Sunday, May 30, 2010


Das Tour De Frankenmuth was a great race, even though I don't think they should have put both Das and De in the same title. The mixing of German and French articles to create some kind of  schmaltz herring souffle makes both my head and stomach hurt. 
On the race, I'm happy to report that my particular race was good, yet extremely tough, like a real race should be. It was also very safe. My hat's off to the rest of the racers. I was every impressed. Except for one rider who shouldn't have been there - but thankfully wasn't for long. On going into a wobble that almost took the center of the field,  I suggested he grab the hoods instead of laying his considerable, and I mean considerable, weight in the hooks. He went ballistic at my simple request, which I thought was reasonable since I was planning on ending up in the Beer Garden, not the ER, later in the day. Rather than thank me, he went Johnny Cash on me (pictured above). Finger in the face, he was screaming profanities at me all the way -  as he fell off the back like a rock dropping down a well.

On happier note, I'd like to wish everyone a great Memorial Day, enjoying  time with the family and taking a moment to remember our troops. I also want to let you know that since going on about how much I love Lederhosen, it has turned into a national fashion craze (in my own mind). This Memorial Day weekend everyone will be wearing the now popular Lederhosen Bathing Suits from Beach to SPF shining and slathered beach in America. I just hope Germans won't be offended - it's has nothing to do with remembering VE Day. It's just an appropriation of coincidence. Here's a guy modeling the shorts I just ordered, above. (I don't think they'll fit though). I 'm also ordering his hair to match the outfit. I'm practicing sweeping it back out of my eyes to get the same hot look.
Speaking of Das Hottie, Kaat has also ordered a two piece Lederhosen bathing suit for the pool side barbecue that will run continuously from Sunday through Monday at the Crazy Bastard Summer Compound. I think it looks Lederhosenrific on her, don't you? But what I really want to know is what happened to the pig tails?

Friday, May 28, 2010


Okay so it's pretty obvious why The Tour de Frankenmuth is my favorite road race of the year. Yeah it's not getting chopped off in the final turn by some a-hole who should still be in training wheels, the potholes, the long, boring sections through boring farmlands, or being worked over by giant thugs from the Hagerty on the last lap. No it's the it's the waitresses at the Beer Garden and the German-Industrial All-You-Can-Stomach Chicken joints like Zenders and the Bavarian Inn. I think you can see my point(s) above.

Of course another highlight of the Frankenmuth race is sitting around with the team after the fun is all over and counting out the $13.75 we won and singing traditional Bavarian Beer Garden Songs. Let me tell you, you can't buy that kind of bonding for $1.27, anywhere in the world.
But the number one reason for racing in Frankenmuth  is of course the Lederhosen. Man, I cannot get enough of that Lederhosen. Can you? Or the German waitresses. Those pigtails are hot, ja?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Okay, the lighting on the horizon wasn't quite as pretty or as shocking as this, but there were significant spikes coming down as we towed the line for the start of the race at Grattan last night. Wisely, not wanting to see the A and B groups turned into gigantic piles of fried riders fused to carbon and alloy bikes and wheels, kind like big bucket of fried chicken from KFC, the race director suggested that we "take cover." One thing you can say about bike racers on average - they don't appear to be very smart. After being told to "take cover" both groups rolled out slowly to take some more laps. Now I don't know if you are an easier target for lightning when you're going slow - or if you're going fast - but I'm guessing it doesn't matter. Fried is fried. And probably a direct hit is Extra Crispy. Perhaps  it wasn't all stupidity on the (our) racer's part, though. Maybe deep inside we thought we could get some extra power from being jabbed in the ass with a little lightning spike, kind of like getting a buttock full of performance enhancing drugs, just like pro racers, or the dudes from the film Back to the Future ....

Yeah, you remember that one. And maybe, just like in the movie, at just the right moment the lightning connects with your handle-bars, runs down the carbon chains stays to the highly conductive titanium cog and chain, and voila ... you're flyin'.

Just like that you're sprintin' your ass off like a freakin' juiced-up stainless steel Delorean. Hey flip up the doors so I can give my hands-up victory salute and get DQd at the finish line, will ya?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Remember Us?

