed my razor in the garbage can.)

But seriously - why should I be intimidated to ride with PCBC?  I think I've always practiced good "pussy control".
I promise that Mr. Pants will either be on his leash or remain in his basket the entire ride.....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Mail: The Bigfoot-Bieber Challenge

In keeping with the running dialogue we've been having with those readers who wish to remain nameless, this comment was left on Wednesday's post:

Anonymous said...
"If the Bieber ever showed up at a cross race with that bike he would beat Poobah and 3/4 of the other COMO Spandex wearers. "

Well that sounds like a challenge to me.  I'm willing to go on record saying right here and right now that I've got more cyclocross talent in my little finger than Justin Bieber has in his entire thumb.  And he has a big effing thumb!

As for my COMO compatriots...I will have you know that in last week's Bubba cyclocross races in St. Louis, COMO kids won the Elite Men's 1/2 races both days, secured 3 of the top 5 places on Saturday and now occupy 5 of the top 10 places in the overall points competition.  (Check it here).  A financial comparison reveals that the combined monetary winnings of all these achievements is comparable to what Bieber earns in approximately 0.03 seconds while on tour.  So suck on that, Anonymous!

And speaking of Bubbacross, throwdown #3 is this Sunday in Fort Belle Fontaine park.  If you are closer to KC, then the Shawnee Rescue Radcross is happening Sunday.

On to some other mail!

Dear PooBah,
It looks like there was a sighting of Sasquatch at Bubba Cross!

My initial response to this was "Crap! - I already have enough competition as it is! I don't need to duke it out with yet another Sasquatch - because if he kicks my ass - then not only will I be the worst Cat 4 racer out there, but I'll be the worst Squatchy Cat 4."  However, upon closer inspection, I've determined that #1) this photo wasn't taken at Bubbacross - which means you pilfered this pic from the Interwebs and that's going to piss off one of my Anonymous readers (well done) and #2) this isn't a Squatch at all!  If you look closely - you will see a tiny blonde-headed woman clinging to the back of this simian signifying to me that this is actually King Kong.  Therefore, I still contend that I'm the fastest Squatch on a bicycle.....that is until Bieber's big-ass hairy thumb wants to challenge me.  Thanks for the photo anyway.

Dear PooBah,
Have you seen this sweet deal that RadioShack is offering?  I wonder what the ramifications will be for Bruyneel's new "RadioShack-Trek-Leopard Presented by Nissan Thereby Snubbing Mercedes" team?
Samuel G.

Wow - whereas this would certainly be a popular incentive here in the states, no telling how the Luxembourgians are going to take to it.  I decided to get in touch with Bruyneel to see what his opinion was on this matter and this is the reply I got.

Dear PooBah,
During my last gravel ride, I happened upon an individual lying in the weeds along the side of the road.  I really didn't know how to handle this situation, so photographed it to get your advice.
Should I have,
A) Checked this gentlemen for a pulse?
B) Tried to rouse this fellow and set him on his way?
C) Called 911 immediately?
D) Gone to the nearest house to inquire if they knew the cyclist's identity?

Thank you!
Randy F.

Wow - the dude certainly is giving the stitching on his vintage wool Brooks L'Eroica jersey a workout -eh?  He's clearly OK by the way he's using his meaty right bicep as a pillow and has his vintage bidon nearby.  Therefore, I think you overlooked the best option which I would refer to as 'option E'.  First, hide his bicycle behind a nearby shrubbery.  Second, empty the entire contents of two Gu gels into his left hand.  Third, get back on your bike and ride by him slowly, exclaiming as loudly as possible, "Dude - there's a fucking scorpion on your face!"  Forth, accelerate.

Dear PooBah,
Of all the new additions team BMC has made to their roster, who do you think will prove to be the most valuable next year?
Lisa P.

Great question - but a no brainer as far as I'm concerned.  It has to be M.C. Gruntsworth.  Originally from China, he's small and agile, will ride for practically nothing, and can't talk back if he starts getting unhappy.  However, he's been known to destroy hotel rooms if left alone, enjoys licking his genitals and may need to use some breathe-right strips in some of the more mountainous stages.

