If I wasn't a bike racer, I'd be a soccer player...
Watched the Timbers smash Puerto Rico 3-1 at PGE last night with 7800 others. It was a night for the hooligans. I've never seen a match get so violent. After we scored in the opening minutes and doubled it before the half, the Puerto Ricans got pissed and didn't hide it. Multiple fights broke out across the field and by the looks of it, the home boys have been working on thier Kung Fu. The Army was too big for thier traditional section 107, and ended up sprawling out into 4 others including ours. What a manic atmosphere. 60 percent total chaos and 40 percent sychronized madness. The songs, the flags, the GIANT flags, the chants, the screaming. All while surrounded by cops and PGE officials, but nobody seems to care. The Army really is an army this year. Flyers were passed around for a convoy of busses heading to seattle for a showdown on May 5th. That could get wonderfully messy.
Track racing's almost upon us again. In May the circus begins again. Big events are afoot in Canada during the first weekend; big races, big fields, big beer garden, maybe even some cold hard cash. I'd love to make it up to the glo-worm velodrome if the financial stars can align themselves and someone gives me some floorspace to pass out on at night. Might have a place with Chader, but he has to check and make sure if its all right with his dog or something...
Once again. Raining. On track workout day. Fcuk.
Anyone up for a puddle-cruise up Forest Park? Single-speed mountain bikes? Maybe a night raid? We could blast up to skyline on the knobby tires, slide back down in full panic brake-lock, charge into town and park our bikes next to the harleys stacked up at Starbucks on 23rd and loudly critique the monstrosities for thier wastefullness and laziness. Could be a good time. Think about it.
I didn't go to the Grand Sea Clam Pro Cycling Nascar Classic in monterey last weekend, but some of our skinnier guys were there, and they were all over it.
I did the Laguna Seca Shimmy when I was a much smaller junior lad, and I can tell you, that course is not even close to fun. Everyone always talks about "corkscrew this" and "corkscrew that" and "oh you gotta watch out for crashes," but by my memory, that's a bunch of crap. In order to get to the corkscrew you have to come up this steep bastard of a hill (which is way bigger than it looks on TV) so once you hit the corkscrew descent you're crosseyed anyway, and then once you actually go down it, you realize that it's probably only fun at about 200 miles an hour. Nice wide, smooth, easy corners that wind down to a 180 and back around to the front straight, which just means that you'll be heading back up that stupid hill in a couple of seconds flat. So if you're on a rediculously powerfull motorcycle or a fantastically expensive car, it's probably great. Maybe even hair-raising. On a bike however, I have a trickier commute home from work.
That doesn't stop the marketers from touting the Sea Clam Classic as the greatest race ever to grace the face of the world, and it continues to pull huge sponsorship dollars, tons of people and lots of industry bigwigs with deep pockets. So a result at the Sea Clam is a big deal. Which is cool, because the Rubicon guys pulled a big result.
Aaron Skeletor Tuckerman rode like a man possed with a bike racer, bridged a bunch of gaps, successfully didn't crash and even managed to drop last year's winner Andy Badjadali in the closing laps by flexing his diminutive little buttcheeks and attacking on the hill, eventually finishing 5th. Brad apparently showed some power-cards by shuttling Tuckie around all day, with Logan doing his part as well. Dan and Kirk overcame gravity to place very well, 10th and 19th respectively. Matt Brandt snagged 18th and the Best Young Rider award, and Richard kept his current streak alive by running into some mechanical issues. Hopefully he can shake the curse sometime before Hood.
The boys even found time to chat with some schoolkids about racing, foreigners and that kind of stuff. I spent my weekend glaring at kids trying to ride big-wheels into stacks of carbon road bikes. The books show we had a record weekend at the shop, which is cool. My brain says that I need to sleep, but what does it really know? I have a three hour Codes and Ordinances class tonight, should be plenty of time to catch up on the zzz's.
I am surrounded by oceans of screaming children who seem like they should be too old to be pitching fits in bike shops. Lines of unusually irritated people waiting for cashiers stretch for miles. Head full of static.
Sea Otter is on. It's on like Donkey Kong. Godspeed to all the boys. Stay upright and impress someone willing to donate some hard earned money to a struggling development team.
More kids. Jesus where do all these kids come from? Is birth control going out of style?
These things always seem to happen at the end of good days. So it goes, as the man would say.
If you haven't read Player Piano, Slaughterhouse Five or Cats Cradle, pick one up at Powells some time. It'll be worth it. In fact, get them all. You don't need to watch American Idol (americans idle?) that much anyway.
"Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why."