I could hear their small, plaintive alloy, carbon and tubular voices calling from the back of garage.

"Remember us? How about a ride again sometime, big boy?"

It was cyclocross bikes begging for attention, flapping  their wide canti-lips. Big babies. Hey, shut up, you're disturbing the hipster bike, he was up all night drinking.

But the lonely look of the 'crosser stuck in the back of the rack did  remind of how much I missed riding them. And after reading a article on the Cyclocross Magazine site, by Tim Johnson, suggesting that we keep riding our crossers year round on gravel roads, and even single track, to keep your skills in good working order, I'm ready to break them out again for some more serious riding. And because I'm already sick of the road ... and what, it's only May? 

In truth I do ride my 'cross bikes a few times a week, and have even taken one out for some single-track thrashing, which was a total gas. You'd be surprised how much these things can handle - not to mention the look on the mountain biker's face when you go flying by them. What I'm really missing though, and I think it's about time to revisit, is some good old fashioned Crazy Bastard rides out of Townsend. Anybody else up for it? Let's hear it if you have a day you might think works - like Tuesday or Thursday? Whatever, somebody call it.

And nobody answers, don't worry. I still  have my 'cross bikes to talk to.

Friday, May 21, 2010


After all the excitement of another fun-filled night at the Wednesday Night Sprints, I had to do something to calm my nerves. So I went fishing. While it's nowhere near the time of year when Salmon run upstream to spawn, just being on the river made me think of those awesome, suicidal runs - and how much they resemble the final sprint of a bike race.

I mean, the fish have no conscious idea of why they are charging upstream to their death, and you could say the same thing about a field of recreational bike racers. Watching last week's final sprint, from my plush balcony seat, it was pretty obvious these guys had switched off their brains. So why do it?  The cookies? No. It's just some kind of instinct - one that seems to override another, basic, and strong instinct: survival. I also thought about other things that a sprint and a spawning run have in common, like wiggling next to each other to be first, spitting fluid all over each other, bumping, slamming into each other, and crashing into rocks. Yup. Sprint = Spawn. You know maybe we combine Spawning and Sprinting and make something like Sprawnting. The industry will have to develop super-stiff carbon fiber SPRAWNTING BIKES, and personal coaches will come up with training programs for serious SPRAWNTERS.

Above we can also see that being pulled from the river can be just like being pulled from a bike race. Hey USAC guy, could you get your hand out of my gills/ass? Is this a coincidence, or what?

And what do you think about the color matching outfits for bike teams and fish? The only thing the fish don't have are ugly logos splattered all over them. But they still have teams, THE KINGS, THE SOCKEYES, THE STEELHEADS. And I'm sure they all hate eat other, too, just like bike teams do. Go Team!

Of course, always remember that if you do decide to SPRAWNT at the end of a spawning run, or a bicycle race sprint, get next to the wrong dude, or fish, and you could end up off course and SPRAWNED into a brick wall. Really, the only difference between a bike race and a spawning run is that in the end only a handful of bike racers get mangled, while all of the Salmon die. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Okay, okay, so I may (yeah right) be going over-the-top by comparing our Wednesday night road race to "Little Shop of Horrors" and referring it to the "LITTLE BIKE RACE OF HORRORS"  but after that opening night fiasco, well, you gotta say there's a least some comedic wiggle room (which would NOT have available if the injuries had been any worse than they were). So on with this stupid little parody. (Hey maybe it's time to bring back TOP GUN?)

For those who doubt that this is a good avatar for our race, take a look at the poster above and tell me if it doesn't look like the sprint finish in the Bs.  You make the call ...

To decrease the chance of another catastrophic finish-con-carne, I have personally been having conversations with race officials (pictured above in my imagination) about how we can make the race safer - while stilling maintaining the excitement and thrills associated with the B Group. (Again, yeah, right).  At the end of the first round of negotiations I came away with some nasty bite-marks on my fore-arm and the tip of my left-hand, little-finger missing.
All I can say is when you head into the sprint, and leave all hope of safety and survival behind, sprinting all-out for glory and a plate of cookies, and you look over you shoulder and see this guy on your wheel, well, you pretty much know you're going to get your ass eaten up.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


To ward off the evil spirits that haunted the first night of racing at Grattan, I wore the Dicky's Death March T, resplendent with its BAD IDEA RACING sub headline to drive away those e-vile spirits. Sure enough, it worked, and everyone in the B's made it across the line with all the rubber still on the road. The A's, not so lucky, and a good friend went down when someone thought it would be a great idea to "sprint" for 30th place. To the sprinter: this will not make you any friends.

