Thursday, September 27, 2012

One Man's Junk is Another Man's Art Prize

VOTE ART PRIZE: 108236 River Bottom Bike 
By the Grand River Van Gogh Brothers

I don't think there is a better way to see Art Prize than by bike. You can circumnavigate the madding crowds, zip in and out of congested traffic (when does the bus for Kentwood leave, again?) and ride by the Way Finders without having to ask them another stupid question - they've had quite enough, thank you. The first art I found along the way was this great bike art, pictured above, created by the Grand River Van Gogh Brothers. I thought, this is the winner in my book. 

The Van Gogh Brothers creating art, one sunken bike at a time, from the bottom of the Grand River, somewhere along North Monroe.

The work of the Van Gogh brothers is simply breathtaking - and kind of stinky since the bikes have been rotting at the bottom of the Grand River for decades.

More fine examples of their work. The Van Gogh Brothers said they had pulled up something like 3--50 bikes in one day. Not to mention a few safes.

An artist's tools in the hands of a master. While some artists may use paint brushes and chisels, the Van Gogh Bros. use a hook and pipe wrench attached to stout ropes. Now that's artistry!

Even though I considered the competition closed after the discovering the Van Gogh Brother's River Bottom Bikes, I continued on my Art Prize journey. Sure there was a lot more crap to see, and most of it above the water, I couldn't help thinking what real Art Prizes were rotting away under water!

Like what about this stuff? I couldn't figure it out at all. I'm thinking about 5-years in river bottom muck would help this exhibition out significantly.

This was kinda of cool. But I didn't have all day waiting for a bird to run into it. I'm guessing that's the idea, right?

I did a drive-by of the Bob Parking lot "Art" feature a giant Lobster-Crab (is it on the menu in the Fish House?). A quick inspection of the stuff inside the Bob Lot revealed a giant outdoor gift shop like you'd find in Lake City, complete with sniveling kids and pissed off parents. Again, the best part of touring Art Prize on two-wheels is you can escape quickly!

ART PRIZE VOTE: 208123 Messy Dog
Artist: Mr. Mustard

This was another one of my favorite Art Prize installations, created by Mr. Mustard under the umbrella. Not only were the colors right on, but this exhibit smelled and tasted great!

Tailer Art! Somehow I think I've seen this before - and done much better by a true trailer-craftsman.

The Cyclocross Trailer by Big Mac

Yeah, I like this trailer much better. Neater job and it has a purpose. Adam should win this category hands down.


This was another favorite of mine, though I think I have seen it before. I'm wondering if this has anything to do with the aritis's depression over the impending NHL lockout? Anyway, he needs to get hustling, he's a little behind on the installation.

 VOTE ART PRIZE: 108236 River Bottom Bike 
By the Grand River Van Gogh Brothers

Anyway, after seeing practically none of the other exhibitions at this year's Art Prize, I don't know how you could beat the work of the Grand River Van Gogh Brothers with a grappling hook. As they say in Chicago, vote and vote often!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Peeing Away Another Weekend Racing Cross

JB laughs at Mike S for actually taking a beer hand-up on Sunday at the Swamp Thing. Does JB think it's funny as in you're a clown Mike, or  now's my chance to kick your ass you fool?

A quick, and visual report of the weekend's racing follows kicking off with a KISSCROSS race at Highland Park. While Highland doesn't offer a lot of room, I must say that the Founder's Team made the most of it, and it was a fun, fast course. The best/worst part was the bunny-hop of a log at the bottom of the hill. Plenty of the carnage that people love to see at KISSCROSS, but man that looked like it hurt!

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While we don't have actual footage of the crashes that occurred at Highland while people tried the flying bunny hop, you can get the feeling from watching "Joey's Okay!" just one more time.


After pre-riding the course during the summer, and early in the week before the race, I had my doubts about the new sections that had been added to the course. Luckily, rain softened up some of the lumps and bumps in the new parts, and it wasn't too bad, and I'm glad to report that I didn't come away with the dreaded "Cross=Back" I had last year after the first race. My "Shaken Baby Syndrome" wasn't even too bad. While there wasn't any KISSCROSS style land-mines to keep spectator's entertained with concussions, contusions and compound fractures,  there were beer hand-ups to keep it lively.


Cupcake as she appeared, blasting through the swamp, as the featured photo on the Lansing MLive news post this past weekend.

The Swamp thing got some good press, and there are a bunch of sweet photo of the race embedded in the story. See them all here.

As far as the race goes, other news in the West Michigan Women's B's category was Sarah McIntyre making a breakthrough and getting onto the podium.

Here's Sarah warming up her socks before the race - and eventually taking 3rd! Congrats Sarah.

Here's Sarah on the Podium (?) Or what has to be one of the strangest podiums, I've ever seen.

Sarah, the BIG 3, and the podium chair. Remind you of anything? Stay tuned.

Adam also had a nice ride, and a podium, step, er, podium chair or something something. The guy who got first is there, he's just invisible.

Oh wait, is this him? Hey buddy, your chair is waiting.

There should have been a chair for weirdest team kit. Another nice MLive Photo.

Slayer shows Don Cameron his wheel ... for almost the entire race. Jeff and Don pulled away from the rest of the pack for the two-top podium steps, I mean chairs ... another MLive Photo.

Craig Rawlings (aka Flying Bats) wasn't there for his Podium Chair. Too bad, Clint Eastwood was there to present him with some recycled embrocation. Also sorry I don't have a photo of Craig's new cross whip. I hope to have one next week - nice bike!