"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center."
"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different." -KV
Come one, come all, it's time once again for the Bike Gallery's Big Giant Super Mega Spring Sale To End All Sales. Happy times. Seems like we're busy enough without it lately, the store has been smacked by too-frequent waves of madness for weeks. It's a tight rope to walk, being at a shop known for giving cutomers individual attention while there are three times as many customers as salespeople. Most people are understanding of the fact that we have a lot on our plate, but some still think they are the only humans in the store. Possibly in the world. Must be upsetting to realize otherwise...
In the fantasy land known as Bicycle Racing, some people did some crit this weekend. Boat Street Crit I'm told. I did it a few years ago, was brought down in a big fat 20-person crash and snapped a couple of brand new carbon wheels that my parents had saved up for. Bad memories of a sketchy corner, always wet. Haven't been back since. Conveniently, I had to work.
Sounded like the boys were on fine form. They even kept up thier amazing rate of two crashes per crit. Last weekend it was myself and Richard, this weekend it was Dan and Skeletor. Dan The Man flexed his left butt-cheek and broke his chain into a million little peices and launched himself over his bars and Tuckerman probably pulled the other standard Skeletor move (aside from attacking from the gun, which he had already done by this point) and crashed all by himself off the front. Probably tried to ignore the simple laws of physics by trying to enter a 90 degree corner at about a hundred and ten miles per hour. "oh I'm a mountain biker with a funny haircut, I can make it."
The face of sorrow, the legs of strength. That chain never stood a chance. Neither did the jersey.
The rest of the boys miraculously stayed upright and finished well. Brad made it out of the sick bay and on to the bike, leaving Adam all alone in the quarantine. Matt Brandt gets 3 gut points for wearing white gloves, but those points are canceled out by the negative three gut points Kirk gets for racing with his shorts rolled up to his crotch in the J Dangle position. Kenny Williams heard the cash registers ringing and took the sprint ahead of Kirk, keeping his title of "fastest old guy in Seattle" firmly planted on the mantle. Pretty sure that guy will be winning 1/2 crits up there when he's 80. Pure machine that guy is.
Sea Otter's up next for the unemployed. I'll start racing when the temperatures get above 70.
p.s. Pic's from the fastest eye in the west, Amara Boursaw. You should buy lots of pictures from her at www.wheelsinfocus.com. Put them on your walls, put them on your fridge, put them on your pets, put them on your kids, buy that picture of Dan and put it on a t-shirt and be the envy of all your friends.
The race consisted of maybe 30 people tops. Pretty low turnout, but that's what you get with a not-so-interesting course in March touting 200 bucks split 5 deep.
Tuckerman was told not to attack from the gun at least 23 times the night before, so I was pretty proud of him for waiting for about 5 minutes to make his bold move. By ten minutes into the race we had four guys doing a team time trial off the front with no other teams represented. Happy times. There was much gnashing of teeth and whining "there goes the race" from the back. The boys got the lap, I sat in the back, got tired by doing nothing and messed up the sprint for 5th, despite being handed the world's most beautiful leadout by Kirk. Good thing 200m sprints don't take an hour...
Guess it's par for the course. You spend all winter working on pure strength and track speed, and your endurance goes out the window. No worries. I'll get mine when the avc rolls around.
So we ended up with 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th. True to Rubicon form, we also managed to rack up 2 crashes on the day. Yours truly won the idiot award for crashing in the parking lot before the race. Who knew that looking down at your bottom bracket while riding toward a concrete parking barrier was a bad idea? One minute I'm riding along wondering "what's that noise?" and the next minute I'm on my back wondering "why am I in a bush?"
The best part was that everyone was there to see it. I thought it was pretty hilarious.
Dan and Richard did a deadly dance with 15 laps to go and Richard ended up surfing pavement with Beardsley on top of him. Sheepherder Speer took a good one to the back of the head and lost a few college classes, but was otherwise fine.
Sounds like Piece of Cake was a little harder than the name implies. Reports range from "a little gusty" to "gale-force winds." I spent the day in the shop, but Tuckie spent it off the front with So Pro Dougie O and Mick Walsh. Poor guy was probably getting blown around like a reciept in the wind. That's what happens when you come to the states about as thick as an Olson twin. He ended the day a solid third. New guy Matt Brandt smashed the hopes and dreams of an entire CMG team leadout by beating The Donald to the line.
Looks like the orange crush is officially hauling ass. Those guys are wicked quick. Can't wait for track season to start, then I can stop looking like the fat slow kid.
Candi Murray got to hang out at track worlds and spectate. Lucky. DT