Along with the wearing the DDMT, I also provided some tips on the fly to other riders. These tips consisted of valuable insights that you could probably only get by reading volumes of books on road racing or hiring and expensive coach:

Here are a few of those tips, free of charge:

"Every though about riding in a straight line?"

"You mind not making those 90 degree left/right hand turns in the middle of the pack?"

"Wow, you kinda suck with a bicycle, don't you?"

"Take it easy. We've got 15 laps to go and the ambulance hasn't arrived yet."

"I don't know why you keep looking over your shoulder. The bike you're going to hit is right in front of you."

"Good thing your team has an unlimited number of uniforms for sale."

"Who would have thought a bicycle could be turned into a weapon of mass destruction!"

"Every thought about taking up golf?"

While I can dish it out, I can also take it, too. I'm not above making a hinky move now and then, grabbing too much brake, or losing focus (hey after 20 laps I start getting dizzy!) so feel free to use any of the tips on me if you see me wobbling around and causing grief in the pack. All except for the "golf" tip. I refuse to commit golf.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


While some might think the single speed has no place in road racing, I think it's time to think again. You think? Well anyway, after all that thinking,  I'm sure if I bring this bad-boy out to Grattan tonight I believe I might have a clear shot to the front. If can get this bovine beast moving, anywho-hah. Who, I ask you, in their right mind, would want to see this thing glued to your rear wheel? Of course last week there was a lot of the "who in their right mind" stuff flying around, and it didn't seem to make in difference in the body count.

Anyway, it's one thing to get bumped during a sprint, but who ever thought about being gored?


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Today, the above rain poem seems perfectly appropriate. Anybody up for a ride? How about a cross race in the nearest park for some mud flingin? Nope. None of the above.  Just sitting by the window, working, thinking: I'm not riding in this shit, no freakin' way. Looks like the whole week may be like this, too. 

SPECIAL GRATTAN RAIN RACE DOUBLE-POINTER: Cycling race fans are now collecting their special rain gear and umbrellas for another exciting edition of Grattan where racers can earn double-points by braving harsh elements like rain. Get one of these sweet umbrellas and show them what you think of their heroic cycling effort, and the fact that they dragged you out on a cold and wet day to watch a cycle race!

I'm happy, or unhappy, I'm not sure which, to report that my friend Conrad who was smashed up pretty horribly in last week's crash-o-rama is home from the hospital and on the mend. I hear that he has his Lumberjack 100 entry up for sale, so if you'd like one, I know where you can get one ... unless it's already been snapped up. Get well Conrad, miss you buddy.

Even though it's too late (two years too late) and even though I'm all for cars and oil, except when it's floating in the Gulf of Mexico of course, I still would have turned out big-time for this cycling event to cheer on the participants. Looks like way more fun than racing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Opening Night at Grattan

The Grattan season opened with a bang last night. Windy conditions and smooth as butter new pavement, along with a bunch of young riders with delusions of being the next Cav' (Bs only) turned the final lap into a crash and road-rash-o-rama of epic proportions. Not only was there a crash on the hill before the final straight-a-way (B's only) there was also a finishing sprint crash to put a bloody cherry on top of what amounted to a sketchy night of racing. It was like saying, "yeah, you thought that first crash was stupid, wait till you see this!" Luckily nobody was seriously injured, but arms were broken, skin was burned off, and pricey carbon bikes were turned into worthless junk. Lots of screaming too. One good friend, a great, safe rider, is certainly lost for the season. I can only imagine what kind of pain he is in tonight.

The guy pictured above actually won the B race, rolling first across the finish line like a bloody meatball. Unfortunately his a number was pinned on incorrectly and his hands were off his handlebars as he crossed the finish line so he was immediatly disqualified.

We haven't had crashes like this for years, but it looks like the bad-old-days are back again.