Dear PooBah,
I'm a bicycle pizza delivery guy and my job depends on me delivering pies to my customers quickly or else they get the pizza for free, and it is taken out of my paycheck.  The problem is, I feel so sluggish on the bicycle. What's the quickest and easiest way to get faster.  Please help!!!
Thank you!
Wally T.

I'm sure you have seen time trialing stages of bicycle races before.  The cyclists ride specially designed bicycles and wear specific kits all meant to accenuate their aerodynamics in hopes of making them as fast as possible!  I suggest you utilize the same technology.  However, I've been working on some modifications I think you should try.  Please find enclosed a diagram showing how I think the use of a time trial helmet will help you out.
The blue line represents how the helmet deflects the gaze of other cyclists as they look at you funny....their glances just flow right over your head.  And remember - keep your chin on that pizza box to lock it in place!

Dear PooBah,
I know absolutely nothing about bicycles, nor really care, but I'm writing to you because you seem a little pervy - so I'm hoping you might help me out with this one.  I was helping to clean out my parents' attic the other day and stumbled upon a cardboard box full of girly magazines.  I cannot believe it, but I think my dad might have actually had a porn stash back in the day!  I'm not sure if I should confront him with this stuff to determine if he still wants it - or just throw it away.  Any advice?
Thanks in advance -
Michael K.
P.S. Hope I didn't offend you with the "pervy" comment....

No offense taken.  I'm quite sure your Dad will not want these magazines anymore if they were crammed into a box in the attic.  I'm actually going to the recycling center soon - and if you want to send them to me, I will take care of them for you.  I promise.  I will recycle them immediately.  Just send them to me.  Please.

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Unveiled! The lucrative art of blogging.

After last week's edition of Friday Mail, a comment was left anonymously which I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to read:
Anonymous said:
It's amazing that you pay all of that money for the usage rights for photographs for professional bicyclists.  That must cost you hundreds of dollars per week.  You are one dedicated blogger, because we all know that you would never simply swipe them off the internet.

Oh Anonymous, really you are too kind.  The hundreds of dollars I spend every week on bringing my readers quality photographs of professional cyclists pales in comparison to the thousands I spend on photographs of scantily clad women on bicycles.  THOSE are the really expensive ones!  I kid, I kid.  Really - any money I spend is worth the sense of satisfaction I feel when I think that perhaps I've brought a smile to your face, or a tear to your eye with one of them.  It's the least I can do, especially when you consider just how lucrative this blog has become.  Why, my only sponsor has never even cut me a check - but I cannot bring myself to take down their link, because I really dig their product!  (It's really helping me fight a scorching case of pubic lice) Do I care?  Not at all - because I am paid in something more than just money, Anonymous.  I am paid in the good will of readers just like you.  So thank you.  My dedication is to you kind sir, or madam.....and to the power to "right click" and "save as".  That said - I do try to give credit to photographers when possible.  But alas, the InterWeb has become a vast and wild sea of imagery, and I am but a wayward  rubber ducky floating upon it who bumps into said photos and collects them.  Often - it's impossible to know their site of true origin, but I love and share them nonetheless.  And when I do know from whence they have come, will continue to give credit where credit is due.

And having said all that, here are some photos that damn near bankrupted me, so I hope you enjoy them!  Firstly, today is a huge day of unveiling!  You may think I'm referring to the revealing of the 2012 Tour de France route that occured today in Paris, but no - I'm speaking of Justin Bieber releasing his new Christmas single titled "Mistletoe" today!  Can you believe it?  Christmas is only 9 short weeks away?  How dare he make us wait so long.
I want to Belieb I didn't pay anything for this photo.
But what about all that Tour de France nonsense?  Yeah - that happened today as well.  The ASO busted out the red carpet and the cycling elite were all in attendance and absolutely riveted by the presentation.
Spaniards Sammy Sanchez and Bertie were busy fingerbanging themselves in the mouth while some other shleprock studied the insides of his eyelids (link). 
Meanwhile, no one in the second row could hear a god-damned thing because of some irritating nibbling sound that was echoing throughout the hall.
The entire front row finally got up and moved after Tommy Voekler spit his chewed off thumbnail on to the back of Thor Hushovd's neck.  Cavendouche tried to throw a rainbow-flavored stink-eye his way, but Voekler just thought he was practicing how to look more French in honor of the occasion and never noticed.  And some poor dude in the third row tickled his own frontal cortex with his index finger digging for a maillot nugget. (link).
Norwegian cyclist Edvald Boasson Hagen (aka Eddie Bo-Hog) couldn't attend the festivities in Paris as he was busy in Norway throwing axes, building Legos and "hitting the nail"?