Speaking of nice bikes and new cross whips - here's Slayer's rig ready to race. Does this look fast to you? Nice one Slayer, and great race too.

Another Best-Of-Award goes to Vince Anila for his awesome cross-truck-rig, which may even surpass Big Macs Crazy Bastard Cross Trailer for hauling shit to the the race. Great rig Vince!

Things were a little different at the Swamp This year. Joe Lekovish wasn't in his usual spot at the concierge desk.

Guess he was home getting a shave - and some new pants. We missed you Joe!

Another thing was missed at this year's SOA Swamp Thing were bathrooms. Had this sign been at the race venue the arrow would be pointing you to a shopping mall a few blocks away.

Apparently the promoters had never been to the Fisk Knob Time Trial where peeing in public is almost a capital crime.

Unfortunately for this little guy, instead of getting First Chair in the junior class he got arrested. Nothing like getting the kids started early with cross racing and an arrest record.

Well it's on to another double weekend of racing, which seems to be the thing this year. Also in other Bastard news I think we'll move tomorrow's ride to a 6:30 start. Any thoughts? Also thinking about a practice tonight. Who's game?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Need Some Motivation for a Weekend of Cross? Cross Vegas Video

Want a little video-motivation for the weekend? Have some coffee, a donut or two, and some fast looking cyclocross racing to start the day.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Remember this classic 'cross video by Big Mac last year? Relive the speed, thrills and crazy stuff that happened on course last year. Hopefully there's more of the same waiting on Sunday. And there's no f*cking sledding hill!
It's coming! The Swamp Thing is almost here. Can't wait to take another whack at this, and see if I can keep the tires on my bike this time. Also a good time, and so close to home! This Sunday, be there!

The gangs all here. Riding the course back in the summer before we all got those horrible face tattoos.

He knows where the Swamp Thing lives and he feeds it daily. Michael Babcock mowing the Thing's front yard.

Joe Lekovish is ready for the Swamp Thing. One of the best USAC Officials in the book, in my humble-ass opinion. Joe, I totally dig the cigarette smoke at the line. It's so Belgy. I feel like I'm in Belgium at a cross race or I've jumped back in time I'm doing the old Cadieux Cafe race.

As a special surprise, the SOA promoters are thinking about adding a new section to the course. I rode it last night and snapped some photos. Don't worry it's short, and you probably won't need wire cutters by Sunday. See you there!

I think I'll use the 34's with the Iron Maiden tread. Thank you, bitches.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's the Summer's Over Fall Begins Ride Tonight

Yes, remember those warm summer rides? Well that's over. Bundle up and let's go. Probably need a light tonight.

I'm getting my special fall bike tuned up for tonight's ride by my faithful mechanic. Yeah, it's looking good so far. She added just the right amount of rust to the chain - just the way I like it for the fall.

Last but not least, it's time to sign up for Swamp thing. It's a short drive and should be big fun now that that cool course is run in. Lots of new twists and turns, plus it's put on by some really great people. Still time to preregister on on

Here's a look from over a month ago at some of the new Swamp Thing course,  and the old course that's smooth and rocking after a few races and a year of riding ...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cougar in a Jaguar: Dirt Road Rage

Beware the Cougar in the Jaguar. This one is going for the Isadora Duncan Full Choke Scarf in the Spokes Look.

A number of bad rides depicted here. In the foreground Isadora is about to get a severe Randy Savage Choke Hold.

Ride Report: Thursday September 18, 2012

Nice ride last night with Mike K, Tony H, Adam Mac, Sarah Mac, Dave S, Kevin, Jurrien, Julie Boonen, Craig Euo-Cross-Trash and Chris Crazyman Block along with the ride. Cooler temperatures required a few more clothes, but it's far from winter. Lights were necessary only after about 30-miles. So figure that out. It was an enjoyable ride until the last two miles (you might know this would only happen on the paved section) when a woman driving a four-door Jaguar tried to side-swipe the group, and flipped off Craig on his new Euro-Ride when he dared to complain about being run-over. Even though it was a very expensive car to be run-over in.

The Cougar behind the wheel no doubt thought she looked liked this, but, uh, sorry honey, we don't think so ...

She was probably in a hurry after a few glasses of Pinot, or something red enough to match her eyes and needed to get somewhere in a hurry to get her nails done, or even drink more wine with her Cougar friends. I'm thinking this could have been what spurred her near tragic auto-on-cross-bike attack.

She probably has a big glass like her heroine Cougar does ...

Gee, after this, I hope no bikers, with lights, on a wide open and lonely country road don't get in my way. I might have to kill them!

If she can afford a Jaguar, my guess is that our Cougar probably has this sitting in the other stall of the garage.

We're sure of all this Cougarishness because I believe Tony spotted the glass (above) rolling around on the dashboard. She's probably has the full collection at home.

Anyway, when you see a Cougar in a Jaguar, or a Cougar in Jaguar clothing, kinda of like the Black Swan gone old and extremely bad, give the cops a call.

Actually, all kidding aside here's what that Jaguar will probably look like if the Cougar keeps driving like an idiot. Let's hope not. And let's hope there's no innocent victim under that Jag when it dies.

The best news is that this incident was reported and that the police know who this is and paid her a little visit at her home last night. We'll keep you posted on the future of the Cougar, and her Jaguar. This is the first trouble we've ever had on the rides, and I hope it doesn't cause issues out there.