Friday, June 24, 2005

An Open Letter To...

... To the guy riding his "chopper" up and down main street today:
What is your deal? Are you socially retarded, or do you really believe that beautiful women will hear the ear-splitting howl of your whatever cubic-inch engine and throw themselves at you, frothing with desire? Do you think this makes you cool like the guys from Easy Rider? You're not cruising down some lonely highway, enjoying the freedom of the road and the air on your receding hairline, you're blasting up the street, turning around, blasting back up the street, turning around, and doing it all over again. Over and over. Back and forth. The best part? You're wearing EAR PLUGS! WHAT?!!?! Are you for real? I mean, yeah it makes sense, because you're grenading around on the loudest bike on the planet, but that's what mufflers are for. If you're concerned about your own hearing but not about my eardrums bursting every time you rip by, then you are a serious dick.
Is this what a midlife crisis looks like in the era of Orange Country Choppers and that Biker Build-Off show? I thought you guys just buy Camaros and cruise around past High Schools looking awesome? Good job Discovery Channel, way to wreck my eardrums.

...To the guy walking down main street with a ten foot surfboard:
You are so my favorite person right now. This is either a righteous fashion statement saying "yeah, I don't give a rat's ass that I'm on a mountain 2,000 miles from the ocean, I've got seawater in my veins and this is my magic carpet," or this guy's a stoner who found the thing in his brother's basement and just had the amazing idea of chopping the fin off, strapping his feet to it and hurtling down a mountain. Like SURFING ON SNOW. It's stoner ingenuity at it's finest and he'd probably make a fortune if some other cat hadn't had the same brilliant idea like 20 years ago.

...To Chuck Palahniuk:
Haunted's a wicked book. One of your finest. Good work.

...To USA Cycling:
Maybe somewhere at sea level next year? That'd be cool. DT

Park City I Hate You

and your little dog too...

That crit was tough like bark and crazy like the Jacksons. Good lawd that sucked the big one from the very first lap. Last year the course was flat, huge and dangerous. This year it was hilly, huge and dangerous. I thought it would be sweet because it was in the same area, but they basically took last year's 3 corner course and moved it halfway up a mountainside. Just look at the numbers: 120 starters, 15 finishers. The top ten was almost a carbon copy of last years road race. Skinny little dudes who normally hate crits were the only ones that made it past the first half. Of the 15 that finished, probably 13 were pros.

It was hurt city: population me.

Anyway. Walker grunted it out for an hour before loosing it, the 12 TIAA CREF dudes controlled the day's events and Tyler Farrar almost jumped off his bike and strangled half the aforementioned team. Seriously, they played him like a fiddle. He missed the two man break of the day, and everytime he'd make a move there would be 4 powder blue jerseys on his ass refusing to do squat. Sucks to be him, and it's a bit of a negative way to race, but big farrRRAAAR was the strongest unit in the race, so they weren't about to hand him any favors. I wouldn't pull him around either...

Next up... the long drive home, some big training, then off to Stuipidweek.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Ballard...and Days 1 through 4 of the Six

Here's Ballard:
Four corners, drenched in rain, ice-like bricks in one corner, dry slicks on my wheels and 80 people who all want thier chunk of a few grand in prize money. BANG the gun goes and I'm third into the first corner, which is a damn good thing because all around me is CHAOS. Guys are hitting the deck like nobody's business, easy corners are becoming completely impossible, every single corner in the first five laps claims skin and carbon.
Aaron jams it at the front and escapes with a few punks. I have lost vision and most motor control trying to stay on Kenny "G Money J Lo" Willians and Russel "I Hate You" Stevensen. These jerks are on the edge of control and pushing me way past my max effort, so I blow to pieces and curse the name of Ballard and the Seattle metro maybe 20 minutes into the race.

Aaron ends up crashing cause he's a f$@king mountain biker, but he still laps the field which is pretty heavy. He gets a gut point for that one. Maybe.
Scotty survives by utilizing the brilliant strategy of being behind every single crash and sprinting to get back up to the dwindling field. This may seem impractical, but it works for him.

Meanwhile at the six day, every day is run under threat of heavy rain, 3 days of which rain out completely. Scotty gets one gut point for riding the first 30 minute madison by himself. Walker and I call truce and just follow wheels, but other teams aren't so nice and not nearly as cool, but Scott hangs tough and even scores a point in the final sprint. The following few days are a big ugly battle between the kiwi team of Scotty and Adam and the orange team of yours truly and Walker the Stalker. The pink/fred meyer team puts up a valiant effort, but can't quite work out the sprints. Walker and I win every madison and every night overall, but due to an unfortunate error in the points race (namely, not starting it ontime), we lose 15 laps and the overall. Whatever. Still came out with a few hundred bucks at local bike shops and a few days of good hard training leading up to.....

.... U23 Road Nationals.
12 hours of driving usually isn't too bad, but when it's at night and your route is the wasteland that is Eastern Oregon and Idaho, things get boring. After a good sleep on a uber-comfy couch, daybreak in Park City means wandering about town, searching for mexican food and the host hotel.
Damn this place is average.
Kind of reminds me of Vegas minus the strippers and neon. Too much money floating around, too many facades on buildings to make everything seem "natural" and "ski lodge-ish." Concrete slap-up construction covered in a plastic/wood veranda to make the local Albertsons seem like it belongs. The fact that the town is completely dead certainly doesn't help its image. Must be what most ski-towns look like in late-june. Just bare-bones staff in cafe's and pizza shops. Just enough cops to cover race duties and parking lots. Seems like most houses here sit empty untill the snow comes back and the executive accountants and retirees stop by for a weekend soiree. Places that would sell for 150k in Portland flash For Sale signs that trumpet costs reduced to 600 thousand. Crazy cost of living, but still pretty cool to take the chair lift that starts in the middle of town up to the top of the 2002 winter olympic ski slopes that overlook the town.

Crit is tommorow at 10am in front of the lavish Deer Valley Resort. 60k of sun and fun. DT

Thursday, June 09, 2005

An Apology, an Update and So Much More....

If the tall blond-ish girl from the Mt. Hood circuit race feed zone is listening, I'm sorry for puking on you.

Honestly. I didn't mean it, I wasn't aiming for you, I just happened to be looking at you, trying to grab a bottle when my stomach detonated after 3 climbs and a couple hours of ouch. Not sure if it was the dehydration, or the redbull or a wicked combination of the two, but whatever the cause, I'm sorry.

To punish myself for not riding through it and finishing the stage, I lined up for Tabor this week. If you've never ridden the Mt. Tabor circuit race before, I'll give you a track-rider's perspective of the weekly event.

When you arrive at Mt. Tabor park on the SE side of town, it's gorgeous, leafy chaos. Winding roads, a killer view of the city, ancient trees, hippies smoking grass on the course, dogs everyewhere, skateboarders, mt. bikers, curious residents, laborador walkers in comfortable shoes, bike racers, punters and hecklers all mixing in a typically Portlandese way to make another wednesday summer evening in the Big P. Line up in the start shute and crawl immediately and quietly into the hurt box. It's uphill, it's downhill, it's uphill again over and over for 15 laps. Some residents and racers in earlier categories recognize the evening beer-drinking ambiance and crack open while we're on the course, so the heckling gets better the farther you make it.

Tuckerman spent at least half the race riding in the gravel, in the gutter, in the grass and generally off the road just to f*@k with people. Little freak surprised no one when he throws down a big sprint up the gutter to win the evening's glory. F*@king mountain bikers... DT