I'm really not sure if "hitting the nail" is some kind of Norwegian euphemism, but thankfully the article spared us from any such visualization of Eddie playing Legos or "hitting his nail" and just showed him chucking a rather menacing axe.
Those Norwegians know how to kick up their heels.

And in case anyone is keeping track, the cost of using the photos to generate this post was $413.23 which is surprisingly less than what I budgeted for because Bieber's people actually paid me to show that photo.  Don't say I never did anything for you, Anonymous!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Mail - All Bubba's Eve

First order of business today....I think someone just asked me out!  In an unexpected turn of events, when I logged on to Facebook this morning, I noticed I had message!  Apparently someone named Brent Hugh with the Missouri Bicycle Federation has invited me to do an organized ride with him this weekend!

 Mr. Hugh, thank you so much for the invitation to join you. I haven't been asked out on a date in a long time - so honestly, I have to admit to being a little flattered.  However, I'm kind of seeing someone now, so could not possibly show up to this ride with you.  I hope you understand.  It really does sound like a lot of fun despite the fact that I don't harvest anything and wouldn't even know how to go about riding a pumpkin.  But still - I'm guessing many of my readers may be interested - and they should check it out!

Second order of business today.....The Bubba Cross Cyclocross series begins tomorrow night in Queeny Park, St. Louis.  If you are more Kansas-ly inclined, you can do the Joules Cross in Lawrence which also starts tomorrow.
Ok enough of all that - let's get to the mail!

Dear PooBah-
What do you think the most prestigious single-day bicycle race is?  Paris-Roubaix?  Liege-Bastogne-Liege?  Milan-San Remo?
Greg K
Lexington, KY
Not even close.  It's got to be the Cobble Wobble race in Frome, England.

Dear PooBah,
Remember the old "what's grosser than gross" jokes we used to tell each other on the playground back in the day?  Like trying to commit suicide by jumping out of a 12 story building only to catch your nostril on a rusty nail on the way down?  I love that stuff.  Anyway - I thought I would share with you a grosser than gross nose-related cycling photo taken at the Superprestige Ruddervoorde cross race.
Linda T.
That's weak.  Try Laurens Ten Dam after his face-plant at the 2011 Tour de France.

Dear PooBah,
On Wednesday, you were bitching about your size and using it as an excuse as to why you suck so bad in cyclocross.  Well just for clarification, professional cyclocross racer Ryan Trebon is not 6'1" like you reported....the dude is 6'8" as reported here.  There is no way you are taller than he is - so suck it up!
Alex C.
Thanks for your kind words of support.  After learning how tall he is, I'm encouraged to give cross another go.....well that and the bike I bought through Craigslist from a dude in Ashland which should help my cornering ability significantly.

Dear PooBah,
As Halloween is approaching rapidly, I anticipate the number of cyclists donning costumes for cyclocross races to increase exponentially.  The fans love this, but my concern lies with the ability of racers to get through the courses safely with occasionally cumbersome Halloween outfits.  My question is - have you ever seen a costume-related injury during a cross race, and how bad was it?
Thank you
Paul M.

I sure have.  It happened at Spooky Cross last year.  A Masters 40+ Cat 4 cross-dresser took an 18" barrier to the face when he tripped on his own fishnets.  It took two Oompa-Loompas and a couple of Easter bunnies to help get the guy to the ambulance.

Dear PooBah,
The video of the antelope attacking the cyclist that made worldwide headlines this week really freaked me out!  I too race in South Africa and see antelope frequently when I'm training in the bush.  Such interactions between these animals and cyclists are not as uncommon as one might think.  Is there anything I could wear that might help to scare them away?  I don't want to suffer the same fate as the MTB racer featured in the YouTube video this week.
Roberta J.
You've got to make yourself look more like a natural predator to the antelope.  I'm putting one these outfits in the mail to you - wear it at all times!

Dear PooBah,
I heard you like to rollerblade in the off season to cross train and even race now and then. I got a tip that you were in a race this past weekend as a matter of fact.  I managed to get a photograph of the sprint finish.  Will you give me a hint which one you are?
George P.

Damn, I'm busted.  Well all I can say is that I've got a weakness green lycra.

Dear PooBah-
I bought a unicycle several months ago but just cannot seem to learn to ride the damn thing.  The guy that sold it to me threw in free weekly riding lessons at his place, which I attend regularly.  He said that for whatever reason, wearing red makes it easier to ride - but for the life of me, I cannot figure out why this would be the case.  Is there any credence to this?
Thank you
Jenny T.

Yeah - I think he's on to something.  Persistence will pay off!  Keep at it and keep me posted...

Have a great weekend everyone - thanks for the letters!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The physics of being Big Foot

Yesterday I was emailed no less than 10 times the story of the dude in South Africa who got creamed by the galloping antelope during a mountain bike race - and if you are one of the individuals who sent me the link, thank you.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go see it here.  Sorry - couldn't resist.  No seriously - you can see it here.  And quite literally - as I wrote the last sentence, I just got an email from my father that reads,

From: Dad PooBah
To: Baby PooBah
Cc: Mom PooBah
Subject:  When Animals Say "Get Offa My Grass!"

Careful where you do some of those Cyclocross race things....

To which I need to respond, "Thanks, Dad."  If only flying antelopes were my only concern during a cyclocross race, I might actually stand a chance of performing half-way decently.  No, the bane of my cyclocross existence comes in many other forms, but mostly inertia.  You see, I possess something called mass.  "Sure," you might say, "we all possess mass!"  And to this I would reply, "No - you dont get it.  I have a lot of it." defines mass as "a body of coherent matter, usually of indefinite shape and often of considerable size: example - a mass of dough."  An ill-defined, large mass of dough indeed.  And much like the aforementioned antelope, once I get my poorly defined, immense doughy mass up and moving in a specific direction, I seem to have great difficulty decelerating and altering its direction - especially when that direction is 180 degrees from whence the doughy mass originated.  This difficulty I'm experiencing is due to inertia which can be defined as "the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest." 

These terms can be understood better by this formula:

F = ma

In this equation, F = force, m = mass (in my case, dough-like and considerable) and a = acceleration.  By this formula, it is clear that the greater an object's mass, the less acceleration (or deceleration) is possible under a given force.  Let's look at this concept using a real-life example:  If you are, say, 5'4" and weigh 135 lbs and are racing cyclocross, for a given force, you will be able to decelerate more rapidly and make a 180 hairpin turn easier than if you are, say, Sasquatch.

By the way - this isn't any ordinary Sasquatch in the example - this is an old Sasquatch with achy knees.  (Incidentally - in case you'd like to purchase the official 'Sasquatch on bicycle t-shirt'.....go here.....they are all the rage.)
They even come in sizes up to 3XL....that's what I'm talking about.

Such mass also makes manuevers like this completely out of the question.
photo courtesy of 20#skull.

And don't give me that shit that Ryan Trebon is 6'1".  The SOB weighs like 170 pounds soaking wet.  He's a fart in a wind storm compared to me.

Here's a stone-cold dose of reality that hit me as hard as the sudden cold rain did while doing intervals on the KT trail Monday night in the pitch blackness because I didn't get home from work until 6:30 when the sun was sinking low and the clouds were building up.  As I cruised down the trail, rain smeared down my headlight casting weird shadows on the trail.  But up ahead, in the distance, I saw something dangling from one of the overhanging trees.  It's quarter-sized, lumpy shape became increasingly illuminated by my light as I approached and I realized it was a fat-ass spider dangling from a web, and I was approaching it a very rapid pace.  No worries, I thought, I will slide right under him.  The instant his plump hairy body smacked me in the cheek, it all became clear:  For years, I've watched and admired cyclists....their small-framed, lithe forms dancing on pedals and whipping tightly around corners fast as a lifeguard spins a whistle tied to a length of string wrapped around his finger.  And all this time, in my head, I've felt just like them.....quick and small......small enough to slide under that juicy spider....small enough to try to conserve energy hiding in a pack of cyclists....small enough to be fast.  Cyclocross has reminded me of just what a Sasquatch I really am.   And despite flat tires, and busting through barrier tape and inertial drag, God-dammit, I'm digging it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday mail: Win yourself a kick in the ass!

Hey kids!  Happy flipping Friday!  Let me ask you something.  Have you ever walked up to somebody on the street and said, "Hey mister, would you mind kicking me right square in the ass?  I probably need it - and it sure would make you feel good!"  That's kind of how I felt when I read about the new offer from Rapha for some special-issue Team Rapha-FOCUS Cyclocross Oakley Jawbone sunglasses:

Here's the skinny:  And I quote from the website....

Oakley Auction

With the new cyclocross season well underway, Rapha and Oakley are offering you the chance to own an exclusive pair of Oakley Jawbone glasses. The custom-made Jawbones have frames painted in the candystripe livery of the Rapha-FOCUS team kit and the glasses come with three sets of interchangeable lenses. The Rapha logo is etched into the primary set and a unique carry-bag also features the team colours. For five days, beginning on Monday 10th October, Rapha will auctioning two pairs of Rapha-FOCUS Oakley Jawbones via a private email bid system. All of the money raised by the auction will go directly to support the Rapha-FOCUS professional cyclocross team.

Oh please, Rapha - can I compete with other people that have more money than common sense to fight for the chance to spend way too much on a piece of flipping plastic so that your professional cyclocross racers can afford extra foam on their capuccinos while they race this winter?  PLEASE?  It's not like Jeremy Powers ever wins or anything - so he could really use the extra money.  This is so much better than donating it to a non-for profit charitable organization or anything like that.  Suck-it, Rapha.

And on that note - let's hit the mailbag:

Dear PooBah,
Did you see this story in VeloNews about the Master's Track Racer Roger Hernandez who was suspended for two years after having refused to undergo a mandatory drug test?

Here's his picture competing at a recent race...
(This is no shit, either.)

One commenters to the original article responded by saying, "A forty-five year old Masters cyclist doping is akin to someone taking growth hormones to become the world's tallest midget."  Would you agree?
Peter J.
Orlando, FL
Well, that's a pretty insensitive comment, honestly.  I think they like to be referred to as "little people" these days - not "midgets."

Dear PooBah,
Check out this photo of cyclist Carter Crowe of Ritte cycling winning a Cat 4/5 race and busting a Captain Morgan pose as he crosses the finish line!  Is this daring or douchey?  I can't decide...
Henry J.
San Diego, CA

Hmmmmm tough one.  I'd like to say "daring" since it looks like he is at least 6'6" and is on some very wet pavement there.  But then you have to realize that he certainly had to practice this little move...probably a lot considering he is a Cat 4/5.  I call "douchey."

Dear PooBah,
I've been very disturbed by the overtly sexual advertisements in Bicycling magazine lately.  I'm a mother of two and I don't need to be opening up my cycling periodicals to see things like this:

I wish things more like back in the old days were when we didn't have to worry about sexual innuendo in cycling advertising...
Willamena F.

Well it's good to hear your children were immaculately conceived.  The new Messiah will enjoy having a sibling, I'm sure.  And not so fast - check out this ad from 1973 for Raleigh Carlton bicycles...
"Sparkling foam arcs skyward as trim, thrusting bows slice through water...."

I'm not sure what is more inexplicable here - the text or the pairing of sky blue shoes and brown hip hugging bell-bottoms on the dude on the left.

Dear PooBah,
I'm so happy cross season is here....I'm so fired up that I actually got a cross-related tattoo on my right calf.  It's a portrait of me portaging my bike.  What do you think?
Ivan K.
I appreciate your dedication but the perspective is all off! From how it's drawn it looks like you're trying to run your bike up your own ass.  If that's an actual depiction of how you do run-ups, just go slow and use lots of chamois cream before you race.

Dear PooBah,
I just recently bought a trainer anticipating cold weather which is just around the corner.  I set my road bike up on it - but having never used a trainer before, was hoping you could take a peek and let me know if my form was OK?  Thanks a million!
Lisle G.

You know - I was about to suggest you lose the stilettos, but on second thought...leave them on - I think your form is spot on!

Have a great weekend, everyone.  Thanks to those that sent in letters and suggestions - I appreciate it!